Qualifying for the 2012 F1 Grand Prix in China left a very off looking grid. Rosberg is on pole, Schumacher is alongside with a Sauber and Lotus behind and the first of the ‘Big Boys’ – Button in the McLaren and Webber in the Red Bull – pushed down to row three. Which should mean some action in Shanghai. And it did.
But for the Mercedes of Rosberg and Schumacher it seemed a walk in the park. Rosberg pulled out a four second lead on Schumacher in the opening laps, but Schumacher’s first pit stop saw a front wheel cock-up and the end of his challenge.
But Rosberg had no such problems and the Mercedes team executed two perfect pit stops to give Rosberg his first win, the first win by the modern Mercedes F1 team (and the first win by Mercedes since 1955) and the first new winner in F1 for three years.
Behind the Mercedes it was Button who offered the biggest challenge. Quickly in to third place he was pushing Rosberg until the last stages of the race when Rosberg’s speed and a slow pit stop for Button put paid to any challenge for the win by the McLaren.
Vettel did well to come from 11th on the grid to challenging for a podium but, just like Raikkonen in the Lotus, worn out tyres at the end of the race cost him dear and he ended in fifth, overtaken by Button after his poor pit stop and in the closing stages by Hamilton and Webber.
An action packed Shanghai Grand Prix for all but Rosberg whose dominance meant he was in clear air for most of the race. But there were plenty of overtakes with such a mixed up grid. Sauber did well, as did Lotus – even if Raikkonen’s worn out tyres saw him drop from second to 14th in the closing stages – and the Williams of Senna and Maldonado came in 6th and 7th, ahead of Alonso’s Ferrari and Kobayashi’s Sauber.
Now it’s off to (probably) Bahrain.
Chinese Grand Prix 2012 Results
- Nico Rosberg | Mercedes
- Jenson Button | McLaren
- Lewis Hamilton | McLaren
- Mark Webber | Red Bull
- Sebastian Vettel | Red Bull
- Romain Grosjean | Lotus
- Bruno Senna | Williams
- Pastor Maldonado | Williams
- Fernando Alonso | Ferrari
- Kamui Kobayashi | Sauber