Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel recovered from a disaster of a first lap to wind up second behind Mercedes-Benz’s Nico Rosberg in the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix Sunday.
The two Ferraris of Vettel and teammate Kimi Raikkonen qualified third and fourth, starting behind pole-sitter Rosberg and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo in second. The pair got away slowly when the lights went out, however, and Ricciardo, followed by Rosberg, led the 22-car field into Turn 1.
With Vettel losing position, Red Bull’s Daniil Kyvat attempted to make a move on Vettel on the inside. The Russian didn’t leave the German enough room and he was forced to swerve to avoid him, hitting Raikkonen in the process and forcing the Fin to pit with damage. Vettel then dropped back to eighth.
With Ferrari out of the picture for a while, attention turned to race leader Ricciardo and the hard-charging Rosberg. As the Mercedes driver made his pass Ricciardo, his Red Bull suffered a puncture, forcing him to hand second place over to Kyvat. A safety car was then deployed for debris, sending most of the field to the pits.
It didn’t take long for Vettel to recover from the first lap madness, battling Kyvat for second by the races mid-point. He made his move on the Red Bull driver on Lap 35, diving down the inside of him and holding the position until the race’s end. Raikkonen also recovered well from his teammate’s mistake and came home fifth behind Ricciardo.
Rounding out the top ten was Williams’ Felipe Massa in sixth, Mercedes-Benz’s Lewis Hamilton in seventh, Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz in eighth and ninth and Valterri Bottas in tenth.