Lewis Hamilton takes DHL Fastest Lap in Shanghai
Lewis Hamilton was the most outstanding driver in the 2017 FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN CHINESE GRAND PRIX. Apart from taking pole position and the win, the British driver also secured the fastest race lap, closing in the DHL Fastest Lap Award on Kimi Räikkönen, who was the fastest driver at the season opener in Australia.
Hamilton posted his best time of 1:35.378 minutes on Lap 44 in the second half of the race like most drivers as the initially damp track gradually built up grip, becoming faster. Sebastian Vettel finished just behind Hamilton in this awards category with a time of 1:35.423 minutes.
The two drivers traded blows during the final stint as they undercut each other's best times. "It was very close over those final 20 laps," said Hamilton, who won by six seconds from Vettel, "and there were times when it was hard to match Sebastian."
Looking at the average of the ten fastest laps, Vettel is just ahead with a time of 1:35.640 minutes to Hamilton's 1:35.720.
Fastest race laps: 2017 FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN CHINESE GRAND PRIX
01 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:35.378 - on lap 44
02 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1:35.423 - on lap 40
03 Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:35.849 - lap 41
04 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) 1:36.003 - on lap 42
05 Felipe Massa (Williams) 1:36.511 - on lap 50
06 Sergio Perez (Force India) 1:36.531 - on lap 55
07 Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1:36.722 - on lap 31
08 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 1:36.791 - on lap 36
09 Esteban Ocon (Force India) 1:37.036 - on lap 55
10 Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso) 1:37.398 - on lap 30
History: DHL Fastest Laps in the FORMULA 1 CHINESE GRAND PRIX
Lewis Hamilton's lap was the fastest in China since the DHL Fastest Lap Award was launched in 2007. The Mercedes driver beat Nico Hulkenberg's best time from last year by about 4.5 seconds and was seven seconds faster than his own personal best time in 2015.
Michael Schumacher still holds the record for the fastest race lap in Shanghai with a 1:32.238 which he posted in the first running of the Chinese Grand Prix in 2004. However, Hamilton clearly beat that benchmark time in qualifying, securing pole position with a 1:31.678 and now holds the track record.
Lewis Hamilton on the trail of Alain Prost
Hamilton has notched up 32 fastest race laps in total, putting him in fourth place on the list of all-time fastest lap holders. The British driver needs nine more best times to match Alain Prost, but Hamilton has already managed to draw level with the Frenchman in a different area. Following the race in Shanghai, the Mercedes driver has 106 podium finishes to his name, just as many as Prost.
With his outstanding showing this race weekend, Hamilton confirmed his status as the most successful driver in China. With five wins, six pole positions and four fastest laps, he now holds several records for being the best at the Shanghai International Circuit.