Another race, another victory for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at Chinese GP

Apr21,2024


Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates with the trophy on the podium after winning the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 21, 2024

Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates with the trophy on the podium after winning the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 21, 2024. Photo courtesy: Reuters

Another Formula 1 race. Another win for Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

The three-time defending champion won the Chinese Grand Prix after starting from pole on April 21, his fourth win in five races this season and his 23rd in the last 27 races last season.

Only brake failure at the Australian GP in Melbourne last month probably saved him from sweeping all five.

Verstappen trailed by only a few laps after the pit stop. McLaren's Lando Norris was nearly 14 seconds behind Verstappen in second – the eighth time he has finished No. 2 in his career as he still searches for his first win. Verstappen's Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez finished third.

The safety car came out twice in the middle of the race. At one point Sauber's Valtteri Bottas stopped at the side of the track with a failed engine, and then two incidents occurred almost simultaneously.

In one, Kevin Magnussen clipped Yuki Tsunoda, and in the other, Lance Stroll hit the back of Daniel Ricciardo.

Verstappen's reign in F1 was also extended to Saturday when he took part in the first sprint race of the season.

It was the first F1 in China since 2019 when the COVID-19 pandemic and China's restrictions wiped out four races. Shanghai-born Zhou Guanyu finished 14th for Sauber, perhaps his last chance to race on home soil as teams shuffle their driver lineups next season.

The real competition in F1 for the remainder of the season appears to be half a dozen places behind Verstappen and Perez. Mercedes' George Russell called it a “battle” for the No. 3 to No. 8 spots.

“Small differences can have big impacts,” Russell said.

The next GP is Miami on May 5 where it is often a celebrity show. There was also a parade of celebrities in China, with former basketball star Yao Ming and double Olympic champion skier Eileen Gu posing for photos in the paddock and on the track before the start of the race.

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