Lewis Hamilton stormed to victory on a fresh set of option tires in the closing laps of the Grand Prix of China in Shanghai, a win that was even more impressive because McLaren had to work furiously on his car to get it to the grid in time because of a fuel leak. After straightforward victories in Australia and Malaysia, Red Bul’s Sebastian Vettel had to work hard to hang on to second place as the reigning World Champion’s gamble on a two-stop strategy — and a 25-lap run on Pirelli’s hard rubber — just failed to pay off. In contrast, teammate Webber displayed characteristic grit to fight back from 18th on the grid to snatch his first podium of the season (and fastest lap) with a 3rd place finish, a mere 7s behind the leaders.
Hamilton used his McLaren team’s three-stop strategy brilliantly to chase down Sebastian Vettel and take the lead with four laps to go. “I never really knew right to the end I could do it,” he said. “It is one of the best grand prix wins I can remember.”