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Rosberg finally gets Mercedes GP the trophy!

by Abhishek Nigam Posted on April 16, 2012 15:57 IST 141 Views

Nico Rosberg had a brilliant run from the start to the end at the Chinese GP giving Mercedes the win they were looking for.

Rosberg on top at Shanghai


It was a brilliant pole and Nico Rosberg followed it up with an even better victory. The German led an eventful race from start to finish, initially pulling away from team-mate Michael Schumacher and then resisting pressure from McLaren's Jenson Button to take a comfortable 20-second victory over the Briton, while Lewis Hamilton came through from his penalty-induced seventh on the grid to complete a Mercedes-powered podium. All three drivers made perfect getaways, with Rosberg jumping out into an immediate lead which team-mate Schumacher floundered a little under pressure from row two. Neither Red Bull made the best of starts, with Mark Webber slipping back to ninth and world champion Sebastian Vettel getting excess wheelspin from the inside of row six and finding himself 14th after also experiencing the inevitable consequences of mid-grid rough-and-tumble.


Raikkonen and Hamilton provided a little extra excitement when they pitted together on lap ten, the pair recreating Hamilton's battle in and out of pit-lane with Vettel from a couple of seasons ago. Mercedes, meanwhile, continued to pound around for another lap before Schumacher stopped, and went to lap 13 with Rosberg, although the younger German showed just how much he was struggling by locking up and running wide at turn six before making his stop. While both stops appeared slick, Schumacher's wasn't so, the 43-year old being mistakenly released as his front left changer reached for a replacement wheel gun. As a result he made it only part way around the next lap before being forced to park up.


Schumacher's retirement promoted Button to second place, but the Briton was still close to five seconds behind as the race reached lap 20. McLaren was already showing its intent, with Hamilton up into third, but the supposedly tyre-troubled Mercedes was still showing better performance on the medium Pirelli than its rivals could find in the soft. Button, meanwhile, had been making his fresher medium rubber work better than Rosberg's ageing examples, suddenly closing on the Mercedes by around two seconds a lap.


Vettel, however, was the first of the squabbling group to make a move stick and it triggered a dramatic reversal of fortune for Raikkonen. The German's move left his rival out on the marbles and, without the performance to respond, Raikkonen was quickly gobbled up by those immediately behind the Red Bull. Button slipped through in Vettel's wake, while Hamilton took full advantage of a slip by Webber to not only pass the Australian but also launch his own attack on the Lotus going into the hairpin.


Button finally got the better of Vettel at the hairpin on lap 52 and, in trouble with his tyres, the German again made life simpler for McLaren by allowing Hamilton safe passage two laps later. Only when Webber appeared in his mirrors did the German put up a fight, before the inevitable happened on the penultimate run through the final turn. Behind the two Red Bulls, Grosjean salvaged sixth for Lotus, securing his first race finish of 2012 and initial points in the top flight after a fraught part-season as Alonso's team-mate at Renault in 2009, ahead of Williams twins Senna and Maldonado, Alonso and Kobayashi, whose evasive move to avoid his team-mate was rewarded with the final point of the day.


It’s the two McLaren’s battling at the top three races down with Ferrari close on the heels. However, Rosberg just proved that it could be anyone’s game. Exciting times ahead!

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