Nico Rosberg wins first F1 race; Mercedes' first win since 1955; see our picture gallery
15 April 2012

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg won an entertaining Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

Starting from pole position, Rosberg led team-mate Michael Schumacher away at the start and immediately began to build a small lead.

Shanghai F1 photo gallery: 2012 Chinese Grand Prix pictures

However, while Rosberg was never headed during the race except during the pitstop phases, his victory was made considerably more comfortable by two critical problems that befell his rivals.

First, the Mercedes team failed to secure one of Schumacher's tyres at his first pitstop, forcing him to pull out of the race and retire.

Then Jenson Button's McLaren team struggled to change a rear tyre during one of his pitstops, dropping him crucial seconds and dropping him back into a massive scrap for second place that featured Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus), Sebastien Vettel (Red Bull), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) and Mark Webber (Red Bull).

That scrap cost all of the runners involved time, and although it was eventually decided in favour of Button after he decisively dived down the inside of Vettel, the Briton was left rueing his pitstop problem, feeling he could have challenged for the win without it.

Behind Button the scrap for third continued to the end. Eventually Hamilton was able to secure the spot with a DRS assisted pass on Vettel, who then sensationally fell behind his team-mate Mark Webber with just under a lap to run. Raikkonen, meanwhile, was forced to make a late pitstop for new tyres, and fell to 14th.

Hamilton's third place promotes him into the lead of the driver's championship, two points ahead of Button and eight ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, who could only finish ninth in Shanghai. McLaren is now 24 points clear of Red Bull in the constructors' championship.

As his rivals fought, Rosberg's lead grew increasingly comfortable, and he was able to cruise to his first victory in Formula 1. It was also the first F1 win for the modern Mercedes squad, which was born out of the championship winning Brawn GP squad in 2010, and Mercedes' first win as a constructor since 1955.

F1 Chinese Grand Prix results

1. Rosberg (Mercedes) 1h36:26.9292. Button (McLaren-Mercedes) +20.6263. Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes) +26.0124. Webber (Red Bull-Renault) +27.9245. Vettel (Red Bull-Renault) +30.4836. Grosjean (Lotus-Renault) +31.4917. Senna (Williams-Renault) +34.5978. Maldonado (Williams-Renault) +35.6439. Alonso (Ferrari) +37.25610. Kobayashi (Sauber-Ferrari) +38.72011. Perez (Sauber-Ferrari) +41.06612. Di Resta (Force India-Mercedes) + 42.27313. Massa (Ferrari) +42.70014. Raikkonen (Lotus-Renault) +50.50015. Hulkenberg (Force India-Mercedes) +51.20016. Vergne (Toro Rosso-Ferrari) +51.70017. Ricciardo (Toro Rosso-Ferrari) +1:03.10018. Petrov (Caterham-Renault) +1 lap19. Glock (Marussia-Cosworth) +1 lap20. Pic (Marussia-Cosworth) +1 lap21. De la Rosa (HRT-Cosworth) +1 lap22. Karthikeyan (HRT-Cosworth) +2 laps23. Kovalainen (Caterham-Renault) +3 lapsRtd. Schumacher (Mercedes)

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Comments
19

15 April 2012

May i be the first to say well done,and, that there are many more.

Peter Cavellini.

15 April 2012

It was a very good race, especially the second half. Unfortunately, EddieJordan has a grudge against Raikkonen, he even claimed Raikkonen's tyres didn't go off. I'll be sticking with the less biased Sky coverage from now on.

15 April 2012

[quote The Special One]

It was a very good race, especially the second half. Unfortunately, EddieJordan has a grudge against Raikkonen, he even claimed Raikkonen's tyres didn't go off. I'll be sticking with the less biased Sky coverage from now on.

[/quote] Bulldust!,i watched the whole race on the Beeb, and Eddie never put a word wrong,Kimi's tyres as they said fell of the Cliff,yes, a shame i know, but there you are,stop looking for excuses at having a pop at people who know more about F1 than WE do!

Peter Cavellini.

15 April 2012

Eddie did say he thought it was more than just Raikkonens tyres, he thought eh'd lost his rhythm and i believe he may even have said mojo, otherwise i agree excellent BBC program, cant comment on Sky as i dont have it. An excellent race with a deserved victor, hopefully with no team having a clear advantage, this season could well be one of the best.

15 April 2012

Well I am waiting to see if any complaints lodged against Brawn Brains hole in the wall. I am curious about the way both drivers were reaching down with their left hand to fiddle with something when they were on the straight - which I didnt see anyone else doing. Lets see on that score. Yes Rosberg needed and probably deserved his first break - they lad comes from good Finnish stock - and I am sad he places the German flag rather than the Finnish one?? Anyway - I wonder what colour Webbers pants were when he got home - airborn very similar to the Merc in the Le Mans some years ago. Luck and a removal of the right foot probably helped. Some good overtaking and MW passing SV was cute. Button as usual drove a great race. For a moment or three the world stood still while Mass was at the head on the pack - maybe he needed that.. but i really dont think he is good enough to stay there any more. The car is crap we know but at least Slonso gets the better results every time. The start? oh dear - s many drivers cant get their act together and lose the race right there. Bad luck Schuey, but to be honest I am going to be cruel and say I dont want your long grinning chin on the top step..had too many years of that.

15 April 2012

one of the best races...i have seen in a very long time ..congrats to niko...well done

15 April 2012

[quote The Special One]I'll be sticking with the less biased Sky coverage from now on.[/quote] Pardon me, but surely you're the last person who should be commenting on bias?

 

15 April 2012

[quote petrolheadinrussia]Well I am waiting to see if any complaints lodged against Brawn Brains hole in the wall. [/quote] As Nico lead from pole, I doubt he used his DRS except to pass the odd back-marker after pit stops. It's been protested and ruled legal.

 

15 April 2012

Congrats Rosberg and Mercedes! Thoroughly enjoyable race - the best so far IMO!

15 April 2012

[quote petrolheadinrussia]Well I am waiting to see if any complaints lodged against Brawn Brains hole in the wall. I am curious about the way both drivers were reaching down with their left hand to fiddle with something when they were on the straight - which I didnt see anyone else doing. Lets see on that score. [/quote]
I don't think there will be any complaints about the Mercedes drivers adjusting their brake bias.

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