WHERE THE RACE WAS WON

On the face of it, this might look like another Mercedes procession - but though Lewis Hamilton got the win after starting in pole, it wasn't that simple, with the wet conditions early on mixing things up. The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen did their best to make his life difficult, and the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen were in the mix too.
Hamilton's team-mate Valtteri Bottas doesn't seem to have quite settled in his new role yet, which makes a Silver Arrows one-two less likely as the season progresses. Still, perhaps it's no surprise that Bottas is confused when his team are as well...
Formula 1
Grosjean to test Hamilton's 2019 Mercedes at French GP circuit
05/05/2021 AT 07:15
[DRIVER REACTION: HAMILTON PREDICTS CLOSEST EVER CHAMPIONSHIP]

HAMILTON-WATCH

Five stars out of five. He led from start to finish, and held off the threat of the Ferraris, neither of whom made a great start, allowing him to take an early advantage.

Lewis Hamilton holds off Sebastian Vettel to win in Shanghai

Image credit: Reuters

PIT RADIO EXCHANGE OF THE DAY

Fernando Alonso was offended by the mere mention of hydration as some kind of slur on the concentration required for driving a McLaren.

MOVE OF THE RACE

Sebastian Vettel likes to unsettle people, and did that from the off by starting outside his box on the grid. He then put the pressure on Daniel Ricciardo after dropping down to fifth, and despite the Red Bull's best defensive efforts moved himself back up towards the front to unnerve Lewis Hamilton a bit more.

BEST OVERTAKE

Max Verstappen, starting from the back, was seventh by the end of Lap 2. He then capitalised on the chaos of Lance Stroll and Antonio Giovinazzi crashing and bringing out the yellow flags - and was pushing for the podium from then on, taking second place before Lap 12 came around.
It was quite funny to hear him then complain about the back-marker Romain Grosjean towards the end of the race - after overtaking almost the entire field in the first few laps, Verstappen was disgruntled about a Haas a few seconds up the road from him.

TACTICAL MASTERSTROKE

Mercedes called Hamilton in during the safety car spells for a tyre change, and asked him whether he thought he could make it to the end. He said yes - but then got a bonus stop as he extended his advantage enough to pop in for a final switch-up.

Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton celebrates with champagne

Image credit: AFP

UNSUNG HERO

Carlos Sainz didn't make it on to the podium, but having qualified in 11th, a seventh-place finish for Toro Rosso behind the big hitters is an excellent return.
Also a hero? Force India's social media team, asking Mercedes to keep Bottas back behind Sergio Perez because "we've got an Alonso to deal with here", and then referring to Kevin Magnussen's "smug" fresh tyres late on.

FACEPALM OF THE WEEKEND

Plenty of mistakes to pick up on, but Antonio Giovinazzi had a terrible couple of days in his Sauber, culminating in breaking his car into bits early in the race and forcing the safety car to take a diversion through the pit-lane to avoid all the debris.
Of course, McLaren had a hideous time of it too, with Stoffel Vandoorne dropping out early with a fuel issue, and Fernando Alonso, doing very nicely in the top eight, finding himself afflicted with a pressure problem.

STAR-SPOTTING

Limited. When Martin Brundle is ready to do the podium interviews you know that celebrities at the circuit are few and far between.
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