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15.04.2012

China, Sunday – Ross: “A truly special and historic day”

Nico took a commanding victory at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai today. Starting from pole position, he took the chequered flag with a 20s margin over the second placed car, achieving his first win in Formula One.

Nico ran a two-stop option/prime/prime strategy to win by 20.626 seconds over Jenson Button's McLaren-Mercedes. Michael was forced to retire on lap 13 after his right front wheel was not properly attached at his first pit stop.

This was Nico's 111th Formula One start, and comes 111 years after Mercedes' first win at the 1901 Nice Speed Weeks. It’s the first win for a works Silver Arrow since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix, on 11 September in Monza - 20,671 days ago!

The victory is the tenth in Formula One for a works Silver Arrow, and brings the total number of Mercedes-Benz F1 victories to 90. Mercedes-Benz powered cars filled the podium for the second time in three years at the Chinese Grand Prix

Ross felt today is “A truly special and historic day. I am so delighted for Nico, he has deserved to take his first victory several times, and has now done so by driving a perfectly judged race from pole position. I am excited to see how he develops now he has that win under his belt.

Commiserations to Michael, who was driving a controlled race in second position, but was forced to retire after his pit stop. However, he is the first man to say that we win and lose as a team, and his performances this year prove that he is equally capable of climbing to the top step of the podium.

Heartfelt congratulations to all our team here at the track, in Brackley and in Brixworth; they have put tremendous effort into this project, and we are now starting to see the rewards for their dedication and expertise.

Finally, I must thank all our colleagues at Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart and around the world - their support has been unstinting, and we are proud to deliver the first victory for a works Silver Arrow car in 57 years. I was just one year old when Juan Manuel Fangio won in Monza in 1955 - but this victory is something I will remember, and savour, for a very long time indeed!”

“What a sensational victory from Nico and our team!” said Norbert after the race. “It was unbelievable how Nico drove and controlled the race from lap one to 56. A big thank you to everybody in Brackley, Brixworth, Stuttgart, Fellbach, Untertürkheim and Möhringen for all their relentless work and their belief in our capabilities and that we can make it.

Nico's performance was superb today, the team executed a great two-stop strategy, and Nico and his car managed the tyres very well. It was a shame for Michael, who dropped out after his first pit stop because of a problem with the right front wheel; he missed out on a possible very good podium result. It was particularly sweet to see Jenson and Lewis on the podium - Mercedes Power to the power of three!”

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