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Hamilton wins Chinese Grand Prix

Oct. 19, 2008 at 4:22 PM

SHANGHAI, Oct. 19 (UPI) -- McLaren's Lewis Hamilton easily won Sunday's Formula One Chinese Grand Prix auto race at the Shanghai International Circuit.

The native of Stevenage, England, started on the pole and led every lap except those where he made pit stops.

The victory was Hamilton's fifth this season and the ninth of his F1 career.

"This weekend has been on our side, and the team has done a phenomenal job preparing the car," Hamilton said. "Coming here, the car felt fantastic. It was a fantastic team effort."

Hamilton, the F1 standings leader, took a huge step toward claiming his first world championship.

He leads second-place finisher Felipe Massa (Ferrari) by seven points.

Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), Fernando Alonso (Renault), and Nick Heidfeld (BMW) completed the top-five.

The F1 circuit has one race remaining in the 2008 season, the Brazilian Grand Prix in Sao Paulo Nov. 2.

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