Formula One

 
           === Hamilton aiming for third straight grand prix win ===
 
 Shanghai,  China  (SportsNetwork.com) -  After  their  thrilling duel  in  the
 Bahrain  Grand Prix  earlier this month, Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and
 Nico  Rosberg  take their Formula One  world championship battle to China this
 weekend.
 
 Hamilton and Rosberg swapped the lead multiple times during the 57-lap Bahrain
 Grand  Prix before Hamilton beat Rosberg to the finish line by just one second
 for his second consecutive grand prix win.
 
 "It  was quite  an exciting race," Hamilton said. "It was quite interesting to
 see the duel between each team and between teammates. It was a bit more like a
 go-kart race...I hope there are more races like that through the year."
 
 Both  drivers  also finished  1-2 in  the March 30  Malaysian Grand Prix, with
 Hamilton  crossing the  line 17  seconds  ahead of  Rosberg. In  the March  16
 season-opening  Australian  Grand  Prix,  Rosberg  scored  the  victory  while
 Hamilton retired early in the race after starting on the pole.
 
 Entering  Sunday's 56-lap  Chinese GP,  Rosberg holds  the lead  in the  world
 championship  standings  with 61  points. Hamilton  is second  in line with 50
 points.
 
 Hamilton  has won in  China twice when he drove for McLaren. His first victory
 at  Shanghai International  Circuit came  during his  2008 world  championship
 season.  Hamilton's most recent win here occurred in 2011. He's finished third
 in the last two races.
 
 "I'm getting stronger every time I come to this track, and it suits my driving
 style  quite  well," he said. "The  aim, as always, is  to win, and if I could
 make it three in a row this weekend that would be incredible."
 
 Two  years ago, Rosberg scored his maiden F1 race and pole wins in the Chinese
 GP. He put on a dominating performance in that event, beating McLaren's Jenson
 Button to the finish line by more than 20 seconds.
 
 "I've  got  good memories from  China after taking  my first pole position and
 race  win in  Formula One at this  circuit in 2012," Rosberg said. "The layout
 seems  to suit my driving style. It's a track I enjoy racing at, and I want to
 be back on that top step of the podium this weekend."
 
 Fernando  Alonso from  Ferrari  is  the only  other  driver  who has  multiple
 victories  in the Chinese GP. Alonso's first win here occurred in 2005 when he
 drove  for Renault.  He also  claimed the  victory in  last year's  race after
 taking  the lead from  Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel with 13 laps to go and then
 beating  Kimi  Raikkonen to  the finish  line by 10  seconds. Raikkonen is now
 Alonso's teammate at Ferrari after driving for Lotus the past two seasons.
 
 Alonso  and  Raikkonen have had a  somewhat disappointing start to the season.
 Neither  driver  has yet to  score a podium  finish this year. Alonso finished
 fourth in both Australia and Malaysia and then ninth in Bahrain. Raikkonen has
 placed no better than seventh in the first three rounds.
 
 "It's not where we wanted to be," Alonso said. "I think there is a lot of room
 to improve. We need to become better in all the areas from the car. There is a
 long  way to  go. The championship is  very long, and we know that probably in
 the first [part] of the championship we will not be as competitive as Mercedes
 or some of the teams that are now on top.
 
 "We  need  to maximize  what we have  in our  hands now, try  to score as many
 points  as  possible, and  hopefully we  can be very  competitive later in the
 season."
 
 Earlier  this week,  Stefano Domenicali resigned as team principal of Ferrari.
 The Italian team announced that Marco Mattiacci has replaced Domenicali in the
 role. Mattiacci had served as president and CEO of Ferrari North America.
 
 Alonso  does  think it  will take  time for  Mattiacci to  settle into his new
 position with the team.
 
 "I  think we need to give him time and try to see how he settles down," Alonso
 said.  "I think we  need to make sure he has all the facilities ready, all the
 technical stuff ready, all the team behind him, try to help him settle down as
 fast as possible."
 
 Ferrari has the most constructors' championships in F1 with 16 but has not won
 a  title  since 2008. The  team is currently  fifth in the constructors' point
 standings, well behind leader Mercedes.
 
 Series: Formula One. Date: Sunday, April 20. Race: Chinese Grand Prix. Site:
 Shanghai International Circuit. Track: 3.387-mile (5.451-kilometer), 16-turn
 road course. Start Time: 3 a.m. ET. Laps: 56. Miles: 189.568 (305.066 km).
 2013 Winner: Fernando Alonso. Television: NBC Sports Network.
 
 
 04/17 15:37:59 ET

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