It was quite an easy weekend for Nico Rosberg, helped by the fact this his ‘benchmark’ of Lewis Hamilton was out of the frame. He was really handed the race weekend before it had even started with the Brit being handed a grid penalty for changing his gearbox.
The Championship leader lucked out again when Hamilton had an engine problem in qualifying which meant he would start at the very back of the field, helping him set a Q2 lap on the soft tyre giving him an advantage in the first stint. It was helped even further by the safety car, which meant he could run nearly as long as he wanted without stopping. Other challenges from Ferrari failed to materialise after they clashed in the first corner, with Hamilton also being involved on his way to seventh. It was a commanding win, over thirty seconds from Vettel, and setting Rosberg on a real Championship bid this season.
“It’s been a fantastic few days for me here in China,” he said.
“First of all, the fans have been amazing from the moment I arrived. They’re so enthusiastic, which gives us drivers a very special feeling. Then, 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 also want to thank all the women in my life – my wife, my daughter and my mother.
“Their support is unbelievable and that’s really what makes it possible for me to be doing what I’m doing.
“I’m a very happy man today and, after three races I can be really pleased about how my season has gone so far. But it’s a very long year ahead and there’s a lot of points still on the table, so I’m not losing my focus.
“Now I look forward to Russia, where I started my good run of qualifying results last year. Hopefully I can get on a nice run like that again.”