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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2010 CHINESE GRAND PRIX - RACE DAY AT SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Race day at Shanghai International Circuit
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
Shangahi International Circuit
Shangahi International Circuit © Sutton
05:30 Hello everyone and welcome to AUTOSPORT Live for coverage of round four of the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship.

The 5.451 km Shanghai International Circuit has provided some good action this weekend and the qualifying battle was hard-fought, but the end result is becoming familiar - an all-Red Bull front row.

The race itself begins at 07:00 GMT, but before then we will set the scene by reviewing yesterday's qualifying session, update you on today's weather conditions and support card activity, and focus on some of the major talking points heading into the race.

05:35 A few breaks in the cloud base have led to sunny spells over the last few hours, but to the west the teams are watching the radar closely as a band of rain makes its way across the region.

However, the rain is showing signs of fragmenting into two areas: one drifting to the south of the circuit and the other part drifting to the north.

The local rainfall radar reads like the script from the movie 'Armageddon' currently and we will continue to track its progress in the build-up to the race. It is a knife-edge situation, but the latest news is that the teams are still expecting some light rain during the grand prix.

With a south-westerly air source continuing to drag mild air northwards, temperatures will rise to around 19 degrees Celsius today - possibly nudging 20 for a time.

Vettel celebrates another pole
Vettel celebrates another pole © Sutton
05:40 The finger of celebration made yet another appearance yesterday at the end of a qualifying session with few surprises, as Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber secured a Red Bull lockout at the front of the grid.

So far this season the Q1 question has revolved around which of the top 18 drivers will become the fall-guy to join the Lotus, Virgin and Hispania teams on the sidelines. At one stage it looked like Pedro de la Rosa would be that man, but it was Tonio Liuzzi who was unable to improve.

The second stage was predictable, as both Williams drivers failed to make the shootout, along with Alguersuari and Buemi in the Toro Rossos, the Sauber drivers and Vitaly Petrov in the Renault.

That left Adrian Sutil and Robert Kubica to join the McLarens, Ferraris, Red Bulls and Mercedes in the top ten shootout.

On both runs Vettel blasted his way to the top of the pile, but Webber gave the German a run for his money. Fernando Alonso came through for third on the last run and Nico Rosberg finished a very positive fourth - out-qualifying his team-mate Michael Schumacher by over seven-tenths of a second in the process.

Vettel storms to Chinese GP pole

Fans in the stands
Fans in the stands © Sutton
05:45 Motor racing enthusiasts love to debate and discuss the action on track, and the live forum at the bottom of the screen is your chance to let everyone know your thoughts on events as they unfold at the circuit.

• Will the Red Bull pair sail off into the distance this afternoon?

• Assuming they do, who is set to take the final podium position? The McLaren drivers were hit by an alarming lack of pace when it mattered and do you really think Nico Rosberg has the pace pace in the Mercedes to match Alonso's Ferrari?

• Which team will take the honours today out of the three new outfits down the field? All of them will be looking forward to working with updated packages at Montmelo in three weeks' time.

Tell the world what you think.

Click the SHOW LIVE FORUM link in the red bar at the bottom of your browser window if you'd like to join the debate.

Timo Glock chats with Porsche winner Christian Menzel
Timo Glock chats with Porsche winner Christian Menzel © Sutton
05:50 The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia provided the only support action in Shanghai with a race on Saturday and a second encounter this morning.

German tin-top ace Christian Menzel dominated the season opener in his Team StarChase entry, topping practice and qualifying before leading home Darryl O'Young and Marchy Lee by over five seconds.

Menzel remained unstoppable this morning as he again won from O'Young, while Craig Baird completed the podium. The series will be back on the F1 support bill at the Singapore Grand Prix in September.

05:55 The Chinese Formula 1 fans drifted away when Michael Schumacher retired at the end of the 2006 season. But today, they are back in increased numbers.

Airhorns blared and the crowd in the grandstand at start-finish cheered loudly as Schumacher joined his fellow-drivers for the traditional parade round the circuit.

The 24 drivers have since gone back to the waterside team buildings to prepare for a long race, lasting at least one hour and thirty minutes.

06:00 Here's how the grid will line up this afternoon:
Pos  Driver         Team 
 1.  Vettel         Red Bull-Renault 
 2.  Webber         Red Bull-Renault
 3.  Alonso         Ferrari
 4.  Rosberg        Mercedes
 5.  Button         McLaren-Mercedes
 6.  Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes
 7.  Massa          Ferrari
 8.  Kubica         Renault
 9.  Schumacher     Mercedes
10.  Sutil          Force India-Mercedes
11.  Barrichello    Williams-Cosworth
12.  Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari
13.  Buemi          Toro Rosso-Ferrari
14.  Petrov         Renault
15.  Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari
16.  Hulkenberg     Williams-Cosworth
17.  de la Rosa     Sauber-Ferrari
18.  Liuzzi         Force India-Mercedes
19.  Glock          Virgin-Cosworth
20.  Trulli         Lotus-Cosworth
21.  Kovalainen     Lotus-Cosworth
22.  di Grassi      Virgin-Cosworth
23.  Senna          HRT-Cosworth
24.  Chandhok       HRT-Cosworth *

* Five-place grid penalty for breaking a gearbox
 seal without an observer present. Starting from pits.
06:05 The local weather radar continues to point towards a threat of rain - particularly during the second half of the race.

The showers are less than 100 km away from the Shanghai International Circuit, while right now conditions remain dry but overcast overhead.

The new team battle will continue
The new team battle will continue © Sutton
06:10 The battle at the rear of the field to be the best new team in the sport this year has been intriguing. We are set for another showdown today as Lotus and Virgin square up to eachother for the fourth time.

Lotus set much of the pre-season testing and early pace, but Virgin registered its first finish with Lucas di Grassi last weekend in Malaysia and Timo Glock has out-qualified both Lotus T127 entries this weekend at Shanghai.

Doubts remain over the race pace of the Virgin due to its fuel tank issue, but in the early laps we can expect di Grassi and Glock to give Lotus drivers Trulli and Kovalainen a real fright. The four of them were covered by just 0.505 seconds yesterday in qualifying.

Hispania Racing remains rooted to the bottom rung of the Formula 1 ladder, but the team is much closer to the pace of its two main rivals this weekend. Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok qualified just over one second slower than Glock's leading Virgin. Chandhok was handed a five-place grid penalty early on Saturday and the team has elected to start him from the pitlane.

Webber will hope to steal the lead this time
Webber will hope to steal the lead this time © Sutton
06:15 A lock-out of the front row is the perfect place for Red Bull to start its bid for a one-two finish for the second race in succession. If the rain doesn't arrive, it is unlikely that Alonso, Rosberg or the McLaren pair will be able to prevent a maximum score for the blue cars, with the main interest being whether Webber can pay back his team-mate for Malaysia and grab the lead at Turn 1.

Alonso will hope to have good race pace in his Ferrari, but the formbook suggests only reliability can stop the rapid RB6 in a completely dry race. Both tyre compounds look durable enough to go a long way, with Bridgestone suggesting pitstops from about lap 20 to discard the softer tyres that most will start on if the track is dry.

Rain really is the big factor in today's strategy, and the fact that timing and quantity remain uncertain only adds to the challenge of planning the afternoon.

Alonso said yesterday: "When it will rain, if it's wet all race, only the first part, only the middle or only the end? We don't know. Anyone can win those types of races because there is so much difference in terms of lap time if you make the right choice at the pit stop or whatever."

Being on the right tyres at the right time is the strategists mantra for any inclement weather and things could get pretty chaotic if we do get the odd shower today.

Schumacher celebrates his last win in 2006
Schumacher celebrates his last win in 2006 © LAT
06:20 The Shanghai International Circuit has hosted six Chinese Grands Prix since its inception in 2004. Three races have been held in dry conditions with the other three seeing some form of rain during the race.

2006 was the first wet event. Light rain fell before the start of the race and during the early laps. Fernando Alonso established a big lead in the Renault, but crucially opted to swap to fresh front intermediate tyres. His race was ruined there and then. Team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella and a charging Michael Schumacher caught and passed the Spaniard easily, leaving Renault's number two and Ferrari's star driver to fight it out.

The leaders pitted for grooved tyres as a dry line emerged. Schumacher stopped first and had that crucial one lap advantage to drill Fisichella as he squirmed out of the pits on dry rubber. Schumacher blazed to his 91st victory on one of the Scuderia's greatest days.

Hamilton's 2007 title campain ran aground in the pitlane gravel
Hamilton's 2007 title campain ran aground in the pitlane gravel © LAT
06:23 2007 saw the rain return to again dash the championship aspirations of the points leader.

This time it was Lewis Hamilton, who - just like Alonso the previous year - looked in complete control as the rain fell during the early stages of the race. The Briton pulled out a sizable lead on intermediate tyres but in doing so wore them heavily. Hamilton made the move to pit for fresh rubber on a damp track, but disaster struck. He slid into the pitlane gravel trap and couldn't recover.

Raikkonen assumed control of the race and took victory ahead of Fernando Alonso, with Hamilton left to rue a costly error - one that severely compromised his championship chances.

The third time that rain intervened was of course last year. FIA race director Charlie Whiting decided to start the event under the safety car. When it did, Sebastian Vettel put on a wet weather masterclass to give Red Bull its maiden victory in the sport.

With the RB6 machines locking out the front row and again a threat of light rain in the air, a similar result is entirely possible.

06:26 The rainfall radar is teasing everyone at the moment with just over 30 minutes to go before the formation lap.

It shows us that moderate rainfall is gathering rather than fragmenting to the west of the circuit, with smaller light showers expected by some teams in the next few minutes.

06:30 The pitlane is now open, allowing drivers onto the circuit for the first time today.

With half-an-hour to go until the start, they will be keen to check the grip level. The team radio, all functions on the car and front-to-rear balance will also get their attention.

06:30 The umbrellas are going up in the grandstands as light rain falls at the circuit!

06:32 The rain is only very light at the moment as drivers get ready to drive around to the grid.

06:32 The circuit radar shows more light showers marching towards the track in the lead up to the start.

06:34 Vettel is strapped in to his polesitting Red Bull as he prepares to head to the grid.

06:35 Mark Webber has already arrived on the start/finish straight and is pushed into place on the front row.

06:35 The rain is still only a very light drizzle, which isn't really impacting grip levels for the moment.

06:36 Schumacher takes a dive through the pits and heads around on another reconnaissance lap. Team-mate Rosberg does the same.

06:40 Nico Rosberg spent a little time in the garage. He has since left the pits with a set of soft tyres.

06:40 Fernando Alonso has taken up his third place on the grid and begins to talk to Spanish reporters.

06:41 Schumacher has ended his reconnaissance tours and is in place on the grid.

06:42 Polesitter Vettel is pushed into place on the front of the grid.

06:43 Nico Rosberg has finally arrived on the grid. He is pushed into his fourth place starting slot by the Mercedes mechanics.

06:45 Odd spots of moisture are still falling from the sky with almost all the cars on the grid. The drizzle has eased for the moment, but more rain is expected soon.

The track surface is still in a dry tyre condition for the moment.

06:45 There is a scramble in the pitlane as mechanics wheel out sets of wet weather tyres.

06:45 The pits are now closed with less than 15 minutes to the formation lap.

06:47 More rain is now arriving as the fans grab what cover they can in the stands around the back of the circuit.

06:48 Ross Brawn tells German TV that he expects a moderate amount of rain timed around the start of the race.

06:49 There is a strong breeze blowing as a tail wind down the back straight.

06:51 This is a tricky situation for the teams and drivers, with the track still not wet enough for intermediate rubber.

06:51 The FIA has declared a change in climatic conditions, allowing some adjustments to be made on the grid.

06:52 The Meteo France radar as used by the teams is showing further, more meaningful rainfall arriving in around 10 minutes time.

06:53 The teams have until three minutes before the formation lap to bolt a set of tyres on the cars.

06:55 There are five minutes to go until the start of the formation lap.

06:55 It is a tense grid, with the feeling that anything can happen this afternoon.

06:56 The safety car leaves its position at the front of the grid, ensuring a normal standing start to the race this afternoon.

06:56 The track temperature is 23 Celsius under threatening skies.

06:57 Virgin Racing has decided to start Lucas di Grassi from the pitlane. He had qualified in 22nd position.

06:58 The rain is still only odd spots, meaning slick rubber is clearly the choice for the start.

07:00 The leading drivers are all on the soft rubber they used in qualifying.

07:00 The formation lap beings at Shanghai. Timo Glock has been left on the jacks on the grid!

07:01 Glock has a set of intermediate tyres on his Virgin entry. Meanwhile, Vettel leads the pack around on the formation lap.

07:01 There is a bit more rain falling now as the cars head around on slicks.

07:02 If rain continues at this pace, they will be in for intermediates very soon.

07:02 Nico Rosberg is advised by race engineer Jock Clear that the rain will become heavier. Vettel is now on the back straight.

07:02 The leading cars make the turn for home and Vettel brings them through the dip towards the starting grid.

07:03 This is going to be tremendous. The front few rows are now in position. The rest of the field is forming up nicely.

Standby for action ...

Lap 1: The five red lights go out and we are racing in China!

Lap 1: Vettel answers the call and puts the power down but Alonso jumps both Red Bulls into Turn 1 and leads easily!

Lap 1: Down the back straight it is a fast-starting Alonso from Webber, Vettel, Rosberg, Button and Hamilton.

Lap 1: The safety car has been deployed.

Lap 1: We have contact at the back of the field and four cars are involved. Buemi, Kobayashi and Liuzzi are all involved.

Lap 1: Alonso was very quick off the line there and the stewards will be checking sensor data to see if the Ferrari jumped the lights.

Lap 2: Wow! Tonio Liuzzi lost control of his Force India under braking and just like Kobayashi in Australia he smashed into Buemi and Kobayashi.

Lap 2: Rain continues to fall and intermediates will surely be needed soon.

Lap 2: All three cars have damage and are out of the race.

Lap 2: Button is convinced on the McLaren radio that Alonso jumped the start.

Lap 2: Barrichello, Alguersuari and Sutil have all taken advantage of the safety car period and have been into the pits.

Lap 2: Virgin drivers Glock and di Grassi have failed to take the start. A disaster for the team.

Lap 2: The order is Alonso from Webber, Vettel, Rosberg, Button, Hamilton, Massa, Schumacher, Kubica and Petrov.

Lap 2: Alonso is now under investigation for a jump start.

Lap 2: He leads Mark Webber in to the pits for a change to intermediates.

Lap 2: Vettel, Massa, Hamilton and Schumacher all charge in to the pits.

Lap 3: This will be a major shake-up in the order as rain continues to worsen.

Lap 3: As this lot peel into the pits the order over the line is now Rosberg leading with Button second, Kubica third and Petrov fourth.

Lap 3: Replays show Hamilton made a very late dive for the pits and is now out on intermediates.

Lap 3: Rosberg now leads from Button, Kubica and Petrov - all still on slicks.

Lap 3: De la Rosa is fifth and Lotus has Kovalainen in an amazing sixth place with Sutil seventh.

Lap 3: The safety car will pit at the end of this lap.

Lap 3: The Mercedes team look ready to stop Rosberg as slicks do look tricky.

Lap 4: The safety car comes into the pitlane and we are racing once again.

Lap 4: Alonso is the highest of the intermediate runners in sixth but surely faces a penalty for that jump start.

Lap 4: Sutil surges forwards after his early stop for intermediates pays off.

Lap 4: Kovalainen is now falling backwards down the order on this first lap of the restart. He is nailed by Barrichello for eighth into Turn 6.

Lap 5: Rosberg is still holding the lead from Button and Kubica but the rain is still falling.

Lap 5: This is fantastic with a range of tyres in use by the field. Schumacher is 16th and pitting for the second time in the Mercedes.

Lap 5: Alonso is fourth, from Sutil, de la Rosa, Petrov, Barrichello and Alguersuari.

Lap 5: Alonso has been handed a drive-through penalty for jumping the start.

Lap 6: Some big names are down the field after those stops. Webber is tenth with Massa 11th, Hamilton 12th and he is struggling for grip.

Lap 6: The slick-shod drivers at the front are still holding on to the damp track very well.

Lap 6: Kovalainen is falling down the field in 13th, Vettel 14th and Hulkenberg now 15th.

Lap 6: Barrichello, Hamilton, Vettel and Hulkenberg all come into the pits, having burnt out their intermediate tyres.

Lap 7: Vettel and Hamilton are racing side by side exiting the pits! Hamilton has to give way and Vettel keeps track position.

Lap 7: Rosberg, Button, Kubica and de la Rosa are now in a strong position out front as they remain on dry tyres with only very light rain still falling.

Lap 7: Replays show that Vettel and Hamilton were racing eachother both into the pitlane before reigniting the fight on the way out.

Lap 7: Michael Schumacher is now running in a lowly 17th position after that second stop.

Lap 7: Webber pits from ninth and Massa from tenth as they swap to slicks.

Lap 8: With that rash of pitstops for the big names, Schumacher is now up to 11th and charging, but the rain is beginning to fall heavier again.

Lap 8: The rain is still light and variable but Rosberg leads on slicks by almost three seconds from Button.

Lap 8: It's like the 1993 European Grand Prix at Donington out there as the drivers struggle greatly with correct tyre choice.

Lap 9: Hamilton is on his way back through the field. He passes Rubens Barrichello for 12th position entering Turn 1.

Lap 9: Alguersuari is sixth in his Toro Rosso after just one stop so may still be on intermediates.

Lap 9: Felipe Massa is having a nightmare on his slick tyres out there. He has been off the road at least twice and runs in 15th position.

Lap 10: It's all gone wrong for Pedro de la Rosa in his Sauber, who pulls out of fourth with smoke from the car.

Lap 10: Sebastian Vettel passes team-mate Mark Webber for ninth position at the end of the long back straight going into Turn 14.

Lap 10: Rosberg now leads by 3.4 seconds from Button, Kubica, Petrov, Alguersuari, Kovalainen, Schumacher and Sutil.

Lap 11: Webber is starting to go backwards as he loses another place to Lewis Hamilton. The Briton is up to ninth with an easy move on the straight.

Lap 11: Button is beginning to close on leader Rosberg and is fast through the first sector.

Lap 11: Vettel is eighth but closing quickly on Sutil. There will be a battle for eighth very soon.

Lap 12: Sutil has now made it past Kovalainen's Lotus to take seventh.

Lap 12: Vettel is about to pass Kovalainen for eighth and he does so. Hamilton follows the Red Bull though.

Lap 13: With the Lotus dropping back, a fine scrap between Sutil, Vettel, Hamilton and Webber is forming over the minor points places.

Lap 13: Vettel tries the outside into the hairpin but Hamilton blasts past both of them up the inside to take seventh in his McLaren.

Lap 13: Sutil holds off Vettel and now it is the two Red Bulls right behind the Force India.

Lap 13: Hamilton has already sprinted away from this scrap.

Lap 14: Kovalainen is now sliding back through the field for the second time today. Barrichello is the next man on his tail in a developing fight for 11th position.

Lap 14: Up front, Rosberg sets the fastest lap to cement his lead at 2.9 seconds.

Lap 14: Vettel blasts out of Turn 13, draws up in the slipstream and is past Sutil into the hairpin.

Lap 14: Meanwhile, Alguersuari has pitted from fourth and rejoined way down the order.

Lap 14: Hamilton sets the fastest lap as he now finds himself in clear air.

Lap 15: Rosberg now leads from Button, Kubica, Petrov, Schumacher, Hamilton, Vettel, Webber and Sutil.

Lap 15: Hamilton is now closing rapidly on Schumacher's Mercedes.

Lap 15: The big names are moving back towards the front. Behind Webber, Sutil is ninth with Alguersuari rejoining in tenth position.

Lap 15: Hamilton's McLaren is still 46 seconds off the lead but takes an amazing three seconds out of Schumacher on that lap.

Lap 15: Barrichello and Massa have passed Kovalainen. They run in 11th, 12th and 13th positions. Alonso is 14th but he also passes the Lotus.

Lap 16: So Kovalainen is down another place to 14th. Hulkenberg is 15th and will catch the Lotus in around three laps.

Lap 16: Hamilton catches Schumacher at the hairpin but can't make the move this time.

Lap 16: Trulli is 16th with Senna 17th and Chandhok 18th. Lucas di Grassi has joined the race but is eight laps adrift.

Lap 16: Schumacher versus Hamilton is a mouthwatering battle now playing out as they scrap over fifth.

Lap 16: Hamilton lines up his move along the back striaght and makes his move around the outside.

Lap 16: Schumacher defends the inside and Hamilton can't make it stick.

Lap 17: A wonderful scrap down the order between Barrichello and Alonso for 12th place. Massa passed his fellow Brazilian a lap ago and is now chasing Alguersuari., who is tenth.

Lap 17: Meanwhile, Button is also following a Mercedes and is now 2.2 seconds off leader Rosberg.

Lap 17: Hamilton has a great drive out of Turn 13 and fires the McLaren up the inside of Schumacher.

Lap 17: They cross over at the apex but Hamilton has the deal done and is now fifth after some great racing in China.

Lap 17: Di Grassi comes into the pits again in the Virgin. This could be the end of the day for the team.

Lap 17: The teams are worried about more rain due imminently.

Lap 18: Hamilton is off to close the 16 second gap to fourth-place man Petrov.

Lap 18: Vettel is now on the tail of Schumacher.

Lap 18: The Red Bull tees up a move off the banked corner and Germany's latest star is past Schumacher's Mercedes for sixth.

Lap 18: Adrian Sutil in ninth is losing pace. Alguersuari is catching the German quickly with Massa a further six seconds back.

Lap 19: Sutil does a 1m47s lap and Alguersuari is right on his tail. This is the battle for ninth.

Lap 19: Massa is now putting in personal best sector times in 11th and will quickly catch the Sutil-Alguersuari fight.

Lap 19: Alguersuari makes his move on the long straight and the Toro Rosso driver is through, up the inside and into ninth.

Lap 20: Rosberg had pulled out his lead to a useful 4.5 seconds but now Button is with the leader.

Lap 20: Barrichello pits from 13th position in the Williams, as does Trulli from 17th.

Lap 20: The McLaren driver makes a move on Rosberg at the hairpin and the world champion leads over the line in China.

Lap 20: More rain is falling at the moment and replays show former leader Rosberg ran off the road at Turn 11.

Lap 20: This is a long stop for Trulli here. The Lotus is in trouble.

Lap 20: We could be in for another round of stops to intermediates very soon.

Lap 20: Schumacher and Webber dive in for a change of tyres.

Lap 21: Button leads from Rosberg, Kubica, Petrov, Hamilton and Vettel.

Lap 21: The incident between Hamilton and Vettel in the pits earlier will be investigated after the race.

Lap 21: Barrichello crosses the line in seventh place as most of the field come in for intermediates.

Lap 21: Button, Rosberg and Kubica dive to the pits for intermediate rubber.

Lap 21: Hamilton is struggling for pace now and Vettel is right with the McLaren.

Lap 21: The pair again head to the pits together.

Lap 21: Alguersuari, Alonso, Sutil, Massa, Kovalainen, Hulkenberg, Senna and Chandhok have all been in for intermediates.

Lap 21: Hamilton leads Vettel back out but they have both fallen behind Webber, who pitted the lap before.

Lap 21: Jaime Alguersuari is touring into the pits with a broken front wing. He was in 13th position at the time.

Lap 22: Alguersuari is sent on his way after a nose change and he rejoins the action.

Lap 22: Button leads by 4.2 seconds from Rosberg.

Lap 22: The safety car has been deployed.

Lap 22: This is possibly for debris on the circuit following that incident with the front wing for Alguersuari.

Lap 22: The pack will form up as Button, Rosberg, Kubica, Petrov, Schumacher, Webber, Hamilton and Vettel.

Lap 22: This is great news for Hamilton and the Red Bull pair as they now close right up with the lead cars.

Lap 23: The safety car has ended up in the middle of the field, so only now does leader Button form up behind the big Mercedes.

Lap 23: We see how Alonso passed Massa a few laps ago. The Spaniard sent a move up the inside as they both came into the pits. He took the line turning right into the left-hander within the pit entry and Massa was forced wide onto the grass briefly.

That move will sure have caused concern back at Maranello.

Lap 24: Sutil is ninth and Alonso is in the final points position in tenth place. Barrichello is 11th with Massa 12th and Kovalainen 13th.

Lap 25: Alguersuari has dropped to 14th following that incident. Hulkenberg pits from 15th for dry tyres. Senna 16th and Chandhok is last in 17th.

Lap 25: The safety car will pit at the end of this lap.

Lap 25: Schumacher has profited from an early stop to intermediates and now the Red Bulls and Hamilton will have to try and pass the Mercedes again.

Lap 25: The rain is beginning to come down a little heavier again. This is just at the wrong moment for Hulkenberg who has just pitted for slicks.

Lap 26: Replays now show Hulkenberg losing control at the final corner of the lap, while we have utter chaos down at Turn 14.

Lap 26: The safety car comes into the pitlane and we are racing once again.

Lap 26: It is a chaotic resart with Button causing a near pile-up after being slow at the hairpin.

Lap 26: Karun Chandhok is causing all sorts of problems on this restart lap as the field stream past him to put another lap on the Indian.

Lap 26: Hamilton is trying to pass Schuamcher again and finally makes it through with a brave move at Turn 8.

Lap 26: Mark Webber had a poor restart and is down in 11th place. He ran wide at the final corner and subsequently reports on the team radio that he thinks he had a helpful nudge off the road from Lewis Hamilton.

Lap 27: Button leads from Rosberg, Kubica, Petrov and Hamilton.

Lap 27: Hamilton is now right on the tail of Petrov's Renault and pulls off another great move at Turn 8 to take away fourth.

Lap 27: With Petrov now behind Hamilton, he is chased by Alonso and Vettel who have now barged past Schumacher's Mercedes.

Lap 28: Replays show that Vettel was trying a move up the inside on Hamilton at the final corner as the field came round for the restart. Hamilton jinked slightly to his right to avoid contact and nerfed the other Red Bull belonging to Webber, sending the Australian off the road at the final corner.

Lap 28: Button leads from Rosberg, Kubica, Hamilton, Petrov, Sutil, Alonso and Vettel in a chaotic Chinese Grand Prix.

Lap 28: Schumacher is ninth and struggling for pace. He is two seconds per lap slower than the leaders.

Lap 28: Hamilton is closing quickly on Kubica and will be eying the final podium place.

Lap 29: Barrichello is tenth, with Massa 11th, Webber now 12th, Alguersuari 13th and Kovalainen in 14th place.

Lap 29: Alonso is all over the back of Sutil's Force India, with Vettel and Webber making that a very interesting fight.

Lap 29: Hamilton is now on the gearbox of Kubica's Renault with a move surely imminent.

Lap 29: Hamilton tries the outside on Kubica and arrives at the hairpin well before his rival to continue his charge up to third.

Lap 30: Alonso also likes the hairpin for overtaking and sails past Sutil to take sixth.

Lap 30: Hamilton now has a four second gap to Rosberg, while Vettel is straight past Sutil in a great move around the complex leading down to Turn 4

Lap 30: Schumacher in ninth is losing ground to Vettel and has Barrichello and Massa catching him. Mark Webber is also closing up to that group.

Lap 30: Felipe Massa passes Rubens Barrichello for tenth position at the end of the long straight into Turn 14.

Lap 30: Button now has a 2.1 second lead over Rosberg, with Hamilton a further 3.6 seconds down and closing on the Mercedes.

Lap 31: Mark Webber now slips through up the inside of Barrichello and into 11th place at Turn 6.

Lap 31: Alguersuari is 13th and he too is catching Barrichello's Williams.

Lap 32: Hamilton continues to close on second-placed Rosberg with the gap now under three seconds.

Lap 32: Vettel is on Alonso's tail now with the Ferrari sixth and Red Bull seventh.

Lap 33: Adrian Sutil is painfully slow in eighth place but Schumacher hasn't been able to find a way past him over the last few laps.

Lap 33: Hamilton is again the quickest man of the lead trio and continues to close in on Rosberg.

Lap 33: Massa is going to catch the Sutil-Schumacher battle by the end of this lap with Webber a further 1.5 seconds back in 11th place.

Lap 33: Kubica is a solid fourth in his Renault from team-mate Petrov, with Alonso rapidly catching the latter.

Lap 33: Petrov has spun away that fifth place, letting Alonso and Vettel through.

Lap 33: The Russian is now seventh after oversteering off the road out of Turn 8.

Lap 33: Sutil now leads a four car train as Schumacher, Massa and Webber are now on the tail of the Force India.

Lap 34: Vettel is still tailing Alonso but hasn't been able to make a move on the Ferrari over the last few laps.

Lap 34: The pace is dropping off a little as these intermediates - a softer compound this year - continue to wear.

Lap 34: The battle for eighth continues as Schumacher has yet another try at passing Sutil. Massa and Webber are holding station just behind at the moment but patience will inevitably run out.

Lap 35: Hamilton is now within striking distance of Rosberg's Mercedes.

Lap 35: Schumacher takes a little look at the inside of Sutil going into Turn 14 but once again Sutil is able to hold the seven-time champion at bay.

Lap 35: The McLaren man has been on typically aggressive form all day and is sure to move on second place very soon.

Lap 35: Hamilton tries the outside move at the hairpin but Rosberg holds on this time.

Lap 36: Alguersuari pits from 13th position in the Toro Rosso. Kovalainen may have slipped through momentarily.

Lap 36: Hamilton will likely next line up the move that has worked well at Turn 8.

Lap 36: Webber pits from 11th place. This is his fourth stop of the afternoon. Barrichello is promoted to that position.

Lap 36: Hamilton again does make it by at Turn 8 but Rosberg fights back brilliantly to stay ahead on the back straight.

Lap 36: This is allowing Button to sprint off into the lead.

Lap 37: Rosberg is congratulated for his defence by engineer Jock Clear. Hamilton is having to regroup for another move on the Mercedes.

Lap 37: Michael Schumacher has had enough of sitting behind Sutil and he pits from tenth position. Webber goes through and takes track position from the German!

Lap 37: McLaren are out in the pitlane and Hamilton is opting for a change of tyres.

Lap 37: The team will be hoping Hamilton can jump Rosberg with a fast lap on fresh intermediates.

Lap 37: Kovalainen pits from 14th in the Lotus. It's a regular stop and the Finn rejoins without losing that position.

Lap 38: Kubica and Vettel are also in, with Hamilton delayed slightly by the former coming down the pitlane.

Lap 38: Button and Rosberg will surely react now to prevent being leaped by the early stoppers.

Lap 38: Barrichello pits from tenth position and he too rejoins after a routine stop for more intermediates.

Lap 38: Button has a useful 7.1 second lead over Rosberg as he does indeed pit.

Lap 38: It is fresh intermediates for the race leader as Rosberg and Alonso head in.

Lap 38: All the top seven runners have now stopped.

Lap 38: Hamilton is flying down the pit straight and is through on Rosberg with his stop a lap earlier paying dividends.

Lap 39: Make that the top nine runners as Sutil and Massa dive in for more intermediate tyres. Massa takes the track position and gets ahead.

Lap 39: Button now leads in a McLaren one-two from team-mate Hamilton. Nico Rosberg has been demoted to third by stopping a lap later than his rival.

Lap 39: Alonso has vaulted past Kubica to take fourth, with Vettel now behind the Pole.

Lap 40: Button's lead is clocked at 3.2 seconds over team-mate Hamilton.

Lap 40: Rosberg has fallen a further 5.7 seconds behind in his Mercedes.

Lap 40: Mark Webber has slid straight on at Turn 14 in the Red Bull. He is now seventh and has gained a lot by pitting first of that group.

Lap 41: Hamilton is reporting heavier rain to his team on the radio.

Lap 41: Webber is the man on the move at the moment as he sets a 1m47s pace. He is catching team-mate Vettel, who is sixth.

Lap 41: Michael Schumacher is eighth and simply can't live with Webber's pace at the moment. He is now 2.6 seconds behind the Red Bull.

Lap 42: Alguersuari is now ninth with Petrov down to tenth. Massa is 11th and catching the Renault, with Barrichello 12th and Sutil 13th.

Lap 42: Button is maintaining the lead at more than three seconds from his team-mate but is asking the team about where Hamilton is behind.

Lap 42: Sutil is catching Barrichello and will be looking to pass the Williams soon. He lost out badly by pitting last for new intermediates.

Lap 43: Webber is slashing the gap to team-mate Vettel, who remains in a tight scrap with Kubica's Renault.

Lap 43: Sutil is now all over the back of Barrichello's Williams. This is the battle for 12th place.

Lap 43: Rain continues to fall and looks set in until the end of the race.

Lap 43: Schumacher is continuing to slowly drop back from Mark Webber. The Mercedes is now 3.5 seconds behind. Bruno Senna pits from 16th place.

Lap 43: Button's advantage is exactly three seconds over Hamilton, with Rosberg now 10 seconds off the McLaren pair.

Lap 44: Alonso is in a comfortable fourth and has pulled a gap on the scrap between Kubica and Vettel.

Lap 44: Jaime Alguersuari is now struggling for pace. Petrov in tenth and Massa 11th are both catching the Toro Rosso.

Lap 45: Karun Chandhok has spun coming out of Turn 4, losing some 13 seconds on his previous lap. He continues and runs in 17th position.

Lap 45: A good lap from Button puts him now over four seconds clear of Hamilton.

Lap 45: Chandhok elects to pit at the end of the lap.

Lap 45: Chandhok rejoins still in 17th and last position after a routine stop. Both Hispania entries are still running.

Lap 46: Webber may have taken the best out of his tyres and is now falling back from team-mate Vettel.

Lap 46: Button is cementing his advantage at the front with 10 laps to go in China.

Lap 46: Vitaly Petrov passes the struggling Alguersuari for ninth and Massa follows him through to take tenth place.

Lap 47: Alonso has been lapping well over the last few laps and is closing on Rosberg's Mercedes in the battle for the final podium spot.

Lap 47: It goes from bad to worse for the young Spaniard as the recovering Sutil forces his way through and into 12th place.

Lap 47: Barrichello has also passed Alguersuari for 12th place, and now the Toro Rosso driver decides it is time to pit.

Lap 48: Alguersuari leaves the box after a routine stop and he keeps 13th position, with Kovalainen some way behind him.

Lap 48: Michael Schumacher could yet finish this race out of the points. He is eighth, but losing over two seconds per lap to Petrov in ninth.

Lap 48: Hamilton reports his left front tyre is now bald and it looks like he will be cruising to the finish, hoping it doesn't rain again.

Lap 49: Massa is tenth and he too is two seconds per lap quicker than Schumacher. Sutil is 11th and 14 seconds behind the Mercedes.

Lap 49: Schumacher has nine seconds over Petrov ... but as they cross the line Petrov has it down to 5.1s after a small error for the German.

Lap 49: Hamilton still has over 10 seconds on Rosberg, with Alonso still looking to see if he can close on the Mercedes.

Lap 49: Schumacher is going to be a sitting target if Petrov, Massa and Sutil keep catching him at this rate.

Lap 50: Vettel is also still holding station right behind Kubica, with both looking for water on the straights to cool the tyres.

Lap 50: A 1m53s for Schumacher! Petrov has the gap down to 3.8s. Massa is tenth and he was three seconds faster than the Mercedes on that lap.

Lap 50: That was a poor 1m51.488s last lap for Hamilton but his sector times are better on the current lap.

Lap 51: Hamilton is actually quicker than Button that time and seems just about able to cruise to the end on his heavily worn tyres.

Lap 51: Petrov pulls in another three seconds on eighth placed Schumacher and they are tied together in a battle for position.

Lap 52: Button has a major moment at the hairpin with five laps to go. The leader outbraked himself, running wide over the asphalt but he continues.

Lap 52: Button is now 5.3 seconds up on team-mate Hamilton as the drivers struggle with rapidly degrading tyres.

Lap 52: Here we go ... Petrov sends a move up the inside of Schumacher who has absolutely no answer. Petrov takes eighth at Turn 14.

Lap 52: Felipe Massa in tenth is now three seconds behind the Mercedes and catching at two seconds per lap. Sutil is now dropping back in 11th.

Lap 53: Hamilton has two major moments of his own on the next lap as the McLaren pair make it to within four laps of the flag.

Lap 53: Barrichello in 12th is catching Sutil and we could have another battle for position before the end of the race.

Lap 53: Massa is now right on Schumacher's tail as the fight for ninth hots up.

Lap 54: It is tip-toe stuff for the McLarens but Rosberg is still over seven seconds behind with three laps to go.

Lap 54: Massa tows up behind the Mercedes and Schumacher defends the inside. The Ferrari driver can't make the move stick round the outside into Turn 14 as the German robustly defends his line and keeps the place.

Lap 55: Hamilton is now just 2.7 seconds behind Button with two laps remaining.

Lap 56: Button is over the line to begin his final lap.

Lap 56: Undaunted, Massa has caught right up to the back of Schumacher again and will have another go for ninth place.

Lap 56: Hamilton is told to be careful as the rain is getting heavier.

Lap 56: Massa does have a second go, again at Turn 14 and once again Schumacher defends heavily. But Massa has the traction out of the hairpin and steams through into ninth position.

Schumacher then runs wide on to the astroturf at the final corner.

08:50 Jenson Button wins the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix!

08:50 The world champion made another decisive move to stay on slicks, while others pitted, and went on to another brilliant wet-weather win.

08:50 Lewis Hamilton makes it a great McLaren one-two with another race full of overtaking, but he will have to visit the stewards' room later on.

08:50 Rosberg takes another podium for Mercedes but he couldn't hold off the McLarens this afternoon.

08:50 Alonso takes a battling fourth after failing to find a way past Rosberg in the closing stages.

08:50 Kubica and Vettel score solid points with fifth and sixth.

08:51 Petrov takes seventh after a great drive in his Renault.

08:51 Button is delighted on the radio with his second win of the year for McLaren.

08:51 Mark Webber crosses the line in eighth place after a difficult race. Massa was ninth over the line and Schumacher holds on for the final point in tenth.

08:52 Sutil finished just 1.1 seconds behind Schumacher in 11th, with Barrichello on his tail in 12th and Alguersuari 13th.

08:53 Button tours back slowly in his winning McLaren, waving to the crowd.

08:53 Kovalainen brings the Lotus T127 home in 14th. Nico Hulkenberg was 15th. At one stage the German was 95 seconds behind the Lotus. He spent the second half of the race catching it but failed to reach him by nine seconds.

08:54 Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok give HRT a double finish in 16th and 17th positions.

08:54 Hamilton is back in the pits with very worn intermediates on his McLaren. He steps out to congratulate team-mate Button.

08:55 The McLaren team are jubilant as they celebrate a fine one-two.

08:56 Seven drivers failed to finish the Chinese Grand Prix:

Jarno Trulli retired in the pits at the halfway mark.

Lucas di Grassi also retired in the pits after a very difficult afternoon.

Pedro de la Rosa dropped out of a strong fourth place.

Sebastien Buemi, Kamui Kobayashi and Tonio Liuzzi were all involved in a shunt on the first lap.

Timo Glock failed to start the race after being left on the grid. He would have been the only driver to start the race on intermediate tyres.

08:57 God Save The Queen rings out over the Shanghai International Circuit to honour Jenson Button and McLaren - winners of today's great race in the wet.

08:58 Jenson Button picks up the trophy for his ninth career win after a brilliant drive from the world champion.

08:58 McLaren chief engineer Tim Goss collects the constructors' prize.

08:58 Lewis Hamilton takes his trophy for second place. He got very close to his team-mate but it's Button who has two wins on the board.

08:59 Nico Rosberg takes his award after a strong drive to third this afternoon - his second podium of the season.

09:00 The champagne sprays on the podium after a dramatic and eventful Chinese Grand Prix. From there they leave for the rounds of interviews.

09:02 Here's our round up of a sensational Chinese Grand Prix:

Button wins chaotic Chinese Grand Prix

09:05 A very eventful race shuffles the title order to put Button on top of the standings as we head for Europe. McLaren also top the constructors' table on a day when Red Bull again didn't score well.
World Championship standings, round 4:                

Drivers:                    Constructors:             
 1.  Button        60        1.  McLaren-Mercedes          109
 2.  Rosberg       50        2.  Ferrari                    90
 3.  Alonso        49        3.  Red Bull-Renault           73
 4.  Hamilton      49        4.  Mercedes                   60
 5.  Vettel        45        5.  Renault                    46
 6.  Massa         41        6.  Force India-Mercedes       18
 7.  Kubica        40        7.  Williams-Cosworth           6
 8.  Webber        28        8.  Toro Rosso-Ferrari          2
09:07 It was touch and go at one stage, but the rain came and delivered a superb race this afternoon with Jenson Button proving he is the cream of the crop in changeable conditions in 2010.

There are tales of woe throughout the field. Sebastian Vettel only placed sixth. He fared better than Webber and Massa who both had a disastrous race.

Button takes a clear lead in the championship. But before the next round in Spain, everyone in Shanghai has another race on their hands - the race to get home thanks to the volcanic ash plume and the European no fly zone.

This was the Chinese Grand Prix weekend here on AUTOSPORT Live. We hope you have enjoyed the coverage over the last three days. We will be back for the sport's return to Europe with the Spanish Grand Prix weather forecast on Monday 3rd May.

  OVERVIEW CHINESE GRAND PRIX  
Race length: 56 laps
  CURRENT WEATHER
Rain High Temp: 19°C / 66°F
Track: Wet
  INFOBOX
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Monday 12 Apr Start GMT
 Chinese Grand Prix Weather 15:00
Friday 16 Apr
 Friday Morning Practice 01:45
 Friday Afternoon Practice 05:45
Saturday 17 Apr
 Saturday Practice 02:45
 Qualifying 05:45
Sunday 18 Apr
 Race day at Shanghai International Circuit 05:30