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Page last updated at 05:14 GMT, Sunday, 17 April 2011 06:14 UK

Chinese Grand Prix as it happened

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By Oliver Brett

1030: Thanks very much for joining me and the rest of the team today. Let's hope Turkey in early May serves up some more thrilling entertainment. You can watch one-hour highlights of today's race on BBC3 at 1900 BST and a full repeat of the whole race on BBC1 at 1400. Take it easy.

Paul Di Resta, Force India (11th): "It was always going to be tough. We came close to the points but missed out. The tyres had gone at the end. Overall I'm still very happy considering qualification and coming close to scoring points."

Mark Webber, Red Bull (third): "It was an interesting GP - we started on hard tyres, got that out of the way. It wasn't easy. To still see P17 after 15 laps you think - when is it going to come. Maybe the best thing to do is not even take part in qualifying and go from there. It was a good day for racing (with Lewis winning) and a good day in terms of points for the team."

1018: Note Vettel's faint criticism there of his team's strategy: "I think we tried too hard staying on two stops." Remember though, nobody has failed to win the drivers' title after winning the first two races of the season since 1982.

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull (second): "The start was not the best we have had. It seemed the left-hand side is worst here. I wasn't a 100% good start so I lost position. We treated the tyres better up to the first pit stop. I came to the box and afterwards came out first. It was a surprise when Jenson went into my garage. We came out in the lead and then I think we tried too hard staying on two stops. I saw Lewis coming closer and there was no point defending too hard - he found his way past. We did a couple of mistakes but still finished second so I'm very happy with that. We can learn a lot today. I'm the only one with two stops up here so that's something to look into tonight. I was asking questions and not getting any answers, we had a problem with Kers so it wasn't a trouble free race. Once we decided to go two-stop we had to be patient."

Lewis Hamilton, Chinese GP winner: "I think today the strategy that we came up with definitely helped. My new option tyres seemed to last longer. The pit stops were fantastic. The car felt great and I was trying to nurse my tyres while picking up pace. It was one of the best races I've experienced. It feels amazing to be able to bring home a victory for the guys in the factory." (On his fuel-line problems just prior to the start): "I was in the car nice and early but then we had a problem. I'm not sure what went on but fortunately everything came together very quickly."


Twitter
jcvd08 on Twitter: "I'm happy with how Mercedes is improving... Bob Bell anything to do with this possibly?" Perhaps. Mercedes were fifth and eighth today, in a sort of double-decker sandwich full of Ferraris.


1007: Please read Sarah Holt's full report of one of the best F1 races I've seen in a very long time.

More from Christian Horner: "Kers worked well for the first half of the race and then became more intermittent in the latter part. We have got three weeks between now and Istanbul to make it work. At the end, Lewis was so much quicker it wasn't worth fighting so hard. He made him work for it, but it was inevitable in the end."

Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal: "We thought we could make it work, but we came up four laps shy of making that strategy work. We made the decision based on being P3 behind the McLarens; we thought that was the best way to beat them. If we had made three stops behind them we'd have probably been behind both of them, so we thought we'd try something different. P2 is still a great result. Effectively for Mark we ran the race in reverse, he had a slow first stint on the primes and then he just got faster and faster. I told him to enjoy it and it looked like he did, he drove a great race."

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh: "It's been a challenging weekend, so much emotion, there is so much action in the race that if you get it only slightly wrong you're toast. The first win of the year has been very emotional. You always worry about not winning a race in a season! It was not the greatest way to start out afternoon but once it did start it went well."

Twitter
mikkyx on Twitter: "I take it back. Waking up early for a race like that shouldn't be illegal, it should be ENCOURAGED. Absolutely fantastic stuff!"


McLaren's Jenson Button (fourth): "First of all massive congrats to Lewis. It was one of those races with lots of overtaking, lots of action involved. I wasn't quick enough and really struggled to look after the tyres for some reason. It's enjoyable but also you're a sitting duck when people have new tyres. You try to fight back but you don't have the traction, it's tricky. Getting strategy right is very important as you can see from Webber finishing right up behind his team-mate. On his first pit-stop when he stopped between the Red Bull mechanics and lost time: "I was looking down and when I looked back up I could see I was in the wrong place."

0951: If Vettel had won today, he would have looked untouchable in the drivers' championship. But now he has demonstrated his mortality and Turkey in three weeks' time can't come soon enough.

0950: Hamilton has an almighty swig of champagne but then spits it down his race-suit. My dad always used to complain about the champagne wastage in F1. It hasn't stopped but on this occasion at least we have had a preperly exciting race.

0949: Hamilton holds his trophy aloft and claps as Vettel and Webber accept theirs.

0948: Hamilton looks overcome with emotion as he chats quietly to Jonathan Neale, managing director of McLaren. Vettel looks slightly shattered, but he still has a very tidy lead in the drivers' championship. Vettel also looks somewhat surprised to see his team-mate Mark Webber alongside him on the podium. Webber made up 15 places in the race.

0944: Hamilton performs a respectful little bow to the Chinese spectators, and then leaps into the arms of his pit crew before kissing the camera lens.

0942: Schumacher is eighth, with Petrov ninth and Kobayashi 10th. "That was amazing, thank you so much," Hamilton yells to his team on the radio, punching the air with unbridled joy.

0941: Vettel is second, Webber a truly remarkable third, Button fourth, Rosberg fifth, and Ferrari pair Massa and Alonso are sixth and seventh respectively.

Chequered flag
Lap 56 (FINAL LAP): Lewis Hamilton wins the Chinese Grand Prix!

Lap 56 (FINAL LAP): Amazingly, Webber has his team-mate Vettel next in his sights. He won't have time to overtake him, but still...

Lap 55: Webber steals third position from Button as we go into the final lap. This is sensational.

Lap 55: The one remaining issue, or so it appears, is this: Can Webber catch Button to take the last remaining podium spot? Button is being warned by his team that Webber has better tyres than him.

Lap 54: With three laps remaining, Hamilton appears to have this race in the bag. Webber is attacking Rosberg. Can he get fourth position? Yes he can. He started this race in 18th!

Lap 53: While all that's been going on, Massa has quietly been losing ground on some very old tyres. He is down to sixth, with Rosberg and even Webber in front of him.

Lap 52: Hamilton is swarming all over Vettel but cannot get past him as yet. But here he goes now up the inside of a gentle left-hander (turn seven). HAMILTON LEADS!

Lap 51: Hamilton is lining up Vettel for a possible pass. He had a little go at him in the previous lap and will have a bigger go soon, surely.

Lap 50: Vettel has been told he must stay out by his team radio, who can't hear what their driver's trying to tell them. Button passes Massa to take care of third position. Meanwhile, Webber is driving superbly and could even take Rosberg for fifth.

Lap 49: Hamilton closes to within 1.6 seconds of Vettel. Martin Brundle: "Surely world championship leader Vettel will be defenceless when Hamilton arrives on the scene." Seven laps to go.

Lap 48: Hamilton's team radio tells him: "Keep looking after your tyres. Vettel will come back to you."

Lap 47: Hamilton is just over three seconds behind Vettel, while Button is trying to manufacture a pass on Massa in an absorbing battle for third place.

Lap 46: Rosberg, in attempting to get past Massa, loses fourth position, leaving Massa and Button to charge past.

Lap 45: Hamilton is running one second a lap quicker than Vettel. If he keeps this up he could be in position to overtake the German at the very end. Could this be a bit like Silverstone '87 when Mansell did Piquet right at the finish?

Lap 44: Hamilton is looking good as he edges past Massa in second place. His only remaining target is championship leader Sebastian Vettel, whose tyres are significantly older than Hamilton's.

BBC co-commentator David Coulthard on Nico Rosberg's fuel problems: "The teams have to make a decision on how much to fuel the car before the race, depending on how long they think they will be on full power. It looks like Mercedes have either had the car under fuelled or they didn't expect to be this competitive."

Lap 43: Vettel's lead is a very tidy four seconds ahead of Massa, who in turn is 1.7 seconds ahead of Hamilton. We know Hamilton does not need to pit again so he should at least get onto the podium. Webber is having an excellent race and is seventh having put in a new fastest lap of anyone.

Lap 42: Hamilton gets past Rosberg and now Button will have his chance to get ahead of the Mercedes driver.

Lap 42: Vettel leads with Massa 3.6 seconds behind him, and Rosberg this. But the Mercedes team tell Rosberg "fuel is critical" with 14 laps remaining.

Lap 41: Hamilton was not close enough to overtake Rosberg on Lap 40 so must settle for third position for now. Mark Webber, who was sixth, comes into the pits.

Lap 40: Rosberg, race leader, comes into the pits and re-emerges in third position with Hamilton just behind him. This could be fun as Rosberg desperately tries to protect his position.

Lap 39: Lewis Hamilton comes into the pits from second position for his third and last stop.

BBC co-commentator David Coulthard: "Hats off to Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton for keeping it clean. Hats off to McLaren for letting them race. It is all so easy at 180mph to make a mistake. Maybe Jenson Button is still a little distracted from his earlier pit-lane faux par."

Lap 38: Button comes into the pits for his third and final stop and returns to the race in fifth position. That moves Vettel up to third. If the German can nurse his hard tyres around the remaining laps here without any more stops, and not drop too much pace, he should still make it three wins from three.

Lap 37: Rosberg is running half a second faster than Massa at the moment. That's important because Massa does not need to make another stop so if Rosberg, who does, can keep building that gap he should end the race in front of the Brazilian.

Lap 36: A nice exhibition of overtaking from Hamilton on team-mate Button gives Hamilton a hard-earned second place.

Lap 35: Webber passes Petrov to take seventh position, he's having a pretty decent race all things considered. Meanwhile at the front Rosberg leads Button and Hamilton, with Vettel fourth. The trouble for the leading three is they must all make one further stop. Vettel shouldn't have to.

Lap 34: The quietly impressive Force India driver Paul di Resta comes into the pits, with Vettel re-emerging in fifth place while Felipe Massa makes his final stop.

Lap 33: Alonso makes his second and final scheduled stop of the race.

Lap 32: With Vettel in the pits for what is likely to be his second and final stop, Ferrari drivers Massa and Alonso remain with their second set of tyres. Mark Webber, meanwhile, is making some headway and is up to 10th.

Lap 31: Alonso appears to have some sort of problem while Hamilton posts a new fastest lap of the race. Hamilton's next target is his own team-mate Button.

Lap 30: Martin Brundle speculates that Ferrari's two-stop plan may have to be re-considered given that Rosberg has had a pretty good race having already pitted twice. Hamilton passes Alonso to take fifth place.

David Coulthard on Nico Rosberg being told to "lift 25m early for brakes". He says: "It can only be either fuel saving or a problem with cooling the brakes. It's unlikely that it will be the brakes so unless there is debris in the brake ducts, it must be a fuelling issue."

Lap 29: Rosberg performs an excellent overtake on Alonso, splitting up the two Ferraris and grabbing third spot.

Lap 28: Hamilton overakes Paul di Resta, but things are suddenly looking pretty good for Vettel, who you may remember lost two places at the start but now has a three-second lead. If Red Bull, as opposed to Mercedes and McLaren, are on a two-stop strategy Vettel should win this race. His main threats are the two Ferraris who are running second and third and also appear to be on two-stoppers.

Lap 27: Rosberg re-emerges in fourth position having completed his stop with Hamilton way down in eigth. Schumacher is the latest driver in the pits.

Lap 26: Alonso has finally overtaken Schumacher. Meanwhile, Hamilton comes into the pits and that all means Vettel is the race leader.

Lap 25: Jenson Button is in the pits, that looks like he must be on a three-stop strategy. He was in fifth behind McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton, and he re-emerges in eighth position. Meanwhile, Rosberg is also in the pits. And we are told Webber's Kers is definitely not being used.

Lap 24: Alonso uses his DRS (movable rear wing) to try to haul his Ferrari past the Mercedes of Schumacher but he can't quite manage it.

Lap 23: At the head of affairs, suprise leader Rosberg has a decent gap over Vettel in second place, about four and a half seconds.

Lap 22: Alonso is very close to the rear of Michael Schumacher's car, but as we well know the German will not allow anyone to pass him easily.

Lap 21: BBC F1 co-commentator David Coulthard: "Jenson should be as red as his new overalls about that pit-stop."

Lap 20: Button bangs in a new fastest lap of the race, but he is not close enough to the man in second position, championship leader Sebastian Vettel, to manufacture an overtake. The question with the Mercedes drivers is this: What is their strategy? If they are planning one more pit-stop than the others their final positions might not be so rosy.

Lap 19: Alonso, who delayed his pit-stop longer than the other leading contenders, is down in seventh and Michael Schumacher is having a fine day out in Shanghai. His early pit-stop has enabled him to be sixth at present.

Lap 18: It's Rosberg, from Vettel, from Button, with Massa fourth and Hamilton a disappointing fifth. All those drivers have made one pit-stop.

Lap 17: Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg leads the Chinese Grand Prix. We didn't expect that. Brilliantly timed pit-stop from his team.

Lap 16: That was really very odd. Button literally stopped his car between all the Red Bull mechanics, and they eventually had to wave him on to remind him he is now a McLaren driver! Up front, Alonso leads the race so Massa must have overtaken Hamilton somehow. And Hamilton is in the pits now, along with Massa.

Lap 15: Vettel overtakes Hamilton and Button prepares to come into the pits, so too does Vettel. But Button stops in the wrong pit-lane and that means it's easy for Vettel to re-emerge in the lead. A terrible error from Button.

Lap 14: Webber has put in as new fastest lap on fresh soft tyres and is 18th, back where he started. Hamilton is struggling for rear grip and will surely have to pit soon.

Lap 13: The Red Bull team are preparing some fresh tyres for Vettel.

Lap 13: Nico Rosberg pits from fourth position and re-emerges in 10th.

Lap 13: Paul di Resta pits and loses a place or two when he re-emerges in 10th position.

Lap 12: The battle for fourth looks exciting. Rosberg is just keeping his Mercedes ahead of two marauding Ferraris. When will Massa try to overtake or will he just wait for a pit stop?

Lap 11: Some pit stops coming in now - Schumacher and Webber, who's finally going to take on softs. Webber's going to feed back into the race close to the rear of the pack. Alguersuari has already retired.

Lap 10: Jenson Button still leads, with Hamilton unable to get close enough to activate his DRS (movable rear wing), so there'll be no overtakes at the very front for the time being. Jamie Alguersuari has lost a wheel on exit from the pits.

Lap 9: Sergio Perez manages to overtake Mark Webber, making it even more curious as to why the Aussie in the Red Bull started on hard tyres.

Lap 8: A new fastest lap comes in from Lewis Hamilton, who is solid in second place. Those problems just prior to the start seem to be forgotten.

Sebastian Vettel's race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin tells the world champion: "OK, Sebastian, your pace is good, stay calm and stick with them."

Lap 7: Paul Di Resta has promoted his Force India up one place into seventh but has spoken to his team over the radio about a problem with the rear of his car.

Lap 6: Button leads Hamilton by 1.2 seconds, with Vettel two seconds behind. Michael Schumacher has made up plenty of ground and is up into ninth.

BBC commentator Martin Brundle: "Sebastian Vettel knew straight away that he'd got it wrong at the start. He used his Kers but his revs were too low. It was beautiful driving from Lewis Hamilton to take him on the inside."

Lap 5: There's quite a gap now from the back of Vettel's car to Nico Rosberg in fourth, with the two Ferraris behind the Mercedes driver.

Lap 4: A much better lap from Vettel now, he's gone quickest of all and will attempt to get back within overtaking range of Hamilton.

Lap 3: Lewis Hamilton was the fastest on lap two. Webber has made up two places from 18th on the grid.

Lap 2: The idea is for Button to go as fast as possible in the opening two laps before the drivers can use DRS. Hamilton is also putting in some good sector times and Vettel is having to fend off Rosberg, Massa and so on behind him.

Lap 1: Button has a lead of over one second to Hamilton, with Vettel still down in third and having to fend off other drivers.

Lap 1: Vettel's had a really poor start, and he's overtaken by both McLarens.

0803: Yellow flags are waving, they're lined up... and they're off.

0802: Webber has opted for the prime tyre, slower than the soft one which the leading contenders all qualified with and must use. Webber will have three sets of soft tyres to use afterwards.

0800: Everyone is safely away on the formation lap, Hamilton included. There seemed to be a very slight delay before Mark Webber left his position.

0757: Confirmation that despite the fears of Neale and others in the McLaren team, Hamilton has now lined up in position on the grid. Some relief there then. They have replaced the engine air filter and are trying to catch up with the tyre pressure checks and so on. The formation lap will be crucial for him.

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale: "We went to fire up the engine and it wouldn't fire. We came to fire again, it was fine. Only conclusion was we'd flooded the engine. So we took everything off and that is what had happened, so we sorted it out but there is still quite a high workload (to get it ready before the start of the race). It's a mad scramble just when you don't want it. We think it was a one-off."

0752: Please have a look at the Chinese GP driver tracker which gives you an idea of how this track is set up.

0749: Michael Schumacher lines up 13th after problems with his movable rear wing (DRS) afflicted his qualifying, while team-mate Nico Rosberg managed a season-best fourth: "Without that, we would have been fourth and fifth for sure today," says Schumacher.

Mark Webber: "We are still looking to get something out of it but we are obviously on the back foot. We will be trying to get the strategy right and get something out of it. I've looked at previous starts but I was saying to the guys, I might need binoculars to see the lights today, it's been a while since I was in this position. We are going to try to use Kers."

0745: More on Lewis Hamilton's troubling predicament, from BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "Lewis Hamilton's McLaren has a fuel leak. There is a stench of petrol in his garage, some fuel line has come loose and is spraying fuel into the engine." Lewis has now left the pits for a gentle spin around the circuit, so maybe McLaren have fixed whatever was wrong.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Shanghai: "Six of the drivers on the grid are returning to Shanghai as winners here and Paul di Resta is also returning to the scene of his biggest career victory to date. The Scot wrapped up the 2011 German Tour Championship (DTM) title in Shanghai to ensure he arrived in Formula 1 as a proven winner. He says: 'I have very good memories from last year, if I can remember them from the Sunday night!' The 25-year-old is just three races into this F1 career for Force India but he has already collected points from his first two grands prix - the first rookie to do so since McLaren's Lewis Hamilton took F1 by storm in 2007. Di Resta is aiming to match his former teenage rival and he has already taken another step forward in China by qualifying in a career-best eighth place. What's more he is confident he can at the very least retain his position by the flag even with the likes of Michael Schumacher and Mark Webber piling on pressure from behind."

0742 - BREAKING NEWS: Lewis Hamilton has a fuel leak.

Sarah Holt
Sarah Holt at the Shanghai International Circuit
0741: The smog was bad on Friday, but by Saturday significantly better. Today, it's a proper blue-sky day in the Chinese metropolis - as our photo indicates. The image also gives an idea of the vast dimensions of the paddock area here.

0738: Interesting interview with Lewis Hamilton, talking exclusively to BBC1's Jake Humphrey, on criticisms of his driving style and whether he wears out the tyres too quickly: "I've never been so happy at my driving style, how I've handled the tyres, how they've behaved with my driving style and how I've adapted to look after the tyres. You can always learn to improve. Im really happy with my performance and approach to the first two races. I think it will give me a lot of consistency through the year. The way it goes as a team you have to rely on others to do as good a job as you, and you can never guarantee everyone does the best job."

Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel: "You should never get used to starting at the front. We always have the same target - to start from pole. Lately we have been very successful. But it is a threat to get used to it - we still appreciate it and it is a thrill. It is a strong position to be in at the moment (to be 24 points clear in the championship after two races) but there are so many races to go. Things might be looking different after today. And then we have a lot of races coming. It's way too early to think about the championship. We have a strong package and we have to make good use of it."

Twitter
Ferrari on Twitter: "Both drivers have left the garage for their first parade laps."

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Text message from Simon in Frome: "Come on Jenson. Get off to a flyer and stop the drivers' championship from being a formality."

0730: Time for the pit-lane to open. We're just 30 minutes away from the race start.

0729: Interestingly, and this could pose a problem to anyone attempting an overtaking manoeuvre, we have learned that the zone in which drivers are permitted to activate their drag reduction system (DRS) has been shortened from 900m to about 750m. Jenson Button says: "You've got to get a very good exit out of turn 13 to really tow up to the car in front."

0725: And, talking of Renault, here's their team principal Eric Boullier: "We know we can have a good start but I'm just a bit afraid of the first corner. If you have a decent, clear strategy, both cars can be in the points. I don't think we have sacrificed any areas of the car. We know Kers is important for starts."

Twitter
Edeniade on Twitter: "Nearly 2am in Canada, been up for 14 hours & not going to bed until I see another man in black & gold on the podium!" In that case you may have to wait until Turkey on 8 May as the leading Renault (Vitaly Petrov) only qualified 10th on the grid!


0717: In response to some queries, I can confirm that Sheffield-born actor Sean Bean did indeed lend his services for the voice-over to our intro this morning.

McLaren driver Jenson Button, second on the grid: "This is my best grid slot of the year. We are in a better position than anyone else to challenge the Red Bulls and we should be happy with that. We don't know what Sebastian Vettel's pace in the race is going to be like. If he's a second quicker, it's definitely not possible to race with him, whereas if he's four tenths quicker and we have Kers, it's possible. It's always a fun place to race and I'm looking forward to it."

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton, third on the grid: "Red Bull only have the advantage in qualifying really. We can give them a run for their money in the race. But the race is never simple: you have the start, you have all the stops that you need to do, you have to look after the tyres and it's going to be very tricky again. But I really wanted to put myself in a decent spot and I am in a position to have a good opportunity during the race."

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh on catching Red Bull: "There is no eureka moment or one trick or component on their car that we're missing. Red Bull have done a good job and we are capable of doing a better job than we are doing. We have to find more pace and I'd be disappointed if we don't deliver a decent performance jump [at the next race] in Turkey. There will be a lot of new parts and we just need to get into that sweet spot with the set-up, getting the tyres working and delivering downforce. While there is focus on us versus Red Bull, we are not complacent in regards to Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault who can come and attack."

0711: It's down to the McLarens to stop Sebastian Vettel's imperious Red Bull, and our intrepid reporter Sarah Holt has been asking three of their key players how they intend to go about it...

Twitter
paulreaneyf1 on Twitter: "Absolutely loved the #BBCF1 martial arts intro, will try to store that on my phone :-)"


Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Text from Anthony: "White on rice means all over it. As white is all over rice... I'm on it like white on rice."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Shanghai: "Red Bull's Mark Webber has a good shot at charging his way through the field after electrical and Kers problems and a costly tyre choice saw him qualify 18th. On the plus side Webber is the only man left with three new sets of soft tyres and he also has better race pace than those ahead of them. 'I'll give it a good crack,' said Webber. 'I've had a hell of a lot of good days in the last few years. At the moment I'm not getting the rub of the green but I'm also not making a shopping list of excuses. We've got to look inside and keep working hard.' Webber said the team would make a late decision on whether to run Kers in the race."

0702: Right, so we're on air on BBC1. Here are some facts about the circuit. It is designed by Hermann Tilke and shaped like the Chinese character "shang" meaning "high" or "above". To the northeast of Shanghai, it can seat 200,000 people with 29,000 in the main straight grandstand alone. There are seven left and seven right turns, and the main overtaking chance is turn one and the end of the back straight. The longest straight is more than 1km long, which will favour those with the best Kers and DRS systems, and should see cars hitting top speeds of more than 330kph (205mph). Bring it on.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK)
Anonymous, via text: " 'White on rice' means to be on or close to something. Thanks, but if you're texting in please try to add your name!

0655: Just five minutes until BBC1's F1 coverage sparks into life. Sebastian Vettel is a very hot odds-on favourite to win today, and it's a similar story for the drivers' championship. If he was to win here and fail to retain his drivers' title he would be the first man to kick off with a hat-trick of wins without going on to take the major end-of-season honours.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Shanghai: "Music fan and McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton not only plays the drums and guitar - and dates pop star Nicole Scherzinger - but now he has forked out £61,000 for a gold guitar owned by pop legend Prince. Hamilton, however, is not likely to serenade Scherzinger with it anytime soon. 'I thought if I tried to play it, it would be demoralising compared to how he played it,' Hamilton said. 'I know Prince after meeting him in Abu Dhabi. He was saying he was planning to auction his guitar and said the money was going to a kids' project in the States to I said I would buy it if I could decide which charity the other half of the money went to. It's probably the coolest thing in my apartment now.' "

0645: If you can help us decipher "white on rice" (see Lewis's tweet below) please get in touch via Twitter (using #bbcf1 or @bbcsport_oliver) or with a text message to 81111. If you want to take about more pressing matters in F1 then please use the same conduits of communication.

Twitter
McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton on Twitter: "This is the view from my hotel at breakfast this morning! I'm on it like white on rice baby!!!"

0643: Remember Jenson Button winning here 12 months ago with a brilliant drive on a wet track? Not an issue today. It's expected to be sunny and a little warmer than yesterday, and there's no evidence of the smog we had on Friday. Pretty perfect all round.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Shanghai: "Some of Team BBC got a brief glimpse into the world of a Formula 1 world champion when we flew from Malaysia to Shanghai on the same plane as Sebastian Vettel. The 23-year-old was on his own, happily chatting to us about how he had spent his two days off between races going to the gym and shopping and then he walked though the exit... On the other side of arrivals, Vettel was immediately faced with a TV camera, photographers and a bank of fans calling out in excitement and waving photos of the champ, flags and Red Bull caps. Of course, Vettel took it all in his stride, while we were able to scuttle past with our suitcases. Apart from Jake, who also seems to have a fan base in China!"

Twitter
venky1976 on Twitter: "I am banking on a blistering Webber drive! At least hope springs eternal!" ...A reminder that a tactical blunder means Vettel's team-mate Webber starts way down in 18th today

0622: I've been listening to BBC Radio 5 live's F1 commentator David Croft this morning, and he says McLaren are pretty bullish about their ability to rein in Vettel in the early stages. They believe they have enough pace to stay within a second of the Red Bull pole-sitter over the first two laps and then activate their drag reduction system (the movable rear wing) in order to try to get past him.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Shanghai: "Hello again. This is my third visit to China and for the very first time, the sun is shining down from a pale blue sky just in time for race day. There are a few other faces in the paddock who might also be banking on things coming in threes. Red Bull's world champion Sebastian Vettel is targeting win number three after capturing his third pole of 2011 in Shanghai. While in the other side of the Red Bull garage, Mark Webber - who starts 18th after a problem-stricken weekend - will be hoping this is his third and final dose of bad luck. Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton are breathing down Vettel's neck at the front of the grid but will either of the McLaren drivers claim a first win of 2011 at the third time of asking? The sunshine is lifting spirits and fans are strolling about in the sunshine and sitting on grassy banks trackside as we await to find out just whether three is the magic number."

0615: Remember 2004? Michael Schumacher kicked off that season with five wins for Ferrari, and after a minor blip in Monaco banged in another six straight victories. Seven years on and it's another talented German showing everyone else a clean pair of heels. Step forward Sebastian Vettel. Can anyone stop him in Shanghai?



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Results

Position Driver Team

Practice three underway

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes
3 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
4 Finland V Bottas Williams
5 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
6 Mexico E Gutierrez Sauber
7 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
8 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
9 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
10 Great Britain J Button McLaren
11 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
12 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
13 Brazil F Massa Williams
14 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
15 Mexico S Perez Force India
16 Germany A Sutil Sauber
17 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
18 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
19 France J Bianchi Marussia
20 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
21 France R Grosjean Lotus
22 A Lotterer Caterham

Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 220
2 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 216
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 141
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari 130
5 Finland V Bottas Williams 107
6 Germany S Vettel Red Bull 92
7 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 69
8 Great Britain J Button McLaren 61
9 Brazil F Massa Williams 40
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren 39
11 Mexico S Perez Force India 29
12 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 33
13 France J Vergne Toro Rosso 11
14 France R Grosjean Lotus 8
15 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso 6
16 France J Bianchi Marussia 2
17 Germany A Sutil Sauber 0
18 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham 0
19 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus 0
20 Mexico E Gutierrez Sauber 8
21 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia 0

Points projected from latest race positions


see also
Chinese Grand Prix qualifying results
08 Mar 11 |  Results
Chinese GP qualifying photos
16 Apr 11 |  Formula One
Vettel beats Button to China pole
16 Apr 11 |  Formula One
Vettel heads Hamilton in practice
15 Apr 11 |  Formula One
McLaren fear 'very fast' Red Bull
15 Apr 11 |  Formula One
F1 on the BBC
01 Dec 11 |  Formula 1


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