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Max Verstappen

Verstappen admits to 'difficulties' amid Chinese sprint victory

Max Verstappen took a commanding sprint race win in China, taking the chequered flag over 13 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen sprint China
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen stated he faced difficulties during the sprint race in China despite winning the event by over 13 seconds.

The Dutchman started the race from fourth on the grid but progressed into the top three when pole-sitter Lando Norris dropped down the order on the opening lap.

Verstappen initially struggled to show pace as he struggled with his battery, voicing his frustration over the team radio.

However, the three-time world champion revealed it “was only the first two laps” and “once we sorted that out it was all okay again”.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner also played down its significance.

“It’s just settings for different energy at different points around the circuit,” he stated to Viaplay.

“So sometimes you run different settings for the start of the race.”

Verstappen then overtook Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton en route to the top step - but outlined he faced a challenge from Ferrari in the early stages.

“They were pushing quite hard up front, and then of course I had Carlos behind with new tyres,” Verstappen.

“So it was very difficult to keep him behind initially.

“But then we became stronger and also I felt a bit more comfortable with the balance of the car as well and I could look after my tyres.”

Qualifying for the grand prix follows shortly after the sprint, with Verstappen detailing that the changing wind conditions could impact the remainder of the weekend.

“Qualifying of course is important, to get to get again a good starting position that will help a lot in the first few laps,” he said.

“Tomorrow, the wind is changing a lot every day - that makes it quite difficult to drive.”

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RESULTS 2024 F1 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix - Qualifying