By Robert Haile
The first sprint race of the season provided plenty of drama and last lap passes.
First blood went to Red Bull as Max Verstappen won the sprint race and secured pole position for the Grand Prix.
Sprint winner Verstappen said: “We did well as a team and it is, of course, a positive day for us.
“I didn’t have the best start, so we need to investigate what happened there, but after that we had good race pace.
“For the first 10 laps or so it seemed like the gap to Charles wasn’t really growing, but then I think at one point the tyre degradation started to kick in a bit more and I could close the gap, and I got ahead.
“Tomorrow is a new day and there are no guarantees, but I still expect it to be very close and the battle tomorrow will be difficult.
“We are very focused on what’s ahead and we hope to do a good job tomorrow.”
The world champion start on pole for the sprint but ended up following the current leader Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc only to pull off, what seems to be his trademark, end of race over take.
Sergio Perez secured third as Carlos Sainz gain six places to fourth as Red Bull and Ferrari claimed to top four places.
McLaren’s revival seem to be continuing as Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo took fifth and sixth, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas claimed seventh and Kevin Magnussen finished eighth for Haas to take the final point of the sprint.