Formula 1


Sebastian Vettel anticipated Max Verstappen's overtaking strategy in China

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Sebastian Vettel made the best of a disappointing weekend in Shanghai by managing to hang on to third place in the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday.

And that was despite a cheeky overtake attempt from Max Verstappen on lap 20.

Earlier in the race Vettel had benefited from team orders from the Ferrari team to pass his team mate Charles Leclerc and try and make a challenge to the Mercedes front two.

Verstappen was the first of the leading pack of drivers to pit in the race and off the back of having fresh tyres, he decided to try and attack Vettel on the next lap.

The Red Bull driver tried to sneak inside of the four-time world champion on the final corner of the track but locked up as he made the turn which allowed Vettel to push him outside and on to the dirt which meant he seized the advantage.

Vettel however predicted what his rival was going to do when talking to reporters after the race.

"Knowing Max as well as I do, I knew that he will try," the German said, per Motorsport. "I was sort of predicting that he will try and go down the inside and I tried to cut back, and it worked. I had a bit of a moment, I had to open the car a bit, but it was good.

"I could nearly get a car length ahead of him and the angle into the last corner for him wasn't very sexy. It was good fun, but we would have loved to be a bit faster."

Verstappen saw this as his best opportunity to pass Vettel during the race but also conceded that being pushed out is what he would have done if he was in his position.

"I tried under braking because his tyres were still a bit cold," the 21-year-old said. "Then on the exit he made it quite close, but I mean I would've done the same, so it was alright."

Vettel secured his first podium finish of the season after disappointing finishes in the first two races.

F1 Grand Prix of China

"I am happy to be on the podium, but it's tough because we tried to stick with them [Mercedes drivers] but we couldn't.

"They were just too quick right from the start. I had a bit of a race with Max which was good fun, but the objective was to try to chase them down. They were too quick for us today so well done to Lewis and Valtteri Bottas."

After three races so far, Mercedes are still the ones to beat this season, but Vettel and rising star Leclerc will sure to be hot on their trail as the fourth round of the Championship heads to Baku next.

Sebastian Vettel
Max Verstappen
Red Bull
Formula 1

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