Reining in the Bulls | india | Hindustan Times
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Reining in the Bulls

india Updated: Apr 18, 2011 00:32 IST

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton won a thrilling Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday to deny Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel a fifth triumph in a row.

Germany's Vettel finished runner-up and 5.1 seconds behind the Briton, who narrowly avoided starting from the pit lane due to a pre-race engine scare, with his Australian Red Bull team mate Mark Webber taking third after starting 18th.

"That was amazing, thank you so much," yelled Hamilton, whooping with delight after his first win since Belgium in August last year.

The 26-year-old, triumphant in Shanghai on his way to the title in 2008, was the first driver to win twice in China since the race made its debut on the calendar in 2004.

"The car just wouldn't start," he said of the pre-race problems that had his McLaren mechanics working feverishly to get him out of the garage and onto the second row of the grid with only seconds to spare.

Vettel had won the first two races of the season, after also finishing first in the last two of 2010 and looked the favourite again after grabbing the top slot in qualifying.

His decision to make two stops to Hamilton's three proved crucial, however, with the McLaren man making the most of his fresher tyres to reel in the Red Bull remorselessly over the closing laps.

"Congratulations to Lewis and Team McLaren," said Vettel, after a thrilling finale to a rousing race. "They did a very good job."