Race - Chinese GP report: Mercedes
MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS took its third consecutive one-two finish and fourth consecutive win today at the 2014 UBS Chinese Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton took his third victory of the season, with Nico Rosberg finished in second position.
— Lewis drove a lights-to-flag victory to claim his 4th win for the team and the 17th for the Silver Arrows in Formula One
— Lewis achieved the milestone of 25 career wins, equalling Niki Lauda and Jim Clark, and putting him 8th on the all-time list
— Lewis used a two-stop strategy, stopping on laps 17 and 38, running option/prime/prime
— Nico drove a composed race after a complete failure of the team’s telemetry system left his engineers without data throughout the race
— Nico also ran two stops, pitting on laps 13 and 37, also running option/prime/prime
The team have done an amazing job and all the hard work both here and at the factory is really paying off at the moment. This car is just unbelievable; in the final laps, I was pushing a little bit more to keep up the tyre temperatures and it just felt great to drive. I’m so, so happy today. We had to make a lot of changes after P2 in terms of the set-up of the car but after it rained on Saturday, we didn’t know exactly how it would go today. There was a lot of hard work done, sitting down with the engineers so that we didn’t guess anything and just made the right steps in anticipation for today. I really want to give a big shout-out to the team in Brackley and Brixworth for embracing me last year, for building this amazing car and engine and for continuously pushing forward with so much positive energy in 2014. We are definitely on a roll right now; I’m working hard, the team is working hard and we just want to improve even further when we get back to Europe.
That was not a perfect weekend for me. Too many things went wrong, beginning with a technical problem and a less than perfect job from me in qualifying. Today I didn’t have any telemetry, so there was no communication from the car to the pits. My engineers couldn’t see what was going on in my car and therefore they couldn’t set up my clutch for the start. The clutch was completely on the wrong place, which is why I had a really bad start. I had some contact with Bottas in Turn 1 and I thought that was it. Luckily my car wasn’t damaged and in the following laps the pace in the car seemed good, which meant I was able to climb some positions. To finish second in the end, on a weekend of damage limitation, is great. I collected some important points again, which makes me happy. It’s great to go back to Europe with the lead in the Championship. In Barcelona, the aim will be to have a normal weekend and be back in first place. It was again an amazing team result and the whole team can be very proud. Congratulations to Lewis on a fantastic weekend.
The result today looks easier than it actually was. It was a difficult race after losing telemetry on Nico’s car, which shows how much of an exceptional race he drove considering this was a big limitation. From the beginning, Lewis was a man on his own planet, looking quicker than everyone else and making the tyres last longer than we thought. It’s a great result for the team to get the third 1-2 in a row – congratulations to all the guys and girls who have worked so hard to put us at this level of performance today. Now we are aiming to continue this good form going into the European season.
We’re very happy with the result today; it was a great team performance. Even before the race started, the laps to the grid were very important to perfect the balance of the car. It wasn’t an easy start as we quickly learned that Nico had no telemetry on his car, which we knew would make life difficult. Lewis made a good getaway but Nico suffered off the line and also ran into contact at the first corner as well. He survived that undamaged and did a fantastic job to make his way back from sixth, using a combination of pit stop strategy and the pace of the car. Graining of the front tyres had been a worry before the race, but both drivers managed the situation very well which was an important factor in our race result. Congratulations to Lewis on his third victory in a row for the first time in his career.