Formula One: Rosberg and Mercedes make impressive progress with first Grand Prix win
Three races into the 2012 Formula One season, and already, as fans, we can tell that this season may be the most exciting and closest season ever.
Last weekend saw Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg win his first ever professional race at the Chinese Grand Prix, beating six former World Champions to the chequered flag in dominant style.
The German becomes the third different driver to win a race this year, with Lewis Hamilton triumphing in Australia, whilst Fernando Alonso won in Malaysia.
It is Hamilton who actually leads the Championship title race with 45 points, with his teammate Jenson Button only two points behind him. The Spaniard Alonso sits in third with 37, whilst just one point further back is Mark Webber, with last year’s World Champion Sebastian Vettel in fifth position.
Hamilton is arguably the racer in form, and has been the most consistent, following up his win on the opening weekend in Melbourne, with two third-place finishes.
His podium place was a just reward for his grit and determination last weekend, with his gearbox change before the weekend meaning he had a five grid penalty before he even had a chance to qualify.
However, the impressive McLaren car so far this year helped him to get the third place he merited, whilst Button, in the sister McLaren, will feel rather unlucky he couldn’t go on and win the race.
His team’s pit-crew rather let the Brit down, initially failing to correctly fit a tire on his car during his final pit-stop which hampered the 2009 World Champion’s chances of chasing down the 14th win of his career.
Although it meant we weren’t able to see a showdown for first position between two very quick men in two very quick cars, Rosberg followed up his maiden pole position with victory in Shanghai.
Rosberg displayed all qualities of a winner during the weekend, with no sign of letting the spotlight get to him.
Having shown his quality by winning the GP2 title back in 2005, Rosberg has made the step-up with relative ease to F1, and now has claimed what will surely be one of many race victories for the talented 26-year-old.
The win for Mercedes becomes their first since Juan Manuel Fangio in the 1955 Italian Grand Prix, and the team, masterminded by the infamous Ross Brawn, will surely compete alongside the other top constructors for more success.
Next on the Formula One calendar is a trip to Bahrain on 20th-22nd April.