Max Verstappen secures a dominant win at the Chinese Grand Prix

Max Verstappen secures a dominant win at the Chinese Grand Prix

Max Verstappen outpaced Lando Norris to win the Chinese Grand Prix as the reigning world champion overcame two Safety Car periods and pulled away from his rivals for an impressive victory.

Max Verstappen comfortably won the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix despite two safety cars interrupting the race while Lando Norris finished in second place ahead of Sergio Perez, giving Red Bull a double podium.

Verstappen made a strong start and managed to hold onto the top spot as his teammate Sergio Perez lost out to Fernando Alonso, who outpaced the Mexican. Meanwhile, the two Ferraris began to fall back after struggling to find grip on the first lap but Sainz recovered the position from Hulkenberg on the back straight in the same lap.

By the fifth lap, Perez was gaining ground on Alonso, who initially repelled the pressure but the Mexican managed to pass the Spaniard by swooping down the inside into Turn 6. Alonso later lost ground to Lando Norris after struggling to maintain speed for the next three laps, as the McLaren driver passed the two-time champion and moved up to third place.

Verstappen maintained his lead at the front in the meantime, and by Lap 9, he held a seven-second advantage over Perez. Further behind, Leclerc began to gain ground thanks to his impressive tyre management and with a stunning move into Turn 1, the Monegasque narrowed the gap to Russell and overtook the Mercedes driver.

On lap 10, Nico Hulkenberg, Zhou Guanyu, and Yuki Tsunoda opted to pit for a set of fresh tyres. Meanwhile, Oscar Piastri was overtaken by Leclerc for P5, as the Ferrari continued to make its way to the top.

Russell stopped for fresh mediums three laps later, while Alonso followed suit for a set of hard tires. Meanwhile, Yuki Tsunoda and Zhou Guanyu almost collided in the pit lane as the Japanese driver was released in the Chinese racer’s way.

Red Bull summoned Verstappen and Perez into the pits for a double stack on lap 14. Perez rejoined the track in P6, as the Dutchman dropped to fourth while Norris seized the lead after the Red Bull’s stops, pulling ahead of Leclerc and Piastri.

Verstappen overtook the Australian with ease and proceeded to easily pass Leclerc on lap 16. On lap 18, Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz decided to come in for fresh tires, making his way back to the track in P10.

On lap 21, Valtteri Bottas stopped his Kick Sauber at Turn 10 with smoke billowing from the rear of the car triggering a red flag. After the virtual safety car was deployed, Leclerc decided to make a quick pit stop.

However, Race Director Niels Wittich was compelled to use the full safety car after the marshals struggled to move the stalled car. This prompted several drivers to pit including Verstappen, Perez, Alonso, and Russell. Verstappen maintained the lead after the stops, while Perez fell back behind Norris and Leclerc.

After the restart on lap 26, two incidents happened prompting the safety car to be deployed again on the next lap after it had left the track. Before the restart ever took place, Lance Stroll hit Daniel Ricciardo in the back straight, and after that, Magnussen attempted to dive to the inside of Tsunoda and left the Japanese driver in a spin.

Lap 29 saw the restart of the race with Verstappen leading Norris, Leclerc, Perez, Alonso, Sainz, Russell, and Piastri. For the separate incidents, Magnussen and Stroll received ten-second time penalties.

However, Ricciardo retired from the race on lap 36 as a result of the damage to his VCARB01 from the collision with Stroll despite his impressive position and pace. Perez went on to overtake Leclerc two laps later as the latter complained about his tyres claiming that his relatively new hards had already begun to show signs of wear.

Meanwhile, Hamilton began to close the gap, overtaking Hulkenberg with a rather bold maneuver.

Alonso pitted for new mediums on lap 44 as expected given that he was on a set of softs and after rejoining the track in P12, the Aston Martin driver made his way past Alex Albon. After that, the Spaniard made a bold move to pass Esteban Ocon’s Alpine and take 10th.

In the final laps of the race, The double world champion stole the show as he passed Piastri and Hamilton with ease to take P7. After passing Piastri, he continued his charge as he attempted to catch up to Russell for P6, but the Mercedes was 11 seconds ahead.

Nothing changed at the front as Verstappen extended his lead over Norris, who managed to hold onto P2 ahead of Perez. Ferrari finished fourth and fifth with Leclerc and Sainz while Russell held P6 ahead of the rapidly approaching Alonso. Piastri finished eighth despite suffering serious damage to his McLaren following Ricciardo’s crash.

Having started P18 on the grid, Hamilton ended the Chinese Grand Prix in P9 with Hulkenberg clinching a vital championship point for Haas with a tenth-placed finish.

2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix Race Results

1Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing56 Laps
2Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team+13.773s
3Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing+19.160s
4Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari+23.623s
5Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari+33.983s
6George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team+38.724s
7Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco F1 Team+43.414s
8Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team+56.198s
9Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team+57.986s
10Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team+60.476s
11Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team+62.812s
12Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing+65.506s
13Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team+69.223s
14Zhou GuanyuCHNStake F1 Team Kick Sauber+71.689s
15Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco F1 Team+82.786s
16Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team+87.553s
17Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing+95.110s
 Daniel RicciardoAUSVisa Cash App RB F1 TeamDNF
 Yuki TsunodaJPNVisa Cash App RB F1 TeamDNF
 Valtteri BottasFINStake F1 Team Kick SauberDNF

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