71-80: Abu Dhabi 2010-Britain 2011
71-80: Fast facts
Wins 1 (China)
Fastest laps 2 (Abu Dhabi, Spain)
Laps led 19
Chinese Grand Prix (56 laps), Shanghai International Circuit – April 17 2011
Tensions run high before the race when a fuel pressure problem prevents Lewis from leaving the pit garage. He eventually makes it out of the pits with 35s to spare, driving out of the garage with his car still missing a number of crucial bodywork battles – such was the tightness of the hour. Happily, his car is repaired on the grid and he starts from third, driving a tenacious three-stop race to pass the two-stopping Sebastian Vettel for the lead with four laps to go. It’s a cunning overtake – out-witting the German on a tricky part of the circuit and managing to out-sprint him before he can be re-passed in the DRS zone.
Lewis looks back
“One of my best victories – definitely one of the most satisfying. Before the race, I thought it might have been all over: I could see in my mirrors that the mechanics were all over the back of the car, and I could smell fuel over the garage. But I kept cool, stayed focused and refused to panic – I knew that’s what the guys needed from me at the time.
“The race itself was hard and fast: I was on a three-stopped so I had to make every lap count. At the end, I knew I’d be able to catch Sebastian, but it was just a case of finding the best spot to overtake – I knew I’d catch him by surprise if I got him into Turn Nine: he’d probably been expected me to have a look into Turn 14 – the hairpin at the end of the DRS zone.
“It was our first win of 2011 – and it was a great result for the whole team. I couldn’t have got this one without them!”
Career so far: wins 15; poles 18; fastest laps 9; laps led 916; points 605