Nico Rosberg claimed his first F1 victory after 111 starts in Shanghai to give Mercedes their first win for 57 years. Mclaren’s Jenson Button took second place, but would’ve been in with a serious chance of victory if it wasn’t for a sticky rear wheel nut on his last pit stop. Team-mate Lewis Hamilton rounded out the podium after a late scrap to pass Sebastian Vettel.
In an afternoon dominated by tyre wear and strategy, Rosberg led confidently from pole position, and while his rivals floundered in out-of-position traffic, the German driver built an impressive lead to comfortably secure a maiden triumph.
Behind him, the arguably faster McLarens of Button and Hamilton, who had both opted for a three stop strategy, got bogged down in the slower traffic on two stops, most notably Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.
This had a concertina effect on the field, providing some exciting racing for points scoring positions. Raikkonen would eventually relinquish 2nd place, but thanks to his worn tyres, would drop like a stone to 12th over the course of one lap. Notable battles included Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean coming to blows, and Sauber’s drivers nearly colliding coming off the long back straight.
Vettel recovered from a disappointing 11th on the grid – and being in 14th place after the opening lap – to capitalise on Kimi’s misfortune. But, with the laps ticking down, he then lost out to Button, and then both Hamilton and Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber on the final lap, to finish a respectable 5th place. Webber himself had an eventful afternoon – the Aussie’s car becoming airborne after riding a kerb!
Jenson Button wasn’t the only driver to have pit stop problems as Michael Schumacher went out on lap 13 after Mercedes failed to put his front right wheel nut on, forcing the German to park his car soon after. It would prove to be the only race retirement.
|4||Mark Webber||Red Bull/Renault||2|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||6|
|12||Paul Di Resta||Force India/Mercedes||3|
|15||Nico Huu009flkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1|
|16||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||8|
|17||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||0|
|18||Vitaly Petrov||Caterham/Renault||1 Lap||1|
|19||Timo Glock||Marussia/Cosworth||1 Lap||1|
|20||Charles Pic||Marussia/Cosworth||1 Lap||1|
|21||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT/Cosworth||1 Lap||1|