SHANGHAI — After winning the first pole of his Formula One career on Saturday, Nico Rosberg dominated Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix to earn the first victory of his career.
Rosberg gave Mercedes its first “works” victory since Juan Manuel Fangio won the Italian Grand Prix in 1955.
“Well, it’s an unbelievable feeling: very, very cool,” said Rosberg. “I’m very happy, very excited. It’s been a long time coming for me, and for the team as well over the past two years and a bit. Now, it’s finally here. It’s just amazing and it’s just nice to see how quickly we are now progressing. I didn’t expect to be that fast today. I expected that we had a good chance to be in front, but I was very happy today with the pace I was able to go in the race.”
He crossed the finish line a whopping 20.6 seconds ahead of the two-car McLaren tandem of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.
Button’s team ran a three-stop strategy and ended up well behind Rosberg at the end.
“I had some really good battles out there. And then in my last stop, I stopped on the marks and we had a problem with the rear of the car, so I was stuck there for nine or 10 seconds I think it was,” explained Button. “It was a pity because when I exited the pits I had four cars in front of me; cars that I wouldn’t have been racing, and I would have had a nice clear track to hopefully hunt down Nico. It was a big gap but you’ve got to give it a go. But, all in all, a fun day. I really enjoyed today. It was a good race, some good overtaking out there and nice to eventually come away with some good points and second place.”
Red Bull teammates Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Rosberg’s teammate Michael Schumacher led early but when a rear wheel was incorrectly fitted on an early pit stop, he retired from the race and the team was fined for his unsafe release onto the race track.
After three races, Hamilton leads the standings with 45 points to 43 for Button.BREAKING NEWS: SPEED SPORT is back in print with a new monthly format! Subscribe for just $24.95. Special offer for former subscribers.