2.10pm Good afternoon and welcome to our coverage of the Chinese Grand Prix. Less than an hour to go ... The forecast is not wonderful for the race but so far it's been dry and warm, although there's a breeze which has started in the last hour.

2.15pm Word around the massive concrete paddock, however, is that light afternoon showers are very possible, ahead of a wet evening, while the heavy rain could arrive earlier than expected. BBC just done an interview with Bernie Ecclestone on TV. Good grief, he's hard work!

2.20pm The big question for the teams post-race will be how on earth to get home. With European airspace shut and a massive backlog of stranded travellers, the hundreds of F1 personnel - not to mention equipment - could find themselves caught up. "We think it's going to rain, and rain soon," admits Red Bull's team manager

2.25pm "It looks as if the rain might be later on in the race, but at least it won't be rain like Malaysia," says Jenson Button. "The forecast keeps changing every 30 minutes."

2.30pm "I have a little question: who do you think, is the best wet-driver on the grid?" asks Bert. Hamilton, Webber or Button all have claims. Schumacher did but he hasn't raced enough in the wet lately. On that subject, very light rain falling. 2.35pm All the cars now heading out. Ravin emails: " I don't think [Schumacher] would liked what happened yesterday where he almost failed to make the cut into Q1. Do you think it's possible that they would have made any changes to the car from yesterday to give him a better fighting chance in the race?" Highly unlikely, Rosberg is fourth on the grid and is outperforming his team-mate and he's the better chance today - plus as he is in the top ten, there's not changes to be made.

2.37pm "It's not raining enough to put on intermediates but enough to trouble the drivers," says David Coulthard. Umbrellas up in the stands.

2.40pm "Drying for 20 minutes and more rain," says Ross Brawn. And what's wrong with Schumacher? "Good question." McLaren expect rain in five minutes! So, there you have it ...they pay huge sums for weather predictions and even then there's no agreement. "It's not raining enough to change the tyres," says Felipe Massa. In the meantime, if you have any questions you want to send us, click here

2.45pm "Given there is three weeks to the Spanish Grand Prix, do the teams have any contigency plans for overland travel should the skys be too ash filled to fly back?," asks Jim from the USA. "We're staying here till the end of the week," admits the man in charge of logistics, revealing it takes six 747s to move F1 round the world.

2.50pm Karun Chandhok will start from the pit lane after being forced to make changes to the HRT's gear box. It's reported both Ferraris have a wet set-up. The clutch and hydraulics on Vettels Red Bull had to be changed as well, but there's no penalty for that

2.53pm FIA just signalled 'change in climatic conditions'. As in it's raining. And to tell you more and to take you through the race, it's Laurence Edmondson.

2.55pm Welcome to the Shanghai International Circuit, the teams look as though they have bolted slicks on to the cars, they have no other choice at the moment.

2.57pmBut rain is a near certainty so they could be coming in very soon after the start. This is a nightmare scernario for Red Bull who were hoping for another straight-forward race at the front of the pack.

2.59pm The slick tyres are unveiled as the teams leave the grid, lots of option tyres. Having said that Timo Glock is on inters but has been left jacked up on the grid as everyone else gets away.

3.00pm Glock will have to start from the pits, that was a big error by Virgin after Glock managed to get a good grid position at the front of the newcomers race. Nico Rosberg told to get heat in the tyres but more importantly that rain is on the way. It's still to dry for inters as the cars line up on the grid for the start having warmed up their slicks on the parade lap.

Lap 1

Alonso makes a great start ahead of the Red Bulls as Webber beats Vettel. Big accident at the back, looked like Liuzzi, a Sauber and another car and that has brough out a safety car.

Concerns that Alonso jumped the start.

Liuzzi lost his car under braking and hit Buemi and Kobayashi, Hulkenberg did well to avoid the drama.

Lap 2

A few cars pit but the front runners are still out there. Button also reckons Alonso jumped the start, it did look way too good to be true from third on the grid.

Schumacher gained a place at the start and Petrov made big gains to get up to tenth.

Alonso set to take on inters but it was almost certainly a jump start, looking at the replay. That means Mark Webber is our leader but he pits too for inters.

Lap 3

Vettel pits too, most the front runners come in as well. Vettel has to queue for tyres behind Webber so lost position. Hamilton made a late decision to change to inters and cut across the gravel to get in the pits.


So Rosberg leads from Button on slicks and the safety car has come in.

Lap 4

green We're racing again, Alonso finding loads of grip on the inters moving back up the field.

Going on to inters seems like the right move with the current track conditions as they come straight back through the pack .

Lap 5

But if it doesn't rain any more then those inters will destroy themselves. Schumacher pits and goes back out on slicks, Mercedes think it is too early for inters.

Alonso will serve a drive-through penalty for that jump start.

Lap 6

But as Rosberg goes even faster the slicks all of a sudden are the tyres to be on, Hamilton and the Red Bulls flood back into the pits for slicks.

Hamilton and Vettel were wheel-by-wheel doen the pits so McLaren could face a penalty for unsafe release. They came in to the pits side-by-side and then were released together, so that might be a tough one for the stewards to judge. In theory neither did anything wrong.

Lap 7

So Vettel is back on the attack in 15th. Webber also making progress up to ninth and, my mistake, Vettel is now tenth.

Lap 8

Hamilton facing a tough battle with Barrichello but should leave him behind. As Alonso came in for his stop he went straight on entering the pits, managed to keep it going though.

Lap 9

Smoke from de la Rosa's car suggests his race might be coming to an end.

Virgin: "Lucas was starting from pit lane due to a clutch problem. Real shame about timo. Off to sulk now."

Vettel passes Webber in to turn one, good move and Hamilton is now attacking Webber.

Meanwhile Rosberg is looking good at the front, 2.8 ahead.

Hamilton breezes past Webber on the back straight.

Lap 10

Webber is running more wing on his car so is slower down the straights. If it rains he'll be in a good position but if it doesn't he'll struggle to keep pace with Vettel and Hamilton.

Lap 11

Vettel is 49 seconds behind Rosberg but lapping faster despite being in traffic. The Vettel, Hamilton, Webber train moves up through the field past Kovalainen in the Lotus.

Lap 12

Vettel tries a move on Sutil, but it doesn't work and allows Hamilton to get past both. Hamilton making great use of the McLaren's top speed.

Vettel still behind Sutil, who like last weekend, is doing a great job at defending his position.

Vettel lines him up again and this time gets past, and Webber follows.

Lap 13

Hamilton sets a lap two seconds faster than race leader Rosberg, incredible.

Tonio Liuzzi on his first-lap accident: "I was just a passenger, I didn't see much. When I went into corner five the brake locked and I slid off."

Hamilton up to sixth but 48 seconds off Rosberg. Schumacher reports more rain but again it is just drizzle that is expected.

Lap 14

Hamilton still setting fastest laps in the McLaren. He's 1.3 seconds behind Schumacher, what a battle that could be.

Massa closing on Barrichello for 11th.

Lap 15

Schumacher holds off Hamilton, the battle begins. Hamilton is all over the back of him but Schumacher is putting his car in all the right places on corner entry.

Rosberg told rain is forecast in 3 minutes.

Hamilton tries around the outside but again Schumacher is too experienced to allow such an easy pass.

Lap 16

Schumacher is showing his class now. The McLaren is much quicker and the pass is probably inevitable but Schumacher won't make it easy.

Hamilton gets a great exit from turn 13 passes Schumacher on the straight, but didn't give up and had another bite into 14 at the end of the straight. Didn't pay off though as Schumacher overshot and Hamilton kept his head to hold the place.

Lap 17

So Hamilton up to fifth and now its Vettel's chancce to have a go at Schumacher. He gets it done first time down the long straight as Schumacher controls a big slide, is the weather getting worse?

Lap 18

Rosberg still 3.4 ahead of Button at the front. Webber is closing on Schumacher, the Red Bull on hard tyres as Schumachers rear softs start to fade.

Lap 19

Rosberg puts in a good lap and now leads Button by 4.557s from Kubica +11.1s and then Petrov +34s - Hamilton 47s back.

But Rosberg has made a massive mistake somewhere and Button has overtaken for the lead into turn 14.

Lap 20

Rosberg's tyres look shot and there are reports of rain. Rosberg went off the track at turn 11.

Schumacher and Webber pit, presumably for inters. Yep inters it is, the two Ferraris in also.

Post-race investigation for Hamilton and Vettels pit skirmish.

Lap 21

On the track Vettel and Hamilton are fightiong for position as race leaders Button and Rosberg pit for tyres.

Hamilton and Vettel now pit, in that order.

Hamilton out first this time but Webber leap-frogs them both.

Lap 22

Alguersuari comes into the pits with a broken nose cone.

Button 4.2 up on Rosberg with Kubica just 2.4 off the Mercedes.

yellow Safety car out, not sure why... Button's lead will be negated but good news for Alonso who can close back in on the rest of the field after his nightmare race of three tyre stops and one drive-through penalty.

Lap 23

Alonso got past Massa heading into the pits, very brave to do that on your team-mate but we know Alonso is no shrinking violet.

Marshals on the track are clearing debris.

Lap 24

The other drivers are trying to catch the safety car but can only lap at just under two minutes so as not to go under the regulated time in safety car conditions.

At the moment the safety car is lapping at 2:08 and is staying out for another lap.

Lap 25

And there will be enough time for the train of cars which reads Petrov, Schumacher, Webber, Hamilton, Vettel, Sutil, Alonso to catch the safety car.

Hulkenberg out on slicks and is having terrible time.

Safety car in this lap, basically a restarted race from this point onwards.

Lap 26

Button backs up the pack and causes havoc including a Webber flying odd at the final corner.

Schumacher and Hamilton back in a fight for position and Hamilton gets past after some very defensive driving from the German.

Webber says Hamilton was responsible for pushing him off the road.

Lap 27

Barrichello and Massa fighting for position behind Vettel in ninth.

Hamilton now troubling Petrov and gets past into turn nine, the same place he passed Schumacher - great driving.

Lap 28

Schumacher falling back down the pack from fifth to ninth.

Alonso now closing on Sutil for sixth, that should be a good battle.

Lap 29

Hamilton closing on Kubica for third as Button holds a one second lead over Rosberg.

Alonso holding position behind Sutil, waiting for a chance to pass. Sutil is a very good driver in the wet.

Hamilton breezes past Kubica for third using his straight-line advantage.

Lap 30

Now Hamilton is chasing down Rosberg as Alonso and Vettel get past Sutil at separate places of the track.

Hamilton has gained 0.7 on Rosberg already on this lap.

Lap 31

Massa and Barrichello still fighting for position in 10th. Webber gets involved in that as well and passes Barrichello for 11th.

Hamilton still closing on Rosberg, gap down to 2.8 now with Button 2.6 ahead of the Mercedes.

Lap 32

Schumacher and Sutil now in a tight battle for position.

Lap 33

Hamilton takes a second out of Rosberg on that lap and is 0.7 faster than Button in the lead. Rosberg's tyres are starting to go off, Hamilton having similar problems but more rain is forecast.

Petrov off the track, disappointing as he was having a strong race. Got on the power too early trying to defend from Alonso and around he went.

Lap 34

Hamilton 1.4 behind Rosberg now, that is the battle to watch. Meanwhile Sutil and Schumacher are still going at it with Schumacher trying to put off the Force India driver with dummy moves. Massa and Webber have closed on that battle now.

Lap 35

Hamilton closes the gap to 0.7 now and still the fastest man out there bar Vettel in 6th. Hamilton roght on the back of Rosberg now down the straight.

Rosberg defends well and they start the next lap nose-to-tail

Lap 36

Hamilton swarming the Mercedes gearbox as Webber pits again from 11th. Hamilton tries a move on Rosberg at the same place he passed Schumacher and Sutil but it didn't quite pay off.

Lap 37

Hamilton had to recover after that failed move and is now lining up Rosberg again. More rain on the way according to Mercedes. Schumacher also pits, they could be cutting their losses on their current tyres, knowing that the ones they were on wouldn't last the distance.

The Rosberg / Hamilton battle has allowed Button to get 7.2 ahead, and Hamilton pits.

Lap 38

New intermediates on Hamilton's McLaren and they had to hold the car for a Kubica who was pitting as well.

Webber is fast on the fresh rubber so Hamilton will hoping he will find similar gains and Rosberg's team is ready for him in the pits.

Jenson pits for new tyres. Rosberg follows him in, as does Alonso who was up to third.

Lap 39

Rosberg rejoins behind Hamilton. McLaren one-two in Shanghai. They are fairly close, just waiting for the gap on the timing screens to come through.

Lap 40

Button leads by 3.2 seconds over Hamilton and Lewis was quicker in the final two sectors of the last lap, the race is on between them.

Further down the field we should see Vettel challenging Kubica for fifth. Hamilton reports more rain at the top of the circuit.

Lap 41

Button is now gettiing to grips with his tyres and is 3.3 seconds ahead of Hamilton now. Webber popped up to 7th after his early pit stop for fresh inters.

Hamilton's split times are very evenly matched, will we see Button get away?

Lap 42

MikeGascoyne: "Will rain til the end of the race" - update from the Lotus pit wall, Kovalainen is running 14th.

Mistake by Button in sector one allowed Hamilton to close a second or so.

Lap 43

Hamilton now has the gap down to 2.6 seconds. 13 laps remaining and we are in for a brilliant finale to this race.

Alonso is closing on Rosberg for third, so that could be a good battle too. They are very close in turn 14.

Vettel now on the back of the Renault of Kubica, that's for fifth place.

Lap 44

Button increases the gap to 3.0 on that last lap, Hamilton isn't that consistent in these wet conditions he must be trying very hard.

Closets battle on track is Alguersuari and Petrov for ninth. Massa has closed in on that battle too.

Lap 45

Button now 4.1 ahead of Hamilton, so seems to have the measure of his team-mate now. Alonso has the gap to Rosberg down to 2.9 seconds.

Lap 46

Button finds another 0.4 over Hamilton on that last lap. Alonso coming right up behind Rosberg now for third place.

Lap 47

Button 5 seconds clear of Hamilton, Rosberg a further 13 seconds back. Maybe McLaren has implemented team orders to make sure of the one-two.

Lap 48

Rosberg has upped his pace in an effort to keep Alonso at bay. Hamilton reports that his left-front tyre is nearly bald, but McLaren reassure him they will last to the end.

So that explains why Hamilton has dropped back.

Lap 49

Rosberg keeping Alonso at bay and has got the gap to Hamilton down to 10.1 seconds. Kubica is till keeping Vettel behind him, the gap is nearly a second, so even the Red Bulls are struggling towards the end of this race.

Lap 50

10 seconds is the gap between Button and Hamilton, and that has dropped the gap between Hamilton and Rosberg to just 7.8.

Petrov goes straight on at turn 14 but has a big enough gap to Massa to hold onto ninth.

Lap 51

Hamilton's car is sliding all over the place but he managed to steady the gap to Rosberg on that last lap, as Button eases off a bit at the front.

Alguersuari has made his sixth pit stop in this race.

Button goes straight on a t turn 14 by locking both fronts and the gap is now down to 5.3, but I don't think Hamilton will be able to do anything about it.

Lap 52

Petrov passes Schumacher for eighth and the German didn't do much to put up a fight.

Hamilton runs wide, all the drivers are struggling with their tyres now.

14.4 seconds covers first place Button to fourth palce Alonso.

Lap 53

5.0 is the gap between the McLarens and they are both really struggling to keep it on the track.

Massa is closing on Schumacher for ninth place. And he tries a pass around the outside of turn 14 but is squeezed wide by the seven-time champion.

Lap 54

Hamilton has the gap to Button down to 3.8 seconds, but with just two laps remaining, he surely can't threaten for the lead.

A mistake by Webber on bald tyres allows Petrov pass for sixth. Great race by the Russian rookie in these closing stages.

Lap 55

Hamilton now 2.7 behind Button and comfortably ahead of Rosberg.

Lap 56

Button leads Hamilton by 2.6 seconds as they start the final lap. Rosberg should hold off Alonso. Rain is getting heavier and Hamilton is told to be careful. Schumacher loses position to Massa and runs off the circuit at the final corner, holds on to tenth though.

Button wins from Hamilton in a brilliant McLaren one-two. Button's second win of the season and he now leads the championship. Rosberg third, Alonso fourth and Kubica fifth. Button ecstatic over the radio, a fantastic win for him in the conditions. Seventeen cars finish the race, including the two HRTs - good result for them.

So as they pull up in Parc Ferme, Hamilton congratulates Button, lots of back-slapping and smiles, and both their tyres look very, very low on grip. Button jumping around Parc Ferme and receives a kiss from girlfriend Jessica Michibata as well as hugs from his mechanics.

And cheers as he emerges onto the podium, hands aloft and a massive grin on his face. After the nation anthem he lifts the trophy - modest compared to some of the ridiculous efforts we see during the season - above his head, and then the champagne starts to fly.

So, that's it from us. we hope you have enjoyed what was a very good race. We'll be back in three weeks time when the roadshow hits Europe - we just hope the teams and equipment manages to make it.