Lewis Hamilton's Dominant Win at Shanghai Silences Critics

Talvir SinghCorrespondent IOctober 21, 2008

Lewis Hamilton silenced the critics with a commanding victory at Sunday's Grand Prix in Shanghai, China, demonstrating he still has a chance of winning the championship this season.

Hamilton, 23, drove a dominating performance from the moment the lights went out, to when the chequered flag was waved. He was completely untouchable, and that is far from over exaggerating. It was a master class of racing.

Unfortunately, the race itself cannot be described in the same manner.

It was a dry, dull race with minimal action or drama. There weren't even any pit lane mishaps, which seems to be mandatory following Felipe Massa's major disaster in the pits in Singapore.

The race started with some drama when Jarno Trulli was the sole victim of a first corner incident following a fight with Sebastian Bourdais.

Heikki Kovalainen and Fernando Alonso had a great tussle that lasted a fraction less than a lap, which involved Kovalainen going round the outside of Alonso and nearly taking Massa, all in the first two corners. Both drivers continued to battle through the lap. With several chances for Alonso to take back fourth place, Kovalainen remained stubborn.

This great war between the Renault and Mclaren ended on the back straight when the Spaniard got the better of the Finn coming out of turn 13 and flew past him with ease.

And if that wasn't enough for Kovalainen, his MP4-23 failed him for the second race in a row with a puncture to his right front tire. He hobbled back to the pits, got it replaced, and rejoined at the back of the field, only to retire a couple of laps later with brake problems. Another bad day at the office for the Finn.

This was perhaps the most eventful part of the race so far, and happened to remain so, until Kimi Raikkonen conceded second place to his Ferrari teammate Massa.

Raikkonen was the only driver in the whole race who could challenge Hamilton's pace, but even then he was six seconds behind. Massa, on the other hand, had no pace, and accepted in the post-race press conference that his Ferrari could not match Hamilton's Mclaren.

It looked then that Hamilton would leave China nine points ahead of Felipe. That was until Raikkonen took his foot right off the pace and conceded second place to his teammate with eight laps remaining.

Raikkonen explained during the press conference that he was happy to do that, and that he is willing to anything to help his team and Massa. If anything, this generous act is his way of repaying Massa for conceding the win at Brazil in 2007 to Raikkonen, allowing him to win the championship by one point over Hamilton.

Now the gap is seven points, exactly the same as the lead Hamilton had going into Brazil last year. Ron Dennis has informed Hamilton that he is to race sensibly and not try anything too daring.

It can be said that Massa dominates at Brazil, so a win is unlikely for Hamilton. But as the championship stands now, if Massa wins in Brazil, then Hamilton only needs to get fifth place.

For Massa to win he will need to win in Brazil and for Hamilton to finish sixth or lower. Game on.

Also I would like to thank my brother for helping me think up my titles.