Hamilton expecting some tough tussles with Vettel

The Mercedes AMG Petronas team with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas celebrate Sunday's success
The Mercedes AMG Petronas team with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas celebrate Sunday's success
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Lewis Hamilton is expecting some tight tussles with Sebastian Vettel during the season.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas driver took his 54th Formula One victory in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix ,his fifth at the Shanghai International Circuit.

My pole lap put me in a great position and the start was just fantastic

Lewis Hamilton

Brackley team-mate Valtteri Bottas produced a battling drive to finish sixth after a slow stop followed by a spin on cold slick tyres in wet conditions relegated him to 12th in the early stages

Hamilton holds the joint lead in the FIA Drivers’ Championship with Vettel, while Bottas is fourth.

Hamilton said: “It’s very close and there were times when it was hard to match Sebastian [Vettel]. It’s been a fantastic weekend and I’m so grateful for the effort the team has put in for us to be where we are.

“My pole lap put me in a great position and the start was just fantastic. I’m really happy with my starts right now so I want to keep that up.

“During the race I needed to keep my composure in some really tricky conditions out there. After the pit stop under the Safety Car the speed was low and the tyres were very cold, so it would have been very easy to make a mistake, so I’m just grateful that I didn’t!”

Bottas added: “I’m very disappointed, I made a good start but it didn’t go so well from there. Yes, we lost some time in the pit stop but it was nothing compared to what we lost with my mistake.

“I was trying everything I could to get temperature in the tyres behind the Safety Car but went too aggressive and lost control of the car. It was entirely my fault.

“It took few laps to get the tyres working after the spin but in the end my pace was okay.

“Once you’ve done a mistake it’s done, so you try to forget it and do everything you can to make up for it next time, so I will take a look in the mirror at myself and come back stronger.”