Verstappen Secures Double in First Chinese Grand Prix Win

April 21, 2024Ramon Jones
Formula 1

Max Verstappen won his first Chinese Grand Prix today to complete a dominant weekend after struggling early on in practice with harmonizing with the car. Verstappen won the Sprint race earlier this weekend but that win did not come with the adversity he had to face in the Grand Prix. There were multiple on track incidents resulting in restarts.

By lap 2 Verstappen was already well out of DRS range making him difficult to catch. However with the first safety car the others were able to catch Verstappen. Red Bull completed a double stack pit stop leaving Verstappen and Perez stationery for 2.1s and 2.0s respectively. Eventually Verstappen would take the lead again but then a safety car was deployed.

Drama on the Circuit in China

The safety car came out due to a power unit failure on Valtteri Bottas’ Stake car. Given the position that Bottas stopped in the car was not retrievable without a full safety car which dramatic disadvantaged Verstappen and the other front runners. The safety car came in 2 laps later and the front runners took off. The run was cut short again by another safety car after Stroll hit Ricciardo on the back straight before the restart even happened. Magnussen then tried to dive down the inside of Yuki Tsunoda, tipping him into a spin.

Tsunoda had to retire, stopping on the grass with a tire puncture. Stroll made it back to the pits, as did Magnussen with a puncture. The drama didn’t start there. A few laps later Stroll ran into the back of Daniel Ricciardo who’s car suffered damage and seemingly a major drop in performance after the contact. When the race restarted Ricciardo was clearly not able to compete as he dropped down the pecking order with complains of lack of rear drive out of corners. He ultimately retired from the race. Stroll received a 10 second time penalty for causing a collision.

Ricciardo Commented on The DNF

“We started to make up a lot of ground in the stint before the Safety Car but during the restart, I got a pretty big hit and the car was damaged. We decided to retire because I wasn’t really driving an F1 car. It’s very frustrating. I watched his onboard and it looked like he wasn’t even looking at me, it seemed that his helmet was looking at the apex. We’ll never know what could have happened later in the race, but I think we were looking in a good place.

SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, CHINA – APRIL 21: Daniel Ricciardo, Visa Cash App RB F1 Team, on the grid during the Chinese GP at Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday April 21, 2024 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images)

“Getting ruined by someone else makes me frustrated and this is where the disappointment comes, because today we had an opportunity and we missed it. I think there’s a lot of disappointment for everyone in the team. When I got back to the garage, I saw the mechanics looking at the damage and they feel as heartbroken as I do. I think we definitely had a better weekend from a pace point of view, and I I think the team could feel some momentum and some shift to the season. We go onto Miami and we’ll just try to keep working on that.”

Where do Red Bull Stand on Ricciardo?

Where Red Bull stand with Ricciardo currently remains a mystery. RB seemingly gave an ultimatum to perform or be replaced. Ricciardo has yet to score points this season. We have to assume that patience is running thin in the Red Bull camp. With all of the off track distractions behind them Red Bull is looking towards the future of their programs to ensure they retain the best drivers. There are rumors circulating regarding Carlos Sainz and contract talks but it would be hard to imagine as Sergio Perez is going toe to toe with Max and Red Bull currently leads the constructers with a 1-2 in the drivers championship currently. Perez is currently 25 points behind Verstappen.

The next race is in the United States for the Miami Grand Prix May 3-5.

Full Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix Results

1Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT561:40:52.55425
2Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES56+13.773s18
3Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT56+19.160s15
4Charles LeclercFERRARI56+23.623s12
5Carlos SainzFERRARI56+33.983s10
6George RussellMERCEDES56+38.724s8
7Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES56+43.414s7
8Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES56+56.198s4
9Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES56+57.986s2
10Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI56+60.476s1
11Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT56+62.812s0
12Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES56+65.506s0
13Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT56+69.223s0
14Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI56+71.689s0
16Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI56+87.533s0
17Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES56+95.110s0
NCDaniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT33DNF0
Note – Alonso scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race. Sargeant received a 10-second time penalty for a Safety Car infringement. Magnussen received a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision.