Hamilton's Shanghai love affair continues - Chinese Grand Prix in numbers

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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain celebrates with champagne on the podium after winning the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Sebastian Vettel says the timing of the safety auto phase during the Chinese Grand Prix was "unfortunate", after finishing in second place.

Hamilton heaped praise on Vettel, the German four-time world champion, who was unlucky to have pitted just before a safety vehicle and emerged stuck in traffic.

Vettel's race here was scuppered by a portion of bad luck.

A wet track caused havoc early on with the virtual safety vehicle deployed on lap one after Lance Stroll spun off in his Williams.

That left Vettel in a strong position to take the lead when Hamilton did pit, but he was saved by Giovinazzi stacking his auto leading to a safety vehicle, which allowed Hamilton to pit for his tyres - and win the race.

But despite coming out on top in Shanghai for a fifth time, Hamilton fully expects the pendulum to continue to swing back and forth between Mercedes and Ferrari for the rest of the year.

The embryonic drivers' standings seemed to suggest as much, with the duo both on 43 points - the first time there has been a tie at the top since 2012.

"I enjoyed the fact we were racing", Vettel said.

"The ultimate fighter always wants to go up against the best battle you can have".

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"I gained one or two positions and then.trying to go round the outside in turn one, I got another auto", he added later, taking journalists through his first-lap heroics that won him the fans' vote as driver of the day.

"I really, really hope it's just an out and out fight through stubbornness, through mental stability, through fitness, through composure and all those things".

"Lewis was quick. full stop", Vettel conceded.

First, the German 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.

First, the Aussie had to worry about Raikkonen, but the Finn himself was overtaken by Vettel after a few fruitless laps of following the Red Bull - and Vettel then needed little time to pull off a superb outside move on Ricciardo.

"Overall it's now 1:1 for us against Ferrari and the development race is on", said Wolff.

Vettel was up to the challenge of working his way back up the field, however, eventually passing Verstappen on lap 28, before unsuccessfully attempting to wrangle the lead from Hamilton.

Hamilton started from pole position, but the conditions were a bit of a lottery for all the drivers with the track damp in patches but drying quickly. "Lewis did the best job", said Vettel.

A wet start and a crash from Williams' Lance Stroll saw the safety vehicle used, with Vettel opting to pit for dry tyres on the second lap.