India, April 16 -- It was poetic to see Alain Prost wave the chequered flag at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton, who won the race in unchallenged fashion, was rarely the fastest man on the track. The Mercedes driver swept past his increasingly bullish teammate Valtteri Bottas at the start of the race and built up just enough of a lead to keep himself comfortable while treating his tyres well, and now leads the world championship by six points.

Prost, nicknamed The Professor for his unwavering technical proficiency, had famously said his ideal victory was "to win the race at the slowest speed possible." The French legend used to conserve his tyres, his engines, his fuel - and his energy. At the 1988 Portuguese Grand Prix, after set...