What Lewis Hamilton said after Chinese Grand Prix goes against the race standings

Lewis Hamilton overtook Valtteri Bottas at the start to win race No.75 of his career to go back top of the F1 championship.

But despite winning in Shanghai, it had not been an easy ride.

His Mercedes team-mate Bottas had been quicker since touching down in China – topping the timesheets in practice before qualifying on pole.

It made victory all the sweeter for the Brit who felt he had ground out victory the hard way.

“Considering it was a real struggle this weekend, I’m really grateful at the result,” he said.

“It’s been a massive team effort all weekend and the work doesn’t stop. It’s crazy to think there’s still 18 races to go. It’s a long, long way to go and a lot of work to do.

“The team deserved the win and worked so hard and did a really awesome job.

“I’m just happy I was able to come through and make improvement in areas. It doesn’t matter if you’re not perfect but you’ve got to make improvements, which I did.”

Bottas paid the price for being slow off the grid – admitting: “I think I lost it at the start, honestly, otherwise I was feeling okay and the pace was similar.

“In the first stints, in the dirty air, I couldn’t follow. It was a shame about the start. I got some wheelspin when I went over the white line at the start-finish line which is immediately after my box so I lost it there.”

But once Hamilton was ahead there was seemingly no way back – even if Mercedes did have to ditch their one-stop strategy to pit twice to match Ferrari.

“It was an exciting race. Once I was out in the lead I felt I had control of it for a while and then it was interesting to see the places move up and down behind,” Hamilton said.

“Obviously I stopped later, a lap or two later than Valtteri when I came out it was close, and then the Ferraris moved to a two-stop.

“I was planning on doing a one-stop so we then converted to a two-stop.

“It was interesting as, coming into the weekend, it was supposed to be a one or a two, very close.

“I don’t know whether a one would have done the job in the end.”

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