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Race overview Lenovo Chinese Grand Prix 2024

Vaseline 4 weeks ago

Max Verstappen overcame two different Safety Car periods to take another easy victory in the Chinese Grand Prix.

Continuing the theme of the year so far, Verstappen was imperious up front and never looked threatened after maintaining his lead into the first corner at the start of the race.

His final victory margin of almost 14 seconds over McLaren’s Lando Norris still did not reflect the sheer dominance of his win, with a 20-second lead earlier in the race wiped out by the deployment of a Safety Car on lap 24.

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That mid-race upset helped Red Bull’s Norris break the recent habit of one-two finishes, with the McLaren driver claiming second place in an ultimate final stint.

Verstappen’s victory and his victory in the sprint race on Saturday have increased his championship lead to 25 points over Perez, with five races remaining and 18 to go.

The Dutchman is on his way to a fourth championship victory in a row.

Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz had to settle for fourth and fifth place, ahead of Mercedes driver George Russell.

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso provided some late entertainment in a fairly flat Grand Prix, powering past old rival Lewis Hamilton and a handful of other cars after a late tire change – Alonso finished the race in seventh.

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri was unable to match Norris’ heroics in eighth place, while Lewis Hamilton recovered from poor qualifying for ninth.

Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg continued his super season with the final point on offer in 10th place.

China’s first F1 race since 2019 did not provide an exciting spectacle, although there was danger halfway through when Sauber’s Valtteri Bottas stopped at Turn 11.

Marshalls struggled to clear the car from the track, prompting the deployment of a full Safety Car, which bunched up the field and threw out numerous strategic plans.

The restart on lap 27 did not last long, with a clumsy action by Kevin Magnussen on Yuki Tsunoda leading to contact between the pair and the return of the Safety Car.

Tsunoda was eliminated from the race and Magnussen limped back to the pits for repairs.

Shortly before that restart, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll squandered a near-certain points finish, crashing into the back of RB’s Daniel Ricciardo as the pack slowed and coalesced before the restart.

Stroll was forced to retire and Ricciardo joined teammate Tsunoda in retiring a few laps later due to the damage to his car.

Stroll and Magnussen were both given ten-second time penalties for the respective incidents, which will be little consolation for the RB team.

Stroll continued the race, but finished at the back of the field.

Zhou Guanyu, China’s first F1 driver, finished a popular 14th.

After the race, the Sauber driver joined the top three at a specially designated spot on the start-finish straight, allowing an emotional Zhou to soak up the applause from his home crowd.