LEWIS HAMILTON cruised to his 75th win of his Formula One career as the 1,000th world championship race turned into a procession.
Hamilton, who started second on the grid, leapfrogged pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas into first place before the first corner on the opening lap, and never looked back.
Rex Features6 Lewis Hamilton won his sixth Chinese Grand Prix after a cruise in Shanghai
EPA6 Lewis Hamilton holds his trophy aloft cruising to victory in China
AFP6 Sebastian Vettel showers Lewis Hamilton in champagne on the podium
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ALB#ChineseGP 🇨🇳 #Race1000 pic.twitter.com/bZY2lSCKWk
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 14, 2019
The world champion now leads the drivers’ championship following on from his victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
He said: "It's not been the most straight-forward of weekends but what a fantastic result for the team.
"To have a one-two in the 1,000th grand prix is a really special moment.
"The start was where I made the difference and after that, it was history.
"We didn't know whereabouts we would stand with Ferrari because they were so quick in the last race.
"It's very close between us all – I really have no idea how the next race will pan out."
Bottas had to settle for second and is now also in second place in the table.
But Hamilton was given a helping hand as Ferrari again stumbled, despite their controversial use of team orders when they swapped Charles Leclerc with Sebastian Vettel.
Leclerc was livid when he was instructed to pull over and allow Vettel through on lap 11, as he felt he had better pace than the German.
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And so it proved, as Vettel made lock-up after lock-up, only adding to Leclerc’s frustration as he was bumped onto the inferior strategy, which his teammate was given the better treatment.
It resulted in Vettel completing the podium in third place while Leclerc finished down in fifth place behind Max Verstappen.
Pierre Gasly was sixth and also set the fastest lap, earning a bonus point, while Alex Albon was the driver of the day having started in the pitlane and coming home in 10th place.
Mercedes now have a gap over Ferrari in the constructors’ championship and serious questions will be being asked at their Maranello HQ.
Rex Features6 Lewis Hamilton won the historic 1000th F1 race on Sunday in Shanghai
Getty Images – Getty6 Lewis Hamilton got ahead of Valtteri Bottas at the start and cruised home
Getty Images – Getty6 A Lewis Hamilton supporter enjoys the race in Shanghai