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F1: Lewis Hamilton wins sixth Chinese GP; teammate Valtteri Bottas second

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SHANGHAI (AP) Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes won Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix, beating teammate and pole sitter Valtteri Bottas with a quicker start from his No. 2 spot on the grid. It was his sixth victory in the Shanghai race.

Hamilton, the five-time and defending champion, led all 56 laps after a quick start for his 75th career victory. It also moved him into the lead in the overall standings after three races.

The next is in two weeks in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari was third ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc of Ferrari.

“The start is really what made the difference,” Hamilton said. “And after that it was kind of history.”

Mercedes has won the first three races – two for Hamilton and one for Bottas – despite some hints this season that Ferrari had more speed.

“You can see it is still very close between us all,” Hamilton said. “We have no idea how the next race is going to turn out.”

Bottas acknowledged he was done in by his slow start, with Hamilton racing ahead out of the first turn and then running out front the rest of the way.

`I think I lost it in the start, honestly,” Bottas said. “It’s a shame about the start. It’s small details, but it’s early days in the season. But we’ve done three perfect weekends so far.”

The 21-year-old Leclerc of Monaco was clearly upset early in the race when his Ferrari team ordered him to let Vettel pass. Vettel was in fourth at the time and Leclerc was third.

“Let Sebastian by. Let Sebastian by,” the team radio told Leclerc. He replied, clearly irritated: “But I’m pulling away” as he backed off and watched Vettel pass.

Ferrari team head Mattia Binotto told reporters earlier in the week that preference would be given to the four-time champion Vettel over Leclerc, at least early in the season.

“If there is any 50-50 situation where we need to take a decision, the advantage would have been given to Sebastian, simply because Sebastian has got most of the experience,” Binotto said.

Despite benefiting from team orders, Vettel was not thrilled with his finishing position.

“I’m happy to be on the podium,” he said. “It’s tough. We tried to stick with them. But we just couldn’t. They were too quick right from the start.”

Hamilton has 68 points after three races followed by Bottas (62), Verstappen (39), Vettel (37) and Leclerc (36).

The race was billed as the 1,000th in Formula One history dating from the first race in 1950 at the Silverstone circuit in England. That was won on May 13 by Guiseppe Farina in an Alfa Romeo.

Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

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FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

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