Nico Rosberg scored his first Formula 1 race victory at his 111th attempt in the Chinese Grand Prix.
Rosberg is the third son of a former world championship race winner to win a race himself: the others being Damon Hill (son of Graham Hill) and Jacques Villeneuve (son of Gilles Villeneuve).
However Keke Rosberg is the first Grand Prix winner to see his son win a race – Graham Hill and Gilles Villeneuve died before their sons followed in their footsteps.
Of the three father-and-son teams, the Hills have three world championships and 36 race wins between them, the Villeneuves one world championship and 17 race wins, and the Rosbergs one world championship and six race wins – so far.
Only four drivers took longer to achieve their first wins than Nico Rosberg did:
|2009 German Grand Prix
|2000 German Grand Prix
|2004 Monaco Grand Prix
|2006 Hungarian Grand Prix
|2012 Chinese Grand Prix
One other driver took more than 100 starts to score his first win: Giancarlo Fisichella (110).
Rosberg’s father was also a comparatively late bloomer, scoring his first F1 win at his 63rd attempt in his fifth season. He scored his last F1 win in the 1985 Australian Grand Prix (pictured) when Nico was four months old.
The younger Rosberg became the 103rd driver to win a race. The last new winner was Mark Webber in the 2009 German Grand Prix.
Rosberg also became the 95th driver to start a race from pole position. His last win and pole position in any discipline came in his final GP2 appearance at Bahrain in 2005, when he won the championship.
Mercedes scored their first win since their return to the sport as a full constructor two years ago.
Their last race win and pole position came in their final appearance in their previous incarnation, when Juan Manuel Fangio won the 1955 Italian Grand Prix from pole position (pictured). They now have ten Grand Prix wins, giving them as many as Alfa Romeo.
The Chinese Grand Prix continues to produce different winners. In nine races he have seen eighth different victors: Rubens Barrichello, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton – the latter driver the only one to have won more than once.
In a weekend of firsts, Kamui Kobayashi set the fastest lap of the race, becoming the 120th driver to do so. This was also the first fastest lap for Sauber as an independent constructor (they scored two as BMW-Sauber).
Third on the grid was Kobayashi’s best qualifying position to date. Michael Schumacher started second, his highest starting position since his comeback, and the 116th front row start for the driver who has made more than anyone else.
The first three races of the season have all seen Lewis Hamilton finish third and Webber finish fourth.
Sixth for Romain Grosjean gave him the first points of his F1 career, and Pastor Maldonado got his first points of the year with eighth.
That means Felipe Massa is the only driver outside of the ‘small three’ teams who is yet to score this year.
Williams had both cars in the points for the first time since the 2010 Korean Grand Prix.
As last year, the race had 23 finishers. Only one race has seen more finishers – last year’s European Grand Prix, where all 24 runners were classified. The only other race with 23 finishers was also last year, in Japan.
The high number of finishers is a worry for Caterham, who need at least a 14th and 15th place to move ahead of Marussia into the lucrative top ten in the constructors’ championship.
Review the year so far in statistics here:
- 2012 F1 championship points
- 2012 F1 season records
- 2012 F1 race data
- 2012 F1 qualifying data
- 2012 F1 retirements and penalties
- 2012 F1 strategy and pit stops
- 2012 F1 driver form guides
Spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Chinese Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.
2012 Chinese Grand Prix
- F1 fans’ videos from the Chinese and Bahrain races
- First win makes Rosberg the Chinese GP Driver of the Weekend
- Rosberg’s China win rated fifth-best race of last five years
- Rosberg becomes F1’s third second-generation race winner
- Vote for your Chinese Grand Prix driver of the weekend
Images © Williams/LAT, Daimler