RACE REPORT | F1 China 2024

This year's Chinese Grand Prix, which returned to the calendar after 5 years, was the first F1 race weekend this year to include a Saturday sprint race. Weekend was dominanted by Max Verstappen.

Verstappen started weekend very well as he won the Saturday’s sprint race, despite starting the short race from fourth place. Lewis Hamilton surprised with second place on Saturday. Third place went to Serigo Pérez.

Verstappen was fastest in qualifying for Sunday's main race ahead of Pérez and Fernando Alonso.

On Sunday, Verstappen held onto his lead at the start, with Fernando Alonso making an impressive start to move ahead of Perez. The Ferrari drivers found themselves locked in battle in the first corner, allowing Russell to slip past and also overtake Hulkenberg.

By the fifth lap, Perez had managed to overtake Alonso, and three laps later, Lando Norris followed.

In the ninth lap, Leclerc finally succeeded in overtaking Russell. Around the same time, the leading drivers began to head into the pits.

Red Bull executed a double pit stop at the end of the 13th lap. However, due to their earlier stop, the Red Bull drivers fell back and had to fight their way past those who hadn't pitted yet. Lando Norris took over the lead. McLaren and Ferrari opted for later pit stops. Sainz dropped to 10th place after his stop and had to work his way back up. Leclerc and Norris benefitted from their timing. In the 21st lap, a virtual safety car was deployed after Valtteri Bottas retired due to a technical issue. Leclerc and Norris took advantage of this to make their pit stops.

The marshals were unable to clear Bottas's car, necessitating technical assistance and the deployment of the safety car.

Alonso was the only one to switch to soft tires. Shortly before the restart, he braked suddenly, causing issues for the drivers behind him. Russell and Piastri were forced to brake, resulting in Ricciardo colliding with Piastri. Lance Stroll collided even more heavily with the Red Bull driver, earning himself a 10-second penalty. Another incident occurred between Magnussen and Cunoda, with Magnussen also receiving a penalty, and Cunoda's race coming to an end. The safety car was deployed once again.

Within a few seconds, both Red Bull cars sustained damage. Ricciardo stayed on the track initially, but after the second restart, he began to drop back and eventually retired from the race.

Leclerc attempted to maintain third place, but Perez managed to overtake him in the 39th lap. Alonso made another pit stop, switching to medium tires, set the fastest lap of the race, and made several overtakes. After passing Hamilton, he also managed to get ahead of Piastri within six corners. However, Russell's advantage was too substantial, and Alonso ultimately finished in seventh place.

Max Verstappen emerged victorious in the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, followed by Norris and Perez.

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