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Nico Rosberg leaves chaos behind to comfortably win the Chinese Grand Prix

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Nico Rosberg leaves chaos behind to comfortably win the Chinese Grand Prix
Apr 17, 2016, 9:12 AM

Nico Rosberg scored his sixth Formula 1 victory in succession as he comfortably won the Chinese Grand Prix, but there was an action packed race thr...

Nico Rosberg scored his sixth Formula 1 victory in succession as he comfortably won the Chinese Grand Prix, but there was an action packed race throughout the field behind.

Rosberg lost out to Daniel Ricciardo on the run into Turn 1 shortly before the chaos broke out in the chasing pack.

Chinese Grand Prix 2016

First Sebastian Vettel hit his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen as he jinked away from an attack made by Daniil Kvyat, which the German later called “suicidal”, as they charged through Turn 2. This dropped Vettel down the field and forced Raikkonen wide with a broken front wing.

As the Finn returned to the track at Turn 3, Felipe Nasr was forced to take avoiding action and moved his Sauber into the path of Lewis Hamilton, who had started from the very back of the grid after suffering power unit problems in qualifying, and the resulting contact broke the Mercedes driver’s own front wing.

Lewis Hamilton

Ricciardo and Rosberg had pulled out a three-second gap over Kvyat when the Mercedes driver closed in on the leading Red Bull on lap three.

Rosberg had just taken the lead with ease under DRS on the back straight when Ricciardo suffered a dramatic tyre blow out after picking up a puncture from the debris that littered the circuit.

The safety car was therefore deployed on lap four as a result of the strewn carbon fibre and the field behind Rosberg piled into the pits.

Chinese Grand Prix F1 Safety Car

Vettel overtook two cars at the pitlane entry, which included Nico Hulkenberg who had been going slowly to give Force India time to service his teammate Sergio Perez.

The Ferrari driver fell P15 after the stop as the team changed his front wing, which had been damaged in the incident with Raikkonen.

Hamilton pitted twice under the safety car to use the supersoft and soft tyres and by the time the race restarted on lap nine he had made three pitstops, which included his lap one service for a new front wing.

 Nico Rosberg

Rosberg raced clear at the restart with Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso and Pascal Wehrlein, who had all opted not to pit under the safety car, falling away in his wake.

Kvyat, who had pitted, chased and passed Alonso and then Massa to run second by lap ten, while Vettel, Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Hamilton began to charge back through the pack.

Vettel broke his second front wing when he clashed with Valtteri Bottas at Turn 6 on lap ten, which did not affect either driver, and although the Ferrari’s front left end plate did break apart a few laps later it did not affect his rise third by lap 30.

 Sebastian Vettel

The German driver closed in on Kvyat for second and they pitted together to make their third stops on lap 35. Although the Red Bull maintained second at the pit exit, Vettel caught and passed Kvyat for P2 on the run down the main straight on their out laps.

Rosberg came in for his second stop on lap 36 and ran comfortably to the flag to beat Vettel by a final total of 37 seconds, with Kvyat a further eight seconds back in third.

Chinese Grand Prix 2016 podium

As the Russian claimed the first podium of the season for Red Bull, Vettel angrily confronted Kvyat over the first corner incident before the went onto the rostrum but the 21-year-old responded, “this is racing.”

Ricciardo recovered to claim a third successive fourth place of the season, with Raikkonen fifth in the second Ferrari. The 2007 world champion had used the soft tyres to complete his own resurgence after a long middle stint on the medium tyres.

Felipe Massa

Massa faded to sixth for Williams as he implemented a bold two-stop strategy and gamely held off Hamilton, who ended up making five pitstops on his charge to sixth but he ultimately faded away from the back of the Brazilian.

Just behind Hamilton was Max Verstappen who enjoyed a fresh set of soft tyres to make progress late in the race, with his teammate Carlos Sainz finishing ninth.

Bottas rounded out the top ten in the second Williams, with Sergio Perez, who had run third early on, ending up 11th.

Fernando Alonso

Alonso also fell away from the front and finished 12th, just in front of his McLaren teammate, Jenson Button.

Esteban Gutierrez finally finished a race in 2016 but he could only come home 14th, with Hulkenberg, who received a five-second penalty for his pitlane infraction, ending the race in 15th in the second Force India.

Marcus Ericsson was 16th for Sauber, just ahead of Renault’s Kevin Magnussen and Wehrlein, who finished 18th for Manor.

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean could not make it three points finishes in a row for Haas F1 as the Frenchman also broke his front wing in the first corner melee and then described his car as “undriveable” on his way to 19th.

Nasr was 20th in the second Sauber, with Rio Haryanto 21st in the second Manor. Jolyon Palmer finished 22nd and last for Renault, which meant there were no retirements throughout the duration of the 56-lap race.

Jolyon Palmer

Chinese Grand Prix results:

Pos

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1h38m53.891s

2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +37.776s

3 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull +45.936s

4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull +52.688s

5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +1m05.872s

6 Felipe Massa Williams +1m15.511s

7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +1m18.230s

8 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso +1m19.268s

9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso +1m24.127s

10 Valtteri Bottas Williams +1m26.192s

11 Sergio Perez Force India +1m34.283s

12 Fernando Alonso McLaren +1m37.253s

13 Jenson Button McLaren +1m41.990s

14 Esteban Gutierrez Haas F1 +1 Lap

15 Nico Hulkenberg Force India +1 Lap

16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber +1 Lap

17 Kevin Magnussen Renault +1 Lap

18 Pascal Wehrlein Manor +1 Lap

19 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 +1 Lap

20 Felipe Nasr Sauber +1 Lap

21 Rio Haryanto Manor +1 Lap

22 Jolyon Palmer Renault +1 Lap

What did you make of the Chinese Grand Prix? Could you pick a standout moment or driver from the chaos? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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