F1: Max Verstappen Wins a Chaotic Chinese GP Ahead of Lando Norris and Sergio Perez

Formula 1’s return to China delivered an exciting race after an exciting Sprint. However, there was no one who could match the pace of reigning World Champion Max Verstappen and his RB20.

By Aakash S Paul | on April 21, 2024 Follow us on Autox Google News

While Formula 1 might have returned to China after five years, it was a familiar face at the top step of the podium. Max Verstappen, after a dominating performance in the Sprint, managed to win the feature race with a comfortable margin. The Dutch driver did not have it easy as his progress was somewhat undone by one Virtual and two full Safety Cars. His teammate, Sergio Perez finished in third, having started from second. The driver who denied Red Bull a 1-2 finish was Lando Norris whose pace surprised everyone, including Norris himself.

After having botched his qualifying, Lewis Hamilton did manage to finish in the points. With a few well-timed pitstops under the Safety Car and some neat overtakes the British driver managed to end the race in ninth place, having started from P18. However, seeing the pace of the W15 this weekend, it is doubtful if he would have finished much higher if he had made it to Q3. The other Silver Arrows driver, George Russell had made life easier for himself with a P8 in qualifying and managed to drive very well to get eight points for his P6 finish.

F1 Chinese GP Mercedes W15

Another outstanding performance was shown by the other senior member of the Formula 1 grid, Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard made the first step by putting his Aston in third place during qualifying. In the race, he had a quick reaction and a fierce battle to snatch P2 from Sergio Perez. The Safety Car timing did not work for Alonso, resulting in him putting on a soft tyre. This meant that while other drivers, who were on hard tyres, could go on to finish the race without having to stop again, Alonoso would have to come in. The 42-year-old driver did fit a set of mediums 12 laps before the end and went on a charge to overtake a number of drivers and finish P7.

Ferrari had a quiet but fruitful weekend. The two drivers qualified behind each other and finished the race in a similar fashion. Charles Leclerc qualified P6 and finished P4 while Carlos Sainz qualified P7 and finished in P5. Sadly, the Ferraris did not have the pace for a podium finish and it also marked the end of Sainz’s streak of finishing on the podium every race this year.

It was a nice touch to let Zhou Guanyu park his car on the start line along with the top three of the race. Guanyu is the only Chinese driver to race in F1 and this was his first home race. Finishing in P15, there were no points for the home hero but he did manage some good overtakes. His teammate, Valtteri Bottas looked rapid throughout the weekend but an engine failure meant that he was the first retirement of the race. 

RB was the team that suffered the most in this race with both of their cars retiring due to no fault of their own. Yuki Tsunoda was shunted off the track by Kevin Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo was tagged heavily from behind by Lance Stroll. After having been handed 10-second penalties, Lance Stroll and Kevin Magnussen decided to give us one of the most exciting wheel-to-wheel actions in the last few races. The two were dead last but it did not stop them from engaging in some exciting overtakes. Nico Hulkenberg brought Haas yet another point by holding on to tenth position.

Both Alpine cars were just outside the points with Esteban Ocon running in P11 and Pierre Gasly in P13. Sandwiched between them was the Williams of Alex Albon. Albon’s teammate was dead last as the flag fell. Both Alpine and Williams are yet to score points this season.

Pos Driver Team Time
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 01:40:53
2 Lando Norris McLaren 13.773
3 Sergio Perez Red Bull 19.160s
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 23.623s
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 33.983s
6 George Russell Mercedes 38.724s
7 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 43.414s
8 Oscar Piastri McLaren 56.198s
9 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 57.986s
10 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 60.476s
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine 62.812s
12 Alexander Albon Williams 65.506s
13 Pierre Gasly Alpine 69.223s
14 Zhou Guanyu Sauber 71.689s
15 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 82.786s
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas 87.533s
17 Logan Sargeant Williams 95.110s
NC Daniel Ricciardo VCARB DNF
NC Yuki Tsunoda VCARB DNF
NC Valtteri Bottas Sauber DNF

Tags: Formula 1 F1 Chinese GP

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