German Sebastian Vettel won a rain-hit Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai from Australian team-mate Mark Webber as Red Bull Racing claimed a one-two finish to record their first Formula One triumph.
Championship leader Jenson Button was denied a third successive victory as the Briton finished third with Brawn GP team-mate Rubens Barrichello of Brazil in fourth. There was some reward for McLaren as they put their recent troubles behind them with fifth place for Finn Heikki Kovalainen and world champion Lewis Hamilton finishing in sixth. Felipe Massa, who missed out on the title to Hamilton by just a point last year, failed to finish, meaning Ferrari are yet to pick up a single point this season. Heavy rain had forced organisers to start the race behind the safety car, but when it peeled off after eight laps the Red Bull duo showed superb pace and control as they mastered the difficult conditions. “I am extremely happy,” said Vettel who finished 10.9 seconds clear. “The car was fantastic. The team did a really good job in preparing the car. “We were struggling a bit with reliability but fixed it overnight race and a double win for Red Bull is incredible.” Massa’s race ended on lap 21 when the Brazilian’s engine appeared to lose power, forcing him to the side of the circuit and ending his race. Hamilton, however, was enjoying a much improved performance from his modified McLaren as he moved through the field without ever threatening to reach a podium place. Force India’s Adrian Sutil also made an impressive challenge for a finish inside the points for the first time, but lost control on lap 53 when he slammed into the barriers. Sutil lost the front of his car in the proces, but he climbed out unaided and walked away no doubt pondering what might have been. Vettel visibly eased off in the closing laps and the 21-year-old cruised home to his second win in the wet following his triumph for Toro Rosso at Monza last year.