Hamilton wins landmark Chinese Grand Prix

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Hamilton had been exceptionally careful before the race to insist that F1's milestone meeting was not of great effect to him, only maximising the points, which he duly did with what was an ominously dominant performance for Mercedes.

Valtteri Bottas claimed the pole for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton taking the second spot on the grid after Saturday's qualifying. That kind of start has not happened since 1992 when Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese went 1-2 in the first three races.

Leclerc got ahead of Vettel at the start but was instructed by Ferrari to let his teammate through on lap 11, order the Monegasque complied with while making clear that he did not agree.

"Valtteri was particularly quick in the first sector so I was experimenting throughout the session", said the 34-year-old, a five-time victor in Shanghai.

Sunday's race was over in the first 30 seconds.

Hamilton had been out of sorts for much of the weekend, complaining about the set-up of the auto, but in a brilliant start he claimed the lead from team-mate Bottas, who had been on pole.

With five-time world champion Hamilton - victor in Bahrain two weeks ago - serene up top, the real battles unfolded behind him.

This was world champion Hamilton's sixth victory at the Chinese Grand Prix and second in a row this season.

Baku in two weeks time.

The rookie produced a brilliant race, though, climbing up to 10th position to finish in the points for the second race in succession.

"Valtteri was quick all weekend- the start was where I was able to make the difference". "And after that it was kind of history".

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Coming in a lonely third was Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel who completed the race 13.744s behind the race leader, while Max Verstappen of Red Bull was a.distant fourth. "We may change our position, no doubt", he said.

Mercedes' decision to bring Bottas in first to protect from Vettel behind dropped the lead to less than two seconds, but Hamilton soon pulled away again to take his second victory in a row.

"Lewis had a better start and for me, the problem was already on the formation lap start", said the Finn.

"Shame about the start".

He said: 'It is small details but it is early days in the season, things are looking good.

"It has been so close between us all and I really have no idea how the next race is going to turn out".

Shortly after, the instruction came over the radio for Leclerc to move over and let Vettel past.

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto told Sky that if his driver was upset, he was "right" to feel that way given how the race unfolded.

Ferrari has had more flat-out speed than Mercedes in the early season, but China seems to have leveled the playing field.

"If there is any 50-50 situation where we need to take a decision, the advantage would have been given to Sebastian, simply because Sebastian has got most of the experience", Binotto said.

"I mean, it's really not much of a moment", Hamilton said when asked about the significance.