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F1 Chinese Grand Prix LIVE: Race updates as Lando Norris leads after Max Verstappen’s pit stop

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The Chinese Grand Prix returns as Max Verstappen starts on pole and Lewis Hamilton starts in a lowly 18th place after his worst qualifying result since 2017.

Hamilton finished second in Saturday’s F1 sprint – a result he described as his “best in a long time” – but was brought back down to earth when he was eliminated in the opening stages of qualifying for the main event of Sunday. The seven-time world champion got stuck at the penultimate corner on his fastest lap and ended up in the Q1 knockout zone, leaving only RB’s Yuki Tsunoda and Williams’ Logan Sargeant on the grid.

Verstappen, who is on course to take his fourth consecutive world championship, beat teammate Sergio Perez, with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso third and Lando Norris fourth – ahead of Oscar Piastri in the other McLaren. Charles Leclerc and Sainz finished sixth and seventh respectively for Ferrari, while George Russell could only manage eighth for the Silver Arrows on a bad afternoon.

Follow live coverage of the Chinese Grand Prix with The Independent

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F1 Grand Prix of China: lap 17/56

Hamilton is in 14th place, but seems to be struggling somewhat. He complains on the radio that his car is “so slow.”

Elsewhere, Piastri pits and comes out ninth. It’s now on mediums.

Chris WilsonApril 21, 2024 08:33

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F1 Grand Prix of China: lap 16/56

Charles Leclerc leaves the gap open for Verstappen to overtake on the inside, and the Dutchman takes second.

Chris WilsonApril 21, 2024 08:31

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F1 Grand Prix of China: lap 15/56

Verstappen is already third and just over a second behind Leclerc in second place. Of course, neither Norris nor Leclerc have made a pit stop yet.

Chris WilsonApril 21, 2024 8:30 am

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F1 Grand Prix of China: lap 15/56

Both Verstappen and Perez are now driving on the hard tires.

Norris leads the race, with Leclerc almost seven seconds behind.

Chris WilsonApril 21, 2024 08:29

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F1 Grand Prix of China: lap 14/56

Verstappen comes out of the pits fourth, behind Norris, Leclerc and Piastri, but ahead of Sainz.

Chris WilsonApril 21, 2024 08:28

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F1 Grand Prix of China: lap 13/56

Hamilton is in 15th place as he overtakes Tsunoda on the outside in the first corner.

Verstappen comes into the pits next to Sergio Perez.

Chris WilsonApril 21, 2024 8:27 AM

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F1 Chinese Grand Prix: lap 12/56

A few more pit stops. this time from Alonso, Russell and Gasly, among others. Gasly’s stop cost him some time and there are reports that an Alpine team member was injured.

Chris WilsonApril 21, 2024 08:25

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F1 Chinese Grand Prix: lap 12/56

Leclerc moves into the top four and overtakes Piastri on the inside.

Chris WilsonApril 21, 2024 08:24

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F1 Grand Prix of China: lap 11/56

Verstappe, Perez, Norris, Alonso and Piastri currently make the top five.

Russell is still denying Sainz, but it looks like the Ferrari will soon overtake.

Hamilton, back in 19th place, says on the radio that “that was the worst band”.

Chris WilsonApril 21, 2024 08:23

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F1 Chinese Grand Prix: lap 10/56

More early pit stops, this time from Hamilton, Albon, Ocon and Stroll. Hamilton has switched to the mediums.

There is some relief for Stroll now that the earlier incident has been resolved.

Chris WilsonApril 21, 2024 08:21