20 April 2014 Last updated at 07:03

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As it happened

  1. 12:05: 
    Chinese GP

    Lewis Hamilton led from start to finish in a relatively uneventful Chinese Grand Prix that probably won't be the subject of fond pub chat in 20 years or so time.

    But what could make the content of those discussions in generations to come is Hamilton's dominance in the season so far. The Briton became the most successful one-lap driver in British Formula 1 history by recording his 34th career pole on Saturday and already looks a strong contender for a second world championship.

    Formula 1 takes a three-week break before the action resumes at the Spanish Grand Prix on 11 May. Can Hamilton continue his current hot streak with a fourth successive win?

    Join us again from 9 May to find out but for now, relive Hamilton's fine display by watching the race highlights, available on the BBC Sport website and at the top of this page now.

    Suzi Perry introduces the best of the action and reaction in extended highlights on BBC One from 14:30 BST.

  2. 11:56: 

    You may remember Lewis Hamilton reporting over team radio that someone had waved the chequered flag on the wrong lap.

    According to the FIA's regulations, "should the end-of-race signal be given before the leading car completes the scheduled number of laps the race will be deemed to have finished when the leading car last crossed the line before the signal was given."

    That would mean Kamui Kobayashi's last-lap overtake on Jules Bianchi does not count and the Caterham driver will finish 18th, with Bianchi 17th.

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    Fnwarind: Those who say Vettel is average, remember that he won four titles for a reason. He won the last 9 races last year, don't count him off.

    Schrondinger Cat: Can't right Vettel off as an ave. driver etc. unless we apply same criteria to Alonso, Raikkonen & all the others who aren't winning.

  4. 11:39: 
    Social media
    Formula 1

    For a photo gallery of action from the Chinese Grand Prix, head over to the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  5. 11:34: 

    All the talk might well be on Mercedes' dominance and Red Bull's failure to match their form of previous seasons, but Nico Hulkenberg has been quietly going about his business impressively.

    The Force India driver finished sixth in China, maintaining his 100% record of finishing in the points this season.

    He has also finished in the top eight for the sixth consecutive race and, with 36 points after four races, Hulkenberg is well on the way to surpassing his total of 51 points for last season.

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    ML Shelton: Truth is out, Vettel an average driver in an average car and is a spoilt brat. Is he really worth the four titles?

    David Greaves: Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton at the Chinese GP, awesome performance from start to finish.

  7. 11:23: 

    Jenson Button was not a happy bunny at all after failing to finish inside the points for the second successive race.

    "It's pretty painful out there," he said. "I don't know what we're doing, really. When you have as bad a result as this it's tough for everyone. Hopefully the team can stay positive and update the car because this isn't good enough."

    Watch out for more reaction from Button via Andrew Benson on the BBC Sport website shortly.

  8. 11:20: 

    If you opted to spend your Easter Sunday morning sleeping in or were too busy chomping on Easter eggs and missed the action unfold this morning, then fear not because Andrew Benson's full report on the Chinese Grand Prix is up on the BBC Sport website.

  9. 11:11: 
    Jenson Button

    The last two races have been ones to forget for McLaren, with both drivers having failed to score points in Bahrain and now China. Jenson Button finished 11th in today's race, while Kevin Magnussen crossed the line in 13th place.

  10. 11:04: 
    Ayrton Senna

    Lewis Hamilton's masterful drive in the wet in qualifying on Saturday provided the springboard to his success in China this weekend and the 29-year-old is proving he is just as much a wet weather maestro as his idol Ayrton Senna.

    It is the 20th anniversary of the three-time world champion's death on 1 May and we will be honouring it across the BBC on the day, with tributes and features here on the BBC Sport website and a 5 live special show in the evening.

  11. 11:00:  
    Jennie Gow, BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

    "Last year in Malaysia Vettel ignored team orders. They are going to have to discuss this. Christian Horner will be furious."

  12. 10:58: 
    Marco Mattiacci

    It was a satisfying end to a first week at the office for new Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci as he oversaw Fernando Alonso's best result of the season, with the Spaniard finishing third.

    Mattiacci's predecessor, Stefano Domenicali, paid the price for Ferrari's poor form prior to arriving in China but, given that any upgrades Ferrari had this weekend will have come under his watch, perhaps the trigger was pulled too early?

  13. 10:52: 

    Toro Rosso: Dany Kvyat scores another point P10! Good race also for Jean-Eric Vergne P12 Thanks guys! Congrats to Mercedes. Happy Easter

  14. 10:46: 
    Max Chilton

    Credit, too, to Max Chilton. The Briton's 19th-place finish meant the Marussia driver continued his impressive record of having finished in every race he has started, which now stands at 23 in succession. He got a cracking looking cake for his efforts, and on his 23rd birthday, too.

  15. 10:41: 

    How I would love to be a fly on the wall in a few team garages at the moment. Over in Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel must be becoming increasingly frustrated by 'the new kid on the block' Daniel Ricciardo. The world champion was far from happy at being told, for the second race in a row, to let Ricciardo through and his initial display of insubordination probably won't have gone down too well. Indeed, had they not got bogged down in such shenanigans, maybe Ricciardo could have mounted a challenge for third?

    Meanwhile, at Mercedes, Nico Rosberg must be congratulating Lewis Hamilton through gritted teeth as the tussle for the world championship swung slightly in Hamilton's favour after his third win in succession.

  16. 10:34: 
    Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso on the podium

    Mercedes: Brilliant driving from both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg! Hamilton's 25th F1 win, equalling Niki Lauda's record! #TheBeastMasteredTheEast

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    Alan Burden: Well done Lewis Hamilton 'blew them away' as I thought without even pushing. Has the measure of Rosberg all day long.

    Chukwuma W. Okwoli: Anyone else thinks Vettel ignoring team orders might have prevented Ricciardo from finishing in third place? Slow cars must give way.

  18. 10:32: 
    Keke Rosberg

    While Nico Rosberg still holds the championship lead, he is going to have to pull everything out of the bag in the coming races to avoid handing over the baton to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

    He does leave China with a new record that will please him on a personal level, though, having now led the title for more races than his father Keke, the 1982 world champion, ever did.

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    Viktor K: Embarrassing to see a 4 time experienced world champion not accept the limits of his car today and tow the team line.

    James Shepherd: Mercedes in a class of their own at the moment. Happy for Alonso! Ricciardo doing what I thought, making Vettel look average.

    Simon Richardson: Alonso is incredible. Time & time again he gets an average car to do great things. Driver of the day, driver of the last few seasons!

  20. 10:20: 
    Lewis Hamilton

    So it is a career first for Lewis Hamilton after winning three Formula 1 races in succession for the first time. When he has completed a hat-trick of race wins in previous racing categories he has gone on to win the title. Such was his dominance over the weekend, you surely would not bet against him continuing his form into the Spanish Grand Prix next month.

    With Nico Rosberg winning the season opener in Australia, even at this early stage it is looking increasingly likely that it will be the name of a Mercedes driver etched on the world champion trophy at the end of the season.

    Nobody has won the title without winning any of the first four races, since Alain Prost in 1989.

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    Andrew, via text: With Mercedes looking so dominant it'll be very interesting to see how the relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg holds up when the two team-mates are battling for the title. I get the feeling that if push comes to shove there'll be no love lost.

    Alex via text: Just goes to show that it was only his car that made Vettel look amazing over the last 4 years. Accept the fact that you're not the best anymore Seb.

  22. 10:15: 
    Chinese Grand Prix

    Here is the drivers' championship standings after today's race. Lewis Hamilton is closing in on Nico Rosberg at the top after his third successive win, while Fernando Alonso is third after his first podium of the season. Nico Hulkenberg, who finished sixth, is fourth with 36 points.

  23. 10:10: 
    Driver reaction

    Daniel Ricciardo, who finished fourth, commenting on Sebastian Vettel refusing to let him past: "I was not aware of what he was saying during the race. I wasn't sure what strategy we were both on but I got past. I don't want to start any conflicts."

  24. 10:09: 
    Did you know?

    Fernando Alonso continues his record of completing every racing lap ever held in Shanghai.

  25. 10:07: 
    Driver reaction

    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who took his first podium of the season: "It was a good weekend we did improve the car a bit and to be on the podium is a nice surprise for us. I think I am third in the Drivers Championship behind Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton and we didn't have the start to the season we wanted so to be here is fantastic.

    After the start where he was hit by Massa: "It was ok and we were very lucky to finish the race and hopefully the next race will be a cleaner start."

  26. 10:06: 
    Driver reaction

    Mercedes' Nico Rosberg who came second in China: "I am still in the lead in the Constructors Championship and that's good considering the whole weekend went really bad for me. I had no communication with the team, so they had no idea what I was doing. I am pleased with second and I just look forward to Spain now and getting back to having everything working.

    "It really is a pleasure to drive this car at the moment, it is so quick and it increases the enjoyment level even more."

  27. 10:05: 

    Lewis Hamilton's win means he moves to within four points of Nico Rosberg in the drivers' championship.

    Rosberg saved himself from further damage after his early clash with Valtteri Bottas, climbing up from seventh to second.

  28. 10:01: 
    Driver reaction
    Lewis Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton, who won his third successive Grand Prix: "The fans have been incredible this week and they gave me lots of energy. All the hard work from the team has paid off and I just can't believe how amazing the car is and it's testament how hard everyone's been working.

    "I am really happy Nico is up here with us too it's great rewards for the team.

    "This team is on a roll they have done a great job, we aim to keep moving forward and improving and I hope it can continue."

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    Ubaid Khan: First podium of the year for Ferrari. Perhaps their team principal should quit every week.

    Rafi Max Dover: Alonso proves once again, that he can deliver results with a poor car. The best driver in F1? I think so.

    Nick Bennetts: The driver of the day is Fernando Alonso. 3rd must feel like a small victory after the dreadful Bahrain GP for Ferrari. Great drive.

  30. 09:56: 

    Mercedes sporting director Ron Meadows gets a face full of champagne from Nico Rosberg as he is momentarily distracted by the constructors' trophy. Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton then turn their attention to spraying Fernando Alonso before the three compose themselves for the drivers' podium interviews.

  31. 09:53: 

    1) Lewis Hamilton 2) Nico Rosberg 3) Fernando Alonso 4) Daniel Ricciardo 5) Sebastian Vettel 6) Nico Hulkenberg 7) Valtteri Bottas 8) Kimi Raikkonen 9) Sergio Perez 10) Daniil Kvyat

    11) Jenson Button 12) Jean-Eric Vergne 13) Kevin Magnussen 14) Pastor Maldonado 15) Felipe Massa 16) Esteban Gutierrez 17) Kamui Kobayashi 18) Jules Bianchi 19) Max Chilton 20) Marcus Ericsson

    Ret: Romain Grosjean, Adrian Sutil

  32. 09:51: 

    Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso are on the podium before Hamilton holds the winning trophy aloft.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Smooth, flawless performance from Lewis Hamilton, a superb race."

  34. 09:49: 

    Lewis Hamilton leaps out of his car and punches the air with both fists. He is all smiles after such a dominant win. His team-mate Nico Rosberg's body language is quite the contrast as Mercedes' Ron Meadows tries to engage in conversation with the German, who says very little.

  35. 09:47: 
    Fast fact

    Lewis Hamilton's victory was the 25th of his career, equalling Niki Lauda's and Jim Clark's career wins.

  36. 09:46: 

    1) Lewis Hamilton 2) Nico Rosberg 3) Fernando Alonso 4) Daniel Ricciardo 5) Sebastian Vettel 6) Nico Hulkenberg 7) Valtteri Bottas 8) Kimi Raikkonen 9) Sergio Perez 10) Daniil Kvyat

  37. 09:43: 

    Nico Rosberg crosses the line to take second and complete a Mercedes one-two, while Fernando Alonso does indeed hold on to take third ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.

  38. 09:42: 

    Mercedes team radio: "Get in their Lewis, excellent drive there, absolutely epic."

  39. 09:41: 
    Lewis Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton wins the Chinese Grand Prix, his third victory of the season.

  40. 09:40: 
    LAP 56

    It looks like Fernando Alonso has done just enough to fend off Daniel Ricciardo to take third, while Lewis Hamilton heads round on his final lap, although says over team radio: "I just got the chequered flag."

  41. 09:39: 
    LAP 54

    Lewis Hamilton is crusing to victory in Shanghai, 17 seconds ahead of Nico Rosberg. A dominant weekend from start to finish for the Briton.

  42. 09:38: 
    LAP 53

    Kamui Kobayshi has caught up with Jules Bianchi in 17t but cannot get past him, for the time being.

  43. 09:37: 
    LAP 52

    A finish in the points looks beyond 11th-place Jenson Button as he trails Daniil Kvyat by 23.9 seconds. Fernando Alonso is struggling with his tyres to give Daniel Ricciardo, who is four seconds behind in fourth, hope.

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    Dobzilla: Before the race, I predicted a Hamilton-Alonso-Rosberg finish. Looks like I might be right on the money.

    Tony Burns: Not sure what I want more, Hamilton winning the championship or Ricciardo finishing ahead of Vettel the sulk.

    Caroline J: If Ricciardo is fast enough and skilled enough to pass Vettel anyway as he's proved, why the need for team orders?

  45. 09:34: 
    LAP 51

    Daniel Ricciardo is now told that he is matching Fernando Alonso for pace and is urged to keep pushing for third place. A Mercedes one-two is looking increasingly likely, meaning the battle for the final place on the podium could provide the late spice in this race.

  46. 09:33: 
    LAP 50
    Chinese GP

    The gap between Sebastian Vettel, in fifth, and his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, in fourth, is now 16.1 seconds. Marussia's Max Chilton makes a third visit to the pits and swaps to softs.

  47. 09:30: 
    LAP 49

    Daniel Ricciardo is told by his race engineer that third-place Fernando Alonso is catchable, but the Spaniard has just set a new fast lap, and it will take a big final push from Ricciardo to snatch third place.

  48. 09:28: 
    LAP 48

    Heading into the latter stages of this race and Lewis Hamilton is cruising to a third successive win. Meanwhile, Toro Rosso rookie Daniil Kvyat is in the the points, ahead of Jenson Button in 10th.

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    Bruce Ha: Vettel needs to stop complaining about everything and start racing like a 4-time CHAMPION.

    Farhan Shah: Ok that was pretty easy for Rosberg! First and second appear sewn up. Who will grab the last podium spot? Alonso or Ricciardo?

    Kishor R: Too much hate for Sebastian Vettel. It doesn't matter what you say, he is still one of the best drivers in the paddock.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Last season Lewis Hamilton was at the races with a whole host of people and his dogs and he would never take his sun glasses off. But this Mercedes team seems to have bought back the old Lewis. He is smiling, happy, relaxed and he comes to the track on his own, with just his trainer."

  51. 09:25: 
    LAP 46
    Fernanado Alonso

    Fernando Alonso is holding off Daniel Ricciardo at the moment, going marginally faster than the Australian on his last lap to put 5.4 seconds between them.

  52. 09:24: 
    LAP 45

    Towards the back of the field Max Chilton, in 19th, is closing in on Kamui Kobayashi while Felipe Massa is up to 15th but 17.9 seconds separates him and Pastor Maldonado.

  53. 09:22: 
    LAP 44

    Lewis Hamilton is told to "manage the pace and look after the tyres" to avoid any late mishaps. Daniel Ricciardo is looking like Red Bull's best chance of a podium with the Australian, who is fourth, 10.3 seconds ahead of his fifth-paced team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

  54. 09:19: 
    LAP 42

    Lewis Hamilton is cruising out in front and as almost 15 seconds separate him and Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso's focus now turns to holding off the charging Daniel Ricciardo.


    Mercedes: We said it would be exciting! @nico_rosberg just storms passed @alo_oficial into 2nd place! Brilliant driving #NR6 #TheBeastGoesEast

  56. 09:19: 
    LAP 41
    Lewis Hamilton

    Nico Rosberg continues to close in on Fernando Alonso who, despite setting a new personal best lap, is struggling to hold off the Mercedes. He eventually loses his battle as Rosberg makes a DRS pass on the long back straight and is up to second behind team-mate Lewis Hamilton.

  57. 09:16: 
    LAP 40

    Mercedes have no telemetry reading for Nico Rosberg's car and having to relay fuel usage figures over team radio is clearly starting to annoy the German, who says: "I am going to have to stop doing it now. It's getting really annoying." He has now sliced that gap between himself and Fernando Alonso to 2.1 seconds.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "The advantage for Mercedes is that if they are so fuel efficient then they don't have to carry the full amount of race fuel at the start which means they will have a lighter car. This could equate to a significant speed advantage too so you can see where the teams are starting to build their race advantage."

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    Tim Abrams: Happy Easter Everyone. Oh and a very happy Easter to Mr Vettel, from Ricciardo, Caterham and the general public.

    Neil Stokes: They do say Karma comes back at you and its definitely caught up with Mr Vettel. About time too I reckon.

    Peter Gibb: Loving the irony of Vettel ignoring team orders and then being passed by his Australian teammate anyway.

  60. 09:14: 
    LAP 39

    Lewis Hamilton heads in for his final stop of the race, has new medium tyres bolted on and his front wing is cleaned out. He rejoins with a 12-second lead at the front, with second-place Fernando Alonso 5.6s ahead of Nico Rosberg, who is making up ground on the Spaniard.

  61. 09:11: 
    LAP 37

    Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo both pit, taking on new medium tyres, Sebastian Vettel is fastest through sector one and goes on to clock a new fastest lap.

  62. 09:09: 
    LAP 36

    Nico Rosberg is up to second after Fernando Alonso's second stop but is 18.9 seconds behind race leader and team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Sebastian Vettel rejoins in fifth after taking on medium tyres.

  63. 09:05: 
    LAP 34

    Sebastian Vettel is irked by Kamui Kobayashi as the Caterham, nearly a lap behind the Red Bull, passes the German after having changed tyres. Sebastian Vettel gesticulates in the cockpit with his hands and complains over team radio, before heading in soon after for his second stop.

  64. 09:05: 
    LAP 33

    Fernando Alonso pits from second for his second tyre change, taking on a new set of medium tyres, as Force India's Sergio Perez, in ninth, sets the new fastest lap of the race with 1:42.254.

  65. 09:03: 
    LAP 32

    Nico Rosberg is creeping ever closer up on the back of Fernando Alonso's Ferrari, while Daniil Kvyat, Kevin Magnussen and Felipe Massa are the next lot of drivers to head into the pits.

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    Chris Bicknell: Are we starting to see proof that Vettel isn't as good as the car was leading us to believe over the past 4 years?

    John Wilson: With Nico's pace, this might just be a Mercedes 1-2.

    Jorge Lorenzo: Finally Lewis Hamilton has his hands on a car worthy of his ability!!!

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "It does seem that the Friday form is coming through to race pace for Ferrari who are a lot quicker than they were in the first three races."

  68. 09:00: 
    LAP 31

    Felipe Massa is on the back of Esteban Gutierrez in 17th with three tenths of a second separating the two. Nico Hulkenberg pits from sixth, with Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen also heading back in.

  69. 08:58: 
    LAP 30

    Lewis Hamilton, who leads by over 13 seconds, reports some graining on his left-front tyre. Meanwhile, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez head in for the second stops of the day. Romain Grosjean has indeed retired.

    Chinese GP

    Here's the moment of contact on Lap One between Valtteri Bottas and Nico Rosberg. It doesn't appear to have hampered the Mercedes driver's progress after a terrible start - he's now closing on Fernando Alonso, who is second. Bottas is in seventh and running well too.

  71. 08:56: 
    LAP 29

    Romain Grosjean goes off the track and into the gravel at Turn 11 before limping in and it looks like his race has come to an end because of that gear issue. Nico Rosberg is chipping away at the gap between himself and second-place Fernando Alonso, with the gap now three seconds.

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    Jay: Vettel isn't as good in a 'not so good' car as the likes of Hamilton and Alonso. He just got lucky with the car over the past seasons.

    Adam Taylor: So Vettel can't take team orders but can happily be on the other end of them. Wonder how he feels to be on the other side.

    Mark Duffell: 2nd race in a row that Vettel has to let Ricciardo through. Can this season get any better??

  73. 08:54: 
    LAP 28

    Esteban Guttierez, who had just come out on top of a scrap with Kevin Magnussen for 14th, makes his second stop of the race while Romain Grosjean is told he has a problem with the fourth gear and is asked to use it sparingly.

  74. 08:51: 
    LAP 27

    Sebastian Vettel defends from Daniel Ricciardo but eventually the Australian gets past to move up to fourth. Lewis Hamilton is streaking further away at the front, with over 10 seconds separating him and Fernando Alonso.

  75. 08:50: 
    LAP 25

    Sebastian Vettel is evidently not happy with that order as he asks what tyres Daniel Ricciardo is on. "Primes but he stopped later than you", is the answer, "tough luck" is Vettel's reply. Meanwhile, Jenson Button is trying to regain some lost ground and is half a second behind Jean-Eric Vergne in 12th.

  76. 08:47: 
    LAP 24

    Oh this is altogether a tad humiliating for Sebastian Vettel as his Red Bull race engineer a orders him over team radio to let Daniel Ricciardo through. Not for the first time the world champion has received that order this season.

  77. 08:46: 
    LAP 23

    Daniel Ricciardo does indeed attempt a pass on Sebastian Vettel but the German holds off his Red Bull team-mate. Lewis Hamilton now 7.7 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso at the front of the pack.

  78. 08:44: 
    LAP 22

    Sebatian Vettel and Nico Rosberg are embroiled in a thrilling tussle on the circuit. Vettel in third, battles valiantly to defend his position but Rosberg muscles his way through heading into Turn One. Now Vettel has to watch out for his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

  79. 08:42: 
    LAP 21

    Lewis Hamilton is building up his advantage over Fernando Alonso and is now 5.8 seconds ahead of the Spaniard. Felipe Massa gets the better of Max Chilton and he is up to 19th.

  80. 08:41: 

    BBC Sport's Tom Clarkson in the pit lane: "I have had confirmation from Williams that they were trying to put the right rear tyre on the the left of the car, which is why it took them so long to get Massa out of the pits."

  81. 08:39: 
    LAP 19

    Felipe Massa recovers a position at the back of the field as he moves into 20th, ahead of Marcus Ercisson, and he is quickly on the tail of Max Chilton. Daniel Ricciardo, in fifth, is told over team radio only the Mercedes are quicker than him on the circuit at the moment.

  82. 08:38: 
    LAP 18

    Kevin Magnussen finally heads in to the pits from 13th, meaning all the drivers have now made their first pitstop of the race. The McLaren heads back out on softs. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton's lead over Fernando Alonso is 3.7 seconds, with Sebastian Vettel a further seven seconds behind the Briton.

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    Uzumaki_Julian: Give Hamilton a great car he gives you a win. Fantastic driving so far from the Brit.

    Ross Cunningham: One of the benefits of quieter F1 engine noise this year is much clearer team radio. Much easier to understand the drivers.

    Andy Donley: Last year it was boring that one person dominated F1. This year, everyone loves Hamilton's superiority. Patriotic hypocrisy.

  84. 08:35: 
    LAP 17

    Lewis Hamilton has made his pitstop, with the gap from Fernando Alonso 31.3s when he headed in. It is a clean stop from Hamilton and he swiftly rejoins the circuit still in P1.

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "This is impressive pace from Lewis Hamilton and I don't suppose for one second he is breaking any kind of sweat he just seems to be in the zone on this track."


    Marussia: Lap 12/56 | Our first pit stop of the day, starring @Jules_Bianchi & our lean, mean pit stop machine. Soft to Medium.

  87. 08:34: 
    Team Radio

    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton on the team radio: "Surprisingly the front tyres still feel really good, as well as the rears."

  88. 08:33: 
    LAP 16

    Kimi Raikkonen climbs into the top 10 as he sees off Kevin Magnussen, who has yet to stop, while Nico Rosberg is seeing improvement after his stop, clocking the fastest lap of the race with 1:42.231.

  89. 08:32: 
    LAP 15
    Chinese GP

    Sebastian Vettel is fourth after his pit stop with Fernando Alonso ahead of him. Daniel Ricciardo heads in for medium tyres from second and is back out without problem. Meanwhile, Sergio Perez makes his move on Jenson Button and it is a successful pass, getting the better of the McLaren at the hairpin to move into 14th.

    Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton is benefitting from his perfect start, above, and is now 3.7secs ahead of Fernando Alonso having pitted.

  90. 08:29: 
    LAP 14

    Felipe Massa's one-minute stop cost him badly and he is down in 21st, Marcus Ercisson, Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton ahead of him. Nico Rosberg finally heads in to take on mediums, as well have his wing checked after that early contact with Valtteri Bottas.

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    P. Wanyonyi: Great to see what Lewis Hamilton can do when he has a good car. This is great stuff!

    John Dey: Lewis Hamilton is looking untroubled as he extends his lead further and further.

    Faseeh Warind: When it rains, it pours. That pit stop defines Massa's entire career. So close, yet so far. Disappointing.

  92. 08:27: 
    LAP 13

    Sebastian Vettel pits from third and has medium tyres bolted on. His Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo is set to stay out for a couple more laps before heading in for fresh tyres.

  93. 08:26: 

    Giedo van der Garde on 5 live: "The contact with Alonso could be the reason for the Williams team having problems changing Massa's left-rear wheel."

  94. 08:25: 
    LAP 12

    Nico Hulkenberg locks up at the hairpin and pits, takes on mediums and gets back on the circuit. Fernando Alonso also pits and Nico Rosberg is up to fourth as a consequence.

  95. 08:23: 
    LAP 10

    Oh dear! Disaster for Felipe Massa as Williams mechanics struggle to pop on fresh tyres and he is dropping down the field. The Brazilian lifts up his visor and holds his hands up in frustration. Lewis Hamilton is now 1.6 seconds faster than Sebastian Vettel and is now 10.4 seconds ahead.

  96. 08:21: 

    Mercedes: #LH44 reports its very windy so struggling to hear on the radio! His gap to Vettel now 6.9 seconds after 8 laps #TheBeastGoesEast

    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "Lewis Hamilton is going to win this race at a canter if he can keep up this pace."

  98. 08:21: 

    Lewis Hamilton continues to build his advantage over Sebastian Vettel at the front of the pack and it is looking increasingly likely that, barring any reliability issues, it will be his race to lose. Despite Sauber's initial optimism, Adrian Sutil is out of the car, helmet off and it looks like his race is most definitely lost.

  99. 08:18: 

    Sauber are still hopeful of getting Adrian Sutil back out on the track after his early trip to the pits. Jenson Button dives in, slaps on some medium tyres and rejoins in 15th.

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    Jeremiah Kariuki: Good start by Lewis. Despite poor start by Rosberg, still possible for a 1-2 for the Mercedes. Massa for podium as well!

    James Weir: Another rocket ship start from Massa, who tangles with Alonso!

    Sean Richardson: Definite 50/50 between Massa & Alonso to me.

  101. 08:17:  
    Jennie Gow, BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter

    "Both Williams drivers are reporting to their team that the cars feel fine [following first-lap contact]."

  102. 08:16: 

    Replays of the race start show both the Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas had contact shortly after getting away, Massa, who is sixth, hitting Fernando Alonso's Ferrari and Bottas clashing with Nico Rosberg.

  103. 08:15: 

    Fernando Alonso, last year's Chinese GP winner, is breathing down the neck of Sebastian Vettel in second with the Spaniard having stormed his way up from fifth. Adrian Sutil, in 22nd, pits with power unit issues and and it looks like he could be out of the race.

  104. 08:13: 

    Lotus: The crowds are pretty epic here for the #ChineseGP, looks like every seat it filled in the main grandstand.

  105. 08:13: 

    Nico Rosberg continues his charge as he uses DRS down into Turn 14 to sweep past Felipe Massa but he is a long way off his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who is over four seconds ahead of the German.

  106. 08:11: 

    Jenson Button attacks Jean-Eric Vergne at Turn Two and is up to 14th after dropping away slightly at the start. Pastor Maldonado is making good progress from the back of the grid and is up to 18th already.

  107. 08:08: 

    Nico Rosberg claws back one place as he gets the better of Nico Hulkenberg. Lewis Hamilton has a good cushion at the front at the moment, leading Sebastian Vettel by 2.4 seconds.

  108. 08:06: 

    Lewis Hamilton holds the lead at the end of the first lap but it is a terrible start for his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, who drops down to seventh after clashing with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas coming into Turn One. Hamilton leads Sebastian Vettel with Fernando Alonso third.

  109. 08:05: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    Great start by Lewis Hamilton as he gets away cleanly. The Red Bulls also start well as Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, starting from fifth attacks immediately.

  110. 08:03:  
    David Coulthard, BBC F1 co-commentator

    "I was talking to Paul Hembury from Pirelli before I came up to the commentary box and he thinks the higher track temperature should give less tyre graining."

  111. 08:01: 

    The cars head off on their formation lap as the teams' mechanics all race off the track. Nico Rosberg reports over team radio he is happy with his start. Here we go then, lights out seconds away...

  112. 07:58: 
    Valtteri Bottas

    Williams driver Valtteri Bottas, who starts from seventh: "It's going to be a really tough race, anything is possible and we just have to believe in ourselves. It's really difficult to know how good we are going to be but we should be able to have a go. I am sure it will be a really close battle with Felipe Massa as always."

    Get Involved- #bbcf1

    John Dey: It's dry today, so expect the Mercedes to be a league ahead, but tyre degradation will be quite high

    Mohamed: At least with Red Bull domination other cars had a chance of winning a race. This Mercedes domination is making F1 predictable.

    Sadiq Abba: Always a delight to wake up looking forward to a race. U think anyone can challenge Lewis today? Barring any reliability issues.

  114. 07:56: 

    The stands are packed, the cars are all on the grid and we are just four minutes away from lights out. Everyone ready?

  115. 07:55: 
    Chinese GP stats
    Chinese Grand Prix

    Last year's podium: 1 - Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), 2 - Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus), 3 - Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

    Number of wins from pole: five wins from 10 races

    Lowest winning grid position: sixth (Michael Schumacher, 2006)

  116. 07:53: 
    Chinese GP most wins

    Two - Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton; One - Rubens Barrichello, Sebastian Vettel, Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Rosberg.

  117. 07:52:  
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer

    "McLaren have spent the first few races of this season insisting they are in a much better place than they were in a poor 2013, even if it hasn't really looked it. China has so far provided further evidence that, chassis-wise, they remain a long, long way from the pace, as Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen qualified only 12th and 15th.

    "But Button remains optimistic of a decent showing in Shanghai on Sunday. 'It's such a tough race around here,' he said, 'especially with a 'green' circuit. There'll be lots of [tyre] graining for everyone. It's about seeing what you get and dealing with it accordingly. I think it will be a fun race, it's further back than we would like but there have been some pretty good results from this far back this season.'"

  118. 07:50: 
    Championship standings
    Formula 1 standings

    A quick look at the standings before we get under way. Lewis Hamilton starts this race trailing championship leader Nico Rosberg by 11 points. Nico Hulkenberg, who starts today's race from eighth, is third in the standings with 28 points. Jenson Button, fifth in the standings, starts from 12th in his McLaren today.

    See the full 2014 Formula 1 standings here.

  119. 07:49: 
    Roman Grosjean

    Lotus: A relaxed @RGrosjean before we get ready to head to the grid. Ready?

  120. 07:48:  
    BBC Radio 5 live

    Former Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde: "It will be a bit hard for Ricciardo to do the start because if you have sand in the wheels it can be hard to get the traction. It will be difficult for him, but it is key for the team to put a good programme together from the start and hopefully we will see some nice things on the first corner."

  121. 07:46: 

    Staff at the Shanghai International Circuit were furiously scrubbing the area on the circuit where Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull will start from because of an oil spill there. Sand has also been placed on the patch to try and dry it up quickly but it is a potential cause for concern for Ricciardo, who will want to get a clean start and keep as close to Lewis Hamilton as possible.

    Get involved- #bbcf1

    Douglas D P Townsend: I do hate early morning races. Such an uncivilised hour to go racing.

    Ben Wire: @LewisHamilton should win comfortably; when was the last time a Brit won 3 from 3?

    Jordy Gray: Ferrari need a comeback soon, hoping fernando has a lucky race today

  123. 07:42:  
    BBC Radio 5 live
    BBC commentary box

    Jack Nicholls: Comm box all set! BBC F1 coverage live on 5 Live and online now.

  124. 07:41: 
    The grid

    1) Lewis Hamilton 2) Daniel Ricciardo 3) Sebastian Vettel 4) Nico Rosberg 5) Fernando Alonso 6) Felipe Massa 7) Valtteri Bottas 8) Nico Hulkenberg 9) Jean-Eric Vergne 10) Romain Grosjean

    11) Kimi Raikkonen 12) Jenson Button 13) Daniil Kvyat 14) Adrian Sutil 15) Kevin Magnussen 16) Sergio Perez 17) Esteban Gutierrez 18) Kamui Kobayashi 19) Jules Bianchi 20) Marcus Ericsson 21) Max Chilton 22) Pastor Maldonado

  125. 07:40:  
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer

    "'There have been some encouraging signs for Ferrari this weekend. Fernando Alonso's pace in Friday practice - first and second fastest in the two dry sessions - was not representative, but there is a sense that Ferrari have made some progress, after a dire Bahrain that left the Spaniard and Kimi Raikkonen ninth and 10th. Alonso said: 'The car was a little bit more competitive than what we had in the first two races, so the steps that we brought here, they work fine. That's positive news.'

    Alonso admitted Ferrari were still 'a long way off the leaders', and he is not that optimistic of the podium finish he targets as a minimum in every race. 'It doesn't mean I will fight for the podium, because I still think we are maybe not up there, but definitely we are closer. It's the first step of many that we want to make to be more competitive.'"

  126. 07:38: 

    Fans are still streaming into the Shanghai International Circuit as drivers jump into the respective cars and head out on to the grid.

    Among them is Fernando Alonso who qualified fifth and the Ferrari man will be keen to get off to a good start and get on the tail of the leaders early on.

  127. 07:34:  
    Lee McKenzie, BBC F1 pit-lane reporter
    David Coulthard

    Came in to work to find David Coulthard in his new office. F1 glamour!

  128. 07:33:  
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer

    "A quick strategy debrief. The quickest way to the finish is a two-stop strategy and the quickest tyre is the 'soft' 'option' tyre. But to do a two-stop, the drivers need to keep the softs alive to about lap 15 before their first pit stop, so some may well choose to do three. And that won't be easy on a 'green' track after Saturday's rain. Everyone has free tyre choice because qualifying was wet, but starting on the medium is not the best idea as its lack of performance means the driver will likely lose track position at the start.

    "Engineers say you'd only go for it if you're massively out of position. So it might be a temptation for, say, Jenson Button, down in 12th in the McLaren. Overtaking is not easy, despite the long back straight, which means the temptation is to stop early if a driver is stuck in traffic. But then the risk is of running out of tyres before the end of the race."

  129. 07:31: 
    Circuit stats
    Chinese Grand Prix circuit: First Grand Prix: 2004; Circuit distance 5.451k; Laps: 56

    Circuit length: 5.451km

    Number of corners: 16 (seven left, nine right)

    DRS zones: two

    Race laps: 56

    Race distance: 305.066km

    2014 tyre compounds: Medium, Soft

    Circuit lap record: 1m 32.238s - Michael Schumacher (2004), Ferrari

  130. 07:30: 

    BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson: "Mostly/wholly dry (25% chance light shower); variable cloud; some brighter spells. Max 19C, track 24C; wind NE'ly."

    Get Involved- #bbcf1

    Russell Edge: Honestly, Easter and F1 are no yolk!! Let's hope there is no foul play, and Hamilton has an egg-shell-ent race.

    Dobzilla: Hopefully Lewis Hamilton will make it a hat-trick of wins today.

    Stevie: Lewis starts on pole, Lewis wins.

  132. 07:28: 

    The sky above the Shanghai International Circuit is considerably bluer than yesterday, and there is not a patch of rain visible on the circuit.

    Set-up changes by Lewis Hamilton between Friday practice and Saturday's qualifying paid dividends and whether he is celebrating a third successive victory could be largely dependent on how well he sets up his car for the dry today.

  133. 07:26:  
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer

    "The start of this season has done nothing to wipe the perma-smile off Daniel Ricciardo's face and he described his front-row qualifying slot in Shanghai as 'pleasing'. It's the third time in four races that he has bested team-mate Sebastian Vettel in qualifying and his confidence is inevitably - and justifiably - high as a result.

    "The Australian says he is 'looking forward' to the race, but couldn't resist a good-natured jokey reference to the Renault engine's lack of grunt compared to the Mercedes. 'If it's dry I think we can race up the front,' he said. 'I'll be ducking my head down the straight, like in a go-kart, but, yeah, we'll hopefully hang on and fight for at least a podium I hope.'"

  134. 07:22: 
    Did you know?
    Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel on the podium

    The Chinese Grand Prix holds special memories for Red Bull. They achieved their first pole, first win and first one-two at the Shanghai International Circuit in 2009.

  135. 07:21:  
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer

    "Sebastian Vettel is facing an uncomfortable time in the early stages of this season. He may have four world titles but, great though he is, some feel his career stats are distorted somewhat - especially compared to those of Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso - by just how good the Red Bull was in the last four years.

    "And now he has been out-qualified three times in four races by his new team-mate. To his credit, Vettel is not seeking excuses. 'Of course I'm not happy,' he said on Saturday. 'I am not here to finish third in qualifying or behind my team-mate so I would love to win. Nothing else. At the moment he is doing very well. We have the same car and if he was quicker then he was quicker, nothing else.'

    "It was pointed out to him that his radio conversations have often been downbeat this season, to which he replied: 'I'm thinking a lot about the car. There is a lot of things in my head. F1 got very complex and as a driver I think we have lost a lot of features and given a lot to the engineers so it is not that easy to understand and stay on top of everything.'"

  136. 07:19: 
    Vexed Vettel?
    Formula 1

    A little under six months ago, Sebastian Vettel celebrated winning a fourth successive title by clambering out his Red Bull, turning toward it and bowing down in appreciation of the RB09 helping him to such a dominant victory.

    At times this season, he must feel like giving its successor a bit of a kicking. Vettel has made his worst-ever start to an F1 season since joining Red Bull, having accumulated 23 points and has at times played second fiddle to his new team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

    Both had pleasing qualifying results although Ricciardo again outperformed Vettel, claiming second on the grid, with the latter starting today's race from third.

  137. 07:17:  
    BBC Radio 5 live
    Shanghai International Circuit

    Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof - Felipe Massa picks the music for BBC Radio 5 live's formation lap, live coverage starting from 07:35 BST.

    Get involved

    Calling all Formula 1 fans! Time to get your views to populate this page as we count down to the start of the Chinese Grand Prix. Who do you think will win today's race and why? Does Lewis Hamilton have this race in the bag? With Hamilton becoming the most successful one-lap driver in British Formula 1 history, where does he rank among the greats?

    Send in your views via the usual means - #bbcf1, text us on 81111 (UK only) and join the debate on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  139. 07:15:  
    BBC Radio 5 liveBBC coverage

    Jack Nicholls is in the BBC Radio 5 live commentary box for today's race and they will be live from the Shanghai International Circuit from 07:35 BST. As always, Jennie Gow will be bringing all the latest from down in the pit-lane, along with Tom Clarkson. Listen the old fashioned via the radio, or online.

  140. 07:13:  
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer

    "If Nico Rosberg was suffering for after being beaten in qualifying for the third time in four races by Lewis Hamilton, he did a good job of disguising it. 'In my head, I am the one who has the momentum,' he said after qualifying fourth, the legacy of a 'mystery braking issue' on his fastest lap and a spin on his final one.

    "He added: 'I was quicker in Bahrain so have the momentum for race speed and expect to have that tomorrow. It will be a tough race because the left front tyre is a big issue. I had a good run in Friday practice and I am going into it confidently.'"

  141. 07:12: 

    For the first time this season, just one Mercedes qualified in the top three, with Red Bull duo Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel splitting Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

    Rosberg, the championship leader, is desperate to make up for losing out to Hamilton in a thrilling tussle at the Bahrain Grand Prix last time out, but perhaps pushed himself a little too hard when trying to out qualifying his team-mate yesterday.

    The German was 1.283 seconds slower than Hamilton but twice fluffed chances to improve his time, locking up and running wide on the first attempt of his final run, and then spinning at the final corner in his last chance to improve.

  142. 07:09: 
    Lewis Hamilton

    Lewis Hamilton's stunning drive in a wet qualifying session on Saturday was the shining light on a gloomy, grey day in Shanghai.

    So dominant was his performance that he set two laps that would have been fast enough for pole, his display prompting Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff to say the 29-year-old was "in a league of his own".

    His praise indeed.

  143. 07:07: 
    Lotus F1

    The drivers have just completed the drivers parade on what looks a chilly but dry day in Shanghai.

    The main grandstand is packed with fans backing various drivers, although Lewis Hamilton flags, Ferrari hats and Finland flag placards are the dominant features.

    We are just under one hour away from lights out.

  144. 07:05: 

    Hello! Welcome to our coverage of race day at the Chinese Grand Prix, the fourth race of the season.

    It is Easter Sunday, so let's get the egg-related puns out of the way nice and early. Will Lewis Hamilton have an egg-cellent race? Can anyone mount an egg-traordinary podium challenge from further down the grid?

    Which driver will be egg-static come the end and who will have egg on their face?

    Right, now that is done with, let's crack on with the race...

  145. 07:02:  
    Andrew Benson, Chief F1 writer

    "Who can beat Lewis Hamilton in China on Sunday? Barring a car problem, it's hard to see it happening. Hamilton is always brilliant around the Shanghai track and he was in a different league in qualifying, as he beat Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull by more than half a second, with Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg over a second behind and spinning in his attempt to close the gap.

    "'It was a tough session,' he said. 'I really enjoyed it. The car was feeling great. We always have stuff we can improve but the team have done a great job this weekend. A good position for the race and I hope we can follow through.'"

  146. 07:00: 
    History-maker Hamilton
    Lewis Hamilton broke Jim Clark's qualifying record on Saturday

    Lewis Hamilton reached a significant milestone yesterday by claiming the 34th pole of his career to surpass Jim Clark's 46-year-old record as the most successful one-lap Briton in history.

    Today he has another record in his sights, a more personal record this time, as he targets a third successive victory for the first time in his Formula 1 career.

    Whenever he achieved a hat-trick of wins in other racing categories, he went on to the win the title. Could today mark an important step in Hamilton's bid to win a second world drivers' championship?

    It is time to find out.

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Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 384
2 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 317
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 238
4 Finland V Bottas Williams 186
5 Germany S Vettel Red Bull 167
6 Spain F Alonso Ferrari 161
7 Brazil F Massa Williams 134
8 Great Britain J Button McLaren 126
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 96
10 Mexico S Perez Force India 59
11 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren 55
12 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 55
13 France J Vergne Toro Rosso 22
14 France R Grosjean Lotus 8
15 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso 8
16 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus 2
18 Germany A Sutil Sauber 0
20 Mexico E Gutierrez Sauber 0
22 Japan K Kobayashi Caterham 0
23 W Stevens Caterham 0


After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham

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