Hamilton roars to victory in Chinese Grand Prix

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, center, poses with Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany, left, and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands on the podium after winning the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai Sunday. (AP)
Updated 09 April 2017
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Hamilton roars to victory in Chinese Grand Prix

SHANGHAI: Lewis Hamilton powered to victory in a chaotic Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on Sunday, taking swift revenge for his defeat by Sebastian Vettel in the Formula One season-opener.
The Briton, who started on pole, steered his Mercedes to his fifth Chinese Grand Prix win, beating Vettel's Ferrari by just over six seconds with Red Bull's Max Verstappen finishing third after early safety car drama.
"Get in there Lewis!" Hamilton's engineer said over team radio after the three-time world champion took the chequered flag in China for the third time in the last four years.
"That's a great race, mate. An absolute masterclass."
Hamilton replied: "We've worked really hard for this, we've got to keep pushing."
Vettel recovered from a poor start from row one and, after being stuck behind Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen early on, began to show the pace that swept the German to victory in Melbourne two weeks ago.
First Vettel blew past Raikkonen before going wheel-to-wheel with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo at turn seven, producing puffs of blue smoke as the cars touched tyres.
Verstappen loomed ahead but the young Dutchman, who produced an astonishing first lap after starting from 16th on the grid, suffered a lock-up going into the hairpin allowing Vettel, rather anti-climactically, to take second place.
Hamilton, meanwhile, never looked seriously threatened despite a sequence of fastest laps from his German title rival.
"Grazie a tutti!" said Vettel over the radio. "I think we were a bit unlucky. It felt like we were the quickest, man. We couldn't prove that today but next time we will."
Ricciardo took fourth behind Verstappen after a furious late scrap between the two Red Bulls with Raikkonen finishing in fifth ahead of fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas's Mercedes.
Carlos Sainz finished seventh for Toro Rosso with Kevin Magnussen's Haas eighth and the Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon rounding out the top 10.
Bottas apologised to his team for an embarrassing spin while weaving to warm his tyres behind the safety car, which dropped him down to 12th.
"Really sorry, guys, for the amateur mistake," said Bottas, who had earlier been called "Nico" over team radio. "I'll make up for it in the next race."
A wet track caused havoc early on with the virtual safety car deployed on lap one after Lance Stroll spun off in his Williams.
The safety car was called again after Antonio Giovinazzi smashed his Sauber into a wall.


A HAT-TRICK OF HOPES: What the UAE and Saudi Arabia should be looking for from their friendly

Updated 20 March 2019
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A HAT-TRICK OF HOPES: What the UAE and Saudi Arabia should be looking for from their friendly

  • Can the Whites and Green Falcons find the back of the net more often?
  • Both teams need to set the tone ahead of the important World Cup qualifiers.

LONDON: Ahead of Thursday’s friendly between the UAE and Saudi Arabia Arab News looks at the main priorities for both sides as they embark on their new eras after the Asian Cup and ahead of the all-important the World Cup qualifiers.

FIND THOSE SCORING BOOTS

For the past 18 months both sides have struggled for goals. Under Alberto Zaccheroni the UAE scored just 10 goals in the past nine matches — five of those coming against lowly Kyrgyzstan and India — and likewise the Green Falcons have also struggled to find the back of the net. Heading toward the World Cup qualifiers, now is the time to find those scoring boots.

PUT ON A SHOW

Both sides have technically gifted players, can keep the ball and at times trouble opposition defenses. But both have been too defensive, too safety-first and, at times, too dull. Football is supposed to be entertainment, and the friendlies ahead of the World Cup qualifiers might be no bad time to throw caution to the wind and see what the players can do in the final third.

SET THE TONE

As the modern cliche goes, a week is a long time in football. With all the sackings and player movements, it is not hard to see the kernel of truth in that overused saying. But, conversely, time can also move very fast in the “Beautiful Game.” It may be six months before the World Cup qualifiers begin, but it will be September before the coaches and players know it. Set the tone and tactics now and triumphs will be easier to come by then and, more importantly, further into the future.