Hamilton delighted with fourth Chinese GP victory despite anti-climactic end under safety car

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Lewis Hamilton was full of praise for his Mercedes team after claiming a dominant victory at the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday in Shanghai.

The British driver enjoyed a trouble-free weekend to claim his fourth victory in China, posting the fastest time in all three practice sessions before scoring pole position, posting the fastest lap and finally claiming the race win.

The result marked a turnaround in fortunes for Mercedes after it suffered a shock defeat to Ferrari in Malaysia two weeks ago, and Hamilton had nothing but praise for his team when speaking on the podium after the race.

“A fantastic job by the team,” Hamilton said. “It was great to have a smooth weekend, getting the sessions and really dialling in the car.

“Today was really that effect of really putting the car in the place I wanted it. It was really just controlling the gap between myself and Nico [Rosberg], and saving the tires for when I needed to use them.

“I had lots left in my tires at the end which I was looking forward to eking out a gap at the end but obviously the safety car came out.”

Hamilton managed to squeeze out a gap over teammate Nico Rosberg throughout the race, enjoying an advantage of over 10 seconds before the race finished under the safety car following Max Verstappen’s on-track stoppage.

Although this eliminated Hamilton’s lead, he was still delighted with the result, and is hoping to continue his excellent start to the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix next weekend.

“The safety car at the end wasn’t helpful for anyone,” Hamilton said. “It’s kind of an anti-climax when you have a good race like that.

“As long as no-one was injured and all the cars got back safely, that’s all that mattered.

“The team has been doing a fantastic job. We did a great job to come back from the last race where we struggled a little bit, to come here and up our pace. It’s all down to the guys that build the car and the guys back at the factory. I’m happy we got the job done today.”

Steve Torrence takes NHRA points lead with Gatornationals victory

NHRA Gainesville Steve Torrence
Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence took the points lead Sunday in the AMALIE Motor Oil Gatornationals, beating his father, Billy, in the final round at Gainesville Raceway.

Torrence had a 3.809-second run at 322.11 mph to win for the third time this year and 39th overall. He is now on track for another championship despite missing the season opener.

“We’ve got some good momentum and to be in the points lead, it’s a testament to how hard these guys work,” Steve Torrence said after the NHRA Gainesville victory. “We’ve just got to stay focused and concentrate on what the task at hand is, and that’s trying to win a championship. These guys give me an unbelievable race car and you just try not to screw it up.”

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Alex Laughlin in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his second win this year and 66th overall, beating Tim Wilkerson with a 3.937 at 323.12 in a Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat.

Laughlin topped Aaron Stanfield with a 7.068 at 204.76 in a Chevrolet Camaro for his first win this season and fourth in his career. Smith rode to his first victory in 2020 and 25th overall, topping Andrew Hines with a 6.843 at 196.99 on an EBR.