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Vettel admits safety auto timing 'unfortunate' in China

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Chinese Grand Prix Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton romps to pole position

Following Sebastian Vettel's shock win for Ferrari in Australia two weeks ago, anticipation is high for the second race of the season.

The 2017 Chinese GP opened to mix weather conditions due to showers, making for a damp track. All the racers baring Toro Rosso;s Carlos Sainz were n intermediate tyres.

From that half-distance point, Hamilton and Vettel were in a world of their own as they traded times and the gap between them ebbed and flowed.

Daniel Ricciardo finished in fourth, Kimi Raikkonen fifth and Valtteri Bottas sixth.

Canadian rookie Lance Stroll was the first casualty of the inclement conditions after he was punted from behind by the Force India of Sergio Perez.

Mercedes have set the benchmark in Formula One, sweeping to a hat-trick of drivers and constructors' titles over the last three years. After a while, to be precise in the fourth lap, Antonio Giovinazzi slammed his Sauber vehicle and bringing the race to a halt. A short time later later, on the fourth lap, Antonio Giovinazzi hit a wet patch and slammed into the wall, severely damaging his Sauber vehicle and bringing the race to a halt again.

Hamilton continued to maintain his lead by now, but Ricciardo turned out to be his biggest competition. The four-time champion took to the inside of his team-mate Raikkonen at turn six on lap 20 and moments later he made his pass on Ricciardo.

"It looks like we are very close on pace with Ferrari". "But we are also all aware that it was just one win, and that there is no guarantee that it will go on like this from now on".

"I was struggling a little bit with the balance of the auto because yesterday I didn't run a lot, of course, in qualifying, so I didn't really have a good picture of it because we changed a lot from FP3 on the vehicle".

Upon rejoining, Verstappen lit up the timing screens and, after he took fifth from Bottas with another late Turn 6 lunge, all the drivers ahead would make their stops as well.

Eventually, the requisite equipment was moved to a nearer hospital - the circuit is quite far from central Shanghai - but it was a reminder that Liberty can be as innovative as they want, but you can't fight city hall.

The drive of the race belonged to Max Verstappen. Red Bull - 37 points 4.

"Proper" wet races are always hugely exciting in F1, but this one will have an extra edge.

Fernando Alonso's hopes of a points finish were dashed by a driveshaft failure, while team mate Stoffel Vandoorne was sidelined with fuel pressure problems.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull were close throughout but nobody could stop Hamilton from claiming his first victory of the season.

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