Rosberg makes it three from three
Nico Rosberg has won the first three races of the Formula 1 season. (FP)
SHANGHAI – Nico Rosberg claimed a dominant win in an action-packed Formula One Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday to extend his championship lead over Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton, who battled up to seventh with some feisty driving after starting last.
Rosberg crossed the line a mammoth 37.7 seconds ahead of German compatriot Sebastian Vettel, who recovered after colliding with his Ferrari team mate Kimi Raikkonen at the first corner, to claim his third win from three races this season.
The German now leads Hamilton by 36 points in the standings and is firmly in control of the championship with 18 rounds of a record 21-race season remaining.
He certainly has history on his side with the winner of the first three races of the season having gone on to win the title each time.
“Well, it’s too early to make any summaries,” Rosberg told reporters.
“It’s three races now and they’ve gone really well for me but it’s the longest season in F1 history with 21 races. Of course I’m happy with the way it’s gone and I’m feeling good and the car’s there but I don’t want to say more than that.”
Sunday’s win was the 17th of Rosberg’s career and extended his streak of race victories to six, dating back to last November’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Daniil Kvyat finished third to score Red Bull their first podium finish since September’s Singapore Grand Prix but the Russian had to defend himself after the race when an angry Vettel blamed him for the collision between the Ferraris.
Hamilton, who had started from dead last after failing to set a time in Saturday’s qualifying session due to an engine problem, finished seventh, running into further trouble at the start when he lost his front wing in a first-corner collision.
The Briton used some good-old fashioned racing nous to work his way up to third at one stage. But his challenge faded later in the race as he attempted to battle through with a damaged car that he likened to a “four-poster bed”. (Reuters)