Sunday 15th April 2018

Event of the day

Our event of the day is the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit. Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari secured pole position for the season’s third race in yesterday’s qualifying with a time of 1:31.095, just pipping his teammate Kimi Räikkönen for pole by a margin of 0.087s. This is Ferrari’s first pole in China since the inaugural race back in 2004. Vettel, four-time champion from Germany and leader in the driver standings with 50 points, now aims for his third successive triumph following victories in the season opener in Australia and Bahrain last Sunday – a promising omen if he does so, since no driver has lost the championship after winning the first three races of the season.

Mercedes’ duo, Valtteri Bottas and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton, came third and fourth, respectively, with a large gap of over half a second behind Vettel. Their cars struggled with pace on the ultra-soft tyres so the German team must be pleased with a forecast of significantly warmer weather for today’s race, which should suit them much more. Hamilton has won the Chinese Grand Prix five times, including last year, and will look for another great result to close the 17-point gap in the overall standings to Vettel. The two Red Bull Racing drivers, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, will take fifth and sixth place on the grid; while both Renault’s reached Q3 as well (Nico Hülkenberg seventh and Carlos Sainz Jr. ninth), for the third consecutive race. We are in for another superb Formula 1 race in Shanghai.

Honourable mentions around the globe go to further first round NBA Playoffs action. The Houston Rockets, who clinched the Western Conference with a league best 65-17 record, host the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Toyota Center in Houston. The Timberwolves secured a playoff spot for the first time since 2004 with a 112-106 overtime victory against the Denver Nuggets on the final day of the regular season, to end it with a 47-35 record. Elsewhere, the Oklahoma City Thunder come up against the Utah Jazz at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, while the Cleveland Cavaliers face the Indiana Pacers at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The final day of the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia sees the final events in the athletics, badminton, netball, squash, rugby sevens, basketball and table tennis, as well as the closing ceremony. There are a number of big games across the European football leagues: in the Bundesliga, Schalke 04 take on Borussia Dortmund at the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen; in the Eredivisie, PSV Eindhoven face off with Ajax at the Philips Stadion in Eindhoven. Benfica go head-to-head with Porto at Estádio da Luz in Lisbon in the Primeira Liga, while in Serie A Lazio encounter Roma in the Derby della Capitale. It’s the fourth and final day of both the PGA Tour’s RBC Heritage, at the Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island, and the European Tour’s Open de España, at the Centro nacional de golf in Madrid. 

Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

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Photos by Formula 1

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