The Chinese Grand Prix may not have lived up to the pre-race hype regarding how many drivers had a chance to win, but still provided numerous contenders for the 'driver of the day' accolade.

Fernando Alonso is the obvious nomination, having made Ferrari's tyre strategy work perfectly from third on the grid. With the F138 appearing happy on both the medium prime tyre and the more controversial soft option, the Spaniard was able to lead from the front once he had disposed of polesitter Lewis Hamilton - and even had the pleasure of passing Sebastian Vettel on the road to retake top spot as their strategies overlapped.

Vettel was unable to hang on to second place, or even make the podium, as Red Bull's decision to start on the harder tyre meant that he had to pit for a short late run on the softs. That dropped the world champion to fourth on the road, but he came so close to claiming another piece of silverware after somehow making the tricky rubber last better than most as he chased third spot, eventually coming up just a couple of tenths short.

Ahead of him, Hamilton was almost limping to the finish by comparison, admitting that his Mercedes didn't have the pace to live with Alonso, and wouldn't have had enough to defend his podium spot for another lap or so had it been needed. The Briton, however, had taken a maiden pole for the Three Pointed Star, and remained a factor in the top three throughout.

Hamilton also conceded that he couldn't compete with second-placed Kimi Raikkonen, who hauled a damaged Lotus to another podium finish after colliding with Sergio Perez early on. Although the Finn revealed that he wanted to change the broken nose and wing, he responded to the team's decision not to by coming home just ten seconds adrift of Alonso.

Behind Vettel, Button made a similar tyre strategy work as he claimed fifth spot. Despite having to make a late stop for the softer rubber, the Briton stormed past both Felipe Massa and Paul di Resta to record his best finish of the season.

di Resta appeared on course for a top six finish before making his own late stop, eventually claiming eighth spot for a Force India team that had seen Adrian Sutil removed from the proceedings by wayward rookie Esteban Gutierrez after only four laps. di Resta's effort was also notable for having overcome a moment with his team-mate, which left him on the grass, and a pre-race fuel leak that saw his car in pieces less than half an hour from the start.

The final nominee for driver of the day finished the race between Britons Button and di Resta, as Daniel Ricciardo consolidated a season's best seventh on the grid into a career-best seventh in the race. The Australian was less than a couple of tenths adrift of the second Ferrari at the flag, and could have finished higher had the race been a few laps longer....

So who impressed you most in Shanghai? To have your say, simply pick your favourite from the list here - and feel free to explain your choice in the comments section....


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