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Max Verstappen wins the Chinese Grand Prix, Norris comes second

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Max Verstappen won the Chinese Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen won the Chinese Grand Prix. Photo/ Yahoo News
  • Max Verstappen extended his lead in the world championship by winning the first Chinese Grand Prix in five years.

Max Verstappen extended his lead in the world championship by winning the first Chinese Grand Prix in five years on Sunday to cap off an incredible weekend.

Fernando Alonso broke his right floor on the way to the starting grid, causing controversy at Aston Martin before the race. His mechanics put in endless hours and completed the repair with minutes to spare.

And they appeared to have done a decent job, considering Alonso’s rapid start. With pole sitter and race leader Max Verstappen leading the way, the Spaniard blasted off the starting line to secure second position from Sergio Perez.

George Russell gained a spot from the Ferrari teammates Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz for forcing Sainz wide, while Lewis Hamilton’s other Mercedes slid to 19th before he passed Zhou Guanyu to take back 18th. Yuki Tsunoda gained three positions while Daniel Ricciardo lost four, with the RB teammates finishing 15th and 16th.

Chinese Grand Prix

Chinese Grand Prix. Photo/CNN

After McLaren informed Lando Norris that Alonso had been misusing his tires to remain ahead of Perez, Perez took back second position on Lap 5, overtaking Alonso up the inside at Turn 6. On lap seven, Norris raced up to Alonso and utilized DRS to overtake him inside at the hairpin.

Leclerc demonstrated the DRS’s strength by quickly overtaking Russell at Turn 1 and then Piastri three laps later to finish fourth on Lap 12. His next target was Alonso, but both the Spaniard and Russell—who was being pursued by Sainz—were pitted.

There was pit stop drama for Pierre Gasly, who bumped over one of his technicians as he sought to exit his pit box before his rear-right had been installed.

After 14 laps, Leclerc and Norris were bumped up to the top two, as Verstappen and Perez pitted from first and second. McLaren decided to leave Leclerc in the lead because they thought he would try for a one-stop. On lap 19, Verstappen passed Leclerc, the Ferrari driver not fighting the overtake, and then pursued Norris to take the lead once more.

With the exception of Norris and Leclerc, who pitted after 20 laps, the field was running two-three behind Verstappen and ahead of Perez, Alonso, Russell, Piastri, Lance Stroll, Sainz, and Nico Hulkenberg, who was in the penultimate place for points.

On Lap 24, the Safety Car was used. Verstappen was the first to pit, with Perez and Alonso following suit. Verstappen, Norris, Leclerc, Perez, Sainz, Alonso, Russell, Piastri, Ricciardo, and Stroll were in running order. With the exception of Alonso on soft tires and Ricciardo on medium tires, the top ten on hard Pirellis.

Cars race at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Cars race at the Chinese Grand Prix. Photo/ Speed Cafe

Before the restart, there was drama when Alonso locked up due to the leaders bunched up, and Stroll collided with Ricciardo’s rear, causing Piastri to get struck. Next, on the restart, Tsunoda and Kevin Magnussen clashed when the Haas attempted to dive in on the inside but instead collided with the RB, forcing Tsunoda out of the race. It was the Safety Car again. While Piastri and Ricciardo reported damage, Stroll and Magnussen pitted for repairs.

On lap 32, the race resumed, with Verstappen swiftly gaining the upper hand in the race over Norris and Leclerc, followed by Perez and Alonso. Due to floor damage, Ricciardo lost places and finished the race in the 18th position before withdrawing the vehicle in the pits. Logan Sargeant had one penalty for a SC violation, while Stroll and Magnussen earned tens for causing crashes.

Verstappen was leading Norris by nine seconds going into the last ten laps, while Perez was four seconds behind and Leclerc was two behind. After making his third pit stop to replace his soft tires with mediums, Alonso fell out of the top 10 and into 12th place.

With the victory, which was Verstappen’s fourth of the season, he gained another 25 points toward the championship, 13 seconds ahead of Norris, who scored 18 points for McLaren. Perez finished in third place; the Mexican driver didn’t have the speed to even compete with Norris.

I am an ardent sports enthusiast interested in writing about football, motorsport and athletics.

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