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Race highlights - China 2014 - Relive the action in Shanghai as Ferrari fight for a podium

Published by Christine

Vettel leads Alonso after a the pair had great start in China
Credit: Thompson/Getty

The Chinese Grand Prix was never going to deliver the same as Bahrain did, but after a wet qualifying, race day dawned dry and overcast. Mercedes had the upper hand, as they have done so far this season, but there were battles up and down the field to keep us entertained as the laps unfolded.

Ferrari appeared to have a bit more pace about them, whilst a couple of first lap crashes had knock-on effects throughout the race. Just two retirements, some great reliability otherwise, and the race was complete. If you missed any of the action or want a quick reminder of what went down on a particular lap, this handy Factbyte Factbox reply should be just the ticket.

As it happened: China 2014 - The race

  • 07:30

    Hello friends, race day is upon us and there's just half an hour to go until the Grand Prix actually begins.

  • 07:30

    There were no real penalties following qualifying yesterday, so the starting grid as just as you last saw it on Saturday.

  • 07:31

    The only difference is that Pastor Maldonado was given permission by the stewards to start the race, despite not turning a wheel in qualifying. He has a five place grid penalty but that doesn't affect him all the way at the back of the grid.

  • 07:32

    The pit lane is open and cars are starting to leave the garage and head towards the grid. It's sunny today, compared to yesterday's damp and drizzle. Still quite grey overhead but there's sun up there somewhere.

  • 07:33
    Circuit Data
    Shanghai International Circuit
    Local timezone+08:00 GMT
    First race2004
    Number of laps56
    Circuit length5.451km
    Race distance305.066km
    Start offset0.190km
  • 07:35
    Factbyte Factbox image

    The tyres on offer this weekend are medium (white sidewalls) and soft (yellow sidewalls). All drivers can choose what tyres they start on, as it was a wet qualifying yesterday where only the intermediates and full wets were used.

  • 07:38

    TweetTweet from @MercedesAMGF1: Cars heading to the grid now, boys poised ready to greet them, engineers wired in, tweeters tweeting. We're nearly ready!!

  • 07:39
    2014 Race Wins
    1L Hamilton2
    2N Rosberg1
  • 07:40

    Lewis Hamilton sits on pole position, with Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel behind him. Pressure from two Red Bulls might be hard on Hamilton into the first corner!

  • 07:41
    Starting Grid
    1L HamiltonMercedes
    2D RicciardoRed Bull
    3S VettelRed Bull
    4N RosbergMercedes
    5F AlonsoFerrari
    6F MassaWilliams
    7V BottasWilliams
    8N HülkenbergForce India
    9JE VergneToro Rosso
    10R GrosjeanLotus
  • 07:42

    Lotus have had mixed fortunes so far. Whilst Maldonado's struggles saw him at the back of the grid, Romain Grosjean managed to get into Q3 for the first time this season. For a brief moment he was ninth, but eventually had to settle for tenth.

  • 07:42

    The Shanghai circuit isn't too hard on braking, with the focus on aerodynamics for most of the track, and straight up power on that back straight. However, at the end of that same straight, there's a huge braking area, and potential overtaking opportunity.

    Braking Analysis
    Turn 14 - end of the long back straight
    (forecast data from Brembo)
    Initial speed320km/h
    Final speed58km/h
    Stopping distance139m
    Braking time2.84s
    Maximum deceleration4.77g
    Maximum pedal load139kg
    Braking power1852kw
  • 07:43

    QuoteSebastian Vettel, on the grid: "The track is dry, a proper reset. We start where we started on Friday morning. Hopefully from the first stint onwards we’ll be on the right pace."

  • 07:46

    Last year, Hamilton was on pole position in China, only for the race to be won by Sebastian Vettel himself. Vettel may be hoping that comes to pass again this year, but Hamilton is looking for his third race victory in a row, something he has yet to achieve in Formula One.

  • 07:46

    Because it's all new for this year, this data may not be as accurate as in previous years. It's based on software simulations, but they're pretty good, so I trust it.

    Lap Data
    (data from Williams F1)
    Fuel consumption1.7kg
    Fuel lap time penalty0.3s/10kg
    Full throttle56%
    Top speed324.2kph
    Average speed192.2kph
    Longest straight1,397m
    Pit lane loss24s
    Pit lane length420m
  • 07:52

    Daniel Ricciardo looks half pumped, half nervous. He's sitting up against the pit wall, by himself, foot tapping while he waits to get in the car.

  • 07:54

    Marco Mattiacci is hovering in the Ferrari garage, it's his first weekend as the new team principal so I expect there's a few nerves floating around. Not that you could blame anything on him at this early stage, he only got the call a few days before the race!

  • 07:57

    Weather icon

    Wind speed3.1mps
  • 07:59

    The grandstands lining the starting grid are absolutely packed with fans, flags waving and a sea of colour. Lovely stuff.

  • 07:59

    Tyre blankets are coming off as the grid starts to clear for the formation lap.

  • 08:00

    Kevin Magnussen is the only driver to start on the medium compounds, everyone else opting for the yellow sidewalls for this first stint.

  • 08:01

    The formation lap begins, drivers pulling away from the grid and weaving their way down to the first corner.

  • 08:01

    Rosberg radio reveals they're struggling with telemetry from his car. That's the second day in a row that happened, as they also complained of this during qualifying.

  • 08:03

    Hamilton slows the cars down massively on the grid, they're practically at a standstill, with the two Red Bulls stopped behind him.

  • 08:04

    The last of the backmarkers slide into position, Pastor Maldonado filing into that final grid slot.

  • 08:04

    Green flagRace started.

  • 08:04 Lap 1

    Felipe Massa has an incredible start again, but tapped Alonso on his way forward. There was no space for his speedy start.

  • 08:05 Lap 1

    Hamilton swept into the lead, as Alonso got ahead of Ricciardo and is now hustling Vettel for second. Poor start for Daniel.

  • 08:06 Lap 2

    Magnussen had a slow start and has lost out to Gutiérrez, he's down in 16th place now. Button isn't too far ahead, sitting 14th ahead of the Sauber.

  • 08:07 Lap 2

    Adrian Sutil has dropped down to the rear of the field, running 22nd. Maldonado has jumped past three of the backmarkers, with just Kobayashi still to pass.

  • 08:08 Lap 3

    Team radioTeam radio to Magnussen: "It feels like there's damage on the front wing or something."

  • 08:10 Lap 4

    TweetTweet from @InsideFerrari: At the start there was a contact between ALO and MAS, It seemed a racing incident.

  • 08:11 Lap 4

    Bottas had a bad start, dropping several places. He's now trying to regain the lost positions, passing Grosjean for 8th place. Hülkenberg ahead gets a radio warning that there's a charging Williams on the way.

  • 08:12 Lap 5

    Replays of the start show Rosberg's front left collected the right rear of Bottas' Williams, sending Valtteri almost off line, explaining his dropped positions.

  • 08:13 Lap 6

    We've also seen Massa's surge forward was curtailed by a Red Bull slowing into the first corner. He dived to the left, wildly, and bounced off Alonso's tyre. Fernando barely blinked at the intrusion and continued forward to take third.

  • 08:14 Lap 6
    Driver Positions
    10L Hamilton
    21S Vettel
    32F Alonso
    4-2D Ricciardo
    5-1N Rosberg
    60F Massa
    71N Hülkenberg
    8-1V Bottas
    91R Grosjean
    101K Räikkönen
  • 08:15 Lap 7

    Adrian Sutil had problems with the power unit, explaining why he dropped all the way to the rear of the field. Now, he's coming in to the pit lane, race over for the Sauber driver.

  • 08:15 Lap 7

    That makes Sutil's third DNF in a row. Sauber will be pinning their hopes on Gutiérrez, else they won't have had a car see the chequered flag since Australia.

  • 08:16 Lap 7

    Hamilton has no problems with his tyres at the moment, whilst Alonso is complaining of front left graining.

  • 08:16 Lap 7

    The Mercedes has already pulled out a 7 second lead on second place Vettel.

  • 08:17 Lap 8

    Jenson Button is called in to the pit lane for his first stop of the day. He dives in for a change to medium tyres, and rejoins at the rear of the field. That's an early stop for McLaren.

  • 08:18 Lap 8

    Bottas is informed over the radio that the team don't have telemetry for him. Two cars down, twenty to go!

  • 08:18 Lap 9

    TweetTweet from @OfficialSF1Team: #SuperSutil is not giving up. We are trying to get the car back on track.

  • 08:19 Lap 9

    Vettel complains of graining on his tyres, but is told they can't come in yet, the gaps don't align.

  • 08:19 Lap 9

    They may be trying to get the car ready, but Sutil has given up. He's out of the car, helmet and gloves off, baseball cap on.

  • 08:20 Lap 10

    Romain Grosjean comes in for his first stop of the day, a speedy Lotus stop to put the medium tyres on.

  • 08:20 Lap 10
    Early Button pitstop
    Credit: McLarenF1/Twitter

    @McLarenF1: First stop for @JensonButton - Options to Primes.

  • 08:22 Lap 11
    Gap Analysis
  • 08:23 Lap 11

    Massa comes in for a pit stop, and it's massively long. The right tyres were wrong, possibly soft compounds at the rear rather than mediums. The car is smoking as it sits, waiting.

  • 08:24 Lap 12

    Massa does manage to get underway again, but that was a hugely long stop due to the wrong tyres, but also trouble actually getting the new wheels attached. Could have been damage from his Alonso-bouncing incident earlier.

  • 08:24 Lap 12

    More drivers are filing in and out of the pit lane, in a slightly quicker fashion. Räikkönen and Alonso have both stopped, Hülkenberg, Button and Pérez.

  • 08:26 Lap 13

    Massa is, quite understandably, right at the rear of the field. His last lap was 2:56, didn't catch the length of that tricksy stop but with most laps less than 2mins, it was a costly error in the pit lane.

  • 08:26 Lap 13

    Alonso stopped a lap earlier than Vettel, who has taken his own stop now, and the Ferrari has managed to jump ahead of the Red Bull for this second stint.

  • 08:27 Lap 14

    Vettel is within a second of Alonso, so could be challenging him any second now. Behind, Kvyat is following the battle, perhaps hoping to capitalise on any opportunity coming his way.

  • 08:28 Lap 14

    Rosberg stops but he comes out far behind the battle - Kvyat sweeps past the pit exit, as does Vergne, and then Rosberg rejoins.

  • 08:29 Lap 15

    Team radioTeam radio to Hamilton: "Okay, Lewis, Ricciardo the only car in our pit window at the moment, you are four tenths of a second faster than him."

  • 08:31 Lap 16

    Radio from Vettel shows some of the fight has gone out of him, as his attempts to pass Alonso weren't working: "We're too slow in the straights, we can't pass him. Do you think it's worth backing off."

  • 08:31 Lap 16

    Ricciardo pits from second place, Rosberg sweeps past the pit exit as the Red Bull rejoins behind, currently fifth.

  • 08:32 Lap 16

    Kimi Räikkönen goes round the outside of the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen, who is the only non-Hamilton car not to have stopped.

  • 08:33 Lap 17

    Hamilton, meanwhile, reports on the radio that his front tyres feel surprisingly good, and the rears are fine too. That's a happy Mercedes driver right there.

  • 08:34 Lap 18

    He might say his tyres are fine, but replays of Hamilton show him running wide off track and he dives in to the pit lane for a change of rubber.

  • 08:34 Lap 18
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverL Hamilton
    Pit lane22.968s
  • 08:34 Lap 18

    Hamilton rejoins in the lead, nothing lost for the Mercedes driver there.

  • 08:36 Lap 19

    The lack of telemetry is hurting Rosberg's pit wall race strategists. They need him to give continual feedback, for example, when he crossed the line he was asked to read out a fuel consumption number. Not helpful for them, or his concentration.

    The good news, though, is after the pit wall did their calculations, his fuel consumption is fine.

  • 08:38 Lap 19

    All drivers have stopped once, Alonso currently sits second, whilst big winners at the moment include Sergio Pérez up to tenth, and Maldonado up to 16th. Poor Massa is down in 20th, having only managed to get past Ericsson at this point.

  • 08:39 Lap 20

    Bob Fernley confirms that everything is going to plan for Force India, the pit stops came a lap or two earlier than he was expecting. But fuel consumption is good on both their cars, and they're confident the race is unfolding okay.

  • 08:39 Lap 21

    Only Vergne and Magnussen are on the soft tyres at this point, and both are way out of the top ten. Magnussen was battling with a Caterham just now, which shows how difficult his afternoon is.

  • 08:41 Lap 21

    Daniil Kvyat has hunted down Jenson Button, managing to get past the McLaren driver for 11th place.

  • 08:41 Lap 22

    TweetTweet from @pirellisport: Hamilton has a four-second lead and tyres that are around seven laps younger than his key rivals. That's a very strong position

  • 08:42 Lap 22

    The fuel consumption graphic show everyone is in the 36-38 range, except for Bottas, who has 0.00. If they've modified that car to run on fresh air, then we're in for a whole new kind of championship! Or his telemetry isn't working.

  • 08:44 Lap 22

    Rosberg hunts down Vettel on the back straight, pushed him wide at the following corner and moved ahead. Vettel is desperately trying to get the position back, he's dipping left, right and every which way all the way to the exit of turn three. Eventually, he has to concede and Rosberg pulls ahead.

  • 08:44 Lap 23

    Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo has closed the gap to his teammate, as Vettel was concentrating on the car ahead, rather than behind.

  • 08:45 Lap 24
    One to Watch
    S Vettelvs.D Ricciardo
  • 08:45 Lap 24

    Ricciardo tries the same move as Rosberg, down the back straight, but he can't quite make it work - these two have the same power, rather than the advantage of the Mercedes.

  • 08:47 Lap 25

    For the second race in a row, Vettel has been asked to move out the way of his faster teammate. Ricciardo is instructed to close up and overtake.

  • 08:47 Lap 25

    Vettel requests to know which tyres Ricciardo is on, they are both on medium tyres. Sebastian doesn't feel like he should move out the way, as they're on the same strategy.

  • 08:49 Lap 25

    Christian Horner looks on anxiously, as Ricciardo finally sweeps past at the DRS zone. Vettel didn't make it easy for him, but opted not to fight too hard around the first corner.

  • 08:51 Lap 27

    As we were busy watching the Red Bulls, Hamilton has extended his lead to 11 seconds over Alonso. Rosberg sitting snugly in third, putting the Ferrari in a Mercedes sandwich.

  • 08:51 Lap 28

    Kevin Magnussen overtakes Esteban Gutiérrez for 14th place, he's now about four seconds behind teammate Jenson Button.

  • 08:52 Lap 28

    Team radioTeam radio to Romain Grosjean: "We have a problem with fourth gear, try to use fourth gear as little as possible."

    "I cannot!"

    "We have to, otherwise it's just DNF."

  • 08:53 Lap 28

    Massa isn't making much headway at the rear of the field, all the fight has gone out of that Williams. He's ahead of one Caterham and Marussia, but equally behind a Caterham and Marussia as well.

  • 08:54 Lap 29

    Yellow flagYellow flags briefly for Romain Grosjean, who runs wide off track at turn eleven. That lack of gear is hurting him, as he slows right down and is likely to head into the garage to retire.

  • 08:55 Lap 30

    We're starting to see the second round of pitstops now, Button, Gutiérrez, Bianchi and Ericsson have all stopped twice.

  • 08:55 Lap 30

    Vettel's radio keeps urging him to stay out, presumably he wants to come in for fresh tyres - perhaps to take the fight back to his teammate again!

  • 08:56 Lap 30

    Team radioTeam radio to Hamilton: "This tyre doesn't feel as good as the last one. A lot of graining on the front left."

  • 08:58 Lap 32

    Sergio Pérez ran wide off track, causing brief yellow flags. He locked up diving into the pit lane as well, making the most of the fact he's changing tyres, issuing up a cloud of smoke. Make an entrance, Sergio.

  • 08:59 Lap 32

    Hülkenberg and Bottas both dive into the pit lane for their second stops. They rejoin on track in the same order.

  • 09:00 Lap 32

    Felipe Massa has pitted again, hopefully a better stop for the Williams crew this time.

  • 09:00 Lap 33

    Rosberg is closing in on Alonso for second place, the gap just dropping below the one second DRS requirement.

  • 09:00 Lap 33
    E22 back in the garage
    Credit: Lotus_F1Team/Twitter

    @Lotus_F1Team: Disappointing to find @RGrosjean's E22 next to us in the garage

  • 09:03 Lap 34

    StopwatchSergio Pérez puts in the fastest lap of the race with a 1.42.228 on his brand new set of flatspot-free tyres.

  • 09:04 Lap 35

    Vettel was complaining massively on the radio as Kobayashi unlapped himself, but failed to pull away. Sebastian eventually dived into the pit lane, that is one annoyed German.

  • 09:04 Lap 35

    After pitting, Vettel rejoins behind the backmarkers, meaning he has to go through and pass them all again.

  • 09:06 Lap 36

    Of the top ten, the fuel consumption graphic shows Hamilton is the lowest, whilst Ricciardo has the most. They vary between 58% and 62% now. Bottas still showing as zero, of course.

  • 09:08 Lap 37

    Only 11 cars remain on the lead lap, with Vergne and Magnussen the first of the runners to have been lapped. Jenson Button is next in line for Lewis Hamilton to sweep past.

  • 09:09 Lap 38

    Replays show Nico Rosberg having a massive lock up, which sent him wide off track. He dives into the pit lane to get a fresh set of tyres. Daniel Ricciardo follows him in for his second stop of the day.

  • 09:10 Lap 38
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverN Rosberg
    Pit lane23.089s
    Pit Stop Analysis
    DriverD Ricciardo
    TeamRed Bull
    Pit lane22.498s
  • 09:11 Lap 39

    Hamilton pits from the lead of the race and rejoins comfortably in the lead. As he exits the pit lane, there's not a car in sight down the home straight.

  • 09:12 Lap 39

    TweetTweet from @pirellisport: "As always in China, the final laps are going to be crucial. Drivers will have to look after tyres and not fall off "the cliff""

  • 09:14 Lap 40

    Team radioNico Rosberg requested to report back on the fuel consumption again, but he's not happy about it: "It really annoys me to do that, so stop doing that now."

  • 09:15 Lap 41
    Driver Positions
    10L Hamilton
    23F Alonso
    31N Rosberg
    4-2D Ricciardo
    5-2S Vettel
    62N Hülkenberg
    70V Bottas
    83K Räikkönen
    97S Pérez
    103D Kvyat
  • 09:16 Lap 42

    TweetTweet from @CaterhamF1: With a certain German heading his way, @kamui_kobayashi is given the order to box box...

  • 09:18 Lap 43

    All drivers are on the medium compounds now, except for Esteban Gutiérrez and the two Caterham drivers at the back. With the soft tyres on, the green cars are taking up the final two positions.

  • 09:19 Lap 43

    Fernando Alonso loses out second place to Nico Rosberg, as the Mercedes driver sweeps past down the home straight to make it a Mercedes 1-2.

  • 09:19 Lap 44

    Ricciardo is being told over the radio that he can get past Alonso as well. The gap is just under six seconds, and there are 12 laps left.

  • 09:23 Lap 46

    Ricciardo has closed the gap by half a second, now looking at 5.436 between him and Alonso.

  • 09:25 Lap 47

    It seems like China is not the track to show off massive recovery drives. Maldonado, who started last, is currently 14th. Massa, who had a pit stop disaster, is behind in 15th. Gutiérrez who, actually he just started that far down, is 16th.

  • 09:25 Lap 47

    Bianchi leads the Marussia/Caterham battle, but Kobayashi is chasing him down.

  • 09:26 Lap 48

    Alonso appears to have responded to the threat of an incoming Red Bull, setting some of his best laps. The gap remains 5.5 seconds.

  • 09:28 Lap 49

    Super slo-mo replays of Hamilton using DRS show just how much the rear wing moves around, wobbling left to right, it's almost like it's on a spring.

  • 09:29 Lap 49

    McLaren radio informs Button that they're having issues with the ERS, it's on all the time.

  • 09:31 Lap 51

    Max Chilton comes in for a late third stop. Both Caterhams have also stopped three times, as has Esteban Gutiérrez.

  • 09:32 Lap 51

    Six laps to go, and Ricciardo has got the gap down to 4.5 seconds. This is the main battle on track at the moment.

  • 09:34 Lap 52

    Yet more super slo-mo replays show Fernando Alonso's front left tyre is looking pretty worn, and he doesn't help the matter by locking up. If his tyres wear out, that will help Ricciardo no end.

  • 09:35 Lap 53
    One to Watch
    J Bianchivs.K Kobayashi
  • 09:36 Lap 53

    Sergio Pérez is chasing after Kimi Räikkönen for eighth, but the pit wall are telling him not to push too hard. Getting to the end of the race is more important.

  • 09:37 Lap 54

    The other Force India of Nico Hülkenberg is being told to push, rather than conserve, as he has a feisty looking Valtteri Bottas in his wing mirrors.

  • 09:40 Lap 56

    Lewis Hamilton crosses the line for the final lap of the race, he's got a very comfortable 18 second lead over teammate Nico Rosberg.

  • 09:41 Lap 56

    Hamilton questioned on the radio where the chequered flag was, his team instructed him to keep pushing. One more lap, Lewis!

  • 09:41

    Chequered flagLewis Hamilton wins the Chinese Grand Prix!

  • 09:42

    Rosberg takes second place for a Mercedes 1-2. Alonso holds off the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo to take Ferrari's first podium of the season.

  • 09:42

    Rosberg takes second place for a Mercedes 1-2. Alonso holds off the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo to take Ferrari's first podium of the season.

  • 09:43

    Hülkenberg and Bottas both in the points for another good Force India and Williams result. Daniil Kvyat picks up points for the third time out of four races. Not bad for a rookie!

  • 09:44

    On the final lap, Kamui Kobayashi did make a late dive on Jules Bianchi, and secured 17th place for Caterham.

  • 09:45
    Race Winner
    DriverL Hamilton
    Race time1:35:09.751
    Race distance299.615km
    Average speed188.907km/h
  • 09:45

    Super happy Hamilton gets his hat-trick, and Alonso is the first to congratulate him, before Lewis jumps into the crowd of cheering mechanics.

  • 09:46
    Driver Positions
    10L Hamilton
    22N Rosberg
    32F Alonso
    4-2D Ricciardo
    5-2S Vettel
    62N Hülkenberg
    70V Bottas
    83K Räikkönen
    97S Pérez
    103D Kvyat
  • 09:47

    Alonso and Ricciardo finished practically on top of each other, but it's interesting to see the gap to Vettel, considering the Red Bull inter-team antics earlier on.

    Gap Analysis
  • 09:49

    Rosberg asks the Mercedes representative, Ron Meadows, what happened to Vettel, who said no problems just no pace. Nico then, jokingly, asks Lewis if he had a tough race.

  • 09:50

    The boys take to the podium, and the national anthem plays out.

  • 09:52

    TweetTweet from @OfficialSF1Team: Checkered flag for the #ChineseGP, #Guti P16 and a retirement for #SuperSutil. We keep pushing and will be back racing in Spain #pushpush

  • 09:52

    Team radioTeam radio from Horner to Vettel on the slow down lap: "Chin up, two stop was the better race for you."

  • 09:53

    The champagne sprays, with both Mercedes drivers aiming theirs squarely at poor Ron Meadows. Alonso takes a big swig before Hamilton tips the dregs of his bottle over the Ferrari driver.

  • 09:59

    QuotePodium quotes - Lewis Hamilton: "The fans have been incredible this week, I felt a lot of energy. I couldn’t do this without the hard work from the team. Honestly, I just can’t believe how good the car is. The results we’re getting is a real showing of all the hard work. Surprisingly, again, as I said, after P2, I had to make a lot of changes in anticipation of today. It worked perfectly, I was able to look after the tyres, after that I was just racing myself. It was great. I’m really happy Nico is up here with us, great points for the team, they really deserve it."

  • 10:00

    QuotePodium quotes - Nico Rosberg: "Definitely in the lead, that’s good. Just considering the whole weekend was really bad for me, it went completely wrong in so many different respects. In the race, we had no telemetry, so they had no idea what was going out on track. That’s why the start was so bad. I’m pleased with second, I’m just looking forward to a normal weekend in Barcelona.

    "The start was very close, cars all over the place, just had a bit of contact there, great that my car held on. It’s a pleasure to drive this car at the moment, it’s incredible the car the team have built. Thanks to the team, and Mercedes. This car is so quick, it increases the enjoyment level even further."

  • 10:00

    QuotePodium quotes - Fernando Alonso: "It was a good weekend, we did improve the car a little bit compared to the first three races. Being here on the podium is a surprise for us, a nice surprise finally. Happy with a podium finish today, think I’m third in the championship. We didn’t have the start to the season we’d like, but at the end of the day we’re still in the fight. It was a big contact, I asked on the radio can you check the car, it felt okay but I didn’t know from the outside how it looked. It was okay, and we managed to finish the race. Hopefully the next one will be a clean start."

  • 10:01

    QuotePodium quotes - Lewis Hamilton: "This team is on a roll, that’s for sure. The team have done a great job, we’re going to keep pushing, keep moving forward. That’s what Mercedes-Benz want to do. I’m going to be working hard, we’re going to keep working hard because obviously the others are pushing to catch up."

  • 10:04

    Rosberg continues to lead, just, with only four points on teammate Lewis Hamilton. Fernando Alonso sits third, but the gap to the Mercedes duo is growing!

    Championship Standings
    1N Rosberg79
    2L Hamilton75
    3F Alonso41
    4N Hülkenberg36
    5S Vettel33
  • 10:05

    Force India have dropped to third now, allowing Red Bull to be best of the rest. But that battle for second makes up for the huge gap that Mercedes have over the rest.

    Championship Standings
    2Red Bull57
    3Force India54
  • 10:08
    Race Battle
    Toro RossoQualified Ahead
    D Kvyat3
    JE Vergne1
  • 10:09
    Podium celebration in China
    Credit: XPBImages/Twitter

    Poor Ron Meadows got absolutely soaked on the podium. Next time (and there's bound to be one), he should do a Newey and take some goggles.

  • 10:12
    A SutilPower unit7
    R GrosjeanGearbox29
  • 10:13

    Sauber managed to get a car to the finish line, the first time since Australia. Unfortunately it was only one as Sutil retired - despite their best efforts to get him going again.

  • 10:13

    Only two retirements from the race is a good sign though, the oft-worried about reliability appears not to be so much of an issue anymore. Just four races in, that's pretty impressive.

  • 10:15

    Mercedes hauled their lead even further forward, but there were good signs today - Red Bull appeared to have pace, occasionally, and Ferrari on the podium is a step forward for them.

  • 10:15

    The race didn't perhaps deliver as Bahrain did, but there were still some good jostles for position throughout the field. Even the backmarkers got in on the action by attempting to unlap themselves.

  • 10:16

    Now we have a three week gap as the F1 circus returns home from China and prepares for the start of the European leg of the season. The Spanish Grand Prix is on 11th May, and this time, the teams aren't going to have stacks of data from testing as they usually do.

  • 10:16

    As always, stay tuned to Sidepodcast and F1Minute through the intervening weeks for all the news and views you'll need to tide you over until Spain. See you then/there!

  • 11:07

    Update: Ooh, hello again. Only me. Just to say that the FIA have declared, as the chequered flag was waved a lap too early, that the results stand as at the end of lap 54. Nothing really changes in terms of positions, except poor Kamui Kobayashi, who ends up back behind Jules Bianchi. The times have altered a bit, you can see the full results updated accordingly.

  • 11:15

    And an updated gap analysis for lap 54, because... any excuse, really.

    Gap Analysis
  • 11:15

    I'm really going now.

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