With limited running on any of the Pirelli wet compounds, the start of the race emerged as a step into the unknown. But while Sainz took the risk of slicks, Verstappen stuck to the inters and began his charge. Hamilton meanwhile edged away smoothly to begin the race that took him to his first race of the year and level things up with Vettel in the drivers’ standings.
Sebastian Vettel fastest in final practice at the Chinese Grand Prix.
With clouds still lingering but the sun shining, action could finally get underway in Shanghai. Where Sebastian Vettel set not only the fastest time of the busy hour session but also the fastest lap in Shanghai for over 10 years. Leaving a massive margin back to Mercedes as the teams set about sourcing yesterday’s lost data.
Second Free Practice at the Chinese Grand Prix sees no running.
90-minutes of clock and cloud watch unfolded in China, as poor weather conditions in Shanghai meant the medical helicopter was unable to operate. Seeing no car hit the track in FP2, after only minor running in the weekend opener.
Max Verstappen tops first free practice for Red Bull at the Chinese Grand Prix.
With a thick layer of cloud smothering the Shanghai International Circuit, the red flags were out and the session was stopped for 40-minutes. But when the cloud lifted, Verstappen went fastest on the wet track. Edging Massa by 1.5-seconds before the cloud returned and closed the designated local hospital.
The season-opening Australian Grand Prix may have kicked the new season off with a Ferrari win and an intense qualifying fight for pole. But come the race, strategy decided the winner and overtaking was minimal. Now, in round two, will Shanghai produce more overtakes and can Mercedes come out on top?
Shanghai success for Nico Rosberg after victory at the Chinese Grand Prix.
China caused a stir in Formula One as a chaotic start teed up a fantastic race with Hamilton and Raikkonen fighting back, from the back. While after an unchallenged race, Nico Rosberg took his sixth consecutive victory.
Lewis Hamilton wins in China, to take Chinese Grand Prix victory ahead of Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.
It may have been the third round of the 2015 championship, but today’s Chinese Grand Prix was the first race of the year to start with all 20 cars on the grid. By the end of the race that number had fallen to 16 after two engine blowouts, one gearbox and one brake failure. But out in front Hamilton was taking the chequered flag ahead of Rosberg under the safety car.