Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Ricciardo crashes out as Verstappen claims China GP

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Max Verstappen has won the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix in Shanghai on another terrible day for luckless Aussie Daniel Ricciardo.

Verstappen started from poll and held sway throughout the 56-lap race, taking the 58th win of his career and extending his lead in the driver standings.

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McLaren’s Lando Norris took second, ahead of Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull, while Oscar Piastri was again in the points, finishing eighth despite dealing with a damaged car late in the race.

Ricciardo, 34, was in ninth place midway through the race for Visa Cash App RB as he chased his first points of the season.

But his day blew up, firstly due to a poor tyre strategy from the team, and then from a moment of madness from Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll.

The Canadian ran into the back of the veteran Aussie, ending his race in another frustrating day, with teammate Yuki Tsunoda also crashing out.

Ricciardo appeared to be trying to compose himself and watch his words when he spoke about the incident afterwards.

“It looked like (Stroll) wasn’t looking at me and I think it showed, how hard he hit me,” he said.

“He was clearly focused on something else.”

Asked if he had at least regained some momentum in a tough season to date, the typically optimistic Aussie stated: “Definitely.

“I think that’s where right now it’s even more disappointing for us as a team, in the garage, I think everyone feels like it’s kind of another blow to the start of the season.

“But I think in 48 hours from now when this disappointment starts to fade, we’ll look back on a positive weekend.”

Catch a full recap of the action-packed race below.

6.45pm – Verstappen wins again

The world champion is just in imperious form, Max Verstappen taking the race victory to stretch his lead in the driver standings.

Lando Norris held onto second in a great result for McLaren, ahead of Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz took fourth and fifth respectively for Ferrari, while Oscar Piastri managed to record some more points after limping home in eighth, holding off Lewis Hamilton.

“That was fantastic, it was on fire, the car was really, really good,” Verstappen said, confirming what everyone watching on could see.

“Fantastic job guys, everyone, well done. We did really, really well this weekend.”

6.35pm – Alonso with a wild save

Coming around the final corner before the home straight with six laps remaining, Fernando Alonso ran wide onto the gravel as his car locked up and jerked sharply to the left.

Somehow the 42-year-old held onto the car and managed to straighten up.

“Let’s have a look at it. Look how sideways he is,” Nico Rosberg said during a replay.

“Oh my goodness. But look how quickly he reacts, 43 years old nearly, huh?”

“Reaction time of a teenager,” David Croft added.

6.18pm – Lando trying to hold onto second

With 16 laps remaining, Max Verstappen is clear in front, with Lando Norris holding second place on the podium.

Sergio Perez has just pulled off a move on Charles Leclerc to move into third as he chases down the McLaren man.

Norris’ teammate Oscar Piastri appears to be in serious strife, with major damage to his car as he tries manfully to hang onto eighth position.

6.08pm – Race has gone “horribly wrong” for Ricciardo

Just when it looked like Daniel Ricciardo might get his first points of the season, it has all gone spectacularly wrong for the Aussie veteran.

Sitting ninth at one stage, a tyre strategy error from his team was bad enough before he was crashed into by Lance Stroll.

He stuck it out as long as he could, but quickly lost track position from the safety car restart before the damage to his car took its toll and he was forced to retire.

“This is going horribly wrong for Ricciardo,” Nico Rosberg said.

“If he didn’t have bad luck, he’d have no luck at all,” David Croft added.

Fans reacted strongly to Stroll’s moment of madness on X.

“Lance Stroll slamming into Daniel Ricciardo, this idiot,” was one comment.

“I’m sorry but Stroll and Aston Martin are absolutely delusional. He single-handedly ruined the race of Ricciardo,” wrote another.

“It’s hard being a Daniel Ricciardo fan,” a third added glumly.

6pm – Drama rocks Ricciardo, RB team

Daniel Ricciardo had moved up to ninth place as he eyed his first points of the season.

But his race blew up in the space of a couple of laps.

Firstly he is the only driver in the top 10 still on medium tyres and faces another pit stop.

Then he was shunted from behind by Lance Stroll, complaining of floor damage, although he is still out on the track.

“Ricciardo had to get the breaks on because Piastri was stopping,” David Croft said.

Nico Rosberg added: “It was Stroll that overcooked it because Daniel almost got it stopped and then Lance gave him a big bang from behind.”

Compounding matters for the team, Yuki Tsunoda is out of the race after he was clipped from behind by Kevin Magnussen, crashing out.

5.53pm – Disaster for Visa Cash App RB

Sitting in ninth, it looks a false dawn for Daniel Ricciardo, who is the only driver still on a medium compound, with the rest of the top 10 on hards.

That means his team has botched the safety car period as the West Australian needs to stop again.

“It’s approaching dinner time on the East Coast in Australia,” Ted Kravitz said.

“They’re going to be a bit disappointed because Daniel Ricciardo will have to stop again.

“He did not pit under that safety car. Everyone in the top 10 is going to try and go to the end except for Daniel Ricciardo, who is going to have to stop again. Sorry Australia.”

To make matters worse, Ricciardo’s teammate Yuki Tsunoda has just been clipped by Kevin Magnussen and is out of the race.

5.50pm – Safety car causes havoc

Bottas’ engine issue has shaken up the race, with cars flooding into the pits and throwing on new tyres.

We’re set for a rolling restart, with Verstappen still controlling the race and Lando Norris in great position in second.

Oscar Piastri is eighth for McLaren, with compatriot Daniel Ricciardo quietly moving his way into a points position, currently one spot behind the young Aussie.

5.40pm – Drama hits the race

Valtteri Bottas has run off the track in his Sauber, bringing out the race’s first yellow flag.

“Engine gone, engine gone,” Bottas said as smoke poured out of the back of his vehicle.

Through lap 22 of 56, the virtual safety car has been deployed, with Verstappen leading from Norris, Leclerc and Perez.

5.37pm – Strategies starting to play out

Ferrari are weighing up a one-stop strategy for the race and Lando Norris appears to be considering the same for McLaren.

Norris enjoyed the race lead for a few laps, but Verstappen has just retaken the lead.

5.32pm – Red Bull pulling the strings

Max Verstappen rejoined the race in fourth place after his pit stop and quickly moved past Piastri and Leclerc.

Only Lando Norris, who is yet to pit, is ahead of him as the reigning world champion aims to retake control of the race.

Piastri has just pitted and is currently ninth, while Daniel Ricciardo is languishing in 17th.

5.26pm – Disaster for Pierre Gasly

The Alpine driver was ready to leave the pits, but his right rear tyre wasn’t secured, coming loose as it made contact with one of the mechanics.

“I hope that mechanic is OK,” David Croft said in commentary.

“Gasly went to go but the tyre wasn’t fitted properly and it’s a good thing he didn’t go more than half a metre.”

It led to a long pit stop before he could finally rejoin the race.

Team radio then confirmed the mechanic wasn’t hurt.

5.21pm – Norris makes his move

Lando Norris is looming as the only realistic threat to Red Bull, showing great pace as he worked his way past Fernando Alonso into third place and is now doing his best to hunt down the leading duo.

Australia’s Oscar Piastri would have been optimistic of doing the same in the battle for fourth, yet he was instead passed by Charles Leclerc as the Ferrari man took the inside line on the hairpin.

Alonso has now pitted, while Lance Stroll was under review for pushing Nico Hulkenberg off the track, but no action will be taken by the stewards.

5.13pm – Red Bull back in position

It took five laps, but Sergio Perez has got his Red Bull past Fernando Alonso and back into second, having lost position from the start of the race.

Lando Norris also said on team radio he felt Alonso was pushing too hard on his tyres in a promising sign for the McLaren outfit.

5.10pm – Not a great start for Ricciardo

After a solid weekend entering the race, Daniel Ricciardo has started poorly in the Visa Cash App RB, dropping three spots to sit 15th, just ahead of teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

5.05pm – We’re off and racing

With spots of rain about, the race is off to a clean start.

Fernando Alonso was the big mover for Aston Martin, jumping Sergio Perez at the start and holding his position to take second.

The rest of the top five held their positions, with Verstappen already pushing hard ahead of the pack.

4.55pm – Everyone chasing the dominant Red Bull drivers

We’re close to the formation lap and there is intense interest in whether anyone can challenge Red Bull from the start, with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez locking up the front row.

Lando Norris couldn’t convert pole in the Sprint race into the lead on Saturday and Damon Hill was asked how teams could get past the duo in the main event.

“They’re going to need a bit more of everything and I don’t think they’ve got it,” he said bluntly.

“They’ll have to get them on the start.

“If they can get ahead at the start, and (Red Bull) get a bad start, there’s always a chance of that.”

4.45pm – More Chinese sporting royalty at the GP

Sauber’s Zhou Guanyu might be the star of the day for the home fans, but he has a way to go to reach the popularity in China of former NBA All-Star Yao Ming.

The 2.29m giant just did a walk-through of the track and he was mobbed everywhere he went, stopping for photos and a quick chat with the host broadcaster.

“Sometimes history repeats itself,” Yao said. “Just like for basketball, when I came out to play, it became more popular in China.

“Formula 1 has been in China for around 20 years and to have a Chinese driver, I’m happy for him.”

4.30pm – McLaren optimistic of a good day

Lando Norris is starting fourth on the grid for McLaren, one spot ahead of teammate Oscar Piastri.

The young Aussie is on what is considered the cleaner side of the grid for the race start, but wasn’t sure that would be an advantage.

“Not massively, I don’t think. We’ll see what we can do,” he said on-track.

“We’ve got some pretty quick cars around us so it’s going to be a tough race, probably an interesting one with different strategies and different tyres for everyone.

“We’ll see what we can do.”

Norris was asked who the team’s main rival was for the race and gave no doubt who they were targeting.

“It’s Max. Max will be our main competition today,” he said.

“We’re going for the win. So looking forward to it.”

4.15pm – Fans pack in as China returns to the schedule

The Chinese Grand Prix is back on the agenda for the first time since way back in 2019, as planned races between 2020-2023 were called off due to the pandemic.

That means Shanghai-born Sauber driver Zhou Guanyu is firmly in the spotlight on his home track.

There were reports the ticket selling app crashed in the country due to demand and 1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill poked fun at the pressure on the 24-year-old on Sunday on Fox Sports.

“They have been all weekend cheering everything he’s been doing,” Hill said.

“He admitted to feeling the pressure. No pressure, only 1.4 billion people behind you.

“But he’s doing a fine job.”

3pm – Hamilton left fuming after nightmare

Seven-time world champ Lewis Hamilton endured a qualifying nightmare after finishing second in the sprint race on Saturday.

The Mercedes driver and his teammate elected to make some changes to the set up of the car after still not being happy with how it was performing.

In the end the changes made to Hamilton’s car proved costly and will see him start from the second last row on the grid.

“I just struggled,” Hamilton said on Sky Sports’ coverage.

“I made massive changes into qualifying. It wasn’t too bad in some places but I couldn’t get it really to stop in Turn 14. It is what it is. I’ll have fun from back there.

“This morning George and I had very similar cars but this afternoon we’re trying to experiment still with the car so I went one way, a long way, and he went the other way just to see if we could find anything and that’s what we need to do at the moment.

“But it didn’t work. I’ll give it my best shot … 18th is pretty bad.

“When I was making the set up changes I was like, ‘it can’t get any worse, surely.’ And it did. S**t happens.”

CHINA GRAND PRIX STARTING GRID

Front row: 1. Max Verstappen, 2. Sergio Perez

Second row: 3. Fernando Alonso, 4. Lando Norris

Third row: 5. Oscar Piastri, 6. Charles Leclerc

Fourth row: 7. Carlos Sainz, 8. George Russell

Fifth row: 9. Nico Hulkenberg, 10. Valtteri Bottas

Sixth row: 11. Lance Stroll, 12. Daniel Ricciardo

Seventh row: 13. Esteban Ocon, 14. Alex Albon

Eighth row: 15. Pierre Gasly, 16. Zhou Guanyu

Ninth row: 17. Kevin Magnussen, 18. Lewis Hamilton

Tenth row: 19. Yuki Tsunoda, 20. Logan Sargeant

Read related topics:ChinaDaniel Ricciardo

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