Max Verstappen claims Red Bull’s 100th pole at Chinese Grand Prix

Max Verstappen claims Red Bull's 100th pole at Chinese Grand Prix

Max Verstappen outperformed the field to secure Red Bull’s 100th pole position in qualifying at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Red Bull claimed another 1-2 lockout in qualifying as Max Verstappen secured the team’s 100th F1 pole after a dominant performance, while Sergio Perez joined him on the front row for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix race.

With a commanding 13-second lead over Hamilton in the F1 Sprint race on Saturday, Verstappen had already displayed his remarkable speed and he was once again dominant in terms of fastest laptimes.

Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez barely made it to Q2 after finishing 0.048 seconds above the cut in Q1. Despite this, he battled back and eventually joined Verstappen on the front row, albeit 0.322 seconds behind.

Perez denied Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso a spot on the front row as the double champion was ultimately forced to settle for third while McLaren duo Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri came in fourth and fifth, respectively.

In the middle of Q2, Sainz skidded on the outside kerb at the reprofiled final corner and went wide spearing his Ferrari towards the wall, capping one of his dismal performances of an otherwise remarkable 2024 season. That broke his front wing and triggered a red flag while he initially got stranded.

The Spaniard successfully restarted his car and drove it back to the pits with six minutes remaining when Q2 resumed. Ferrari fixed his car and Sainz went on to outpace Leclerc once he took to the track as both drivers easily advanced to Q3.

The Ferrari duo was later locked in a tight battle throughout Q3, with Leclerc ultimately prevailing over his teammate by just 0.008s to claim sixth place. Meanwhile, George Russell turned out to be the fastest Mercedes driver in eighth, about eight-tenths slower than Verstappen’s time benchmark.

Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hulkenberg both managed to qualify into the third round, finishing ninth and tenth respectively.

Lance Stroll was still well behind his Aston Martin teammate Alonso despite improving from his 15th-place finish in sprint qualifying. He was one of the five drivers eliminated in Q2 and is set to start Sunday’s race from P11.

Daniel Ricciardo was the leading RB driver for the first time in a grand prix qualifying session this season, coming in 12th fastest after receiving a new chassis. Meanwhile, Esteban Ocon turned around what appeared to be his first intra-team GP qualifying loss of the year to start in 13th place on the grid, two spots ahead of Alpine teammate Pierre Gasly.

Alex Albon was the only Williams to make it to the second round although he qualified no better than 14th. Home hero Zhou Guanyu was 16th, albeit only 0.048s slower than 15th place Perez.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen missed out too in 17th, 11 places and almost half a second slower than team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

Lewis Hamilton was the biggest loser in qualifying after his final Q1 lap was hampered by a mistake at the hairpin, the exact spot where he made an error in the sprint as Verstappen pursued him for the lead. As a result, the Mercedes driver was eliminated in a disappointing 18th place.

Although he had already indicated that he was having trouble before, he had taken an experimental approach to the setup throughout the sprint race and the qualifying.

He was only faster than Yuki Tsunoda, who was baffled by his second straight Q1 elimination on a weekend where he has clearly been the second-best RB driver and Logan Sargeant, who was 20th and slowest after a spin.

2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix Qualifying Results

1Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m34.742s1m33.794s1m33.660s
2Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing1m35.457s1m34.026s1m33.982s
3Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m35.116s1m34.652s1m34.148s
4Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m34.842s1m34.460s1m34.165s
5Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m35.014s1m34.659s1m34.273s
6Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m34.797s1m34.399s1m34.289s
7Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1m34.970s1m34.368s1m34.297s
8George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m35.084s1m34.609s1m34.433s
9Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m35.068s1m34.667s1m34.604s
10Valtteri BottasFINStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m35.169s1m34.769s1m34.665s
11Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m35.334s1m34.838s 
12Daniel RicciardoAUSVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m35.443s1m34.934s 
13Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m35.356s1m35.223s 
14Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m35.384s1m35.241s 
15Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m35.287s1m35.463s 
16Zhou GuanyuCHNStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m35.505s  
17Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m35.516s  
18Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m35.573s  
19Yuki TsunodaJPNVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m35.746s  
20Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing1m36.358s  

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