Lewis Hamilton has squared things off between him and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel after he won the second race of the 2017 Formula One season, the Chinese Grand Prix. Ferrari have struggled to keep up with the pace of Mercedes in the last few years, but that has not been a problem so far.
They were the only team to match and go faster than Mercedes during pre-season testing and also showed that they are back at the top of the sport after Vettel's win in Australia. Hamilton and Vettel finished the Chinese Grand Prix as they started it, in first and second position, and are now tied on 43 points for the world championship.
The wet weather conditions would have certainly made the race more interesting between the two but the German driver dropped a few places after deciding to go to the pits just before the safety car was deployed to clear Antonio Giovinazzi's crashed Sauber car.
During his post-race interview, Hamilton said that this title challenge with Vettel is going to be the closest he has personally experienced. And with the way Ferrari have improved, he expects the fight to go down all the way to the end of the season.
"It is going to be one of the closest championships, if not the closest, I've personally ever experienced,' said Hamilton. The scenario I am in right now, I am fighting against a four-time world champion, who is at his best and is phenomenally quick, and a Ferrari team which is the best they have been in a decade. I feel like I am at my best, too," Daily Mail quoted Hamilton as saying.
"The ultimate fighter always wants the best battle that you can have because when you come out on top it is so much more satisfying. I love this fight that we are having and sitting there with Sebastian I was like 'this is going to go right down to the end of the season."
Following his performance at the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix, his team boss Toto Wolff said that when Hamilton is at his best he is in a different league. The Brit dominated the second race of the season and was in pole position in every lap on Sunday as he claimed his first win of the season.
"Lewis, on his day, is in a different league. On a difficult day and difficult conditions there's nobody else I'd rather have in the car. He was managing the pace in the right way, our strategy was spot-on and, on an afternoon when there was lots of scope for making mistakes, he didn't put a foot wrong," Wolff said.
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Check out the highlights from the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix and Lewis Hamilton's brilliant performance.