Lewis Hamilton picked up his second victory of the 2010 campaign to move into the championship lead ahead of team-mate Jenson Button to secure a McLaren 1-2.
Hamilton had qualified on pole and held his lead into the first corner ahead of the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel.
While the front-runners made it through the opening corners unscathed, there were incidents behind with Vitaly Petrov and Pedro de la Rosa tangling and Felipe Massa colliding with Tonio Liuzzi’s Force India. Petrov was the only one of the four not forced to pit at the end of the opening lap as a result.
McLaren had started the race on the softer tyres and it didn’t take long for the cars behind Hamilton on the harder rubber to start putting him under pressure, with the Briton forced to defend to keep Vettel and Fernando Alonso behind.
Team-mate Button was also under pressure from Webber for fourth, with the Australian getting ahead on lap five just before Button dived into the pits to make his first stop.
Under pressure from the cars behind, Hamilton pitted on lap seven along with Alonso, with the pair becoming embroiled in a race off pit road that Alonso won to get ahead.
That left Vettel and Webber out front until they pitted on consecutive laps, which handed the lead of the race back to Hamilton – who had dived down the inside of Alonso at the hairpin as the pair fought to get past the Toro Rosso of Sebastien Buemi prior to the Swiss driver ducking in to make his stop.
Hamilton held on ahead of Alonso until he pitted for a second set of hard tyres, with the Spaniard, Button and Vettel following suit. Webber however elected to stay out on his tyres as long as possible before swapping to the softs for his final stint.
Webber’s tyres soon started to go off however and Hamilton and Alonso were able to close in on the Australian, with Hamilton taking the lead of the race before Webber pitted for tyres and dropped to fifth.
That left Hamilton out front ahead of Alonso, Button and Vettel – the latter having been warned of a possible issue with his car – and he was able to maintain an advantage over Alonso as Button pressed for second.
When Alonso was held up behind Karun Chandhok’s Hispania, Button saw his chance to pounce and made it through to second place to give McLaren a second maximum score in as many events.
Button tried his best to close in on Hamilton but as the laps wore down, the top three became more spread out while behind, Vettel was able to take fourth despite slowing in the final laps with Webber taking fifth.
Nico Rosberg was sixth for Mercedes with Robert Kubica in seventh; the Pole being one of a number of drivers to clash on track with seven-time champion Michael Schumacher on a wretched day for the German.
The pair both went over the grass as Schumacher attempted to stop Kubica finding a way past after an early pit stop, and then suffered with graining tyres later in the race which left him as a sitting duck for cars behind.
Sebastien Buemi was able to find a way past to secure eighth place in the race, with Felipe Massa attempting to them make a move for ninth only to be forced onto the grass approaching the final chicane – damaging his nose and being forced into an extra unscheduled stop.
That left Tonio Liuzzi to launch an attack on Schumacher and a bruising final lap that included contact on more than one occasion saw the Italian steal ninth. Team-mate Adrian Sutil also passed Schumacher for tenth with the German outside the points in eleventh.
Jaime Alguersuari was twelfth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Rubens Barrichello, with Massa’s late stop dropping him down to 15th.
Heikki Kovalainen was best of the newcomers in 16th, finishing ahead of Petrov who picked up two drive through penalties during the race – one for jumping the start and the second for causing the incident with de la Rosa on lap one.
Karun Chandhok and Lucas di Grassi completed the finishers, with the new teams all seeing one car retire. Sauber endured another wretched race, with de la Rosa retiring with what appeared to be an engine issue and Kamui Kobvayashi sliding into Champions Wall on the opening lap.