McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton wins 2011 Chinese Grand Prix

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 17, 2011

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton captured his first win for the season in China, as he cut the winning streak of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel’s in Formula 1. Hamilton had a good start and was able to overtake Vettel on the first corner. However, teammate Jenson Button benefited the most as he led the race upon exiting Turn 1.

McLaren’s two drivers then placed a huge gap from Vettel but when Lap 10 arrived, the distance between them had narrowed to only a few seconds.

The two British drivers went to the pits early on in the race and they later went for a 3-pitstop strategy. But Vettel stayed on the track a bit longer while Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso closed in.

Nico Rosberg also started well and had maintained his fourth place in the race. When he visit the pitlane early, it became clear that his team was planning a 3-pitstop strategy. After the first set of pitstops, Rosberg got a boost from the other drivers getting into traffic.

Rosberg went to first place and came in ahead of Vettel, Button, Massa and Hamilton. From this group, it was only Vettel and Button who had made the commitment to 2-pitstop strategies.

The other drivers had to go very fast so that they can make up for the extra pitstop. As soon as Vettel and Massa pitted, both appeared on track to take fourth and fifth places respectively.

In this close race, both managed to do well on the prime hard tire. Rosberg, Hamilton and Button took on the soft compound as they all pitted for the last time.

Starting from this point, the three of them began to gain seconds on the front-runners. Hamilton reacted first and overtook Button on Lap 35. He was then able to overtake for third place when he took advantage of Rosberg’s low-fuel warning from his pitbox.

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