Lewis Hamilton won a scintillating Chinese Grand Prix after running down world championship leader Sebastian Vettel in the closing stages of a race that proved unpredictable to the end.
The Briton, who only just made it to the grid after a fuel-related problem when his McLaren was fired up - appeared to have lost his chance of victory when he pitted for the a fourth set of tyres, but the superior grip from his fresher Pirellis proved the difference as he rapidly reeled the Red Bull in. After a couple laps of looking for a way by, Hamilton finally proved too good for the German four from home and was able to cruise away at the front to end Vettel's winning streak.
Hamilton's team-mate, Jenson Button, had led the opening stint after getting a better start than Vettel, but made a novice error at his first pit-stop, pulling into the Red Bull area rather than his own. That was enough to allow Vettel into the lead - the German having earlier jumped Hamilton who initially ran second to Button - although he had to wait for both Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa to also take turns at the front on merit as the different strategies worked out.
Vettel appeared to be back in control in the closing stages, but RBR had opted to run him on a two-stop strategy, which ultimately played into Hamilton's hands. Red Bull did managed to get two cars onto the podium, however, as Mark Webber turned in a mesmerising second half to convert 18th on the grid into third at the flag, having turned the tables on McLaren by tracking down Button in the closing stages.
The Briton took fourth, ahead of Rosberg, Massa, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Vitaly Petrov and Kamui Kobayashi as 23 of the 24 runners made the full distance. Only Jaime Alguersuari failed to finish, the result of a badly fitted rear wheel at his one and only pit-stop.
Full report and results to follow....