Hamilton expecting titanic F1 title battle after winning in China

Updated: 

Lewis Hamilton thinks the battle to be crowned Formula One champion this year could be the closest ever after he won a dramatic Chinese Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver turned the tables on Sebastian Vettel by taking the chequered flag at the Shanghai International Circuit track on Sunday.

Vettel finished second after winning the season-opening Australian Grand Prix last month, so the pair are locked on 43 points.

Hamilton changed to soft tyres while in front when the safety car went through the pit lane following Sauber reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi's early crash, with a wet track drying out.

The Brit was also brought in for a new set of softs with 20 laps to go and was still in front when he got back on track, with Vettel unable to catch him.

Hamilton is predicting an epic battle for the title after a captivating start.

He said on the podium: "This is going to be one of the closest ones, if not the closest.

"I'm looking forward to this, not only with Sebastian but with the other guys who will be amongst it.

"Ferrari have done a fantastic job and it is great that we are both pushing.

"Those last 20 laps or so, we were really exchanging times and I tried to match it. He was closing the gap a little bit but I managed to stay ahead."

Hamilton knew things could have been very different had it not been for Giovinazzi's smash.

"This race was so real. We were matching times so if there wasn't a safety car at the start it would have been much closer." he added.