Nico Rosberg took a dominant win in last year’s chaotic Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai – his sixth Formula One victory on the bounce and third of the 2016 season.
“It’s been a fantastic few days for me'
After claiming the 23rd pole of his career – his second in Shanghai and first of 2016 – Nico cruised to his 17th Grand Prix victory with a faultless drive on Sunday to extend his championship lead.
The only upset for Nico came on lap one when he had to repass the fast-starting Daniel Ricciardo.
“It’s been a fantastic few days for me here in China,” said Nico. “Racing wise, it was an almost perfect weekend.
“Only the start could have been better – but luckily I was able to pass Daniel later on the straight and from then on I could build up a gap.
“I must say, I’ve never had a better balance in my car than I had today. It was really perfect, so a big thanks to everyone who helped me achieve that.”
“I got a good start'
On the other side of the garage, Qualifying proved tricky for Lewis Hamilton and set the tone for a tough weekend for the reigning World Champion.
A MGU-H issue in Q1 meant Lewis was forced to start from the back of the grid, leaving him in the thick of the action as the two Ferraris set off a chain of collisions at Turn 1 on the opening lap.
Contact with Felipe Nasr’s Sauber cost Lewis his front wing and forced him into an early stop. Thereafter, he produced a fighting drive in a wounded car to battle his way back to P7, salvaging valuable points for the team on weekend that was far from ideal for the man himself.
“I got a good start – but it’s always tricky being at the back and trying not to get caught up in the domino effect of any contact at the first corner,” he said.
'I gave it everything I had and P7 was about the limit”
“I tried to avoid whatever happened in front of me but I just got tangled up in it. It was just a bit unfortunate, really.
“From there it was always going to be a battle – but I had a lot of fun fighting back through! There were plenty of overtakes, from what I can remember! I gave it everything I had and P7 was about the limit.”
A year later, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport returns to China seeking its first victory of the season. Lewis, a winner in Shanghai with the team in 2014 and 2015, will be aiming to go one better after missing out on top spot in Australia. And Valtteri, after claiming silverware last time out in Melbourne, will be keen to build on an impressive start to his Silver Arrows career.
Bring it on…