Story of the Chinese Grand Prix: Max Verstappen turns in another masterclass

ESPN rounds up the major talking points from an absorbing Chinese Grand Prix which featured a Red Bull surprise, some thrilling overtakes and another thrilling wet-weather display from Max Verstappen.

Shock: Red Bull was nowhere all weekend but the damp start brought them well into proceedings. Max Verstappen's incredible start made him a contender for a podium finish Red Bull would have scarcely believed possible coming into the weekend.

The result was made easier by Ferrari's odd strategy for Kimi Raikkonen, seemingly leaving the Finn out to dry by delaying his last stop and letting him emerge behind both Red Bulls. It's unlikely we'll see Red Bull competing for wins before we get to the European rounds but this shows it is a team that has not forgotten how to seize the day when the opportunity arises.

Shocker: Nico Hulkenberg's prospects looked good ahead of the grand prix, starting from seventh with a damp start. His race unravelled early on, with the German gaining a combined 15-second penalty for passing under both Virtual Safety Car and Safety Car periods, and finishing a lap down.

Valtteri Bottas will also be wondering what might have been after a spin under the early damp conditions which left him 12th early on and meant he had to settle for a distant sixth on a track Mercedes should have expected a double podium.

Best overtake: 2017 overtakes are going to be about quality, not quantity. Sebastian Vettel proved that would be the case with a set of great passes which were crucial to him finishing second. The first saw him pass teammate Kimi Raikkonen cleanly on the inside of Turn 6 on lap 21, before a breathtaking, wheel-banging move to dispatch Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull several laps later.

Opening lap masterclass: Max Verstappen is a little bit ridiculous, isn't he? The Dutchman made up 10 positions on the opening lap when the whole pack (bar Carlos Sainz) were on intermediates. He looked like he was on a completely different track, carving through the field with apparent ease and showing just how confident he is in damp conditions.

Verdict on overtaking: All eyes were on the overtaking in Shanghai, a circuit which broke a record for passes in 2016. The number wasn't that high but there were some mega moves, proving that 2017's bulkier cars are likely to make drivers work for every pass they make -- and, after years of DRS making overtaking pretty routine, that can only be a good thing.

Driver of the day: This race saw an impressive drive from race winner Hamilton, a good recovery from Vettel, while honourable mentions should go to Carlos Sainz and perennially cursed Fernando Alonso, but this can only be one man: Verstappen. Sensational on the first lap, he continued to underlined why he's considered a mastermind of wet conditions in the opening stages.

His driving late on deserved plaudits, too. Despite growing increasingly frustrated with Romain Grosjean refusing to yield for blue flags, he kept his cool and held off pressure from Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo for a well-deserved podium.