F1 families: Like father, like son

Story highlights

  • Nico Rosberg wins Chinese Grand Prix, 30 years after father Keke won Swiss Grand Prix
  • He is the third son of an F1 driver to win a race, following the Hills and Villeneuves
  • Win is Nico's 111th race, hopefully paving the way for more victories
  • Nico's Finnish father was able to celebrate his win, unlike Graham Hill and Gilles Villeneuve

It was a case of like father like son for Chinese Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg, who followed in the footsteps of his famous parent on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Mercedes driver is the third son of a Formula One racer to win a race -- achieving the feat 30 years after his father Keke claimed his first checkered flag at the Swiss Grand Prix.

They joined Britain's Graham and Damon Hill and Canada's Gilles and Jacques Villeneuve as the only father and son duos to triumph in the 62-year history of the sport.

Rosberg is hoping to build on his long-awaited first victory after heading off McLaren's Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton in Shanghai.

"It's amazing to have it," the German said in a video blog on the team's website after his 111th race as an F1 driver.

"It's been a long time waiting and Niki Lauda (three-time world champion) said that the first win is the most difficult. After that it gets easier. So if that's the way it goes that would be fantastic."

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Only four drivers in F1 history have waited longer to claim victory: Button (113), Jarno Trulli (117), Rubens Barrichello (124) and Mark Webber (131).

He still has some catching up to do to his Finnish father, who won the 1982 world title with Williams as he collected five race wins in a nine-season career from 1978 to 1986.

For Nico, Sunday's win was a cause of celebration with Keke. But the Hills and Villeneuves were sadly never able to enjoy the feat together, as both fathers died in tragic circumstances.

Britain's Damon Hill made history in 1996 when he won the world title with Williams to add to those Graham took home in 1962 and 1968, making them the only father and son to both be drivers' champions.

Damon won 22 races in an eight-season career spanning from 1992 to 1999, but Graham never saw him race as he died in 1975 when the plane he was flying crashed in foggy conditions in North London. His son was just 15 at the time.

Hill senior earned the nickname "Mr. Monaco" after winning on the Monte Carlo circuit five times out of his career total of 15 victories.

Gilles Villeneuve was also never there to see his son Jacques win the 1997 world championships with Williams, triumphing in 11 races overall in a 10-season career spanning 1996 to 2006.

A charismatic and thrilling driver, Gilles died in 1982 during a qualifying session at the Belgian Grand Prix -- having been runner-up in the world championship three years earlier with Ferrari.

He won six races overall, the first in his home grand prix in 1978 at the Montreal circuit now named after him.