More than 100 races after his 2006 debut, but just a day after taking his maiden pole, the German had just collected Mercedes' first works win in more than half a century.

Sunday was a wheel-to-wheel F1 thriller, but the sport's newest winner Nico Rosberg was surprisingly untouchable in Shanghai.

"Did you even have to overtake any cars?" he was asked by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton afterwards. "No!" Rosberg replied.

More than 100 races after his 2006 debut, but just a day after taking his maiden pole, the German had just collected Mercedes' first works win in more than half a century.

"When we last won," team boss Ross Brawn grinned on British Sky television, "I was one year old!"

Brackley based Mercedes, whose predecessor Brawn GP won the world championship as 'Brawn GP' in 2009, had just confounded the doubters by winning despite having struggled desperately with tyre wear so far this season.

"Nico was stunning in qualifying yesterday and superb today," David Coulthard said on BBC television.

When asked about Mercedes' apparently radical turnaround since Malaysia three weeks ago, Rosberg admitted: "We really struggled with race pace in the first races, so it's great to see how quickly we've progressed."

The secret appears to been car setup only, with the 2012 generation of Pirelli tyres particularly finicky when it comes to the 'operating window'.

"We got it exactly right today," said Mercedes reserve driver Sam Bird.

Agreed former grand prix winner Johnny Herbert: "Bang! -- they hit it (the window) today."

Behind the matchless Rosberg, it was an exciting and close Chinese grand prix.

"That was one of the greatest races I've seen for a long time," Hamilton's father Anthony agreed.

Despite Rosberg's win, Hamilton snr was more than happy with Sunday's result, as his son is now leading the drivers' standings by two points from the sister McLaren of Jenson Button.

"I think he (Hamilton) is ready for the new challenge of taking on another championship," the McLaren driver's former manager Anthony Hamilton added.

 

Result

Pos

Driver

Team

Time/Retired

Grid

Pts

1

Nico Rosberg

Mercedes

1:36:26.929

1

25

2

Jenson Button

McLaren-Mercedes

+20.6 secs

5

18

3

Lewis Hamilton

McLaren-Mercedes

+26.0 secs

7

15

4

Mark Webber

Red Bull Racing-Renault

+27.9 secs

6

12

5

Sebastian Vettel

Red Bull Racing-Renault

+30.4 secs

11

10

6

Romain Grosjean

Lotus-Renault

+31.4 secs

10

8

7

Bruno Senna

Williams-Renault

+34.5 secs

14

6

8

Pastor Maldonado

Williams-Renault

+35.6 secs

13

4

9

Fernando Alonso

Ferrari

+37.2 secs

9

2

10

Kamui Kobayashi

Sauber-Ferrari

+38.7 secs

3

1

11

Sergio Perez

Sauber-Ferrari

+41.0 secs

8

 

12

Paul di Resta

Force India-Mercedes

+42.2 secs

15

 

13

Felipe Massa

Ferrari

+42.7 secs

12

 

14

Kimi Räikkönen

Lotus-Renault

+50.5 secs

4

 

15

Nico Hulkenberg

Force India-Mercedes

+51.2 secs

16

 

16

Jean-Eric Vergne

STR-Ferrari

+51.7 secs

24

 

17

Daniel Ricciardo

STR-Ferrari

+63.1 secs

17

 

18

Vitaly Petrov

Caterham-Renault

+1 Lap

19

 

19

Timo Glock

Marussia-Cosworth

+1 Lap

20

 

20

Charles Pic

Marussia-Cosworth

+1 Lap

21

 

21

Pedro de la Rosa

HRT-Cosworth

+1 Lap

22

 

22

Narain Karthikeyan

HRT-Cosworth

+2 Laps

23

 

23

Heikki Kovalainen

Caterham-Renault

+3 Laps

18

 

Ret

Michael Schumacher

Mercedes

Wheel

2

 

 

2012 Chinese Grand Prix results