Race starter Mark Webber third on the spot at the back Fernando Alonso, and championship leader Sebastian Vettel had a muted home race and came home fourth following a lengthy gamble with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa.
Only when they finally pitted for hards with just one lap to go did Vettel manage to get fourth back as a day after missing the front row of the grid for the first time all year, he finished off the podium for the first time in 2011.
Force India’s Adrian Sutil’s best drive of the year brought him sixth place for Force India, as he made a two-stop strategy work excellently to beat the two Mercedes of Rosberg and Michael Schumacher. The latter had been challenging his team-mate until losing time with a mid-race spin at Turn 10.
A great start and a two-stop strategy helped Kamui Kobayashi come through from 17th on the grid to ninth for Sauber, just ahead of Petrov, who lost ground by staying out too long on his first set of tyres. Jenson Button never featured at the front. A slow start dropped him to 10th, and he then spent the race in traffic, couped up behind Vitaly Petrov’s Renault for most of the first stint. Just after making it past Rosberg and into sixth, the McLaren developed a hydraulic problem and had to retire.