Lewis Hamilton returned to winning form in Shanghai with victory over the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. The rest of the top six didn't follow script with Max Verstappen leaping from P16 on the starting grid to 7th at the end of the first lap and a surprise face on the podium.
Behind the top three the fellow Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo challenged Verstappen right to the chequered flag, with Kimi Raikkonen having another scrappy race in the new regulation cars. Valtteri Bottas spun while warming his tyres up behind the safety car that ruined his race and raises further questions about his ability to deliver the performance Mercedes needs if they are to defend their constructors' championship this year.
After losing out to Verstappen early in the race, Ricciardo faced an uphill battle to overtake his teammate in damp conditions.
"We felt like we got close, but then you suffer a bit with the tyres and even with DRS you never get massively close to overtake," said Ricciardo.
"We were still 45 secs off the win, we know we've got work to do. Obviously for the team it's good to get 3rd and 4th, but we've still got some speed to find."
The on-going narrative of Ferrari vs Mercedes and what role Red Bull can play this year continues to develop nicely.