15/04/12 - 08:00
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Chinese Grand Prix
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Shanghai International Circuit • Race
avant-match

Race

Follow the Chinese Grand Prix live with Eurosport. The race starts at 08:00 on 15 April 2012. Find race results, standings, stats, scores and track info. Keep up with the top F1 drivers and teams including Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing).
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And we'll be back next week when Formula One heads to Bahrain. Every session live, from Friday. Join us then.

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A terrific win for Mercedes. Is this the moment they became championship contenders? Chat about the race with me on Twitter @Mark_Eurosport

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The rest of the racers from 12th - Di Resta, Massa, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Vergne, Ricciardo, Petrov, Glock, Pic, de la Rosa, Karthikeyan, Kovalainen, Schumacher (DNF)

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Kobayashi takes the final points position in 10th, one above his team-mate Perez.

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Alonso was championship leader going into this race but can only pick up ninth place today.

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Senna and Maldonado seventh and eighth - Williams will be delighted with that.

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Sixth for Grosjean - his first points of the year.

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Webber fourth, Vettel fifth - Red Bull salvage their weekend.

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Button second, Hamilton third. Still the strongest team at present?

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First win for Rosberg, first win for Mercedes. A terrific result.

56/56

NICO ROSBERG WINS THE CHINESE GRAND PRIX!

56/56 

Terrific stuff behind, but the smoothest of drives at the front - Nico Rosberg his heading for his first GP win at the 111th attempt.

55/56

Webber gets around the outside of Vettel at the same hairpin, and Vettel had nothing to fight back with.

55/56 

Vettel slipstreams Hamilton down the home straight, and Webber follows them both - but in the end, despite all three drivers running very, very close indeed, no positions change hands.

54/56

HAMILTON PASSES VETTEL! Turn 14 is where he finally gets by, but Vettel not giving up without a fight...

54/56 

Alonso still scrapping, however - a fascinating sequence of corners to try and find a way past Maldonado for eighth - but hasn't managed it.

54/56 

But Hamilton is closing on Vettel once again, and any mistake on those ageing tyres could cost Vettel his podium place. Remarkable drive nonetheless.

53/56 

A little lock-up from Hamilton - that relieves the pressure on Vettel further, while giving Webber just a little bit of hope.

53/56 

Hamilton about 1.5s behind Vettel here - still has to close that gap before he gan make that extra grip count.

52/56 

Button more than 20 seconds down on Rosberg, so short of the German making a mistake or a technical problem, he cannot catch him. There is still plenty to fight for elsewhere in the field.

51/56

BUTTON SECOND! The Brit catches out his man at the hairpin at turn 14 - his extra grip proves the difference at last. Can Hamilton follow him?

51/56 

Top 10 as it stands: Rosberg, Vettel, Button, Hamilton, Webber, Grosjean, Senna, Maldonado, Alonso, Kobayashi

51/56 

Raikkonen's tyres are three laps older than Vettel's too. Button closing on the German for second place. Any hopes of first surely gone, but second would provide valuable points.

50/56 

There's a warning for Vettel here, however - he was the one who pounced first to get ahead of Raikkonen - but the drop-off on those tyres was spectacular. Vettel's are 20 laps old.

50/56 

Raikkonen drops to 12th now - passed by the Williams and the Saubers. Raikkonen's race is effectively over. Pitting now is too late.

49/56 

That's a huge shakedown in the positions, but you sensed something had to give. In the end it was Raikkonen, who now slips behind his team-mate into seventh.

49/56

Super move from Hamilton at the hairpin to get ahead of Raikkonen - and Webber follows! The grip gone from Raikkonen's car, and he's in trouble now.

48/56

And Webber runs wide too! Hamilton ahead of him and right on the back of Raikkonen!

48/56

Vettel has a shy at Raikkonen - and he's through! And Raikkonen runs wide, letting Button through!

48/56 

Webber about half a second behind Button, and half a second ahead of Hamilton. There's going to be late drama here.

47/56 

Vettel hasn't pitted since lap 31. It's a remarkable effort and an enterprising strategy given his wobbly start.

47/56 

Rosberg round on a new lap - and Button still held up behind Raikkonen and Vettel. Button has the newer tyres, but he's not finding a way past.

46/56

And Alonso, wily as ever, takes advantage of that scrap to nip back past Perez and into the points once more.

46/56 

Now Grosjean in an almighty battle with Grosjean, Maldonado and Perez! Tremendous racing - three cars beside each other on the long straight.

45/56

DRAMA! Webber passes Grosjean, the Frenchman fights back, but runs wide having got back in front!

45/56 

Michael Schumacher watching nervously in the pit lane - he'd be delighted by a Mercedes triumph, even if he's not the one who seals it.

44/56 

It couldn't look more simple for Rosberg at the moment - he's so far clear of the train of cars fighting for second. Mercedes have had a slice of luck and are capitalising.

44/56 

Hamilton up to seventh place - Alonso slides trying to pull off a pass and slips into 11th after a brief run on the asphalt!

43/56

Hamilton past Maldonado on the last lap, Senna on this - Alonso looking to keep with him but the Ferrari not as quick as the McLaren.

43/56 

A remarkable queue from Raikkonen in second down to Alonso in ninth. Only about five seconds separate them.

42/56 

Massa has come into the pits - now Raikkonen in second and Vettel third. Both are vulnerable, but fighting their own battles.

42/56 

'Look after the tyres', Rosberg told. He's got this under control, and he needs something in reserve if Button can make a late surge.

41/56 

Button will be praying that Massa makes his second stop soon - he must be due to do so at any moment.

41/56 

Webber's engineers tell him that Button is now a realistic target. That shows the power of the pit stop. Mercedes will be loving this - they are now the heavy favourites to wrap up a first victory.

40/56

Button has gained a place and get ahead of Grosjean, but he's into the middle of a mucky battle behind Massa for second.

40/56 

That might just be the end of his race for the win. He's come back out in sixth, and while others ahead have to stop, Button's lost precious seconds.

40/56

DISASTER FOR BUTTON! His right rear wheel didn't get switched cleanly - he lost precious seconds and has re-emerged behind Grosjean!

39/56 

Sure enough, Button pits.

39/56 

Button sent a bullish message to get three or four more laps out of the tyre, but he's losing time to Rosberg all the while here.

39/56 

Hamilton and Alonso go into the pits together - a pressure stop for both teams, but McLaren do enough to keep their man ahead. Hamilton rejoins in 10th place.

38/56 

Button will have fresh rubber, but if he's going to win this race, he'll need to pass Rosberg on his final stint.

38/56 

Button's not pulling out any time on Rosberg now - in fact, Rosberg just beginning to drag the lead back - down to eight seconds.

37/56 

And Webber has had a big wobble running over the kerb, replays show. The front of the car lifted clean off the ground and it won't have done the Red Bull much good.

37/56 

Webber has dropped to 12th after his latest tyre change - he'll need to 21 laps on the hard tyres to bring the Red Bull home.

36/56 

Fastest lap of the race - a 1:40.5 - comes from Maldonado. Meanwhiel a queue of cars beginning to build behind Massa in 6th.

36/56 

Perez finally comes in after yet another lock-up on his tyres. Alonso now hot on the heels of Hamilton, Webber has pitted. What can Hamilton do now?

35/56 

So the situation is this - Button leads, Rosberg second. Both have made two stops, but only Button is likely to puit again. If that's the strategy, Button'll need to extend his 9.6 second lead by more than 10 seconds to pit and get out ahead of the German.

35/56 

Rosberg pits! And he gets out ahead of the battle between Perez and Hamilton! Is that enough?

34/56 

Perez locks the wheels twice in two corners, then a third time - but still Hamilton struggling to find a way around him!

34/56 

Fastest lap of the race from Seb Vettel! He's picked up his pace although he's no tin the top 10 at present. Webber also close on the back of Hamilton, who's looking for a way around Hamilton.

34/56 

'We are in this to win' says Button's engineer. They think they might have got this one. The gap to Rosberg now just 12 seconds.

33/56

Button fires in another fastest lap of the race - 1:40.908, and that includes passing Grosjean for second place.

33/56 

Hamilton is right on the back of Perez in fourth place, and he's beginning to scythe through the traffic at some pace as well. No doubt about it - the McLarens are the quickest cars on the track at present.

32/56 

Schumacher still the only retirement of the race so far - he was magnanimous when interviewed afterwards, refusing to blame the mechanic error for costing him, and insisting that Mercedes win and lose as a team.

31/56 

The gap between Rosberg and Button is 19 seconds. If Rosberg is on a three-stop strategy, he will not have time to stay in front of the McLaren. Has he opted for two stops instead?

31/56

Sure enough Button coasts past Vettel and takes third place. Alonso has got ahead of Massa and then crunches his way past Di Resta to go ninth.

30/56 

Team orders for Massa: 'You're on different strategies, let the other car through' - Alonso will go past, but on this occasion Massa did not have the pace or the true track position to fight his team-mate.

30/56 

Rosberg stays out another lap as Button takes aim at Vettel. With DRS on the long straight he will surely make it past the world champion and return to the top three.

29/56 

'The cars in front are on much older tyres, Jenson - they're all there for the taking' - McLaren sounding bullish. Raikkonen has pitted and rejoined in 13th.

29/56 

Mercedes have to get Rosberg in pretty soon - at this rate Button might just get the jump on the German as he hits the pits.

29/56

Halfway through the race - how do you see it panning out? Get in touch on Twitter @Mark_Eurosport

28/56 

Button arrowing in on Perez now. Perhaps the medium tyre is responding better than people predicted.

28/56 

Midway through the race and Alonso heads for the pits from P3 - he emerges behind Massa, who has only stopped once.

27/56

Button storms past Senna, and Webber gets around Massa! The McLarens are looking very good on the medium tyres here.

26/56 

Drivers pitting and the true positions of the racers not quite clear - but the top 10 for now: Rosberg, Raikkonen, Alonso, Grosjean, Vettel, Perez, Senna, Kobayashi, Button, Maldonado

25/56

Hamilton through! And without incident! He clearly had the faster car, but that will be a moment of relief for the Englishman. Webber will be next to take on Massa.

25/56 

Massa and Hamilton are very very close here.

24/56

Button not to be denied on the long straight, and leapfrogs Maldonado. Hamilton tries something similar on Massa but doesn't have the speed.

24/56 

Button immediately takes on Maldonado but the Venezuelan is fighting for the position and defends resulotely!

24/56 

Button comes in, and like Hamilton he switches to the medium tyres. He feeds into 10th position - that's not a bad result given that Hamilton is three track positions further down for now.

24/56 

Rosberg's lead over Button holding steady at around four seconds. Raikkonen has a chance to pick up the pace from third, but he's around five seconds further behind.

23/56 

Hamilton re-emerges above Webber - that was crucial not to lose an on-track place. He's behind Massa, however. Will the duo keep out of each other's way?

23/56 

After a rocky period for Vettel, things are finally beginning to look up. He's been promoted to seventh after Hamilton's stop and gaining on Grosjean in front, but will need to stop soon.

23/56 

McLaren stop again - it's Hamilton from third!

22/56 

If you like your tyre strategies, this is the race for you. There is no one way to go - and every team mixing up the compound and the timing of their stops.

22/56 

Webber comes in for a second stop, not even halfway through the race. He switches over to the medium compound tyre this time, and drops to 14th.

21/56 

Alonso has had another quietly effective race. He's dragged the Ferrari up to sixth place.

21/56

Not a good afternoon for Force India so far - Di Resta passed by Maldonado for 12th - Hulkenberg further down in 16th.

20/56 

Rosberg is just edging out further away from Button - on the medium tyres against the soft tyres of the McLaren he is still gaining ground.

19/56 

Current top 10: Rosberg, Button, Hamilton, Webber, Raikkonen, Alonso, Kobayashi, Grosjean, Vettel, Perez

19/56 

So now the real leaders of this race are in their rightful position at the front of the field.

19/56 

Here comes Massa from the dizzy heights of leading a race. His pit stop sees him drop to 14th.

18/56 

Button is 4 seconds adrift of Rosberg, Hamilton a further 1.8 seconds back.

17/56 

Perez emerges ahead of Vettel and into 10th place. That's now behind Kobayashi once more.

16/56 

Perez locks the tyres - and quite unsurprisingly is coming in for a stop. Those tyres look pretty worn. Over to mediums for Perez.

15/56 

Replays of the Schumacher stop - the mechanic on the rear right wheel didn't want Schumacher released - clearly something went badly wrong there. Schumacher looked capable of challenging for a podium, but it's not to be.

15/56 

The top 10: Perez*, Massa*, Rosberg, Button, Hamilton, Webber, Raikkonen, Alonso, Kobayashi, Grosjean - *not stopped yet.

14/56 

Perez is the current race leader - he has yet to stop, however. But is he going for a typical longer run on these tyres?

14/56 

Rosberg has pitted meanwhile and retains the lead. Mechanics looking very frustrated in the Mercedes garage - did something go wrong in the pit stop for Schumacher?

13/56 

FROM BAD TO WORSE! SCHUMACHER PULLS OFF! His race is over - he's saying something about a problem with his rear tyres to his engineers.

13/56 

Disappointment for Schumacher - he lost out not to just the one McLaren, but both of them in that stop.

13/56

Schumacher stops - and it's not good news! He's behind Hamilton!

12/56 

Some better news for Vettel - he's set the fastest lap of the race so far - a 1:42.732.

12/56 

Button has pitted and stayed on option soft tyres (albeit a new set) - he's ahead of Hamilton still.

11/56

Remarkable - Raikkonen tries to skirt around Webber around the hairpin - how they fail to collide I have no idea. Somehow everyone gets around. Hamilton rejoins in 12th, Webber 13th, Raikkonen 14th.

11/56 

THRILLING! Raikkonen and Hamilton go wheel-to-wheel in the pit lane but Lewis got out just in front and held the position. They join up at the same point as Webber!

11/56

Raikkonen and Hamilton both head for the pits right beside each other - Hamilton gets ahead of him!

11/56 

Looks like plenty of the drivers will be opting for three stop strategies today - a Force India heads in for a change of tyres. The leaders still staying out in front, however.

10/56 

Kobayashi heads for the pits, followed by Vettel in the Red Bull. The German rejoins in 20th, splitting the Marussias.

9/56 

Sauber are also preparing for a stop. They've typically managed their tyres better than their rivals, so this is an interesting tactical move for either Perez or Kobayashi.

9/56 

Rosberg has led this race for the last three years - it's a track he certainly enjoys, and he's making it count.

8/56 

The German has pulled out a four-second lead over Schumacher now. Button holding pace with the man in second.

8/56 

No sign of this drop-off from the Mercedes tyres as yet - Rosberg driving a consummate race so far.

7/56 

Webber into the pits early - that's a bold move, but it means he gets on to the quicker tyres earlier. He rejoins in 21st.

6/56 

Red Bull were never the quickest in terms of sheer pace, even last year, when downforce in corners was what gave them their advantage - but they seem to be paying for it this year.

6/56 

"I'm nowhere on the straights" says Vettel - that's a bad sign for his overtaking prospects...

5/56 

Schumacher just starting to keep pace with his team-mate - the gap holding steady at around two seconds.

5/56 

Button encouraged to make the most of DRS and start pulling away from Raikkonen in fourth. But actually the Lotus is closer to Button than Hamilton in fifth is to Raikkonen.

4/56 

Vettel has gained a place and is now 14th, but he's having a very unhappy time of it so far.

4/56 

Senna told that his 'front wing looks OK' over the radio. He may have clipped Massa, but both men have gained places and are running well.

3/56 

Schumacher pulling neatly away from Button now, a good second clear of the Brit. Will those tyres fall away like they did in Australia and Malaysia?

3/56 

Top 10 as it stands: Rosberg, Schumacher, Button, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Perez, Kobayashi, Alonso, Webber, Massa

2/56

And Senna did himself some damage at the start - rumours show he clipped the back of Felipe Massa's Ferrari as he charged off the grid.

2/56 

Schumacher has held second, but Button is close behind him. McLaren have undone some of the damage done in qualifying already.

2/56 

Plenty of drama behind us on the track, but not at the front - Rosberg supreme, opening up a seven-tenths of a second advantage over Schumacher on the first lap.

1/56 

Disaster for Vettel - he's gone backwards from 11th and is now 15th!

1/56 

Both McLarens have gained two places - Perez has leapt past his team-mate and now sits sixth.

1/56 

Great start for Button- he jumps up to third - Raikkonen holds his place and Kobayashi has lost ground!

1/56 

Super start from Rosberg - he coasts clear of Schumacher into turn one!

1/56

AND IT'S GO!

08:02 

The formation lap begins. This race is scheduled for 56 laps. There's going to be plenty of chances for overtaking, and we're set for a fascinating start to this one.

08:00 

The formation lap just about to begin - you've got a couple of minutes to quickly refresh your knowledge of the Shanghai International Circuit with our race guide.

07:55

Who do you think will win? Tweet your thoughts and predictions to me @Mark_Eurosport

07:50 

This is set to be one of the most open races in some time. Mercedes have pace but are questionable on race day. McLaren are stronger on race day but further back. The Saubers are surprisingly strong, and that's before we've even discussed the current championship leader Fernando Alonso...

07:45

WEATHER: It's bright and 20C in Shanghai. Looks set to be dry for the duration of the race.

07:40 

Vettel was downbeat after finishing just 11th in qualifying, but he does have freedom with his tyres which could see him make some progress up the field.

07:35 

Nico Rosberg is on pole position for the first time in his career after a barnstorming lap in qualifying.

07:30 

Good morning and welcome to live text commentary of the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai!