Shanghai: Nico Rosberg romped to a dominant win in an action-packed Formula One Chinese GP, further extending his championship lead over Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, whose fight back from dead last fizzled out despite some feisty driving from the reigning champion.
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg (centre) holds the winner's trophy with Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat after the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix. Pic/ AP
Rosberg, who secured his third China GP win, crossed the line 37.7 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who had to stage a comeback of his own, after colliding with Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in the first corner. Russian Daniil Kvyat finished third to score his first podium since last year's Hungarian Grand Prix and hand his Red Bull team their first rostrum finish since September's Singapore Grand Prix. Sunday's win was the 17th of Rosberg's career and extends his streak of victories to six consecutive races, dating back to last November's Mexican GP.
The German, who also won the opening two races of the season, now leads his teammate Hamilton at the top of the standings by 36 points with 18 rounds of a record 21-race season still to run.
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 onus and clever strategy from Mercedes to work his way to as high as third, but his challenge faded in the later stages of the race.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth. The Australian rocketed off the line from second on the grid and shot past Rosberg into an early lead. But a tyre failure that forced him into an early stop and a subsequent safety car robbed him of the chance of a podium.
Raikkonen, who came off worse in the first-corner collision with teammate Vettel was sixth ahead of Felipe Massa.
Max Verstappen was eight ahead of Toro Rosso teammate Carlos Sainz while the Massa's Williams teammate Valtteri Bottas rounded out the top ten.
An early safety car interrupted the race after carnage at the first corner just after the start left debris on the track.
The safety car led to a chopping and changing of the order with some drivers choosing to pit even as others stayed out, putting a mix of tyre strategies into play.