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Max Verstappen's amazing car control

By Scott Newman, 11 Apr 2017 News

Heart-stopping save behind the safety car during the Chinese Grand Prix

Max Verstappen car control cover

Max Verstappen has once again proved he is a Harry Potter-like wizard behind the wheel of a racing car at the weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

His drive from 16th to third (see below) should be evidence enough, but one of his most remarkable moments went uncaptured by the race broadcast. A drying track forced every driver to swap to slicks when Antonio Giovinazzi's accident brought out the safety car, however cold conditions meant retaining tyre temperature was a real struggle.

Aggressively lighting up the rears to build temperature, Verstappen's RB13 snaps instantly sideways, demanding the teenager instantly apply full lock, which is no mean feat in the cramped confines of a Formula 1 car. Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas threw away a possible podium when he lost control of his car during a similar manoeuvre shortly afterwards. 

Verstappen's save was reminiscent of an even more spectacular effort from last year's sodden Brazilian Grand Prix (see below). In both circumstances there was an element of luck but Verstappen's lightning-quick reactions and unbelievable feel for what his car is doing played an equally large role in him being able to continue unscathed. 

The higher grip levels of this year's F1 cars, combined with the massive torque of the 1.6-litre turbo hybrid power units, are making them extremely hard to catch when they spit sideways, with a number of drivers in both Australia (Ricciardo, Palmer) and China (Giovinazzi) being caught out by the rapid loss of adhesion. 

Hopefully the season continues to offer action like that seen in the exciting Chinese race.