GERMAN NICO ROSBERG led from start to finish at the Chinese Grand Prix to secure his first Formula One victory on Sunday.
Rosberg finished in his Mercedes ahead of McLaren duo Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, with Red Bull’s Mark Webber and defending champion Sebastian Vettel rounding out the top five.
Romain Grosjean of Lotus finished in a more than respectable sixth place, ahead of Williams’ Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado.
Fernando Alonso – winner of the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang – did not enjoy the same level of success in Shanghai, finishing in ninth, while Kamui Kobayashi completed the top ten.
Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher, who started the race from second on the grid, was forced out after 13 laps with a loose wheel nut, while Kimi Raikkonen dropped from second to 12th in a lap and finished 14th as the tyres on his Lotus gave way late in the race.
After the race, Rosberg said: “Unbelievable feeling, very cool, very happy, very excited. It’s been a long time coming for me and the team also. It’s amazing, and it’s really nice to see how quickly we are progressing, I didn’t expect to be that fast.”
Any hopes that Button had of challenging Rosberg were ended when he was delayed on his final pit-stop, leaving the Englishman in a scrap with his team-mate Hamilton for second.
“Before the final stop our race pace was good, especially on the harder tyre, and then the last stop, I stopped on the marks and we had problems with the rear of the car and lost nine to 10 seconds,” said Button.
“It was a pity because I had four cars in front of me, and I would have had a nice clear track to hunt down Nico.
“It would have been a big gap but I would have given it a go.”