Mighty Max Verstappen on the podium after disastrous qualifying in China

Max Verstappen crosses the line to take third place at the Chinese Grand Prix
Max Verstappen crosses the line to take third place at the Chinese Grand Prix

Max Verstappen held off Red Bull Racing team-mate Daniel Riccoardo to score a sensational third place at the Chinese Grand Prix after starting 16th on the grid.

Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo battled it out in the closing stages at the Shanghai International Circuit for the final podium spot as Lewis Hamilton led home Sebastian Vettel in a reverse of the season opener in Australia two weeks ago.

Max Verstappen held off Daniel Ricciardo in the closing stages in China

Max Verstappen held off Daniel Ricciardo in the closing stages in China

Engine software problems saw the Dutch teenager at the wrong end of the grid in Shanghai, but a wet start to the race played into his hands

Verstappen's swashbuckling style saw him make light work of the middle pack under damp conditions, and with early safety car periods, brought out due to crashes from Lance Stroll (Williams) and Antonio Giovanazzi (Sauber), the Dutchman found himself third after five laps..

Ricciardo's early pace, or lack thereof, too meant the Ferrari duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel joined their train, but Verstappen made a bold move up the inside of turn 6 to snatch second and pull away.

Vettel would eventually pass Ricciardo too, but the Red Bull decision to go on to super-softs forced them into the pits earlier than their rivals, letting slip their chances of a second place finish.

But with Raikkonen dispatched as Ferrari opted to keep him out, the Tilbrook duo went wheel-to-wheel in the final few laps. While Verstappen seemed flustered over the team radio, complaining about back-marker Romain Grosjean, he kept Ricciardo at bay to hang on to take a remarkable podium finish.