Rosberg wins first F1 race in China

Rosberg wins first F1 race in China

15 April 2012 – Nico Rosberg is celebrating his maiden Formula 1 victory, having won Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix in dominant fashion. After starting from pole, the son of 1982 World Champion Keke was aided by a pit-stop problem for Jenson Button as Lewis Hamilton finished third to lead the Drivers’ Championship.

In one of the most dramatic races the sport has witnessed for some time, Rosberg led commandingly from pole as his lead extended to 25 seconds thanks to an efficient strategy and a number of scenarios behind him. The 26-year-old, who made his debut with Williams in 2006, becomes the seventh German to win in F1 history and also marks a significant milestone for Mercedes, which returned as a works team two years ago. The company last won with Juan Manuel Fangio at Monza in 1955.

Judging by the starting grid, Sunday’s race always was going to be dramatic, with Rosberg leading and all-Mercedes front row from Kamui Kobayashi and Kimi Räikkönen. However, the McLarens of Button and Hamilton – starting fifth and seventh, respectively – were tipped by many for a one-two finish. Following much work overnight, Jean-Éric Vergne’s Toro Rosso started from the pit lane.

A clean start allowed Rosberg to lead without issues, as Michael Schumacher held second but began to lose pace and drop into the clutches of Button, whose own stunning start saw him seize third place on the outside of Turn 1. Further back, Bruno Senna tapped the back of Felipe Massa’s Ferrari and broke a front wing end plate on his Williams. From 11th on the grid, a frustrating afternoon for World Champion Sebastian Vettel began with a plummet to 15th.

Rosberg’s lead continued to increase as Schumacher looked threatened by those behind; however, the seven-time Champion became the only retirement on only Lap 12, as a pit-stop error resulted in a loose wheel. The German duly pulled off the circuit as Button took up second place from Hamilton and Mark Webber, whose speed had been sufficient to jump several cars during the opening pit-stop window. Massa and Sergio Pérez enjoyed stints in the lead but, in a race which featured many hard but fair passing manoeuvres throughout the field, were soon engulfed by the quicker cars. Vettel also benefitted from the stops, recovering to his grid position of 11th after the opening round of pit lane visits.

Prior to Lap 39, Button led Rosberg for five laps, with the Englishman and German on respective three and two-stop strategies. The McLaren driver would be required to pit and then catch the Mercedes, but a sticking left-rear wheel lost him at least six seconds and dropped the 2009 title winner into the chasing pack; McLaren’s second pit-stop mistake in as many races allowed Rosberg to extend a massive lead and he was then able to control the pace.

Having pitted earlier than most but now on much older tyres, Räikkönen found himself second, but the Finn’s dramatic demise came as he lost ten places in just two laps. On the 48th tour, Vettel – on a similar race plan – overtook the Finn at Turn 6. Making the most of the opportunity, Hamilton saw Webber challenge Räikkönen and quickly capitalised, overhauling both men for fourth. Both McLarens and Webber then proceeded to catch and pass Vettel, demoting the number one car to fifth by the time the chequered flag fell.

Unlike team-mate Räikkönen, Romain Grosjean pitted later and preserved his tyres well; escaping from an off-track excursion at Turn 6, the Franco-Swiss registered not just his first finish of the season, but a career-best with sixth place. Bruno Senna delivered another highly respectable performance to come home seventh, with Pastor Maldonado confirming a superb day for Williams in eighth spot.

The top ten was rounded out by former championship leader Fernando Alonso – who did not help his cause by running off the track on Lap 43 – and Kobayashi, who could not capitalise on his starting position. Both men demoted Sepang star Pérez, who missed out on the final point and therefore drops from fifth to seventh in the standings.

A dramatic start to the 2012 season has now brought Formula 1 its 103rd different race winner, as Rosberg slowed in the closing stages but still won by 20 seconds. There is now a McLaren one-two in the drivers’ table, with Hamilton leading Button by just two points after yet another third place finish. For Constructors’ honours, McLaren extends its lead over Red Bull to 24 points as F1 prepares to return to Bahrain.


Formula 1 continues with the Bahrain Grand Prix next weekend

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Sunday 24 September 2017

  2. Eriksson wins, Norris misses title chance 16:46

    Eriksson wins, Norris misses title chance

    Joel Eriksson survived contact with Lando Norris to secure victory in the final race of the weekend at the Red Bull Ring, while…

    F3
  3. 15:22

    Latest MotoGP photos: Sunday at Aragón

    MotoGP
  4. Márquez was 'fighting against bike' in race 15:21

    Márquez was 'fighting against bike' in race

    Marc Márquez says he was "fighting against the bike" over the course of the Aragón Grand Prix after recording his fifth…

    MotoGP
  5. 14:23

    In full: Aragón Grand Prix race results

    MotoGP
  6. Márquez fights back for Aragón victory 13:46

    Márquez fights back for Aragón victory

    Marc Márquez extended his title lead with his fifth victory of the season at the Aragón Grand Prix as he headed team-mate Dani…

    MotoGP
  7. 12:00

    Starting grid for the Aragón Grand Prix

    MotoGP
  8. Ducati: Rear tyre choice crucial for race 11:02

    Ducati: Rear tyre choice crucial for race

    Ducati pair Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso believe rear tyre choice will be critical to the manufacturer's prospects of…

    MotoGP
  9. Eriksson wins, Norris edges towards title 10:46

    Eriksson wins, Norris edges towards title

    Motopark's Joel Eriksson ended his victory drought at the Red Bull Ring while McLaren-backed youngster Lando Norris edged closer…

    F3
  10. Flashback: Malaysia's dramatic 2016 race 10:06

    Flashback: Malaysia's dramatic 2016 race

    Last weekend's Singapore Grand Prix was a potentially season-defining race, with Lewis Hamilton winning after Sebastian Vettel's…

    F1
  11. Formula 1 tweaks jump start regulations 09:14

    Formula 1 tweaks jump start regulations

    The FIA has tightened next year's Sporting Regulations regarding jump starts in Formula 1, raising the possibility of penalties…

    F1
  12. Gasly closes on Ishiura with Sugo podium 08:38

    Gasly closes on Ishiura with Sugo podium

    Red Bull junior driver Pierre Gasly closed the gap to Super Formula title leader Hiroaki Ishiura to just half a point, after…

    SF
  13. Video: Toto Wolff tackles the Nürburgring 05:42

    Video: Toto Wolff tackles the Nürburgring

    Watch as Mercedes boss Toto Wolff tackles the Nürburgring in a Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II during the Touring Cars…

    F1
  14. Saturday 23 September 2017

  15. 17:04

    Latest MotoGP photos: Saturday at Aragón

    MotoGP
  16. Márquez 'pushed too much' in pole pursuit 17:02

    Márquez 'pushed too much' in pole pursuit

    Repsol Honda rider Marc Márquez accepted that he "pushed too much" during the closing stages of qualifying for the Aragón…

    MotoGP
  17. Rossi labels front row spot 'big surprise' 14:46

    Rossi labels front row spot 'big surprise'

    Valentino Rossi labelled his front-row grid spot for the Aragón Grand Prix as a "big surprise" after making an…

    MotoGP
  18. 14:07

    Aragón Grand Prix: Qualifying 2 results

    MotoGP
  19. Viñales takes Aragón pole, Rossi third 14:04

    Viñales takes Aragón pole, Rossi third

    Movistar Yamaha's Maverick Viñales made it back-to-back pole positions during a thrilling qualifying session for the Aragón…

    MotoGP
  20. MotoGP confirms 2018 pre-season schedule 12:46

    MotoGP confirms 2018 pre-season schedule

    MotoGP organisers have confirmed the championship's pre-season test dates and venues for the 2018 campaign. As per usual, the…

    MotoGP
  21. F1 relaxes rules over current cars for demos 11:12

    F1 relaxes rules over current cars for demos

    Formula 1's Sporting Regulations have been relaxed in order to allow current-spec cars to be run at any demonstration events…

    F1
  22. 10:38

    Latest F3 photos: Saturday at Spielberg

    F3
  23. Ilott converts pole into victory in Austria 10:36

    Ilott converts pole into victory in Austria

    Prema's Callum Ilott took his fifth victory of the European Formula 3 season with a lights-to-flag drive in the opening race of…

    F3
  24. 10:00

    Aragón Grand Prix: Full Practice 3 results

    MotoGP
  25. Márquez heads FP3 as Rossi makes Q2 09:59

    Márquez heads FP3 as Rossi makes Q2

    Reigning World Champion Marc Márquez led the way as all six manufacturers had a representative inside the top 10 during the…

    MotoGP
  26. Palmer: Points a weight off my shoulders 08:58

    Palmer: Points a weight off my shoulders

    Renault's Jolyon Palmer says scoring points in Singapore was a "weight off the shoulders" and feels he can tackle the remaining…

    F1
  27. Video: Ralf Schumacher's Formula 4 team 05:48

    Video: Ralf Schumacher's Formula 4 team

    Find out more about the US Racing ADAC Formula 4 team, run by ex-Formula 1 driver Ralf Schumacher and former Mercedes DTM boss…

    Misc
  28. Friday 22 September 2017

  29. 16:12

    Follow us on Instagram for the best photos!

    F1
  30. Video: IndyCar's new 2018 brake package 16:02

    Video: IndyCar's new 2018 brake package

    IndyCar technical guru Jon Beekhuis explains the technical advancements for the brake package on the series' 2018 car that will…

    Indy
  31. Formula 1 developing exhaust microphone 14:43

    Formula 1 developing exhaust microphone

    Formula 1 is developing a microphone that can be fitted to a car's exhaust to provide a "true amplification" of sound in the…

    F1
  32. 14:06

    Latest MotoGP photos: Friday at Aragón

    MotoGP
  33. 14:00

    Aragón Grand Prix: Full Practice 2 results

    MotoGP
  34. Pedrosa heads Lorenzo in second practice 13:58

    Pedrosa heads Lorenzo in second practice

    Honda rider Dani Pedrosa topped the timesheets during second practice for Aragón Grand Prix, ahead of Ducati's Jorge Lorenzo…

    MotoGP
  35. Yamaha set to offer van der Mark test run 13:47

    Yamaha set to offer van der Mark test run

    Yamaha is set to offer Michael van der Mark a test on its MotoGP bike, with the Dutchman's planned debut at the Aragón Grand…

    MotoGP
  36. Red Bull adds four karters to Junior Team 12:22

    Red Bull adds four karters to Junior Team

    Red Bull has added four karters to its Junior Team line-up for the 2018 season. OK World Championship karter Dennis Haugar…

    Misc
  37. F1 to make classic race available online 12:01

    F1 to make classic race available online

    Formula 1's official website will make a classic Malaysian Grand Prix available online for fans to watch later this month, as…

    F1
  38. Video: Jaguar presents new car, new driver 10:48

    Video: Jaguar presents new car, new driver

    Jaguar introduces its new car and new driver for Formula E's fourth season, with inaugural series champion Nelson Piquet Jr.…

    FE
  39. 09:46

    Aragón Grand Prix: Full Practice 1 results

    MotoGP
  40. Márquez fastest as Rossi returns at Aragón 09:44

    Márquez fastest as Rossi returns at Aragón

    Marc Márquez topped a wet opening practice session for the Aragón Grand Prix, as Valentino Rossi returned to action following…

    MotoGP
  41. China, Bahrain could swap places on roster 08:39

    China, Bahrain could swap places on roster

    Formula 1 commercial chief Sean Bratches is "incredibly optimistic" that China will remain on the calendar next season, though…

    F1
  42. Video: F1 pit-stop in the dark - making of 05:36

    Video: F1 pit-stop in the dark - making of

    Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, Mercedes team partner EPSON challenged mechanics to complete a pit-stop in the dark. Go…

    F1
  43. Thursday 21 September 2017

  44. FIA amends Super Licence points for 2018 19:34

    FIA amends Super Licence points for 2018

    The FIA has restructured the Super Licence points system for 2018, with several championships having their allocation reduced…

    F1
more news