Ver­stap­pen is fo­cus of at­ten­tion

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE -

THE great and good of For­mula One have rounded on Max Ver­stap­pen af­ter the Dutch­man’s ban­zai driv­ing took cen­tre stage again fol­low­ing a dra­matic Chi­nese Grand Prix.

De­spite Daniel Ric­cia­rdo pulling off a Red Bull tac­ti­cal mas­ter­stroke to se­cure a quite re­mark­able win, it was the ag­gres­sive tac­tics de­ployed by his hot-headed team­mate which dom­i­nated the pad­dock dis­course for a sec­ond week­end in suc­ces­sion.

Seven days ago in Bahrain, Ver­stap­pen col­lided with Lewis Hamil­ton, but in Shang­hai, it was the Brit’s cham­pi­onship ri­val Se­bas­tian Vet­tel who would feel the full force of the bril­liant, yet ex­u­ber­ant Dutch­man.

Hamil­ton es­caped with­out dam­age to his Mercedes car last week, but the same could not be said for Vet­tel and his Fer­rari here.

The Ger­man, who was sec­ond at the time of their com­ing to­gether – dur­ing a fre­netic fi­nale sparked by the de­ploy­ment of a safety car – limped over the line in eighth.

It en­abled Hamil­ton, him­self for­tu­nate to fin­ish fourth af­ter a self-pro­claimed dis­as­trous week­end, to re­duce the gap in the driv­ers’ cham­pi­onship from 17 to only nine points.

Ver­stap­pen and Ric­cia­rdo had carved their way to the top af­ter an in­spired gam­ble by Red Bull team prin­ci­pal Chris­tian Horner to haul both of his driv­ers in for fresh tyres af­ter Bren­don Hart­ley and Pierre Gasly tan­gled and the safety car was sent out.

It pro­vided both men with the ad­van­tage of quicker, fresher tyres than their ri­vals, but as Ric­cia­rdo ex­celled in pick­ing off Kimi Raikko­nen, Hamil­ton and Valt­teri Bot­tas in an over­tak­ing master­class, Ver­stap­pen fal­tered. ■■Hud­der­s­field racer Tom Sykes had a dis­ap­point­ing meet­ing in the third round of the World Su­per­bikes Cham­pi­onship.

The 32-year-old, who was world cham­pion in 2013, man­aged two sixth place fin­ishes at Aragon’s Mo­tor­land cir­cuit.

In the World Supersport se­ries, Fe­nay Bridge rider Kyle Smith, who is now based in Spain, notched an en­cour­ag­ing fifth place af­ter a tough start to the new cam­paign.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.