Verstappen Triumphs Over Norris and Perez in Thrilling Chinese Grand Prix

Max Verstappen navigated two Safety Cars to secure his first-ever victory at the Chinese Grand Prix, finishing ahead of Lando Norris and Sergio Perez.

Lee Parker

By Lee Parker
Published on April 21, 2024

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 2024 Chinese Grand Prix Podium
Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez celebrate 1st and 3rd on the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix podium.

Max Verstappen successfully converted his pole position into a win at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, leading McLaren’s Lando Norris and his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez across the finish line. This win marks his fourth in the first five races of the season.

Verstappen maintained the lead for most of the race, navigating a series of strategic curveballs at the Shanghai International Circuit, which saw a Virtual Safety Car and two full Safety Car interventions.

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Norris, alongside the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, opted for a single pit-stop strategy. This tactic paid off during the VSC and Safety Car segments, allowing Norris to overtake Perez and secure second place, which he held until the end.

Leclerc and Sainz placed fourth and fifth, with Leclerc voicing concerns towards the end about his tyres lasting through the race. George Russell led Mercedes’ effort, finishing sixth.

Fernando Alonso took a different approach to the rest of the pack with an unconventional strategy. During a mid-race Safety Car, he chose soft tyres, unlike others around him, who went for hards. This required a late switch to mediums, propelling him from 12th to finish seventh after overtaking several drivers, including McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, in his final move.

Following his disappointing Q1 exit and early struggles with tyre management, Lewis Hamilton climbed through the ranks, aided by a few sublime overtaking manoeuvres to finish ninth. Nico Hulkenberg earned the last point available, finishing tenth for Haas.

The Alpine drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly finished 11th and 13th, sandwiching Alex Albon in the Williams who came home in 12th place. Kick Sauber’s Zhou Guanyu made history as the first Chinese driver to compete in his home race, finishing 14th.

The race also saw penalties affecting the standings, with Lance Stroll receiving a 10-second penalty for colliding with Daniel Ricciardo during the build-up to the first Safety Car restart. This incident led to significant damage for Ricciardo, who had to retire, while Stroll ended up 15th, ahead of the final finishers Kevin Magnussen and Logan Sargeant.

Magnussen finished 16th for Haas after causing Yuki Tsunoda’s RB to spin and subsequently retire at the exit of the Turn 6 hairpin earlier in the race, a move that resulted in the stewards imposing a 10-second penalty on his time.

Logan Sargeant ended the race 17th and last for Williams, capping off a challenging weekend with a 10-second penalty for a Safety Car violation involving Hulkenberg.

Valtteri Bottas did not finish the race due to an apparent engine failure in his Kick Sauber, which led him to retire off the track, triggering the first Safety Car period.

As the top three finishers celebrated on the podium, Verstappen’s latest victory extended his lead in the drivers’ standings to 25 points over teammate Perez, setting the stage for the Sprint to come in Miami two weeks later.

2024 Chinese Grand Prix Race Result

11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT561:40:52.55425
24Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes56+13.773s18
311Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT56+19.160s15
416Charles LeclercFerrari56+23.623s12
555Carlos SainzFerrari56+33.983s10
663George RussellMercedes56+38.724s8
714Fernando Alonso*Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes56+43.414s7
881Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes56+56.198s4
944Lewis HamiltonMercedes56+57.986s2
1027Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari56+60.476s1
1131Esteban OconAlpine Renault56+62.812s0
1223Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes56+65.506s0
1310Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault56+69.223s0
1424Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari56+71.689s0
1518Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes56+82.786s0
1620Kevin Magnussen**Haas Ferrari56+87.533s0
172Logan Sargeant***Williams Mercedes56+95.110s0
NC3Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT33DNF0
NC22Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT26DNF0
NC77Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari19DNF0
*Fastest lap: Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes) – 1:37.810 (lap 45)
**Magnussen received a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision.
***Sargeant received a 10-second time penalty for a Safety Car infringement.

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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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