Max Verstappen will need to learn fast from Shanghai overtaking fiasco

The driver’s poorly judged attempt at overtaking Sebastian Vettel in China suggests it is time for the youngster to add a more considered approach to his undoubted raw talent

At the opening of the F1 season, Max Verstappen was as confident in his own abilities as he ever had been. The young Dutchman has carried this self-assurance since he began in karting and it has been part and parcel of his career in F1.

With the new season about to begin, he told colleague Donald McRae that he felt no need to overthink his craft. “I never even think of the mental side of things because I never had any issues,” he said. But his poorly judged attempt at overtaking Sebastian Vettel in China suggests perhaps now is the time for the youngster to add a more considered, cerebral approach to his undoubted raw talent.

Related: Daniel Ricciardo sets F1 pulses racing with masterclass in Chinese GP | Giles Richards

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Source: Formula 1

China talking points: Daniel Ricciardo sets pulses racing with master class | Giles Richards

The Australian showed touches of real quality to win in Shanghai but his team-mate Max Verstappen is still making mistakes

Daniel Ricciardo’s skill at overtaking was never in doubt but his remarkable performance in China was confirmation of just how far he is willing to go. “I know what I can do in the car,” he said before the Australian Grand Prix. “Even if there is a 10% possibility then I am going to do it.” He made good on this promise with aplomb in Shanghai. His pass on Lewis Hamilton was a perfect combination of timing and late-braking but the move on Valtteri Bottas was something else. Ricciardo knew the win was within his grasp but where other drivers may have been more circumspect the Australian wanted to use his tyre advantage while he had it. He committed into turn four up the inside, a racer’s manoeuvre if ever there was one. Bottas was skilful and professional in giving him room but as he had said, Ricciardo knew exactly what he could do in the car.

Related: Efforts to facilitate more F1 overtaking find the path blocked | Giles Richards

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Source: Formula 1

Daniel Ricciardo claims Chinese Grand Prix as Verstappen clips Vettel

  • Ricciardo grabs first win of the season as Vettel falters
  • Lewis Hamilton finishes fourth as Valtteri Bottas grabs second

Daniel Ricciardo won the Chinese Grand Prix for Red Bull from sixth on the grid after a remarkable late charge through the field, where he took advantage of new tyres and exploited them brilliantly to take the lead and the win.

In an incident-packed final third Valtteri Bottas secured second for Mercedes, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen in third. The two leading championship contenders Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel finished in fourth and eighth respectively.

Related: F1 2018: Daniel Ricciardo wins Chinese Grand Prix – as it happened

Related: Lewis Hamilton faces uphill battle as Sebastian Vettel takes China pole

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Source: Formula 1

Formula One 2018: Chinese Grand Prix – live!

  • Updates from the race at Shanghai International Circuit
  • Feel free to get in touch on email or via Twitter @Adam_Woolcock.

6.41am BST

Pit lane is open, and we’re within 30 minutes of lights out.

Lewis Hamilton is the king of the Chinese Grand Prix, with five career wins. The heat is on today, needing to get past his teammate and two Ferraris to add a sixth. Fernando Alonso (x2) and Kimi Raikkonen are the only other previous winners in the field today.
Any chance of a replay of the Spinal Tap-esque incident pre-race where a kid asked Lewis for an autograph via a black marker on a black hat? After generously pondering where he was supposed to write and turning it over a few times to try and find an appropriate spot he just wrote on it and hoped for the best. Your copy of the footage will help that child prove to his mates at school tomorrow that he really did meet the world champion.

6.34am BST

After five passing moves in Melbourne and 42 in Bahrain could this be the rubber match to decide which way the season is going to go?

More passing means increased chance of a collision, and Renault has helpfully done the stats and discovered what we’re a nearly 50/50 chance of seeing a safety car today.

#DidYouKnow Safety car probability for this race is at 43%. #RSspirit #ChineseGP #RACEday pic.twitter.com/3ykwLgVhSu

6.16am BST

Good afternoon, morning, or night wherever you are. Welcome to our coverage of the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix.
The key storyline today is whether Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari can continue their red hot start to the season.

No driver has ever won the first three races of the season and failed to go on and win the title. To be fair there are a lot more races than there used to be, but nevertheless the German starts from pole today with history on his side.

11.13am BST

Adam will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s our man in Shanghai, Giles Richards, on how qualifying panned out:

Related: Lewis Hamilton faces uphill battle as Sebastian Vettel takes China pole

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Source: Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel leads front-row lockout for Ferrari in F1 Chinese GP

• Lewis Hamilton fourth behind team-mate Valtteri Bottas
• Vettel secures 52nd career pole as he bids for 50th race win

Sebastian Vettel claimed pole for the Chinese Grand Prix, completing an all-Ferrari front row with his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in second. The session proved tricky for Mercedes, however, with reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton only able to manage fourth behind team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Raikkonen had put in a fine run to top the time sheets on his first hot run in Q3, over a tenth up on Vettel, with Hamilton a further four-tenths down in fourth. The Finn then went quicker on his final lap but Vettel proved to have something more when it counted, putting in an exemplary lap of 1.31.095, eight-hundredths up on his team-mate and a new track record. Hamilton, however, aborted his final quick run in Q3.

Related: Efforts to facilitate more F1 overtaking find the path blocked | Giles Richards

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Source: Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton under pressure to close gap on Ferrari at Chinese Grand Prix

• Mercedes driver led Raikkonen by 0.007sec in second F1 practice
• ‘Ferrari are going to be hard to beat here,’ Hamilton said in Shanghai

Fine margins make the difference in Formula One and, gratifyingly for the Chinese Grand Prix, the differential at the front of the grid can barely be measured. A season that started with much tighter competition between Ferrari and Mercedes than anticipated has every sign of being impossible to call in Shanghai but, unusually given how strong they have been for the past four seasons, it is Mercedes who are having to fine-tune their focus to meet Ferrari’s threat.

Lewis Hamilton did top the time sheets for Mercedes in first practice but, when the leaders ran qualifying simulations in practice two, there was nothing in it. As scene-setters for the race go this was a mighty opening, with one-tenth of a second separating the front four.

Related: Lewis Hamilton apologises to Max Verstappen after Bahrain F1 clash

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Source: Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton apologises to Max Verstappen after Bahrain F1 clash

• World champion clears air with Red Bull driver before Chinese GP
• Hamilton called Verstappen a ‘dickhead’ after collision last Sunday

Lewis Hamilton has apologised to Max Verstappen in the buildup to the Chinese Grand Prix after their clash at the last round in Bahrain.

Verstappen had attempted a pass on Hamilton when the two came together, causing a puncture for the Red Bull driver, who was forced to retire. Hamilton went on to finish third and trails Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by 17 points in the drivers’ standings after two races.

Related: Efforts to facilitate more F1 overtaking find the path blocked | Giles Richards

Related: Bahrain talking points: Ferrari had pace all weekend and a trusted driver | Giles Richards

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Source: Formula 1

Efforts to facilitate more F1 overtaking find the path blocked | Giles Richards

DRS, wing designs and downforce rules reduce overtaking in a sport which needs the spectacle to keep its audience

After two races of the new season that promise another battle between Mercedes and Ferrari, with Red Bull yet to show their real form, Formula One had a feelgood factor after Bahrain. This had not been the case going into the grand prix.

The dearth of overtaking in the first race in Melbourne prompted the FIA to hold an urgent meeting at the Sakhir circuit with technical directors to discuss changes for 2019 to improve passing.

Related: Sebastian Vettel wins in Bahrain after Kimi Raikkonen runs over mechanic

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Source: Formula 1

Ferrari had pace all weekend in Bahrain and trusted star driver | Giles Richards

It was a fine race for Sebastian Vettel and his team, but Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Gasly also made their mark

The Scuderia might have been fortunate to win in Melbourne but victory in Bahrain was anything but a fluke. The team had the pace all weekend and their car proved, at the Sakhir circuit at least, to be superior to Mercedes. But they also had to be willing to take a risk and trust their driver. Switching to a one-stop mid race was a bold move and Vettel had to put in a superlative performance to turn it into a win. He made his tyres last 39 laps when Pirelli’s predicted lifespan was just 30 and did so without going off despite the deteriorating grip. Had he spilled it just once, it would likely have cost the win. The team principal Maurizio Arrivabene was rightly effusive. “Today’s result is confirmation of the great job done by the team, of an effective car and of a driver who drove like a true champion.”

Related: Lewis Hamilton says Mercedes communication must improve before China

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Source: Formula 1

Lewis Hamilton says rapport with Mercedes must improve before China

• ‘We have to sit down and discuss the last two races,’ says Briton
• Communication problems cost Hamilton in Bahrain and Melbourne

Lewis Hamilton has warned that he and his Mercedes team must improve communication after his third‑place finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Related: Sebastian Vettel wins in Bahrain after Kimi Raikkonen runs over mechanic

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Source: Formula 1

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