Lewis Hamilton won the historic 1000th World Championship race in dominant fashion – his sixth victory at the Chinese Grand Prix – as we took our guests closer to the world of Formula 1 at Shanghai International Circuit.
Our weekend in Shanghai kicked off under blue skies in Shanghai on Thursday with an Exclusive Pit Lane Walk. Our guests were able to watch several teams doing pit stop practice and get up close to the cars, including the Mercedes of World Champion Lewis Hamilton. A Mercedes team member was also on hand to explain the intricacies of an F1 steering wheel while a large group of our guests, who had travelled all the way from Mexico, posed for a photo with the Racing Point car of their hero Sergio Pérez. We also hopped aboard a flat-bed truck for a lap of Shanghai International Circuit – highlights included the 270-degree banked opening corner and the hairpin at the end of the back straight where so many famous passing moves have taken place over the years. Finally, a photo opportunity on the Main Straight with the actual trophies awarded to drivers and constructors – an awesome memento of an historic race weekend!
As the sun went down on Friday, our Trophy and Hero guests gathered for a unique behind the scenes look at the fastest sport in the world with F1 Insider Access, which included a visit to Pirelli and a meeting with Safety Car driver Bernd Mayländer (who celebrated his 350th race on the weekend), along with a photo opportunity on the F1 podium. We finished a big day with drinks and hors d'oeuvres in the Formula 1 Paddock Club and a special guest appearance by Kevin Magnussen of the Haas F1 Team.
Hamilton takes Race #1000
On Saturday, Valtteri Bottas took pole position from teammate Lewis Hamilton in the closest qualifying session ever recorded at the circuit. The Top 10 drivers on the grid started in 2x2 team formation for only the second time in F1 history: Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, Renault and Haas filled the first ten slots. Lewis Hamilton got the better of the start on Sunday, leading Bottas into the first corner and never looking back to win for the sixth time at Shanghai International Circuit. Hamilton led home teammate Bottas, with Sebastian Vettel occupying the last step on the podium in a Ferrari that had no answer to the race pace of Mercedes. Max Verstappen was a strong fourth for Red Bull, while Daniel Ricciardo finished ‘best of the rest’ in seventh, scoring his first points for Renault. Alexander Albon recovered from his huge crash in free practice on Saturday, which saw him start the race from the pit lane, to finish tenth for Toro Rosso in the team’s 250th race start, collecting Driver of the Day honours in the process.
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