Nico Rosberg has won another dramatic race to extend his championship lead over team-mate Lewis Hamilton at the Chinese Grand Prix. The German lost out in the early stages but fought back to the front and conformity getting ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat.
Daniel Ricciardo had at one point lead the race in the early on after jumping Rosberg at the start as Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen collided on the opening lap which dropped him down the field. The contact between the two Ferraris’s caused Hamilton to take avoiding action when he hit the Sauber of Felipe Nasr.
Vettel blamed his collision on the fast start of Kvyat. The German and the Russian would later meet when Vettel was fighting back later in the race. Kvyat finished third ahead of Riccardo who may have been on the podium if he didn’t suffer a puncher when he was leading.
Vettel had also dropped down the field following the collision which left Raikkonen at the back. He apologised over team radio saying “Massive apologies to the team. But surely I didn’t do it on purpose.”
Adding “I’m really sorry for Kimi. There was nothing I could do, Kvyat came like a torpedo and I had to react.”
Hamilton made a good recovery after starting last and despite contact early on to finish seventh. During the race the Englishman made five pit stops three in the first six laps when he got his supersoft snit out the way before fight back. He says his progress had been affected by damage to the car in the incident with Nasr.
“The car was pretty damaged. I’m sure it was some aero components but I think it was the suspension as well because it was flexing all over the place.” He told BBC News.
There were other accidents too early on as Haas’s Romain Grosjean had contact with the other Sauber of Marcus Ericcson. With all the drama across the field it was inevitable that the safety car would come out. this left Rosberg leading.
Behind Rosberg were the non-stoppers of Williams’ Felipe Massa, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein.