Shanghai, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Lewis Hamilton from Mercedes widened his points lead in the Formula One world championship by winning Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix in dominating fashion.
Hamilton, the defending F1 world champion, started on the pole position and only relinquished the lead when he pitted twice during this 56-lap race at Shanghai International Circuit. He had a perfect weekend here, topping the time charts in all three practice sessions and then claiming the pole before winning the Chinese GP for a record-extending fourth time.
The race ended under the safety car, which was deployed two laps from the finish when Max Verstappen's Toro Rosso car suffered engine failure and came to a stop on the straightaway. Verstappen, who is the youngest driver ever to compete in F1 at age 17, was running eighth at the time of his incident. Track workers could not get his car off the circuit in time to resume the race.
"It was a fantastic job by the team, and it was great to have a smooth weekend," Hamilton said. "The safety car at the end wasn't helpful for anyone, because it's anti-climatic when you have a good race like that. Naturally, as long as no one was injured and all the cars got back safely, that's what matters."
Hamilton held a seven-second lead over second-place and teammate Nico Rosberg before the deployment of the safety car. It was a 1-2 finish for Mercedes, occurring two weeks after Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel won in Malaysia.
"I gave it everything I could at the end on the prime tires to try to close the gap to Lewis, and took some risks, but it didn't pay off because my tires died off," Rosberg said.
It was the 35th career F1 win for Hamilton, including his second this season. He won last month's season-opener in Australia.
With the win in China, Hamilton increased his lead to 13 points over Vettel, who finished third.
"It was a good race," Vettel said. "We were a bit closer to Mercedes on the softer tires and were able to put some pressure on them, but on the last set of tires, with the harder tires, (Mercedes) was just too quick."
Rosberg is 17 points behind Hamilton.
Vettel's teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, finished fourth, while the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas placed fifth and sixth, respectively. Lotus' Romain Grosjean scored his first points since the Monaco Grand Prix last May with a seventh-place run.
Felipe Nasr from Sauber, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Nasr's teammate, Marcus Ericsson, completed the top-10.