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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.
05:30 Hello and welcome to AUTOSPORT Live for round three of the 2009 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

The sport continues its far-east opening to the season, with the Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix from the 5.451 km Shanghai International Circuit.

05:32 This morning dawned cloudy but dry in Shanghai. Soon, however, the clouds rolled in, turning the skies overcast. By 11 o'clock the first spots of moisture were evident.

Since then, conditions have deteriorated, with rain falling in the last hour. The track surface is wet as we begin our coverage this afternoon, with further rain expected during the course of the race.

Temperatures will remain warm thanks to a strong south-westerly wind with a maximum of 21 degrees Celsius. Track temperatures will suffer today in the damp conditions, failing to reach anywhere near the high thirties we saw yesterday.

05:35 AUTOSPORT forum members are invited to join the fun throughout the race, offering thoughts and opinions as the event unfolds.

• How will the rain affect things this afternoon?
• Are you pleased at the outcome of the weather, or did the sport need a dry race today?
• Will the safety car make an appearance during the race today?

Tell everyone 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.

Sebastian Vettel05:40 Sebastian Vettel put a marker down to the rest of the field yesterday in qualifying to claim the second pole position of his Formula 1 career.

The day began with astonishment in the final practice session, as Nico Rosberg left the track entering the pitlane at the end of his installation lap. No damage was done to the Williams FW31, and the German duly responded in the best possible way by posting 1:36.133 in the dying moments to top the session, ahead of Jarno Trulli and Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg fastest in final China practice

Vettel's charge to pole was remarkable in the afternoon. In the second period of qualifying he left it very late, setting only one timed lap to put him top of the pile. Minutes later he blew everyone away by performing the same trick in the shootout, snatching the pole from team-mate Mark Webber, before Fernando Alonso bagged a spot on the front row alongside Vettel in his recently modified Renault R29.

The joy wasn't spread throughout the field. Robert Kubica, Heikki Kovalainen, Nick Heidfeld and Felipe Massa all suffered in qualifying, and they will start outside the top ten this afternoon.

Vettel gives Red Bull first F1 pole

05:46 A good crowd has filled the main grandstand today, with the early arrivals being treated to support race action prior to today's main event.

First up was the Aston Martin Asia Cup race for 10 laps. Sri Lankan Dilantha Malagamuwa took victory in Saturday's opening round of the 2009 AMAC series by just six-tenths of a second for Dilango Racing, edging out Mark Williamson.

Next it was latest round of the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia - also holding their first round of the season this weekend at the Chinese Grand Prix. Reigning PCC Asia champion Darryl O'Young is aiming to build on his spectacular Macau victory last October and retain the title for Team Jebsen.

In the last few minutes, the fans have caught a glimpse of their idols as the Formula 1 drivers' parade rounded the circuit slowly in the rain.

05:54 Weather update. Conditions remain overcast with the rain falling a little harder over the circuit right now.

We have been monitoring the Chinese rainfall radar throughout the course of the day, and further rain behind these showers looks certain for the next few hours.

05:58 The following list shows the weight of each car at the start of today's race.
Pos. Driver         Car weight

 1.  Vettel          644.0kg           
 2.  Alonso          637.0kg           
 3.  Webber          646.5kg           
 4.  Barrichello     661.0kg           
 5.  Button          659.0kg           
 6.  Trulli          664.5kg           
 7.  Rosberg         650.5kg           
 8.  Raikkonen       673.5kg           
 9.  Hamilton        679.0kg           
10.  Buemi           673.0kg           
11.  Heidfeld        679.0kg           
12.  Kovalainen      697.0kg           
13.  Massa           690.0kg           
14.  Nakajima        682.7kg           
15.  Bourdais        690.0kg           
16.  Piquet          697.9kg           
17.  Kubica          659.0kg           
18.  Sutil           648.0kg      
19.  Glock           652.0kg          
20.  Fisichella      679.5kg       
Wet tyres06:04 The list of car weights shows that front-row men Vettel and Alonso, along with Mark Webber in the other Red Bull, have opted for an aggressive strategy, presumably with the intention of running a short first stint on the fragile super-soft rubber.

However, today's rain will be a great concern to those men as they have little flexibility in their strategy to stop for appropriate wet tyres as conditions change. The fact that wet tyres will be needed today is also a disadvantage, as it means the use of both dry tyre options will no longer be mandatory.

The Brawn pair of Barrichello and Button are well-placed, with more fuel on board than the front row starters and a very quick car.

Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Buemi all have a much longer strategy in mind from the bottom half of the top ten and that could certainly pay off if the conditions keep changing.

Heikki Kovalainen and Nelson Piquet have a massive fuel load in their cars and that could also work well on a day of rain chaos.

06:10 Trackside notes:

• Timo Glock will start in 19th position after a gearbox failure in final practice. The Toyota driver qualified a disappointing 14th and falls to almost the back of the grid due to his five-place gearbox penalty.

• Despite qualifying first and thrid, the Red Bull drivers had limited running on Saturday due to driveshaft rubber boot problems. The team will be hoping any work they have done overnight to solve the issue sees them through to the end of the race without the boots being damaged.

06:13 Down on the grid, the traditional pre-race display by local performers is taking place.

The track surface remains wet from the continuing showers.

06:18 The safety car heads out of the pits to make its way around the lap and on to the front of the grid.

In these wet conditions, this may not be the last time the big Mercedes joins the track today.

06:20 The pit lane will open in ten minutes for the cars to make a reconnaissance lap to the grid. In these changeable conditions, it will be important for the drivers to get a feel for the grip levels.

06:25 Tyre choice will be critical today, with the drivers needing to be on the right tyre at the right time.

With conditions likely to vary throughout, it is very easy to get the tyre choice wrong - as Ferrari demonstrated with Kimi Raikkonen's early move to full wet rubber in Malaysia.

The Finn gambled on heavy rain that fell lightly - and not for several minutes. As a result, he was helpless in an understeering F60, lapping more than 20 seconds off the pace.

06:30 The pitlane opens, allowing the drivers to join the racetrack for the first time today and check the current track conditions on their way to the grid.

Every driver will perform vital checks, such as testing the radio communication with the team, and determining where standing water is collecting on the track surface.

06:31 Rain continues to fall at the Shanghai International Circuit and as the first cars head to the grid, the track is clearly in full wet condition with heavy spray from the cars.

06:32 Toro Rosso drivers Sebastien Buemi and Sebastien Bourdais are among the first to check out the track conditions, along with Kazuki Nakajima.

06:35 Full wet tyres are the only choice at the moment as Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel bring their Red Bull Renaults out of the garage.

For reference, the full wet has a green band round the centre tread of the tyre. The intermediate tyre has no green band.

06:35 Lewis Hamilton splashes around the track to the grid on full wet tyres.

06:36 Kazuki Nakajima decided to brave the track conditions on the intermediate tyre. The Japanese made it to the grid in his Williams Toyota. He starts from 14th place on the grid this afternoon.

06:37 Nico Rosberg exits the Williams garage with the full wet tyre bolted onto the car, as Nick Heidfeld climbs out of his 11th-place starting BMW on the grid.

06:40 Rain continues to fall at the circuit and the levels of spray are very high as the cars continue to lap to the grid.

These are the kind of conditions that may need a safety car start.

06:40 Giancarlo Fisichella is another to brave the intermediates for his lap to the grid. The Renault pair also join the track.

06:41 The Ferrari drivers have arrived on the grid and are pushed into their starting position by the mechanics. Both came round with the full wet tyre on.

06:42 Conditions at the moment do look too wet for the intermediate rubber, with some areas of standing water.

06:43 Fernando Alonso arrives on the grid with full wet tyres, while Jenson Button dodges the continuing rain under an umbrella.

06:45 The pits are now closed, with most of the cars now on the grid.

06:46 With the cars now in place on the grid, the tyres are being removed. The mechanics have until three minutes before the formation lap to fit the appropriate set of tyres for the start.

06:46 The packed crowd in the main grandstand rise in respect for the Chinese national anthem, which is currently sounding out over the Shanghai International Circuit.

06:50 Race control have stated that the Chinese Grand Prix will start behind the safety car.

06:51 Robert Kubica and Timo Glock have elected to start from the pit lane, allowing them to add more fuel before the start.

06:54 The safety car start means the field will pull away in order and eliminates the chance of a first corner melee.

This is not good news for the lightly-fuelled cars at the front, as they will not be able to sprint away ahead of their early first stops.

06:55 There are five minutes to go until the Chinese Grand Prix begins.

06:55 The rain is falling heavily again.

06:56 A final weather check for you as we approach the start of the race.

The Chinese weather radar is showing a varying shade of green for a little while, but behind that a shade of yellow is signaling heavier rain later.

This rain is on the day.

06:59 The drivers - now well aware that this race will start behind the safety car - prepare themselves for the supreme challenge that lies ahead. To a man, they are all deep in concentration, ready to race in difficult conditions.

06:59 All cars must use the full wet tyre due to the safety car start.

Lap 1: The safety car pulls away from the front of the grid, and the cars follow dutifully behind it, signaling the start of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Lap 1: Sebstian Vettel leads behind the safety car from Alonso, Webber, Barrichello, Button, Trulli, Rosberg and Raikkonen.

Lap 1: Robert Kubica and Timo Glock have been released from the pitlane, and have joined the rear of the field as the first safety car-led lap continues.

Lap 1: There is heavy spray from the cars as they tour slowly behind the safety car in the continuing rain.

Lap 2: Second-place man Fernando Alonso reports that the grip levels are OK with these full wet tyres.

Alonso is keen for the cars to be released as he has very little fuel in that Renault.

Lap 2: The field come through the second sector of lap two. Jenson Button reports on the team radio that the visibility is very bad.

Lap 3: Rain continues to fall and, if anything, conditions are deteriorating.

Lap 3: Felipe Massa is seen briefly locking the rear brakes on entry to the final corner of the lap. He corrects the resultant slide but runs wide, rejoining the track with no damage to the Ferrari.

Lap 3: Leader Sebastian Vettel reports on the radio that he has seen worse condtions in the past. The young German was the sensational winner in conditions like this at last year's Italian Grand Prix.

Lap 4: The Meteo France radar at the circuit is showing persistent rain enveloping the track, with no break in sight.

Lap 4: Felipe Massa is advised on the team radio by his race engineer Rob Smedley that his brakes have cooled down by 120 degrees.

Smedley encourages his driver to generate as much brake temperature as he can - a difficult task in these conditions.

Lap 4: Adrian Sutil runs off the road in the final corner of the lap. Bear in mind that these incidents are all occurring while at safety car speeds.

Sutil rejoins without damage, but has dropped behind his team-mate Fisichella and now runs in 18th position. He is not allowed to repass while the safety car remains on track.

Lap 5: Sutil pits at the end of the next lap. He takes on some fuel and a fresh set of full wet tyres. He rejoins at the rear of the field in 20th.

Lap 5: This is very bad news for the light runners at the front of the field.

Drivers like Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Nick Heidfeld and particularly Heikki Kovalainen can run much longer in this opening stint.

Lap 5: Adrian Sutil was one of the drivers who began with a lighter load of fuel. Now he has pitted, he will be able to run a lot longer when this race gets underway.

Lap 6: Fernando Alonso is now saying he thinks conditions would allow the safety car to be removed. The Spaniard has the lightest car in the field and is only a few laps away from his first stop.

Lap 6: Nico Rosberg comes into the pits from tenth place in the Williams. He takes on fuel and fresh wet tyres in a 7.9 second stop. He drops to 20th place, behind Sutil.

Lap 7: Lewis Hamilton is told on the radio that the radar shows persistent rain for at least the next 30 minutes.

Lap 7: The full order as we continue under the safety car is Vettel at the front, followed by Alonso, Webber, Barrichello, Button, Trulli, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Buemi, Heidfeld, Kovalainen, Massa, Nakajima, Bourdais, Piquet, Fisichella, Kubica, Glock, Sutil and Rosberg.

Giancarlo Fisichella is the main beneficiary so far. He qualified 20th, but with Glock and Kubica starting from the pitlane, and Sutil and Rosberg having pitted, he runs 16th.

Lap 8: Fernando Alonso pits his Renault from second place.

Lap 8: The safety car will pit at the end of this lap.

Race control have deemed the conditions are ready for racing. The drivers will now focus on a rolling start to the race.

Lap 8: Alonso took on fuel, fresh wet tyres and he runs in 20th as the field begin to wind up in anticipation of the start.

Lap 8: The safety car leads the field into Turn 14 and begins to head for the pits. The crowd rises. We are ready for the start ...

Lap 9: We are racing at full speed in China.

Lap 9: Sebastian Vettel leads over the line and enjoys a healthy lead ahead of Webber, Barrichello and Button into Turn 1.

Lap 9: The drivers feel out the grip levels as they take the corners at full speed for the first time in the heavy spray.

Lap 9: Lewis Hamilton overtakes Kimi Raikkonen for sixth at Turn 10 on the first racing lap.

Lap 10: Kimi Raikkonen reports on the team radio that the engine is not running very well in his Ferrari.

Lap 10: Sebastian Buemi is all over the back of Raikkonen's Ferrari.

Lap 11: Sebastian Vettel leads by 3.4 seconds from team-mate Mark Webber.

Lap 11: Behind the top eight, Nick Heidfeld runs ninth and is losing ground to the lead group. Heidfeld then runs wide at Turn 1 and loses several positions.

Lap 11: Lewis Hamilton sends another move down the inside of Trulli's Toyota at Turn 6.

The McLaren is up to fifth and has lots of fuel on board.

Lap 11: Felipe Massa is now into the top ten in the Ferrari. He is pulling along Heikki Kovalainen (11th) with him as they bid to move up towards the points.

Lap 12: Jenson Button is up to third after team-mate Barrrichello ran wide in the final corner.

Lap 12: Timo Glock is on a charge through the field in the Toyota. The star of Malaysia, the German is again at it and running faster than those around him. He started from the pitlane, and in the last lap passed Nakajima and Piquet. He is now 13th and right on the tail of Nick Heidfeld.

Lap 12: Lewis Hamilton has fallen down the order and is now behind team-mate Kovalainen.

Lap 13: Hamilton has had a lurid spin at Turn 10 and is now down to tenth.

Lap 13: Felipe Massa is also steaming through the field. He is up to seventh in the Ferrari and has passed his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Lap 14: Sebastian Vettel continues to lead by six seconds over Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber. The pair will, however, need to pit in the next few laps.

Lap 14: Jenson Button is third, almost six seconds ahead of team-mate Barrichello.

Lap 14: Timo Glock runs out of patience and sends a move up the inside of Nick Heidfeld. They touch, with Glock taking 12th place, and Heidfeld spinning at Turn 14.

Lap 14: Felipe Massa is surging forwards and is now sixth in the Ferrari after passing Trull's Toyota.

Lap 15: Behind the top four, Sebastien Buemi runs in an amazing fifth place, with Massa sixth, Trulli seventh, Raikkonen eighth, Hamilton ninth and Heikki Kovalainen in tenth.

Lap 15: Mark Webber pits his Red Bull from second, taking more wet tyres.

Lap 16: Leader Sebastian Vettel is in the pits.

Lap 16: Lewis Hamilton has passed Kimi Raikkonen and Jarno Trulli. He runs seventh and is charging back towards the front.

Lap 16: Vettel had a significant lead over a well-spread field and he resumes ahead of Mark Webber.

Lap 17: Vettel's stop hands the lead to Button's Brawn GP with Barrichello behind in second and Vettel third.

Lap 17: Jarno Trulli is struggling badly in these conditions. He has slipped down to ninth and is about to drop further down the order. Kovalainen passes him and so does Bourdais at Turn 14.

Lap 17: Sebastien Buemi runs fourth with Felipe Massa is now up to fifth - both started on heavy fuel and have some time before their stops.

Lap 18: Kazuki Nakajima has run wide in Turn 14, losing 13th place to Robert Kubica. Robert is one of the quickest on the circuit at the moment as he climbs through the field.

Lap 18: Lewis Hamilton has had another off and is once again behind Kimi Raikkonen in eighth.

Lap 18: Trulli's Toyota is touring without his rear wing.

Lap 18: Lewis Hamilton made a mistake, losing four seconds by running wide. Kimi Raikkonen has passed him again and runs in seventh, with Hamilton eighth, Kovalainen ninth and Sebastien Bourdais in tenth.

Lap 18: There is a lot of debris on the road after a clash between Trulli and Kubica.

Lap 19: The safety car has been deployed.

Lap 19: Robert Kubica was perhaps charging a little too hard. He crashes heavily into the back of Jarno Trulli's slowing Toyota in the braking zone for Turn 16.

Trulli is touring round the circuit without a rear wing on the Toyota, while Kubica came in with heavy damage to the front end of his BMW F1.09.

Lap 19: This is bad timing for the Brawn GP pair as they are close to a pit stop.

Lap 19: Button pits his Brawn at the end of the lap under safety car.

Lap 20: Button refuels and gets out of the pits under a green light ahead of Felipe Massa.

Lap 20: Sebastien Buemi is in a fantastic fourth place, but he pits as well as the leader, with slight damage to the rear wing of his Toro Rosso.

Lap 20: Barrichello has also been in for fuel and tyres.

Lap 21: Sebastian Vettel leads from Jenson Button, Felipe Massa, Mark Webber, Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Rubens Barrichello and Heikki Kovalainen.

The Ferrari and McLaren drivers in the top eight have yet to stop, having started with much heavier cars than their rivals.

Lap 21: Felipe Massa has stopped and is out of the race.

Lap 21: The Ferrari has pulled to a halt on the back straight and he records his third no-score of the season.

Lap 22: Replays show Massa's engine spluttered to a halt.

Lap 22: Further incidents are occurring under the safety car. Buemi's rear wing damage reveals itself. He was closing in on Sebastian Vettel, but clipped the back end of the Red Bull driver as the safety car was being deployed.

Vettel currently leads the race, despite the moment. Buemi had the piece of his front wing removed from the rear wing of his car, and he rejoined in ninth.

The incident happened when they were both moving wide to pass the slowing Jarno Trulli, who had no rear wing on his Toyota. He has now retired from the race.

Lap 22: Lewis Hamilton is told by the team they think he will make it about another 11 laps on his fuel load, and they expect Kimi Raikkonen to pit two laps earlier.

Lap 22: The safety car will pit at the end of this lap.

Lap 23: The safety car comes into the pitlane and we are racing once again.

Lap 23: Vettel sprints away, as behind him Hamilton is harrying the back of Raikkonen's Ferrari.

Lap 23: Hamilton is through and up to fourth behind Vettel, Button and Webber.

Lap 23: Kimi Raikkonen is now fifth with the McLaren of Kovalainen behind in sixth.

Lap 24: Sebastian Vettel sets the fastest lap as he surges to a 4.3 second lead over Button.

Lap 24: Rubens Barrichello is now seventh and slipping down the order, with Buemi eighth, Glock ninth. Fernando Alonso is up to tenth place, having passed Kazuki Nakajima on the last lap.

Lap 24: Vettel is extremely fast at this stage on his fresh tyres and with a clear track in front of him. He is now almost six seconds in the lead ahead of Button.

Lap 24: Timo Glock has visible front wing damage with the Toyota, and he pits from ninth, promoting Alonso into that place.

Glock gets a new nose and he rejoins the fray.

Lap 25: Vettel continues to sprint away in the lead as he revels in these tricky conditions.

Jenson Button is second, with Webber, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Kovalainen and Barrichello all in an equally-spaced pack behind the leader.

Lap 25: Robert Kubica has somehow managed to continue in the race. Earlier, we saw him crash heavily into Jarno Trulli's Toyota, but the Pole pitted at the end of that lap and had the front end of his BMW repaired. The team did a great job and kept Robert on the lead lap.

Since the restart, he has moved up the field to 14th place and is charging after Adrian Sutil in the Force India.

Lap 27: The rain does seem to have intensified as the clock ticks through the first hour of the race.

Lap 27: Jenson Button is told on the radio that his team think relative fuel loads are the reason for the pace of Vettel. This suggests the Brawn GP team have put lots of fuel in Jenson's car.

Lap 27: The Ferrari team are ready to pit Kimi Raikkonen.

Lap 28: Sebastien Buemi is coming under attack from Fernando Alonso. They are battling over eighth place, as Nakajima behind them runs wide at the final corner of the lap. He rejoins the track without losing his tenth place.

Lap 28: Raikkonen pits for his fuel and tyres to the finish.

Lap 28: Kimi Resumes in 17th for the moment.

Lap 28: Nakajima goes off for a second time in two laps. This latest incident was at Turn 1. He makes it to the access road round the outside of Turn 1 and continues.

Lap 29: Despite the offs for Nakajima and Piquet, Vettel continues to lead by now almost ten seconds from Button.

Jenson now has Mark Webber's Red Bull right behind him.

Lap 29: Nelson Piquet has aquaplaned at Turn 5, spinning wildly and smashing the front end of his Renault into one of the braking marker posts at the entrance to Turn 6.

The front end of the Renault is damaged, but Piquet keeps the engine going and is touring back to the pits.

Lap 29: Lewis Hamilton is now fourth but will soon have to make a stop.

Lap 30: Timo Glock has been one of the quickest drivers on the circuit in recent laps. He has moved up to 16th, passing the spinning Nakajima and the crashed Piquet.

Timo did, however, spin a couple of laps ago, denting his progress.

Lap 30: Jenson Button has run wide at the Turn 14 hairpin and Mark Webber is through for second.

Button resumes from the mistake in third.

Lap 31: Webber is told on the radio they think he has three laps less fuel than Button, so he needs to pull out a five second gap on the Brawn GP car before his final stop.

Lap 31: Sebastien Buemi in seventh has done a great job in holding off the attentions of Fernando Alonso. The gap between them is less than a second ... as Bourdais pits from ninth place.

Lap 31: The persistent rain does appear to be heavier at the moment.

Lap 32: Button is back around Webber and is up to second once again.

Replays show Webber ran wide in the final corner.

Lap 32: Mark Webber fights back and is around the Brawn once again. It is a great scrap between these two over second place.

Lap 32: Alonso has another go at Buemi but can't get through into Turn 14.

Robert Kubica is now promoted to ninth, but he makes a mistake at the final corner of the lap and Adrian Sutil passes him. Sutil is ninth, Kubica tenth.

Lap 33: Fernando Alonso finally gets the job done, and has overtaken Sebastien Buemi for seventh place.

Lap 33: Sebastian Vettel has an amazing 18 second lead over team-mate Mark Webber.

Lap 33: Lewis Hamilton remains fourth, behind Button, but is setting a good pace ahead of his single fuel stop.

Lap 34: Kazuki Nakajima pits from 16th place in the Williams. He drops to 17th behind Bourdais, who is now setting very quick laptimes on his fresh wet tyres.

Lap 34: Webber is demonstrating the pace of the Red Bull in these conditions as he sets the fastest lap.

Lap 34: Hamilton pits and makes it safely to his garage without visiting the infamous pitlane gravel trap. The world champion resumes in eighth after his one planned stop.

Lap 34: Giancarlo Fisichella pits from 15th place, for the first time this afternoon. He rejoins in 17th behind Bourdais and Nakajima.

Lap 35: Mark Webber sets another fastest lap as he closes slightly on Vettel's lead.

Lap 35: Heikki Kovalainen also makes his single planned stop of the race.

Lap 36: Robert Kubica's charge through the order for a second time is about to be halted. The front nose of his BMW is coming adrift and he is due in the pits at the end of this lap to change it. He is tenth at the moment, but about to drop down the order.

Lap 36: Fernando Alonso pits from fifth and he resumes behind Kovalainen in ninth.

Lap 37: Sebastian Vettel sets the fastest lap but it is immediately beaten by Webber as the Red Bull duo set a dominant pace at the front.

Lap 37: Vettel pits from the lead.

Lap 38: A battle royal is taking place down the field for tenth place. Nick Heidfeld has Rosberg, Raikkonen and a recovering Timo Glock close to him.

Sebastien Bourdais is a bit further down in 14th place. He has just lost 15 seconds following a wild spin in the Toro Rosso.

Lap 38: It is a clean stop for Vettel and he rejoins just behind Jenson Button in third.

Lap 38: Mark Webber now leads in his Red Bull ahead of his final stop.

Lap 38: Fernando Alonso has spun away his ninth place in the Renault at Turn 13. He was closing up on Kovalainen, but looped the car comiing onto the back straight, promoting Heidfeld to ninth, Rosberg to tenth and Raikkonen to 11th place.

Lap 39: Sebastian Vettel is quickly closing on Jenson Button in a fight for second. Vettel will be keen to pass the Brawn in case Button is already fuelled to the finish.

Lap 39: Mark Webber pits from the lead, handing the advantage to Button for now.

Lap 40: Adrian Sutil has continued his strong run and is seventh at the moment. His pace has been very strong in the middle portion of the race. He is closing down Lewis Hamilton slowly, but is more concerned with Heikki Kovalainen who is right behind him currently.

Lap 40: Webber resumes in third, ahead of Barrichello's Brawn.

Lap 41: Timo Glock has passed Kimi Raikkonen in a battle for 11th place at the end of the back straight. He sent the Toyota up the inside under braking, to which Raikkonen didn't have an answer.

Glock is one second behind Nico Rosberg, and running one second per lap quicker than the Williams.

Lap 41: Jenson Button leads by 1.2 seconds from Sebastian Vettel, who has made his final stop.

Vettel is very close behind and looking for a way past the leader.

Lap 41: Vettel storms out of Turn 13 and sends a brilliant move down in to the hairpin to take the lead into lap 42.

Lap 41: Rosberg pits at the end of the lap, promoting Glock to tenth. Rosberg exits the pits and can run to the end. He has dropped out of the top ten.

Lap 42: The rain does appear to have eased in recent minutes, with something of a clear line forming on the track.

Lap 42: Rosberg took on intermediate tyres at that stop, and we will watch his laptime to see if he can move up the field in the final 15 laps. He is 14th.

Lap 43: Jenson Button pits as Vettel sets the fastest lap.

Lap 43: Button opts for the full wet tyres and resumes fourth.

Lap 43: Heikki Kovalainen has passed Adrian Sutil for seventh place on the last lap. It was a clean move in the first sector.

Lap 43: Button's stop makes it Vettel from Webber, Barrichello, Button, Buemi and Hamilton.

Lap 44: Nico Rosberg sets his personal fastest lap of the race on his first full lap on the intermediate tyres. His pace is still a touch slower than the fastest cars on full wet tyres at the moment.

Rosberg remains in 14th and is 20 seconds behind Sebastien Bourdais.

Lap 44: Barrichello pits his Brawn. They decide not to change the tyres at all and he comes out fifth, ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Lap 45: Kimi Raikkonen in 12th is about to be caught by Sebastien Bourdais, while further up the road Timo Glock is continuing to fly. Glock is tenth now and about to catch Heidfeld.

Lap 46: Vettel continues to lead by over 15 seconds from team-mate Webber. Button is third, with Sebastian Buemi a sensational fourth in the Toro Rosso - although he will have to make a final stop.

Rubens Barrichello is fifth, with Lewis Hamilton sixth from team-mate Kovalainen.

Lap 46: Kazuki Nakajima has retired from the Chinese Grand Prix. The Japanese showed good pace early in the race, but two spins in two laps saw him drop to the back of the field, and he had been losing pace since that time.

Lap 46: Buemi did indeed need a final stop and he is in the pits, promoting Barrichello to fourth and Hamilton to fifth.

Lap 47: Adrian Sutil in eighth is beginning to lose pace in the Force India. He has been dropped by Kovalainen up ahead, and is now facing the attentions of Heidfeld and Glock.

Buemi rejoined in 10th after his stop and will catch the back of this battle soon.

Lap 48: Lewis Hamilton bounces across the grass as drivers suddenly struggle to stay on the road.

Team-mate Kovalainen is past into fifth.

Lap 48: Nelson Piquet spins at the final corner of the lap. He grazes the side of his Renault down the side of the barrier, and elects to pit. He was already at the back of the field following his nose-smashing incident earlier in the race.

Lap 48: Hamilton is back up to speed and is challenging his team-mate for that fifth place.

Lap 49: The McLaren pair are catching the Brawn of Barrichello.

Lap 49: Nico Rosberg has endured a high-speed sideways trip across the gravel and asphalt area at Turn 6. He is staying out there on those intermediate tyres, but they aren't helping his cause.

Rosberg now comes into the pits from 16th.

Lap 50: Meanwhile up front, Vettel continues to lead comfortably over team-mate Webber.

It is two-by-two formation in the top six as the Brawns of Button and Barrichello continue third and fourth ahead of the battling McLarens of Kovalainen and Hamilton.

Lap 50: Sebastien Buemi has caught the Heidfeld-Glock battle for eighth. This is developing nicely into a huge scrap for the final point today.

Lap 50: Lewis Hamilton has had another spin in the final corner and he has fallen behind Sutil, who is having a great day in the Force India.

Lap 51: The track appears to be getting wetter again as we approach the final six laps.

Lap 51: Timo Glock now sends a move but isn't close enough to Heidfeld to make a serious attempt for eighth.

Lap 51: Sutil has crashed heavily in the Force India.

Lap 51: There is a lot of debris on the race track once again.

Lap 53: Sutil's crash ends his fine performance and puts Hamilton up to sixth again.

Lap 53: Just as it was turning into an excellent five-car scrap Adrian Sutil crashes heavily at Turn 6 in the Force India, losing his sixth place.

Adrian is out of the race with heavy front end damage, promoting Hamilton to sixth, Glock to seventh ... Glock has passed Heidfeld in that incident ... Buemi eighth.

Nick Heidfeld lost four seconds running wide in the same place where Sutil crashed.

Lap 54: Vettel continues over the line to lead by 12 seconds from team-mate Webber.

Lap 54: The yellows remain displayed at Turn 6 while the Sutil Force India is cleared away.

Lap 54: Hamilton in sixth has the measure of Glock for the moment. Buemi has caught Glock and they are battling, with Heidfeld ninth, Alonso tenth and Bourdais in 11th place.

Lap 55: Vettel is on to his penultimate lap as he leads on towards a Red Bull one-two.

Lap 56: Glock holds onto seventh ahead of Buemi. They matched eachother in laptime on the latest tour. Buemi has driven superbly this afternoon, and perhaps deserves more than the single point he is going to score.

Lap 56: Vettel makes it through the tricky puddle at Turn 5 and is on course for victory in China.

08:57 Sebstian Vettel wins the Chinese Grand Prix in sensational style. It has been an incredible display of wet-weather driving from the young German as he scores his second career win - the first for his Red Bull team.

08:58 Mark Webber completes the near two-hour epic with a brilliant second place for Red Bull.

08:58 What a day for the Red Bull team with an amazing and dominant one-two in the rain of China.

08:59 Jenson Button claims third place, over 40 seconds behind Vettel to bring the Brawn home at the end of a demanding race. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello makes it a Brawn three-four after a solid drive.

Heikki Kovalainen finished fifth, right behind Barrichello, with Hamilton sixth, Glock seventh and Buemi in eighth place to score the final point.

09:01 Fernando Alonso finished just out of the points in ninth, Raikkonen was tenth and Bourdais passed Heidfeld in the final stages to take 11th.

Robert Kubica ended a difficult race in 13th, with Fisichella 14th, Rosberg 15th and Nelson Piquet last of the remaining runners in 16th.

09:02 Vettel celebrates with his team-mate and Red Bull team as they get out of the cars in parc ferme.

09:03 Adrian Sutil crashed a few laps from home while in an excellent sixth - he is classified 17th.

Kazuki Nakajima retired in the pits. Felipe Massa retired on the track during the second safety car period, and Jarno Trulli was the first to go having been rear-winged by Robert Kubica, causing that second safety car period.

09:04 The podium trio prepare to emerge for the ceremony in the wind and rain.

09:04 The German national anthem rings out for the winner.

09:05 The British anthem is played for winning constructor Red Bull.

09:06 Sebastian Vettel receives his trophy for a stunning drive in today's Chinese Grand Prix. He is ecstatic and punches the air in delight as he accepts the award.

09:06 Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal, proudly accepts the constructors' award.

09:06 Mark Webber takes his prize for a great drive in tricky conditions.

09:07 Jenson Button is handed his prize for a fighting third-place drive today. The Briton was best of the rest, but a massive 44.9 seconds behind the winner.

09:07 The champagne sprays on the podium after a highly dramatic race this afternoon.

09:08 Button now leads the championship by six points over team-mate Barrichello.

Today's winner Vettel is third, sharing the place with Timo Glock.

09:10 Brawn Grand Prix continue to lead the constructors' race but the big story there must be Ferrari's continued failure to score - with no points after three races for the Scuderia.

09:15 The report on a chaotic race is now available:

Vettel scores Red Bull's maiden F1 win

09:16 Red Bull Racing have demonstrated supreme pace to drive the opposition out of sight in China. Sebastian Vettel claimed his second Grand Prix victory in a race that started behind the safety car following heavy rain.

Mark Webber backed-up the performance with an excellent second place to crown a brilliant day for the team.

Brawn GP finish three-four to maintain their drivers' and constructors' championship leads, and McLaren are up and running with more points on the board and a strong finish for Heikki Kovalainen

This was the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix on AUTOSPORT Live. Thanks for your company throughout another interesting weekend.

Two races so far with wet weather. Surely that trend will be reversed as the sport travels to Bahrain? To find out, join us for the early weather forecast tomorrow and then full coverage throughout next weekend.

Race length: 56 laps
Light rain High Temp: 21°C / 70°F
Track: Wet
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Monday 13 Apr Start GMT
 Chinese Grand Prix Weather 15:00
Friday 17 Apr
 Friday Morning Practice 01:45
 Friday Afternoon Practice 05:45
Saturday 18 Apr
 Saturday Practice 02:45
 Qualifying 05:45
Sunday 19 Apr
 Race day at Shanghai International Circuit 05:30
Emlyn Hughes and Geoff Creighton are's live commentary team. The dynamic duo have developed an inimitable style and a reputation for fast, accurate and insightful commentary. With unrivaled access to events unfolding at the circuit, they bring you the very latest, as it happens.

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