Home » Chinese Grand Prix: While Verstappen races to pole, Hamilton experiences a debacle

Chinese Grand Prix: While Verstappen races to pole, Hamilton experiences a debacle

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Chinese Grand Prix: While Verstappen races to pole, Hamilton experiences a debacle

Sport Grand Prix of China

While Verstappen races to pole, Hamilton experiences a debacle

As of: 11:38 a.m. | Reading time: 2 minutes

Max Verstappen secured the optimal starting position for his desired first Grand Prix victory in China

Quelle: AP/Andy Wong

Max Verstappen, who else? The world champion takes the top starting position for the Chinese Grand Prix. Teammate Sergio Pérez will be standing next to him. But qualifying ends bitterly for record world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Just a few hours after his victory in the first sprint race of the season, Max Verstappen also secured the optimal starting position for his desired first Grand Prix victory in China. The three-time champion also gave his Red Bull team their 100th pole position in Formula 1 on Saturday.

Verstappen’s Mexican teammate Sergio Pérez came second in qualifying at the Shanghai International Circuit. The 42-year-old two-time world champion Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin came third when he returned to the giant empire after a five-year break due to corona.

Behind them were Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri from McLaren ahead of the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Nico Hülkenberg made it into the top ten and finished a strong ninth in the Haas.

“The car was just nice to drive,” says Verstappen

For Verstappen it was the fifth pole for the fifth Grand Prix this year. Overall, the dominant Red Bull star now has 37th pole positions. “The car was just nice to drive,” said Verstappen. “It went even better in qualifying,” he added, after Verstappen had already won the 100-kilometer sprint by over 13 seconds. He secured pole by over three tenths of a second ahead of Pérez.

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For record world champion Lewis Hamilton, the knockout ended early. A good three hours after initially being in the lead and ultimately finishing second in the sprint race, the China record winner was eliminated in 18th place. “Sorry, boys,” the Brit radioed guiltily to the pits after an apparent mistake on his decisive lap.

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In the second period, Sainz caused an interruption. The still Ferrari driver drove his car slightly off the track in the last corner and into the gravel. The 29-year-old Spaniard slid backwards with the Ferrari across the course and hit the side of the tire wall. During the break, the mechanics quickly equipped the car with a new front wing so that Verstappen’s only Grand Prix conqueror this season could continue.

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