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

Vaseline 1 month ago

SHANGHAI (AP) — Another Formula 1 race. Another victory for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

The three-time defending champion won the Chinese Grand Prix from pole on Sunday, his fourth victory in five races this season and his 23rd in the last 27 stretching back to last season.

Only a brake failure at the Australian GP in Melbourne last month probably prevented him from beating all five.

Verstappen was only a few laps behind after a pit stop. McLaren’s Lando Norris was around 14 seconds behind Verstappen in second place – the eighth time he has been number 2 in his career as he still searches for his first win. Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez finished third.

The safety car came out twice in the middle of the race. Once after that, Sauber’s Valtteri Bottas stopped at the edge of the track with a blown engine, and again with two almost simultaneous incidents.

In one, Kevin Magnuessen clipped Yuki Tsunoda, and in the other, Lance Stroll crashed into the back of Daniel Ricciardo.

Verstappen’s reign in F1 also extended to Saturday, when he completed the first sprint race of the season.

This was the first F1 in China since 2019, when the COVID-19 pandemic and Chinese suppression wiped out four races. Shanghai-born Zhou Guanyu finished 14th for Sauber, perhaps his last chance to race at home as teams shuffle their driver line-ups next season.

The real competition in F1 for the rest of the season appears to be in the six places behind Verstappen and Perez. Mercedes’ George Russell called it “a battle” for places No. 3 to No. 8.

“Small differences can have a big impact,” says Russell.

The next GP is Miami on May 5, where it is often a celebrity show. There was also a celebrity parade in China, with former basketball star Yao Ming and two-time 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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AP Formula 1: https://apnews.com/hub/formula-one