Max Verstappen puts in Chinese GP masterclass as three drivers get huge penalties | F1 | Sport

The Dutchman extended his lead in the World Championship with that result, while his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez salvaged a P3 finish after an unfortunately timed safety car threw off his strategy.

Splitting the two Red Bull drivers was Lando Norris, who benefitted from the aforementioned safety car having run long to cover off the threat of Ferrari‘s Charles Leclerc.

There was less to celebrate for his McLaren team-mate though. Oscar Piastri was running a strong race before the caution put him back into the clutches of the pack, where he was hit at the restart by Daniel Ricciardo, who was punted from behind by Lance Stroll.

The Aston Martin driver received a 10-second time penalty for his role in the incident at the turn-six hairpin, while fellow backmarkers Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant also picked up similar punishments for separate incidents.

There was more frustration in store for Mike Krack’s team. Aston Martin opted to put Fernando Alonso on soft compound tyres for the restart, while the rest of the field opted for hards.

As a result of this strategy call, Alonso found himself running in P5 but with over half of the race to run on one set of soft. He ultimately pitted on lap 44, dropping to P12 in the process.

One of the success stories of the race was Lewis Hamilton, who stormed through the field with the help of some strong strategy calls to salvage a P9 finish from a P18 grid slot.

There was, however, no fairytale ending for home hero Zhou Guanyu. The Chinese racer spent the majority of the race battling Logan Sargeant at the bottom end of the field.

This capped off a frustrating weekend for Sauber, who had threatened to score their first points of the campaign but saw those hopes disintegrate when Valtteri Bottas’ power unit failed on lap 21.

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