Motor racing-Verstappen wins Chinese GP sprint race


Formula One F1 - Chinese Grand Prix - Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China - April 19, 2024 Red Bull's Max Verstappen during the sprint qualifying REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Red Bull's triple world champion Max Verstappen won the first sprint race of the Formula One season at the Chinese Grand Prix on Saturday.

The Dutch 26-year-old beat Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton by 13.043 seconds in the 19-lap race at the Shanghai International Circuit to stretch his championship lead over team mate Sergio Perez, who finished third.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were fourth and fifth.

McLaren's Lando Norris started on pole position but ran wide on the opening lap as he battled with Hamilton and ended up sixth. Team mate Oscar Piastri was seventh and Mercedes' George Russell eighth for the final point.

(Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Peter Rutherford)

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