Motor racing-Team by team review of the Chinese Grand Prix

By Thomson Reuters Apr 21, 2024 | 8:33 AM

(Reuters) – Team by team review of Sunday’s Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit, round five of the 24-race championship (listed in current championship order):

RED BULL (Max Verstappen 1, Sergio Perez 3)

Verstappen’s fourth win in five races and first in China. The triple champion started on pole — Red Bull’s 100th — for the fifth race in a row this season and now leads Perez by 25 points, after also winning the Saturday sprint. He now has 58 wins from 190 starts. Perez lined up second on the grid on a two-stop strategy but lost out to Alonso and took five laps to get the place back. Safety car periods then played against him. The podium was his 39th. Red Bull are 44 points clear of Ferrari.

FERRARI (Charles Leclerc 4, Carlos Sainz 5)

Both Ferrari drivers stopped only once, switching strategy when the virtual safety car was triggered, with Sainz doing 39 laps on the hard tyre in the longest stint of all after pitting on lap 17. They had started sixth and seventh on the grid.

MCLAREN (Lando Norris 2, Oscar Piastri 8)

Norris stretched his record as the driver with most podium finishes and still no win. He now has 15, with eight second places. After taking a sprint pole on Friday, the Briton started fourth and led when Verstappen pitted, completing the race with one stop. Piastri had a significantly damaged car after being shunted from behind by Ricciardo, who was hit by Stroll, on the first restart after the safety car. He made two stops.

MERCEDES (George Russell 6, Lewis Hamilton 9)

Hamilton, second in the Saturday sprint, went from 18th to ninth after starting on the soft tyre and ending up using all three compounds. Russell passed both Ferraris on the opening lap and also made two stops.

ASTON MARTIN (Fernando Alonso 7, Lance Stroll 15)

Alonso seized second place at the start but then fell back. He made three stops, with 20 laps on the soft tyres, and gained five places on his final stint with new mediums. He also took a bonus point for fastest lap. Stroll ran into the back of Ricciardo when the safety car came in and was given a 10-second penalty for causing a collision.

RB (Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo retired)

Both drivers taken out by others: Tsunoda retired after contact with Haas’s Magnussen while Ricciardo’s departure came after Stroll ran into the back of the Australian’s car.

HAAS (Nico Hulkenberg 10, Kevin Magnussen 16)

Hulkenberg secured Haas’s fifth point in five races after starting ninth. He started on medium tyres and was running as high as seventh. Magnussen started 17th and was given a 10-second penalty for causing the collision with Tsunoda.

WILLIAMS (Alexander Albon 12, Logan Sargeant 17)

Sargeant started from the pitlane on softs and switched to mediums before suffering degradation with the hard tyres. Albon lacked pace but expected to go better at the next race in Miami.

ALPINE (Esteban Ocon 11, Pierre Gasly 13)

The team were fined 10,000 euros ($10,654) for a pitstop blunder in releasing Gasly too early, with the Frenchman stopped and then returning to the track in last place. Ocon’s placing was the team’s best of the current campaign.

SAUBER (Zhou Guanyu 14, Valtteri Bottas retired)

Zhou made his home debut with a strong crowd in attendance, and spoke emotionally to the fans after parking his car post-race on the pit straight. Bottas triggered the first safety car when he pulled over and parked with a drivetrain problem.

($1 = 0.9386 euros)

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Clare Fallon)