Nico Rosberg claimed a dominant win in an action-packed Formula One Chinese Grand Prix to extend his championship lead over Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who battled up to seventh with some feisty driving after starting last.

Rosberg crossed the line a mammoth 37.7 seconds ahead of German compatriot Sebastian Vettel, who recovered after colliding with his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen at the first corner, to claim his third win from three races this season.

Drivers standings (top-10)
1.  N Rosberg - 75     
2.  L Hamilton - 39     
3.  D Ricciardo - 36     
4.  S Vettel - 33     
5.  K Raikkonen - 28     
6.  F Massa - 22     
7.  D Kvyat - 21     
8.  R Grosjean - 18     
9.  M Verstappen - 13     
10. V Bottas - 7 

Daniil Kvyat finished third to score Red Bull their first podium finish since September's Singapore Grand Prix, but the Russian had to defend himself after the race when an angry Vettel blamed him for the collision between the Ferraris.

Sunday's win was the 17th of Rosberg's career and extends his streak of race victories to six, dating back to last November's Mexican Grand Prix.

The German now leads Hamilton at the top of the standings by 36 points with 18 rounds of a record 21-race season to run.

"It's too early to make any premature conclusions," insisted Rosberg.

"Lewis is not many points behind - 30 points is not much, it's a race and a bit and he will never give up."

Hamilton used some good-old fashioned racing nous and clever strategy from Mercedes to work his way up to third, but his challenge faded in the later stages of the race.

The race was interrupted by an early safety car after a series of incidents at the very first corner left debris across the track.

The safety car led to a chopping and changing of the order with some drivers choosing to pit even as others stayed out, putting a mix of tyre strategies into play.

Chinese GP (Top-10):

1. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes

2. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 

3. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull - TAG Heuer

4. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull - TAG Heuer 

5. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari  

6. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes  

7. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes  

8. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso - Ferrari  

9. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso - Ferrari  

10. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes

Source: Agencies