Hamilton & Bottas claim the start was decisive to Chinese GP result

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Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have both admitted the start was where the Chinese Grand Prix was won or lost on Sunday.

Neither driver made a particularly good launch but they held off the prowling Ferrari's with the world champion's inside line giving him the lead at Turn 1, a position he would not relinquish.

For Hamilton, the victory marked his second of 2019 and 75th in total, it was also one of his most hard-fought having appeared off the pace for much of Friday and Saturday.

"It's not been the most straightforward of weekends," he told Martin Brundle in Parc Ferme. "We didn't we would stand with the Ferrari's being so quick on the last race, but Valtteri was quick all weekend.

"But the start was really where I was able to make the difference."

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Bottas agreed, claiming he was actually disadvantaged by starting on pole.

“I got some wheelspin when I went over the white line, the start/finish line after my box. So, I lost in there,” he said to Sky Sports. "Otherwise, the feeling was okay. In the dirty air, I couldn't follow.

“It's small details, but it's early days in the season,” he continued. “Things are looking good, but I'm really, really proud for the team. We've done a pretty perfect weekend so far so that's good.

“It's not a nice feeling, so. I'm coming back.”

The overriding emotion was satisfaction though as Mercedes became the first team since Williams in 1992 to finish 1-2 at the first three races.

It was also the perfect way to celebrate F1's 1000th world championship Grand Prix.

"What a fantastic result for the team, everyone worked so hard. To have a one-two together on the 1000th Grand Prix is really special," Hamilton commented.

Given the unpredictability of the first three rounds though, he knows anything could happen, particularly at the next race in Baku.

"We've got to keep that up, you can see it's still very, very close between us all. I have no idea how the next race is going to turn out." Lewis concluded.

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