Verstappen Red Bull 1-2 at Japanese GP, After Ricciardo & Albon Crash

Max Verstappen spearheaded a Red Bull one-two at the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix, which saw a restart after first lap collision.

Lee Parker

By Lee Parker
Published on April 7, 2024

Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Wins 2024 Japanese Grand Prix
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, wins the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen clinches a convincing win, rebounding from an unexpected DNF in Melbourne with a third one-two finish in 2024. Carlos Sainz narrowly beat his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc for third after the race saw an early red flag due to a collision between Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon.

Just two weeks after an unforeseen first-race retirement in two years at the Australian Grand Prix—a race claimed by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz—Verstappen made a striking comeback at Suzuka. The reigning world champion outperformed his teammate Sergio Perez by a solid 12-second margin.

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The race initially faced a halt with a red flag on the first lap when RB’s Ricciardo and Williams’ Albon crashed into each other, leading to a collision for both into the barriers.

Following a 30-minute interruption to remove the damaged cars and repairs to the Turn Three barriers, Verstappen again outpaced Perez at the second start, swiftly taking the lead. The race unfolded with a mix of tyre strategies among the top 10 drivers.

Sainz secured third place, continuing his streak of podium finishes in 2024, even though it required him to overtake his teammate after Leclerc showcased an impressive performance on a unique one-stop strategy. Leclerc’s strategy came after a disappointing qualifying that saw him start from eighth.

Starting third, McLaren’s Lando Norris was eventually overtaken by both Ferrari drivers, finishing fifth. The MCL38 struggled to match the pace of the Ferraris throughout the race.

Fernando Alonso delivered a standout performance in the Aston Martin, securing a sixth place by fending off faster drivers throughout the weekend.

In the closing stages, facing intense competition from Oscar Piastri, also on a two-stop strategy, and Mercedes’ George Russell, who had opted for fresher tyres on his later second pit stop, Alonso managed to maintain his position ahead of both.

Piastri, unable to overtake Alonso, was caught and passed by Russell for seventh place during the final lap’s opening corner.

An earlier attempt by Russell to overtake at the chicane led to contact, forcing McLaren off the track, yet they retained their position. The race stewards’ subsequent investigation concluded there were no penalties needed.

Lewis Hamilton, starting from seventh, concluded the race in ninth. His race strategy was hampered by a disappointing performance and understeer issues. Capitalising on the race’s initial red flag, Mercedes switched to a hard tyre strategy aiming for a single pit stop. Hamilton, struggling behind Russell, eventually allowed his teammate to pass, a move he couldn’t counterbalance later in the race.

Yuki Tsunoda delighted the local fans by clinching tenth, rounding off the points positions.

In the Drivers’ Championship standings, Verstappen extended his lead to 13 points after the fourth race, with Perez moving back into second place. This left Leclerc trailing by an additional five points.

2024 Japanese Grand Prix Race Result

11Max Verstappen*Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT531:54:23.56626
211Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT53+12.535s18
355Carlos SainzFerrari53+20.866s15
416Charles LeclercFerrari53+26.522s12
54Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes53+29.700s10
614Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes53+44.272s8
763George RussellMercedes53+45.951s6
881Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes53+47.525s4
944Lewis HamiltonMercedes53+48.626s2
1022Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT52+1 lap1
1127Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari52+1 lap0
1218Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes52+1 lap0
1320Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari52+1 lap0
1477Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari52+1 lap0
1531Esteban OconAlpine Renault52+1 lap0
1610Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault52+1 lap0
172Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes52+1 lap0
NC24Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari12DNF0
NC3Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT0DNF0
NC23Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes0DNF0
*Fastest lap: Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT) – 1:33.706 (lap 50)

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About The Author

Senior Editor

Lee Parker
Lee Parker

Lee is our staff writer specialising in anything technical within Formula 1 from aerodynamics to engines. Lee writes most of our F1 guides for beginners and experienced fans having followed the sports since 1991, researching and understanding how teams build the ultimate machines. Like everyone else on the team he listens to podcasts about F1 and enjoys reading biographies of former drivers.

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