Verstappen passes 9 cars in one lap in masterful China race

Daniel Ricciardo: 'Mercedes still quicker than Ferrari'

Verstappen sure Red Bull can close gap to Mercedes, Ferrari

The astonishing nine-place opening lap climb was then completed when Nico Hulkenberg's Renault peeled into the pits, gifting Verstappen another place.

"For sure we have to improve, but that's how it is at the moment", the Dutch prodigy said ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

During last year's Brazilian GP in Interlagos, when met with similar conditions, Verstappen passed 11 cars within 16 laps to finish on the podium.

"Daniel at that stage of the race looked a lot more comfortable with his auto, and then over the last 10 laps it was just a question of letting the guys race, and they did that fairly and it was the only thing we asked before the race and on the pit wall".

Ricciardo is hoping a series of aerodynamic updates for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix will start the process of closing the gap to the front.

Hamilton replied: "Ah nah, I'm good!"

"For me and probably for Max as well we just felt like looking at the Ferrari and Mercedes we couldn't really attack the corner as much because they just seem more planted at the rear".

"We still need to work very hard to catch up", he added.

Both Red Bull drivers stayed in touch with Hamilton for a while, and then found themselves fighting both Vettel's Ferrari, and each other. "Max has obviously done a fantastic job since he's been in the sport and I think he's been a real breath of fresh air for everyone".

"We were always looking at the two-stop with the strategy that we had adopted after the safety vehicle, and thereafter Max was able to get into it but very quickly he was quite front limited in terms of the setup that we had". But there's a few more things that came out which I don't expect to be as far off as we were in Melbourne. "I got stuck in the train a little bit but then got clear and tried to chase down Lewis". It is not a coincidence now, and you can see Brazil (last year) wasn't a one-off.

"That first stint was frustrating", said Ricciardo. Close but not close enough, so we'll move on. "I felt like up until today we still probably hadnt got the most out of the setup but in qualifying I felt pretty comfortable with the auto".

"I think he's right up there [with the greats in the wet]".

Cent punches overzealous fan at concert
Fire ravages migrant camp in France, several wounded in fight