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Formula One

Alonso wins Chinese Formula One Grand Prix

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso has won the Chinese Grand Prix, finishing ahead of Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton. Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel came in fourth place.

Alonso took the lead at the Shanghai International Circuit with 13 laps to go on Sunday, ultimately defeating Raikkonen by 10 seconds and scoring his 31st grand prix victory.

"It was a fantastic race for us from the start to the end," said Alonso, who was world champion in 2005 and 2006. "There were no big problems and the tire degradation [was] better than expected - it feels great after the retirement in Malaysia."

"In the two races we finished this year we had second place and victory today so the start of the 2013 season is very good," Alonso said.

Vettel still leads

Pole-sitter Hamilton managed to keep Red Bull's Vettel at bay as the three-time world champion sought to charge the Mercedes driver late in the race.

Vettel's Red Bull teammate, Mark Weber, failed to finish after suffering damage to his car and being called into the pits. He subsequently lost a right-rear tire.

Jenson Button of McLaren came in fifth followed by Felipe Massa of Ferrari, Daniel Ricciardo of Toro Rosso, Paul Di Resta of Force India, Romain Grosjean of Lotus and Nico Hülkenberg of Sauber.

Vettel still has the championship lead, three points ahead of Raikkonen. Alonso moved into third ahead of Hamilton in fourth place.

slk/tm (AP, Reuters, AFP)