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Live Commentary: Chinese Grand Prix - as it happened

Read how Fernando Alonso claimed his first win of the 2013 F1 season at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Formula 1 was in China for the third race of the 2013 season and tyre wear was set to play a key part in the race.

Fernando Alonso and Ferrari managed their rubber best to claim a first victory of the season as Lewis Hamilton came home third after starting on pole.

Read how a race full of incident right until the last corner unfolded in our lap-by-lap coverage below.

Morning all! Should be a cracking race this morning with a bit of a jumbled grid and a circuit that usually encourages overtaking.

Yesterday it was Lewis Hamilton who secured his first pole position at new team Mercedes with a dominant performance throughout. Has the Englishman got similar 'race pace' today?

As mentioned above, Saturday was not a good day for Red Bull. Mark Webber was knocked out in Q2 as he failed to make it back to the pits because of a refuelling issue. Since then he has been demoted to the back of the grid. Championship leader Vettel also failed to have it his own way and he starts from eighth.

However, the German didn't actually set a time in the final part of qualifying yesterday and that means he has free choice of tyre at the start of the race. If you do set a time in qualifying then you have to start the race on that tyre.

Vettel has just told Sky Sports F1 that he does have a chance of winning today as it is a "long race". He knows that the tyre degradation is going to be critical.

The tyre wear made for an underwhelming qualifying yesterday as most drivers only set one time in each session. Let's hope for a more thrilling race today.

A bit of news from the pit lane this morning: Paul Di Resta was in serious danger of not making the race because of a fuel leak but Force India managed to sort it out and the Scot will start from 11th.

TOP 10: Anyway, here's how the top 10 line up: 1 Hamilton 2 Raikkonen 3 Alonso 4 Rosberg 5 Massa 6 Grosjean 7 Ricciardo 8 Button 9 Vettel 10 Hulkenburg

In all honesty it looked like there would be a Mercedes lock-out on the front row but Nico Rosberg made a mistake on the final corner and will start fourth.

The top seven drivers are all set to begin the race on the soft compound of tyres and there's a real concern about how long they will last. Rosberg tells BBC Sport: "It's not a question of how many laps you can do, it's a question of how many corners!"

Expect to see the frontrunners pitting very early then. They'll switch straight on to the medium compound and will then stay on it for the rest of the race.

THE TRACK! Here's a little more information on the Shanghai International Circuit: One lap is 3.39 miles long and the 22 cars will go around 56 times. There are 16 turns and the highlight section is perhaps right at the start, where a quarter of those turns come very quickly in what looks like a ying-yang symbol from above.

I'd be very surprised if all 22 are still intact after the first four corners. Once we're into lap three the DRS system will be allowed and that should see plenty of overtaking on the two straights.

PREDICTION! Not long to go now and it's time for my prediction on the race. It really is very tough to call as the soft tyre could give up the ghost after very few laps. Still, I expect one of the people at the front to be good enough and I'm plumping for Raikkonen, whose Lotus is thought to manage the tyre wear better.

I've mentioned the top 10 but the biggest names further back are Sergio Perez in 12th and Webber, who starts from the pit lane. Perez is the meat of a Force India sandwich and both Di Resta and Sutil could well challenge for points today.

FORMATION LAP: Hamilton leads the cars out for one circuit of the track before we begin.

Will Hamilton be able to get away well and hold his position at the front. I'd be wary of Alonso and Massa in third and fifth respectively. The Ferraris often shoot off the line.

As the 22 cars line up down the pit straight it's a sad sight to see Webber trundling down the pit lane. Can the Aussie get any points today? About to start...

GO GO GO! The five red lights go out and we're underway in Shanghai!

Awful start from Raikkonen, Hamilton leads ahead of the two Ferraris.

No crashes yet, Raikkonen has dropped to fifth. Vettel still behind Button.

Alonso is right on the back of Hamilton and looking great. Didn't I say the Ferraris start well?

Webber is told to pit straight away so he can get rid of the soft tyres straight away.

Raikkonen re-passes Rosberg for fourth position while a little further back Di Resta has had a trip on the grass and may have taken a shove from his teammate Sutil.

As they cross the line for a second time Alonso has dropped a little off Hamilton and is now under real pressure from teammate Massa. How long are these tyres going to last?!

Now that we're onto the third lap, DRS is enabled. Expect to see some overtakes on the long back straight.

Massa has a little look but can't quite pick up enough drag to overtake Alonso. The Spaniard also has DRS behind Hamilton so that's enough to keep him in front.

ALONSO LEADS! Both Ferraris overtake Hamilton in fact. He's really hanging on now.

Further back it's Hulkenburg who overtakes Vettel. It's surprising how little the German world champion has done so far.

Just as I say that, Vettel overtakes Rosberg for seventh. And both Hamilton and Rosberg pit!

CRASH! Gutierrez locks up into the hairpin at the bottom of the pit straight and he's damaged Sutil in the process. The Force India is now on fire in the pit.

Alonso and Raikkonen now pit and it's a sublime stop from the Ferrari team for Alonso. Just 2.6s to change the tyres!

DRS is currently turned off down the back straight because of Gutierrez's crash. That should be turned back on shortly though.

Massa pits from the lead and it's not such a good stop for the Brazilian as he falls behind both Raikkonen and Webber, who has done extremely well to get himself back into play.

Hamilton is now the fastest man out there and the Mercedes looks much happier on the medium compound.

The grid is awfully jumbled at the moment and it's very hard to tell exactly who's in the best position. Although he's back in sixth, Alonso is really our race leader as the five ahead of him haven't pitted yet.

Hulkenburg of Williams is our current race leader ahead of Vettel. They're not far enough in front to stay ahead once they pit though.

TOP 10: 1 Hulkenburg 2 Vettel 3 Button 4 Perez 5 Di Resta 6 Alonso 7 Hamilton 8 Vergne 9 Raikkonen 10 Massa

Little change in the last couple of laps and it's a bit of a waiting game for the likes of Alonso and Hamilton. They know that the five in front have to stop and should resume the lead soon enough.

It's believed that the cars who started on the medium compound will do a two-stop strategy on the mediums and then just do a lap or two on the softs at the end. Remember, under the rules both compounds have to be used in the race.

Alonso is absolutely flying at the moment. He passes Di Resta for fifth and he's now all over the back of Perez.

Perez has got no answer for the DRS-assisted Ferrari and Alonso now zooms into fourth. Hamilton hasn't been able to match the Spaniard's pace as he is still behind Di Resta in seventh.

"Box, box, box" Vettel is told. That means pit, pit, pit.

Oh deary me Sauber. Hulkenburg comes in at the same time as Vettel but it's not a good stop and Vettel gets ahead of his fellow German.

CONTACT! Vergne turns into Webber and the Aussie has to pit while Vergne is out I think.

MORE CONTACT! It's now Raikkonen and Perez who come to blows! "What the hell is he doing?!" screeches Raikkonen to the team.

OUT! Webber can't get back into the race and he's going to have to retire because of a mechanical issue. Not a great couple of weeks for the Aussie.

Crazy scenes as Webber fails to limp back to the pit. He reported that his right rear tyre was broken and it's just come off his car and rolled across the track. Luckily it avoids the cars around.

It's now Button who leads the race but he's got a Ferrari all over his exhaust and it won't be long before Alonso is back out front.

Replays of Webber's wheel coming off are kind of comical but it could have been very dangerous.

Into the pit come Massa and Rosberg for their second stop. Both slip on another pair of mediums.

ALONSO uses DRS to zoom up the inside past Button and he's back in the lead. Five seconds down the road it's Raikkonen all over Hamilton despite his damaged front wing.

CLOSE! Raikkonen and Hamilton enter the pit together and they both do 3.7s stops to resume right next to each other just like they came in.

The pair resume in ninth and 10th as Alonso continues to streak clear at the front.

TOP 10: 1 Alonso 2 Button 3 Vettel 4 Hulkenburg 5 Perez 6 Grosjean 7 Ricciardo 8 Di Resta 9 Hamilton 10 Raikkonen

OUT! Rosberg's car is retired after some problems on his second pit stop.

Alonso pits from the lead and it's not a great stop from the Ferrari men. Button also comes in and it's a great stop from McLaren. Button is well in this.

Uh oh! The stewards are investigating Button and Grosjean for using DRS while it was turned off. That sounds like a certain penalty.

Hamilton is the fastest man out there at the moment as he sets a new fastest lap of 1:41.8.

TOP 10: 1 Vettel 2 Hulkenburg 3 Alonso 4 Button 5 Hamilton 6 Raikkonen 7 Di Resta 8 Massa 9 Grosjean 10 Perez

McLaren and Lotus breathe a sigh of relief as the stewards announce that the DRS incident will be investigated after the race. Surprising.

Alonso now the quickest car on the track and he passes Hulkenburg for second place. A little further back Hamilton could be about to pass former teammate Button.

Interesting words from Button as he asks his team how much older Hamilton's tyres are. He's told they're two laps older and then asks should I fight for position. "Yes fight" is the response.

And now Vettel is told the opposite: "Do not lose time holding off Alonso." The Red Bulls know they are in a different fight.

Down the inside goes Hamilton and that's an easy pass on his former stablemate. Expect Alonso to do a similar job on Vettel soon.

Just a reminder of the four cars who have been retired: Webber, Rosberg, Sutil, Gutierrez.

Hulkenburg pits from third place and Sauber go for the soft tyres. Interesting move, let's see how a new set of the yellow-marked softs fare.

Vettel is told to pit from second place just as Raikkonen sweeps past Button for third place. Vettel pops on another pair of mediums so he'll be stopping again for some softs a little later. Hulkenburg is flying on his set of softs but they won't last very long.

TOP 10: 1 Alonso 2 Hamilton 3 Raikkonen 4 Button 5 Hulkenburg 6 Vettel 7 Di Resta 8 Massa 9 Ricciardo 10 Grosjean

That top 10 is probably the best reflection of the race at the moment. Alonso is clear favourite to win as he has an 11-second lead on Hamilton, who should be more concerned with Raikkonen behind him.

Vettel is really dialled in on these new medium tyres. He's overtaken Massa, Di Resta and now Hulkenburg for fifth place.

"Kimi's in the pit lane now Lewis so push push!" Hamilton is told. Raikkonen should now have tyres that will get him to the end of the race.

"We need to pass Button," says Vettel's engineer and the German does just that. Easy peasy.

A bit of pit-lane drama as Massa and Hulkenburg go side-by-side. The latter couldn't turn off his pit limiter though and it's easy for Massa to pass.

Hamilton pits from second place and it's not good news as Raikkonen whizzes past. The Englishman will have fresher tyres at the moment and he needs to catch Kimi quickly.

TOP 10: 1 Alonso 2 Vettel 3 Button 4 Raikkonen 5 Hamilton 6 Di Resta 7 Massa 8 Hulkenburg 9 Perez 10 Grosjean

Alonso should make his final stop shortly. His lead back to Raikkonen and Hamilton is about 31 seconds. Plenty.

Here he comes. It's a slow, four-second stop from Alonso and Vettel manages to get past. That's not a big concern for Ferrari though as they know Vettel has to make another stop.

The key number at the moment is Alonso's lead ahead of the Raikkonen-Hamilton battle. It currently stands at about nine seconds but should get bigger as the duo battle for position.

Didn't take Alonso long to retake the lead! His tyres are much newer and that's an easy pass on the pit straight. Vettel has to stop again and Button is told that Vettel is the man he is racing.

So, the important battles to look out for as we enter the final 15 laps of the race are Raikkonen vs. Hamilton for second and Vettel vs. Button for fourth and fifth.

Both Raikkonen and Hamilton get past Button, who shouldn't be too concerned as those aren't the men he's really fighting. Hamilton has lost a little time in his fight with Raikkonen.

Alonso is the first man to set a lap under 100 seconds as he crosses the line with a 1:39.506. This one's in the bag.

There's 10 laps left and still the main focus should be on Raikkonen and Hamilton. Remember, the former has a damaged front wing but it doesn't seem to be effecting his performance much.

Hamilton remains a little over a second behind Raikkonen. Will he be able get within the one-second DRS zone?

Out sprint the McLaren engineers for Button's final stop. How will he fare on the softer tyres?

It's a 2.6s stop for Button and he resumes in seventh behind Massa. It looks as if Vettel is too far ahead for Button to challenge him for position in the final few laps.

Button's brand new softs are far too quick for Massa. Expect the McLaren to zoom past Di Resta soon as well.

Vettel remains in second but he does have to make one more stop. Button's pace is immense and that signals to Red Bull that Vettel should put his soft tyres on. Here he comes into the pit.

FIVE LAPS LEFT and it's an average stop for Vettel but he's in a very comfortable fourth. Button's eyes will now be on Di Resta.

However, the McLaren man's tyres already seem to be going off! It's pretty stupid just how short the life of these soft tyres is.

And still Raikkonen manages to hold Hamilton one-second behind. Can the Englishman make a final push for second place on the podium?

He's back to within a second of the Finn and will desperately want to stay that close before the DRS detection point. Vettel is lighting up the timing screens with some super-hot laps on those new soft tyres.

TWO LAPS LEFT! Hamilton's DRS is open down the pit straight but he just can't get close enough to frighten Raikkonen.

Vettel is making his soft tyres last longer than Button and he's now within four seconds of Hamilton. In for a gripping last lap!

Hamilton now under big pressure from Vettel.

There's no chance that Hamilton can overtaken Raikkonen and there's loads of traffic in front! Vettel very close now.


Hamilton just hangs on for third place ahead of Vettel. Raikkonen in second.

"Phenomenale! Grande weekend!" Alonso is told on the radio. A sublime race from the Spaniard.

What an incredible end to the race. Both Hamilton and Vettel made mistakes on the final couple of corners but the Mercedes just hung on to the podium position. Top 10 coming up...


1. Alonso 25pts
2. Raikkonen 18pts
3. Hamilton 15pts
4. Vettel 12pts
5. Button 10pts
6. Massa 8pts
7. Ricciardo 6pts
8. Di Resta 4pts
9. Grosjean 2pts
10. Hulkenburg 1pt

Alonso is absolutely thrilled with victory as he takes a flag emblazoned with the famous Ferrari stallion and stands on top of his car waving it. Great scenes. That more than makes up for the last race in Malaysia when Alonso crashed out.

STANDINGS! And here are the new driver standings:

1. Vettel 52pts
2. Raikkonen 49pts
3. Alonso 43pts
4. Hamilton 40pts
5. Massa 30pts
6. Webber 26pts
7. Rosberg 12pts
8. Button 12pts
9. Grosjean 11pts
10. Di Resta 8pts

Alonso bounces up to the top step of the podium and we have the Italian and Spanish national anthems before the trophy presentation and inevitable Champagne shower.

It's all smiles on the podium and all three drivers will be pleased with their final positions. Of course, Hamilton may be gutted not to have converted pole position but on the day the Mercedes just didn't have the race pace. Raikkonen will be delighted with second after that awful, wheel-spinning start.

That's just about it from me anyway, thanks for joining SM this morning. The next race is in Bahrain in one week's time so make sure you come back then for live text coverage of qualifying and the race. See you then.

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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix on March 17, 2013
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Live Commentary: Chinese GP quali - as it happened

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States29352791
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee16222058
Great BritainGreat Britain16181852
Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events

· Great Britain's women aim to secure their place on the podium as they face India in the bronze medal match (2.30am)
· Netherlands - silver medallists five years ago - and Argentina battle for the gold medal in the women's final (11am)

· The women's gold medal will be decided as Australia and USA go head to head (3.30am)

· Lauren Price will be looking to add to Team GB's success in the ring when she takes on Nouchka Fontijn of Netherlands in the women's middleweight semi-final (6am)

· Tom Daley already has one Olympic gold to his name in Tokyo, and he begins his bid for second in the men's 10m platform. Teammate Noah Williams is also involved in the preliminary round (7am)

· Jason Kenny's reign as sprint king may be over, but Jack Carlin looked strong in his bid to succeed his compatriot. He takes on Harrie Lavreysen in his sprint semi-final (8.10am), with the final taking place later in the day (10.35am)
· The women's madison makes its Olympic debut at the velodrome as Team GB duo Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny look to add another medal to their collections (9.15am)

· Hosts Japan will look to get themselves on the podium as they face Mexico in the men's bronze medal match (10am)
· The women's champions will be crowned as both Sweden and Canada aim to win Olympic gold for the very first time (1pm)

· The men's 5000m final includes Great Britain's Andrew Butchart, but most eyes will be on Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (1pm)
· Team GB's Jodie Williams will hope to get on the podium in the women's 400m final, but defending champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo is favourite for gold while Stephenie Ann McPherson should challenge and Allyson Felix is bidding to become the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (1.35pm)
· Netherlands' Sifan Hassan takes on leg two of her ambitious attempt at a Tokyo treble in a women's 1500m final which also includes Great Britain's Laura Muir and Faith Kipyegon of Kenya (1.50pm)
· A star-studded women's 4x100m relay final will see a Team GB quartet including Dina Asher-Smith look to upset defending champions USA and favourites Jamaica, who boast Elaine Thompson-Herah as she goes for her third gold of the Games (2.30pm)
· Great Britain and Jamaica will also be going for gold in the men's 4x100m relay final, and their medal hopes have been boosted by USA's failure to qualify (2.50pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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