Nico Rosberg wins again in wild Chinese Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg continued his perfect start to the 2016 Formula 1 season with his second Chinese Grand Prix victory to open up a 36-point cushion over Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton

Nico Rosberg wins again in wild Chinese Grand Prix

For his third win of a so far dominant campaign, Rosberg finished 37.7 seconds ahead of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, with Daniil Kvyat on the podium in his Red Bull for the second time in his F1 career.

As for Hamilton, from the back of the grid after a MGU-H failure during the first qualifying session and subsequent power unit change overnight, the reigning champion could do no better than seventh.

But that's only half the story of what was a chaotic race.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo took the lead into Turn 1 after beating polesitter Rosberg off the line from his own front-row position.

Behind the lead duo, Kimi Raikkonen locked up marginally at the first corner, forcing Ferrari team-mate Vettel to make a slightly evasive move.

But with Kvyat charging up the inside, Vettel manoeuvred his way back into his team-mate, sending the Finn off the track and into the pits for repairs.

Vettel fumed over the radio, describing Kvyat as "a madman" who had made a "suicidal" move and arguing with him after the race.

Hamilton had made up five places into Turn 1, but after running over a piece of Raikkonen's wing, the Briton was then hit by Felipe Nasr and ended up with his own front wing lodged under his Mercedes.

That caused damage to the bib and leading edge of the floor, resulting in a loss of downforce and hampering Hamilton's recovery.

Leader Ricciardo's hopes were blown on lap three when, powering down the back straight and with Rosberg in tow, he sustained a puncture to his left-rear tyre caused by debris on the track.

Shredded rubber on that part of the circuit prompted a safety car, and brought Raikkonen and Hamilton back into contention at the rear of the pack.

During the five laps the safety car was on track, Hamilton made two stops for tyres, taking on super-softs for one lap, and then back to another set of softs, the compound on which he had started, giving him free choice of rubber for the rest of the race.

Once the safety car was released, behind leader Rosberg a number of key players were out of position, with Vettel 15th, Ricciardo 17th, Raikkonen 19th and Hamilton 21st.

What followed was a stroll for Rosberg, while those behind attempted to work out the best strategy and tyres for any given part of the race, with positions changing constantly from second downwards.

Kvyat ran second to Rosberg for much of the race, with Vettel using a brief hard-charging stint on super-softs to make progress through the traffic and catch him again.

They swapped places immediately after the final stops, where Ferrari put Vettel on softs and he was able to quickly pounce on the medium-shod Red Bull.

At one stage prior to his fourth stop after 21 laps Hamilton was running third as others pitted, but two further stops followed - for a total of five - dropping him down the order on both occasions.

He came back through to push Felipe Massa's Williams for fourth, but was eventually passed by a flying Ricciardo and Raikkonen.

Ricciardo ultimately claimed fourth for the third successive race, with Raikkonen fifth, followed by Massa, Hamilton, Toro Rosso pair Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr, with Valtteri Bottas completing the top 10.

Despite the numerous incidents, all 22 cars completed the race, with Jolyon Palmer for Renault the last of those to see the chequered flag.

RESULTS - 56 LAPS:

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1h38m53.891s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 37.776s
3 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 45.936s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 52.688s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m05.872s
6 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m15.511s
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m18.230s
8 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m19.268s
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m24.127s
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m26.192s
11 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m34.283s
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m37.253s
13 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m41.990s
14 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
15 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1 Lap
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
17 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1 Lap
18 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1 Lap
19 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1 Lap
20 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1 Lap
21 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1 Lap
22 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1 Lap

DRIVERS' CHAMPIONSHIP

Pos Driver Points
1 Nico Rosberg 75
2 Lewis Hamilton 39
3 Daniel Ricciardo 36
4 Sebastian Vettel 33
5 Kimi Raikkonen 28
6 Felipe Massa 22
7 Daniil Kvyat 21
8 Romain Grosjean 18
9 Max Verstappen 13
10 Valtteri Bottas 7
11 Nico Hulkenberg 6
12 Carlos Sainz Jr. 4
13 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
14 Kevin Magnussen 0
15 Sergio Perez 0
16 Jolyon Palmer 0
17 Marcus Ericsson 0
18 Fernando Alonso 0
19 Jenson Button 0
20 Pascal Wehrlein 0
21 Felipe Nasr 0
22 Esteban Gutierrez 0
23 Rio Haryanto 0

CONSTRUCTORS' CHAMPIONSHIP

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 114
2 Ferrari 61
3 Red Bull/Renault 57
4 Williams/Mercedes 29
5 Haas/Ferrari 18
6 Toro Rosso/Ferrari 17
7 Force India/Mercedes 6
8 McLaren/Honda 1
9 Renault 0
10 Sauber/Ferrari 0
11 Manor/Mercedes 0


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