Nico Rosberg, started his 111 Grand Prix race with his first ever pole position, the first for Mercedes Silver Arrow F1 racing. This truly was a race. Few expected the Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher to maintain their qualifying advantage for the duration of the Chinese Grand Prix, but Rosberg seized the lead at the start and was never threatened thereafter. He went on to take a comfortable victory, 20.6sec clear of his rivals: it was his maiden Formula One success and the first for a Mercedes chassis since Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1955 Italian Grand Prix, at Monza.
Kimi Raikkonen was left lamenting his strategy in the Chinese Grand Prix after dropping down to 14th position in the end, having run as high as second place in the last third of the race.
The Finn opted to stop just twice in the race, and the decision seemed to be working until his tyre performance dropped away completely in the final laps.
Raikkonen was fighting for a podium position, but lost several places and eventually finished 50 seconds behind race winner Nico Rosberg. Aftewards, the Lotus driver admitted the strategy had simply not worked.
“We tried to run two stops as it looked to be the fastest strategy and up until the last ten laps it was looking good, but we ran out of tyre performance at the end,” said Raikkonen.
“The tires lasted as many laps as we were hoping for so it all just went to plan,” he said.
The German also benefited from a sloppy pit stop by Button at the end of lap 39 when the Briton lost several crucial seconds and came out of the pit behind a pack of drivers.