Lewis Hamilton won the Chinese Grand Prix for a record sixth time on Sunday to seize the overall lead from his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in Formula One’s 1,000th world championship race.
Bottas, who made a poor start from pole and lost out to five times world champion Hamilton into the first corner, was second for his team’s third one-two finish in as many races this season.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took third place, his first podium appearance of the campaign, with Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly denying the German an extra point with the fastest lap right at the end.
The comfortable win in a race short on thrills was the 75th of Hamilton’s career, and second in a row after his lucky triumph in Bahrain two weeks ago.
“To have a one-two together is really special in the 1,000th Grand Prix. The start was where I was able to make the difference, and after that it’s kind of history,” said the Briton, who also won the 900th in Bahrain in 2014.
He is now just 16 victories short of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record tally of 91.
Hamilton has 68 points to Bottas’s 62 with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third on 39. In the constructors’ standings, Mercedes are already a hefty 57 clear of second-placed Ferrari.
There has yet to be a winner this year from pole position, with Bottas triumphant in the Australian opener in similar fashion to Hamilton in China.
“I think I lost it in the start. The car was feeling OK and otherwise the pace was similar,” said the Finn, who was never under any real threat from behind.
“In the first stint in the dirty air I couldn’t follow. Shame about the start, I got some wheel spin when I went over the white line, the start-finish line which is immediately after my box, and I lost it there.”