Saturday, May 18, 2024

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen overcomes battery issues to win Chinese GP Sprint

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Red Bull champion Max Verstappen has won the Chinese Grand Prix Sprint at Shanghai International Circuit, extending his lead on the F1 standings.

Starting at fourth on the grid, the Dutch driver flew past Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton on the ninth lap to take the lead, finishing 13 seconds ahead of his competitors with Hamilton and Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez joining him on the podium.

“That’s the best result I’ve had in a long time,” Hamilton said after the event.

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Verstappen initially experienced some issues with his car, complaining about his battery over the team radio.

“Why is my battery flat? F***!” Verstappen was overheard saying.

However, the issue was quickly resolved, with Verstappen setting the fastest lap time before sailing past Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso. The gap to Hamilton closed dramatically when the seven-time world champion locked up on lap eight, giving Verstappen an opportunity to pounce in the DRS Zone.

Earlier, Hamilton swooped past pole-sitter Lando Norris at the first corner of the Sprint, with the McLaren driver sliding down the order after going wide while trying to wrestle back the lead.

During an enthralling skirmish with the Ferrari drivers on the 17th lap, Alonso sustained a puncture which prematurely ended his race. The incident was noted by race control.

As the chaos was unfolding, Perez expertly manoeuvred his way into third place, while Charles Leclerc vented his frustration after making contact with Sainz.

“What the f***!” Leclerc exclaimed.

“He’s fighting me more than the others.”

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