Shanghai (AFP) - Mercedes pulled off a “risky” but well-choreographed double pit stop to help wrap up a one-two at the 1,000th Formula One grand prix on Sunday in Shanghai.
Lewis Hamilton won the landmark race ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, with the rival Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel a distant third.
Mercedes have now taken first and second place at all three grands prix this season, even though Ferrari were thought to have the quicker car.
With the race on Sunday entering its second half and Hamilton out in front, Mercedes called both cars in to switch to medium tyres.
World champion Hamilton, who now leads the standings from Bottas, praised his team’s decision to “double-stack”.
“I didn’t actually know he (Bottas) was behind me in the pit stop. Fantastic job by the team,” said the Briton.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said it was a calculated gamble.
“Stacking the cars for a double pit stop was a risky moment because you have everything to lose when you’re leading the race,” said Wolff.
“But we thought we would lose positions if we had stopped one of them earlier.
“Our plan worked out perfectly. It was a well-choreographed pitstop and the team did a brilliant job.”