Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has claimed his second win of the season in Shanghai, underlining his status as the most successful driver in the history of the Chinese Grand Prix with four wins, having started from pole.
The top four used an identical two-stop strategy, with two opening stints on the soft tire followed by a final stint on the medium tire. Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race on the soft tire during his second stint.
The soft-medium-medium strategy was used immediately behind them, but there were some other variations further down the field, including a three-stopper for Force India driver Sergio Perez, and a soft-medium-soft strategy for McLaren’s Fernando Alonso as well as both Manor drivers, who finished the race.
The grand prix boiled down to an intense strategic battle between Mercedes and Ferrari, with Mercedes getting the most out of the medium tire, and Ferrari showing some impressive stints on the soft tire, putting the leaders under pressure. Track temperatures gradually fell over the course of the race, making strategy and tire behavior hard to predict.
The race finished behind a safety car that came out with fewer than three laps to go, calling an end to the competitive action. The drivers had plenty of life left in their tires at the end of the race, which they had saved for a final push, but they did not get the opportunity to charge all the way to the checkered flag.
Formula One now heads to Bahrain for the first double-header of the season, where the P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tires have again been nominated.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “The falling track temperature over the course of the grand prix meant that the race tactics were quite hard to predict. This led to the frontrunners adopting very similar strategies, with some attempting to pit slightly earlier and gain track position with an ‘undercut’. In terms of pure performance, the tires were in line with or in excess of our expectations.”