Formula 1 China Grand Prix live race updates


Welcome to news.com.au’s live coverage of the Formula 1 China Grand Prix.

After dominating the sprint race, Max Verstappen will be looking to capture his fourth race win of the season after securing pole position on Saturday.

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The three-time champ clinched pole after finishing three tenths ahead of teammate Sergio Perez, with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso sitting in third.

Rising Aussie star Oscar Piastri will start the race from fifth on the grid for McLaren, with fellow Aussie Daniel Ricciardo clinching 12th place.

The race is set to get underway just after 5pm (AEST). Don’t miss a second of the action below.

5.05pm – We’re off and racing

With spots of rain about, the race is off to a clean start.

Fernando Alonso was the big mover, jumping Sergio Perez at the start and holding his position to take second.

The rest of the top five held their positions, with Verstappen already pushing hard ahead of the pack.

It was a poor start for Daniel Ricciardo, dropping three spots to sit 15th, just ahead of teammate Yuki Tsunoda.

4.55pm – Everyone chasing the dominant Red Bull drivers

We’re close to the formation lap and there is intense interest in whether anyone can challenge Red Bull from the start, with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez locking up the front row.

Lando Norris couldn’t convert pole in the Sprint race into the lead on Saturday and Damon Hill was asked how teams could get past the duo in the main event.

“They’re going to need a bit more of everything and I don’t think they’ve got it,” he said bluntly.

“They’ll have to get them on the start.

“If they can get ahead at the start, and (Red Bull) get a bad start, there’s always a chance of that.”

4.45pm – More Chinese sporting royalty at the GP

Sauber’s Zhou Guanyu might be the star of the day for the home fans, but he has a way to go to reach the popularity in China of former NBA All-Star Yao Ming.

The 2.29m giant just did a walkthrough of the track and he was mobbed everywhere he went, stopping for photos and a quick chat with the host broadcaster.

“Sometimes history repeats itself,” Yao said. “Just like for basketball, when I came out to play, it became more popular in China.

“Formula 1 has been in China for around 20 years and to have a Chinese driver, I’m happy for him.”

4.30pm – McLaren optimistic of a good day

Lando Norris is starting fourth on the grid for McLaren, one spot ahead of teammate Oscar Piastri.

The young Aussie is on what is considered the cleaner side of the grid for the race start, but wasn’t sure that would be an advantage.

“Not massively, I don’t think. We’ll see what we can do,” he said on-track.

“We’ve got some pretty quick cars around us so it’s going to be a tough race, probably an interesting one with different strategies and different tyres for everyone.

“We’ll see what we can do.”

Norris was asked who the team’s main rival was for the race and gave no doubt who they were targeting.

“It’s Max. Max will be our main competition today,” he said.

“We’re going for the win. So looking forward to it.”

4.15pm – Fans pack in as China returns to the schedule

The Chinese Grand Prix is back on the agenda for the first time since way back in 2019, as planned races between 2020-2023 were called off due to the pandemic.

That means Shanghai-born Sauber driver Zhou Guanyu is firmly in the spotlight on his home track.

There were reports the ticket selling app crashed in the country due to demand and 1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill poked fun at the pressure on the 24-year-old on Sunday on Fox Sports.

“They have been all weekend cheering everything he’s been doing,” Hill said.

“He admitted to feeling the pressure. No pressure, only 1.4 billion people behind you.

“But he’s doing a fine job.”

3pm – Hamilton left fuming after nightmare

Seven-time world champ Lewis Hamilton endured a qualifying nightmare after finishing second in the sprint race on Saturday.

The Mercedes driver and his teammate elected to make some changes to the set up of the car after still not being happy with how it was performing.

In the end the changes made to Hamilton’s car proved costly and will see him start from the second last row on the grid.

“I just struggled,” Hamilton said on Sky Sports’ coverage.

“I made massive changes into qualifying. It wasn’t too bad in some places but I couldn’t get it really to stop in Turn 14. It is what it is. I’ll have fun from back there.

“This morning George and I had very similar cars but this afternoon we’re trying to experiment still with the car so I went one way, a long way, and he went the other way just to see if we could find anything and that’s what we need to do at the moment.

“But it didn’t work. I’ll give it my best shot … 18th is pretty bad.

“When I was making the set up changes I was like, ‘it can’t get any worse, surely.’ And it did. S**t happens.”

CHINA GRAND PRIX STARTING GRID

Front row: 1. Max Verstappen, 2. Sergio Perez

Second row: 3. Fernando Alonso, 4. Lando Norris

Third row: 5. Oscar Piastri, 6. Charles Leclerc

Fourth row: 7. Carlos Sainz, 8. George Russell

Fifth row: 9. Nico Hulkenberg, 10. Valtteri Bottas

Sixth row: 11. Lance Stroll, 12. Daniel Ricciardo

Seventh row: 13. Esteban Ocon, 14. Alex Albon

Eighth row: 15. Pierre Gasly, 16. Zhou Guanyu

Ninth row: 17. Kevin Magnussen, 18. Lewis Hamilton

Tenth row: 19. Yuki Tsunoda, 20. Logan Sargeant

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