F1 Japanese Grand Prix: Verstappen Beats Perez at Suzuka, Red Bull Extends Lead in Constructors Fight

Recovering from their setback in Melbourne, Max Verstappen and Red Bull cruised to a 1-2 victory at the Japanese Grand Prix, demonstrating their resiliency in the face of a formidable challenge from Ferrari.

By Divyam Dubey | on April 7, 2024 Follow us on Autox Google News

At the Japanese Grand Prix of Formula 1, Red Bull's Max Verstappen had a brilliant performance, easily defeating Sergio Perez in a race that was called off early because of a crash involving Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon. Carlos Sainz achieved third place on the podium, outperforming his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc. Leclerc employed an impressive one-stop strategy in Suzuka, allowing him to advance from a mediocre starting position to a strong finish. Verstappen quickly took charge of the race from the very beginning, confidently retaining his position at the front, ahead of Perez. As this was going on, opponents with faster soft tyres defeated Red Bull's medium-tire strategy in the escalating midfield fights. In the midst of the disorder, the incident between Ricciardo and Albon at Turn 3 resulted in the deployment of red flags, which required the barrier to be repaired and caused a substantial delay of almost 30 minutes. Despite the red flags, Verstappen again led the standing start, furiously defending his lead against his teammate as they surged into the circuit's first bends.

F1 Japanese Grand Prix: Race Result

F1 Ferrari on track

After a collision between Ricciardo and Albon, Verstappen had a great start and kept his lead over Perez as they rounded the first corner. To undercut their competition and finish with one less pit stop, Mercedes put both drivers on new hard tyres, while seven out of ten kept their original tyres. But Carlos Sainz chose a new medium to compete with Lando Norris and the Red Bulls. 

Despite Mercedes' best efforts, the one-stop approach didn't work. Having to pit late in the race gave the advantage to the drivers who chose to do two stops, which ended up being the faster strategy. As Verstappen and Perez firmly gripped the top spots, Sainz showed off his remarkable form by finishing third. The one-stop strategy only worked for Charles Leclerc. He extended his stint on medium tyres and finished fourth.

Pos Driver Team Time Points
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 01.54:24 26
2 Sergio Perez Red Bull +12.535s 18
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari +20.866s 15
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +26.522s 12
5 Lando Norris McLaren +29.700s 10
6 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +44.272s 8
7 George Russell Mercedes +45.951s 6
8 Oscar Piastri McLaren +47.525s 4
9 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +48.626s 2
10 Yuki Tsunoda VCARB +1 Lap 1
11 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +1 Lap  
12 Nico Hulkenberg Haas +1 Lap  
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas +1 Lap  
14 Valtteri Bottas Sauber +1 Lap  
15 Esteban Ocon Alpine +1 Lap  
16 Pierre Gasly Alpine +1 Lap  
17 Logan Sargeant Williams +1 Lap  
18 Zhou Guanyu Sauber DNF  
19 Alex Albon Williams  DNF  
20 Daniel Ricciardo VCARB DNF  

F1 Japanese Grand Prix: Ricciardo and Albon Crash

The Japanese Grand Prix was red-flagged after only three corners on Sunday after Daniel Ricciardo was involved in a collision on lap one.

The Aussie and Williams driver Alex Albon got into a side-by-side fight while negotiating Suzuka's first chicane. Their collision sent them careening off the track and into the barriers as they approached the third curve. Ricciardo's small manoeuvre across Albon's front wing likely exacerbated the collision, despite little visibility of Albon on his right-rear tyre.

Following the two-car accident, the race was temporarily stopped by a red flag while officials examined the damage to the tyre barrier.

Tags: F1 Japanese Grand Prix Max Verstappen

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