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Max Verstappen

Verstappen assesses Red Bull's chances ahead of potentially historic Chinese GP

The World Champion has never won the Chinese Grand Prix, with third his best result in Shanghai.

Verstappen Japan
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To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen believes the Chinese Grand Prix format will present a "challenge" to Red Bull, on a potentially historic weekend.

Verstappen leads the Drivers' championship from team-mate Sergio Perez after a comfortable victory in Japan last time out as F1 returns to the Shanghai International Circuit for the first time since 2019.

It is also the first Sprint weekend of the new season, with the new format being used for the first time as the Sprint Shootout now takes place on Friday afternoon after a sole practice session before the Sprint on Saturday morning before grand prix qualifying in the afternoon.

"We are looking forward to China as it is going to present a challenge ahead of us, especially with it being a Sprint weekend," Verstappen explained.

"As we have not raced at this track since 2019, and with the one practice session, it will be all about ensuring we have set the car up in the best way we can and managing our tyres.

"This added element creates more excitement for the fans, which is good, and the Team has been working hard to prepare.

"It is a great racing track in China and has a unique layout, with trickier corners and the long straights presenting lots of opportunities for overtaking.

I have always loved driving at this circuit so we look forward to seeing what this weekend brings."

Historic weekend in store for Red Bull?

Furthermore, Vettel took the team's maiden pole position in qualifying, and the current tally is 99, meaning either Verstappen or Sergio Perez can make Red Bull only the sixth team behind Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Williams and Lotus to reach triple-figures.

If that honour goes to Verstappen, he will become the first driver since Mika Hakkinen in 1999 to record the first five pole positions of the season, and increase his run to six, breaking his own record of five.

A Verstappen victory would also be his 53rd since the last Chinese GP, race #1000 in the World Championship.

This weekend's race is race #1106, meaning he would have won 50% of all races since the last visit.

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