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Hamilton takes Chinese GP for his 3rd consecutive F1 victory

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain captured his third straight Formula One race with ease Sunday, leading from start to finish to win the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

Mercedes showed again it is in a different class from its rivals, with Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg taking second place — the third time in four races this season the pair has filled the top two spots.

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“This is a team on a roll, that’s for sure,” Hamilton said.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso held off fast-charging Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo to finish third and give his team its first podium finish of the year.

“We didn’t have the start of the season that we would like,” Alonso said. “But at the end of the day, we’re still in the fight.”

Hamilton was cruising comfortably near the end of the race and wasn’t rattled when the checkered flag was mistakenly shown a lap too soon, at the end of Lap 55.

“That was very strange. I was thinking, ‘Am I seeing things?’ I looked up, I was coming across the line expecting to do another lap and, all of a sudden, I looked for a split second and I saw the flag,” he said.

According to F1 regulations, if the checkered flag is shown early, the official end of the race will be the lap before it was shown. On Sunday, that meant the end of Lap 54. The flag gaffe didn’t affect any of the top 16 finishers.


Wawrinka rallies past Federer

Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland beat his more illustrious countryman, Roger Federer, in the Monte Carlo Masters final in Monaco.

Wawrinka, 29, beat Federer 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 in the first all-Swiss ATP Tour final in 14 years.

Wawrinka is ranked third in the world. Federer, who has won 17 major championships, is fourth and entered the match with a 13-1 record against Wawrinka.

“I’m more consistent and I have better results,” Wawrinka said of his recent progress. “ The difference is that now I have more trust in myself.”

Federer, 32, and Wawrinka won the 2008 Olympic doubles title and are close friends.

“This is pretty rare in sport, in a very selfish and very individual sport,” said Wawrinka, who has won seven titles in his career. “We are there to try to win, but we have a lot of respect for each other. We don’t overdo it. Before the match, we had lunch together. After the match, we were laughing together in the locker rooms.”

Americans lose in Fed Cup play

The doubles team of Caroline Garcia and Virginie Razzano led France to a 3-2 victory over the United States in Fed Cup competition in St. Louis.

France qualified for the World Group in 2015 and will compete for the Fed Cup championship. The Americans will drop to World Group II for next year.

Garcia and Razzano beat the U.S. duo of Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys 6-2, 7-5 in the fifth and deciding match of the best-of-five, two-day competition. Garcia, 20, won both of her singles matches.


Broncos sound motivated

The Denver Broncos, who lost 43-8 to the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, gather Monday for the start of offseason workouts. Quarterback Peyton Manning is among the Broncos to do some advance work.

Five Denver receivers were at Manning’s annual week of workouts at Duke in Durham, N.C.

“That’s kind of the new rules now. You have to go off-campus in early April in order to get some work with your receivers,” Manning said. “It was a good kick-start to the offseason.”

Of the Super Bowl, Denver linebacker Von Miller said, “I wouldn’t want to get the sour taste out too quick because the year before, we lost to the Ravens and that pushed us this last season.

“And the Super Bowl this year, I think it will just push us more. We were right there. We were right on the edge of it and all the guys have been putting in that extra 1 percent in and hopefully it’ll pay off for us this coming season.”


• Liverpool won 3-2 at Norwich, extending its English Premier League soccer lead to five points over Chelsea with three regular-season matches remaining.

Raheem Sterling scored twice for Liverpool, which is seeking its first league title in 24 years. The Reds have guaranteed themselves a berth in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

• Goalkeeper Sylvain Azougoui, 30, of the AC Bongoville soccer team died after an opposing player lost his balance on wet grass and stepped on his head during a national-tournament match in the West African country of Gabon.

• Arkansas’ Katherine Grable earned two titles on the final day of the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships in Birmingham, Ala.

Grable won the floor-exercise championship and shared the vault title with Rheagan Courville of Louisiana State.

Bridget Sloan of Florida won the uneven parallel bars and Taylor Spears of Oklahoma took the balance-beam championship.

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