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Mark Baker, Associated Press
Mercedes Formula One driver Nico Rosberg of Germany steers his car during the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai, China, Sunday, April 15, 2012.

SHANGHAI — Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg won the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday for his first career Formula One victory after starting from pole.

Rosberg won by a staggering 20.6 seconds over McLaren's Jenson Button after making just two pits stops and managing to hold off the rest of the field on worn tires.

"It's an unbelievable feeling," Rosberg said. "It's really nice to see how quickly we are now progressing. We didn't expect to be that fast today."

Button's McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton was third, followed by the Red Bull duo of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel, the defending champion, started 11th and at one stage moved up to second, but couldn't hold off Button, Hamilton and Webber in the closing stages.

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With his third-place finish, Hamilton takes the lead in the driver standings with 45 points, two ahead of Button. Fernando Alonso of Ferrari is third with 37 points, followed by Webber (36) and Vettel (28). Rosberg moves into sixth with 25.

McLaren leads the constructor standings with 88 points, followed by Red Bull in second with 64 and Ferrari on 37.

Rosberg's teammate, seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, had started second, but retired from the race on lap 13 after his right front wheel wasn't fitted properly during his first pit stop.