Formula 1’s 2024 Chinese Grand Prix Race Review

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Verstappen and Red Bull Continue to Dominate

The 2024 Chinese Grand Prix marked a significant return of Formula 1 action to the Shanghai International Circuit. It featured a weekend full of surprises and spectacular racing under the new sprint format. This year’s race was especially notable as it included the sprint format for the first time, adding an extra layer of strategy and excitement to the weekend.

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Chinese Grand Prix

Chinese Grand Prix Qualifying

The qualifying sessions for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit were characterized by challenging and variable weather conditions that tested the adaptability of drivers and teams. Intermittent rain heavily influenced the choice of tyres and strategy.

Q1 started under cloudy skies with light moisture on the track, prompting teams to opt for intermediate tires. The session saw tight competition at the cutoff line, with drivers like Kevin Magnussen and Alexander Albon pushing hard to make it into Q2. A brief interruption occurred when Yuki Tsunoda spun off, bringing out yellow flags and forcing drivers to abort their flying laps.

Q2 experienced heavier rain, leading teams to switch to full-wet tires. This session highlighted the drivers’ skill in wet conditions, with notable performances by George Russell and Carlos Sainz, who managed to extract impressive lap times from their cars under challenging conditions. Timing of their runs was crucial, as conditions worsened towards the end of the session, making early laps advantageous.

Q3 was the climax, with the top ten drivers battling it for pole position in the pouring rain. Visibility and aquaplaning were significant challenges. Lando Norris showcased his wet-weather prowess by securing the sprint pole with a masterfully timed lap. He was initially disqualified for a track limit violation but later reinstated. This session was crucial for setting the tone for the sprint race, with tire management and strategic calls on display, emphasizing the teams’ tactical decisions under pressure​ (Wikipedia)​.

Chinese Grand Prix Sprint Race

The sprint race format, a shorter race that sets the grid for Sunday’s main Grand Prix, added a layer of strategic depth to the weekend. With its long back and straight and tight corners, the Shanghai circuit was perfect for this format, testing overtaking skills and defensive driving.

Max Verstappen dominated the sprint, making an excellent start and using the DRS zones effectively to build a gap from the chasing pack. His teammate, Sergio Perez, also showcased strategic acumen by conserving his tires early on and pushing hard in the latter laps, securing a podium finish. Despite starting on the pole, Lando Norris struggled with tire degradation and finished sixth, which was still a commendable effort given the intense midfield battles.

The sprint race was not without its drama. Fernando Alonso’s puncture, caused by a collision with Carlos Sainz, was pivotal. This incident not only dropped Alonso down the order but also brought out a virtual safety car, compressing the field and setting up a tense restart. The sprint race results significantly influenced the starting grid for the Grand Prix, underscoring the importance of every position in this compact race format​.

Chinese Grand Prix 

The primary race on Sunday showcased tactical acumen and driving precision. Max Verstappen’s flawless performance from the pole position saw him leading effectively, managing his tires to perfection, and using the strategic advantage of clean air ahead to fend off any challenges from behind.

Lando Norris stood out, maintaining a solid second place despite the pressure from behind. His ability to handle tire degradation and keep up with Verstappen’s pace was notable, demonstrating his growth as a driver in managing race conditions.

Sergio Perez finished third, capitalizing on a well-timed pit strategy and his ability to navigate through traffic. His overtakes after the safety car restart were crucial in securing his podium position, showing his skill in close-quarter racing.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz of Ferrari finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Leclerc’s aggressive driving style paid off as he made several overtakes in the latter part of the race. At the same time, Sainz managed his tires well to maintain position and secure valuable points for Ferrari in the constructors’ championship.

George Russell, in the Mercedes, finished sixth. His commendable drive showcased his defensive capabilities, particularly in the race’s latter stages, when tire wear became critical for many drivers.

Despite earlier setbacks in the weekend, Fernando Alonso managed to finish seventh. His race was highlighted by a recovery drive that saw him make multiple overtakes, assisted by a late-race strategy shift that gave him fresher tires than many of his rivals.

Oscar Piastri and Lewis Hamilton, teammates at McLaren and Mercedes, respectively, finished eighth and ninth. Piastri’s performance was solid, showing his ability to handle pressure in his rookie season. Hamilton, meanwhile, had a quieter race but managed to gain positions through strategic pit stops and consistent lap times.

Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top ten with a strategic drive that maximized his car’s potential. His performance underscored his experience as he navigated the Haas car through a tight midfield battle to secure a top-ten finish.

Up Next 

Overall, the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix was not just about the leaders but also about strategic calls, tire management, and driver skills throughout the field. This race highlighted the competitive nature of the grid this season, with battles throughout the pack providing entertainment and strategic intrigue​. 

The thrilling events of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix have significantly influenced the drivers’ and constructors’ standings as the season progresses. Max Verstappen’s victory extends his lead at the top of the driver standings, providing a solid cushion as he aims for another championship title. Lando Norris’s consistent performances have solidified his position as a serious contender, and he remains a threat in the championship race. The strong finishes by Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have also boosted Ferrari in the constructors’ standings, where they are closely contesting with Red Bull and McLaren for supremacy.

The next race on the Formula 1 calendar is the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, taking place on the streets of Baku. This circuit is renowned for its high-speed straights and tight corners, making it a test of driver skill and engineering excellence. Teams will be looking to adjust their strategies and car setups to deal with the unique challenges of a street circuit, where the barriers are unforgiving, and overtaking is tricky but possible.

2024 Chinese Grand Prix Race Results



  1. Formula 1 Official Site – Detailed race coverage and updates on the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix. Formula 1 Official
  2. Wikipedia – Information on the qualifying sessions and sprint race format at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix. Wikipedia
  3. PlanetF1 – Live coverage and race results for the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix. PlanetF1