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Hamilton cruises to victory in Chinese GP

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HAMILTON-PODIUMSHANGHAI, April 12- World champion Lewis Hamilton won the Chinese Grand Prix for the second year running on Sunday, holding off Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in a race which finished under the safety car.

The Briton made it two victories from three races this season and extended his record number of Shanghai wins to four, while Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished third and fourth for Ferrari.

Hamilton was cruising home almost five seconds ahead of Rosberg until Max Verstappen’s Torro Rosso stopped on the pit straight two laps from the end, bringing out the safety car.

After a flawless weekend, Hamilton darted aggressively into turn one from pole and he picked up the pace over the second half of the race.

Rosberg, who reacted angrily his near-miss in Saturday’s qualifying by snapping at his mechanics over the radio, pushed hard, at one point demanding: “Tell Lewis to speed up.”

Hamilton, who had been protecting his tyres, duly obliged after a second round of pit stops, and established a comfortable gap over the German.

Vettel, who stunned dominant Mercedes to win in tropical Malaysia two weeks ago, failed to produce a similar upset as the Silver Arrows resumed normal service.

Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finished fifth and sixth respectively.

RESULTS

1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes)

305.066 km in 1hr 39min 42.008 sec

(average speed: 183.590 kph)

2. Nico Rosberg (GER/Mercedes) at 0.714

3. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Ferrari) at 2.988

4. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN/Ferrari) at 3.835

5. Felipe Massa (BRA/Williams) at 8.544

6. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Williams) at 9.885

7. Romain Grosjean (FRA/Lotus) at 19.008

8. Felipe Nasr (BRA/Sauber AG) at 22.625

9. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/Red Bull) at 32.117

10. Marcus Ericsson (SWE/Sauber AG) at 1 lap

11. Sergio Perez (MEX/Force India) at 1 lap

12. Fernando Alonso (ESP/McLaren) at 1 lap

13. Jenson Button (GBR/McLaren) at 1 lap

14. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Toro Rosso) at 1 lap

15. Will Stevens (GBR/Marussia) at 2 laps

16. Roberto Merhi (ESP/Marussia) at 2 laps

17. Max Verstappen (NED/Toro Rosso) at 4 laps

Reasons for retirements:

Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Force India): 10th lap

Daniil Kvyat (RUS/Red Bull): 16th lap

Pastor Maldonado (VEN/Lotus): 50th lap

Max Verstappen (NED/Toro Rosso): 53th lap (classified)

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