Skip to main content

Rosberg breaks grand prix duck with victory for Mercedes in China

April 15, 2012 -- Updated 1332 GMT (2132 HKT)
Nico Rosberg celebrates his superb victory for Mercedes in the Chinese Grand Prix.
Nico Rosberg celebrates his superb victory for Mercedes in the Chinese Grand Prix.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nico Rosberg wins Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai
  • McLaren pair Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton second and third
  • Hamilton takes the lead in the world tite race
  • Rosberg's teammate Michael Schumacher victim of faulty pit stop

(CNN) -- Nico Rosberg tasted grand prix success at his 111th attempt with a faultless drive to win the Chinese Grand Prix Sunday.

The 26-year-old German led from pole in his Mercedes to relegate the McLaren pair of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton to the minor podium positions in Shanghai.

Hamilton's third successive third place finish has taken him to the top of the world championship standings, two points clear of teammate Button.

Previous leader Fernando Alonso could only take ninth place in his Ferrari and slips to third in the title race.

Reigning double world champion Sebastian Vettel, who started from 11th place on the grid in his Red Bull, battled wearing tires in the closing stages of the 56-lap race and dropped from second place to fifth.

He was overtaken by Button, Hamilton and then teammate Mark Webber, but up ahead Rosberg was untroubled.

It's finally there. It's amazing, and it's nice to see now how quickly we are progressing.
Nico Rosberg

He crossed the line 20.6 seconds clear to become the first winner for the famous German marque of Mercedes since the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio in 1955 in Italy.

"This is an unbelievable feeling. I'm very happy, very excited," he told the post-race press conference.

"It's been a long time coming for me, and for the team also, for the past two years and a bit.

"It's finally there. It's amazing, and it's nice to see now how quickly we are progressing."

Stopping only twice to change tires, Rosberg was always in control, the last challenge to his supremacy disappearing when Button's third stop in his McLaren cost him time.

"I think I lost nine to 10 seconds, which is a pity because when I exited the pits I had four cars ahead of me I wouldn't have been racing. Otherwise I would have had a nice, clear track," Button said.

Hamilton, who qualified second fastest, but was relegated five grid positions for a pre-race gearbox change, was pleased with another solid performance to take over at the top of the standings.

"I said I wanted to move forward. The team did a great job during the pit stops and with strategy, there was a lot of overtaking, so a fantastic day."

Rosberg's teammate, seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, started from second on the grid, but his race was cut short by a mistake at his first pit stop which saw his right front tire nut not properly fitted.

His pit crew were seen slapping the ground in frustration as he drove off before quickly retiring on lap 14.

Lotus driver Romain Grosjean finished sixth ahead of the Williams pair of Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado.

Alonso and Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi rounded out the points scoring for the top 10.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
Take the fittest driver in Formula One and test him against two of the world's leading triathletes in a high-performance laboratory.
September 5, 2014 -- Updated 1604 GMT (0004 HKT)
Mercedes has the fastest two cars in Formula One this season but there is just one problem -- there can only be one world champion.
He's the best of the rest -- Daniel Ricciardo has been Formula One's surprise package in the first half of the 2014 season.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
Formula One is not likely to go hungry in Hungary as master chefs cater in volume for drivers, teams and VIP guests.
July 3, 2014 -- Updated 1443 GMT (2243 HKT)
It's the elephant in the room of Formula One. What's the prognosis legendary driver Michael Schumacher?
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 2310 GMT (0710 HKT)
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 1233 GMT (2033 HKT)
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
May 1, 2014 -- Updated 1500 GMT (2300 HKT)
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
ADVERTISEMENT