Shanghai, China (SportsNetwork.com) - Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton claimed his third consecutive Formula One victory by putting on a superb performance in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix.
Hamilton started on pole and was untouchable throughout the 56-lap race at Shanghai International Circuit. The 2008 F1 world champion crossed the finish line 18.6 seconds ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg to give Mercedes another 1-2 finish this season.
It's the first time Hamilton has won three grand prix in a row. He also collected his 25th career victory, which placed him in a tie with Jim Clark and Niki Lauda for eighth on F1's all-time race winners list. Hamilton now has three victories in the Chinese GP, which is more than any other driver.
"I really couldn't do this without the hard work from the team," Hamilton said. "Honestly, I just can't believe how amazing the car is and how hard everyone has worked. The results were getting are a real true showing of all the hard work."
Rosberg's second-place finish allowed him to retain the lead in the world championship point standings. He has accumulated 79 points for the season, but Hamilton is just four points behind him.
"This team is on a roll," Hamilton added. "We aim to keep moving forward and improving. I hope we can continue it."
Rosberg, who started fourth, struggled at the start of the race, dropping as far back as seventh on the opening lap after he had made slight contact with Williams' Valtteri Bottas heading into the first turn. Rosberg bounced back nicely from there, as he overtook Alonso for second with 15 laps to go.
"I'm still in the [points] lead, and that's good, just considering that the whole weekend was really, really bad for me," Rosberg said. "It went just completely wrong in so many different respects. In the race, we didn't have telemetry, so there was no communication from the car to the pits. They had no idea what was going on while I was on the track. That's why the start was so bad, but a lot of things came together. So I'm pleased with second."
Fernando Alonso finished third to give Ferrari its first podium of the season. Earlier this week, Stefano Domenicali stepped down as team principal of Ferrari. Marco Mattiacci, who had served as president and CEO of Ferrari North America, moved into the role and made his debut with the team this weekend in China.
"It was a good weekend, and we've improved the car a bit compared to the first three races," Alonso said. "Being on the podium is a nice surprise for us. I'm happy with a podium finish today."
Alonso and his former teammate, Felipe Massa, who is now with Williams, also bumped into each other at the start but neither driver sustained damaged to his car.
Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull took the fourth spot, while his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, the four-time defending world champion, was fifth.
Just before the halfway point, Vettel ignored team orders to let Ricciardo pass him, as the two were battling for position. Ricciardo pitted after Vettel and therefore had fresher tires.
As Vettel complained about the order over his team radio, he was told, "He [Ricciardo] stopped later than you." Vettel then replied, "Tough luck." Ricciardo eventually overtook his teammate.
Nico Hulkenberg from Force India finished sixth, while Bottas placed seventh. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was eighth. Hulkenberg's teammate, Sergio Perez, and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat completed the top-10.