Max Verstappen charges to F1 Chinese GP victory with Lando Norris second

  • Dominant Dutchman’s lead twice interrupted by safety car
  • McLaren’s Norris impressively holds off Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez

Max Verstappen won the Chinese Grand Prix with another dominant drive, despite having to twice re-establish his lead for Red Bull in a race interrupted by two safety car periods. He beat McLaren’s Lando Norris, who did superbly to take what was an unexpected and hugely-impressive second place, while Sergio Pérez was third for Red Bull. Lewis Hamilton came back to ninth having started in 18th, a far better result than he expected in a car which was not performing. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were fourth and fifth respectively.

Verstappen’s win never really looked in doubt in Shanghai, hosting its first race since 2019, but he had to command the race through two restarts, which he did flawlessly to further extend his championship lead over Pérez to 25 points after five meetings.

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Norris worried fans will be turned off F1 by Verstappen’s ‘boring’ dominance

  • World champion follows sprint win with pole in qualifying
  • Lewis Hamilton knocked out in Q1 and 18th after error

McLaren’s Lando Norris warned that Max Verstappen’s dominance of Formula One is in danger of turning fans away from the sport after the Dutchman powered to another pole for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Verstappen took his fifth consecutive pole of the season in Shanghai where he was once more all but untouchable. That was in stark contrast to Lewis Hamilton, whose travails continued with the Briton managing only 18th on the grid – his worst qualifying position since he crashed out in Brazil in 2017.

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‘This journey has been not easy’: Zhou relishing home debut in F1 Chinese GP

The Sauber driver has had a long wait to race on home soil and expectations are off the charts in Shanghai

There has been no little wait for the home crowd and their local hero Zhou Guanyu but what a moment it will be when, finally, this weekend he becomes the first Chinese driver to compete at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. Already the star of a documentary, the only Chinese driver to compete in an F1 race is the main draw for a meeting that sold out in minutes.

This race has not been held since 2019 because of the pandemic and while the 24-year-old Zhou made his F1 debut in 2022, with the Alfa Romeo (now Sauber) team, he has had to wait till his third season to race on a track in the city where he was born and where he has never before competed in a single-seater.

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Lewis Hamilton unwilling to justify Ferrari move in face of F1 criticism

  • Mercedes driver says he remains unfazed by ‘people talking shit’
  • Seven-time champion has 10 points going into of Chinese GP

Lewis Hamilton has insisted his decision to join Ferrari in 2025 does not need any vindication, as he bemoaned the continued discussion over whether it is the right choice.

Before the start of the 2024 ­Formula One season, the 39-year-old shocked his Mercedes team by announcing he would be switching at the end of this year. The team’s slump is now entering its third year and they remain far from the leaders, Red Bull, and have also been outpaced by ­Ferrari this season. Hamilton is enduring the worst start of his career, without a finish in the top six and having scored only 10 points.

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Lewis Hamilton’s Ferrari debut will be in Australia after 2025 calendar confirmed

  • Melbourne to host curtain-raiser for first time since 2019
  • No new additions in 2025 as 24-race calendar remains

Lewis Hamilton will make his Ferrari debut in Australia after Formula One announced next season’s record-equalling 24-round calendar.

Hamilton, 39, is set to realise a childhood dream when he swaps Mercedes for Ferrari in 2025, with the seven-time world champion’s opening race to take place in Melbourne on 16 March.

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Fernando Alonso ends Mercedes talk as he extends Aston Martin deal

  • Double world champion was linked to Lewis Hamilton’s seat
  • Spaniard has signed ‘multi-year’ contract with current team

Fernando Alonso will remain with Aston Martin beyond this season after signing a new “multi-year” deal with the British-based Formula One team. Double world champion Alonso, 42, had been linked with Mercedes and Red Bull – as possible replacements for Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen respectively.

However, Aston Martin announced on Thursday that the Spanish driver, whose current deal had been due to expire at the end of the year, has agreed a contract extension.

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Sebastian Vettel hints at F1 comeback after revealing talks with Toto Wolff

  • Four-time world champion has spoken to several team bosses
  • German surprised by Hamilton’s decision to leave Mercedes

Sebastian Vettel has hinted he could be tempted to make a Formula One comeback after revealing he has been talking to Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff.

Mercedes are searching for a new driver for 2025 and beyond after Lewis Hamilton announced in February he was quitting for Ferrari after 11 years with the Silver Arrows.

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Christian Horner accuser ‘upset, scared and lonely’ after Red Bull suspension

  • Friend of woman at centre of crisis has spoken to BBC
  • F1 team say Horner bound by confidentiality agreement

The woman who has accused Red Bull team principal Christian Horner’s of inappropriate behaviour is “very upset, angry, scared, intimidated and lonely”, according to a friend of hers who has spoken to BBC Sport.

“It’s impossible for people to understand what it’s like for her,” said the friend. “She can’t talk and she won’t talk.

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F1 owner Liberty Media announces takeover of MotoGP

  • US-based company buys 86% stake for €3.5bn from Dorna
  • Takeover subject to clearance and could attract scrutiny

Formula One’s US-based owner Liberty Media has announced a takeover of MotoGP’s parent company Dorna, MotoGP said in a statement on Monday.

Dorna will stay an independently run company attributed to Liberty Media’s Formula One Group tracking stock and continue to be based in Madrid, with long-serving Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta remaining in his position, the statement added.

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