Vettel Second In China After Ferrari Falters On Strategy


Lewis Hamilton has squared things off between him and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel after he won the second race of the 2017 Formula One season, the Chinese Grand Prix.

Asked if he had an idea at which tracks Mercedes might hold the edge, and which tracks might suit Ferrari, Hamilton said: "It's a little bit hard". However, this step became useless when another safety vehicle was deployed in the fourth lap, after the Sauber of Antonio Giovinazzi crashed into the barriers. Max Verstappen did try to fend off Vettel's attack, but the Ferrari driver managed to pass him on lap 28.

The 37-year-old wrangled with his team for an early pit stop to change tyres but wasn't given a stop until the 39th lap, far later than any of the drivers ahead of him.

Ricciardo finished fourth, followed by Ferrari's Raikkonen and Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in sixth. Bottas was sixth after spinning in the wet behind the safety auto, with Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz in seventh, Haas' Kevin Magnussen in eighth and Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon in ninth and tenth, respectively.

'It's now 1-1 for us against Ferrari and the development race is on.

"So for us it is really good news we had another race where we were really close and were able to put some pressure on".

'The scenario I am in right now, I am fighting against a four-time world champion, who is at his best and is phenomenally quick, and a Ferrari team which is the best they have been in a decade.

Lewis Hamilton (44) leads the field in the first lap of the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix.

Like Hamilton, Vettel said he would relish the battle continuing for the rest of the season.

Being out of position meant Vettel was forced to make some aggressive looking moves to gain positions, passing team-mate Kimi Raikkonen into turn six, and then a few laps later former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo on the exit of the same turn, with the two banging wheels in the process.

"The start was fantastic, I'm so happy with the way starts are going so I'm going to keep that up!"

Bottas finished sixth. The Finn, who has replaced retired champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, started third but a spin behind the safety auto dropped him down the field.

Check out the highlights from the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix and Lewis Hamilton's brilliant performance.

"It'll be interesting and it's just going to unfold over these next races".