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2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix - Sprint Qualifying Results

2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix – Sprint Qualifying Results

19/04/2024

In Shanghai, the Chinese Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying challenges teams, giving a first glimpse of the potential race hierarchy.

The Chinese Grand Prix makes a stark return to the F1 calendar. After a four-year hiatus, the last edition being in 2019, the Shanghai race is happening this weekend with a Sprint format. The drivers had only one FP1 session to get acclimated, and few really pushed the pace, leaving the hierarchy unclear.

Now, we move to the first timed session of the weekend, with Sprint Qualifying. This session sets the grid for the Sprint, which will take place this Saturday morning at 5 am. Between these two sessions, the cars will be under Parc Fermé conditions.

After the Sprint, the restrictions will be lifted, and teams can work on the cars until the qualifying, which will traditionally determine the grid order for Sunday’s race. From there, Parc Fermé rules will apply again.

The weather could play a role in this Sprint Qualifying, as showers hit Shanghai just minutes before the session starts. During SQ1, the drivers must use medium tires, as in SQ2, while the soft tires will come out in SQ3.

SQ1 – 12 minutes – Medium tires

Oscar Piastri reports a few drops of rain, as almost all drivers have hit the track to set an initial time. Only the Haas drivers risk coming out slightly later than their rivals. George Russell confirms that the drizzle is increasing.

Guanyu Zhou, the local hero, posts the fastest time but is beaten by Valtteri Bottas, then by Lewis Hamilton in 1’37″239. Alex Albon places fourth, and Russell only fifth ahead of Logan Sargeant.

Carlos Sainz is third, and Charles Leclerc takes the lead in 1’36″886. Piastri is in second place, three tenths behind the Monegasque, and Esteban Ocon clocks the ninth time. Lando Norris takes second place by just 4 thousandths from Leclerc.

Fernando Alonso finishes with the best absolute first sector and a top time of 1’36″883. Lance Stroll is fourth, and Max Verstappen agrees with everyone with a time of 1’36″456. Daniel Ricciardo places ninth, and Sergio Pérez leads the session with 1’36″110.

Pierre Gasly hindered Sargeant, and an investigation may be opened. Showers continue to approach the circuit, and Sainz, only 15th, has returned to the track. The Spaniard secures himself with the third-fastest time. Leclerc improves and places just ahead of his teammate. Norris slots into second between the Red Bulls.

Albon fails to do better than 17th as he crosses the chequered flag, resulting in elimination for the Thai driver. Sargeant is 18th and also does not advance beyond this SQ1. Tsunoda matches the 18th place, and Russell is 12th. Hamilton moves up to tenth, and Magnussen to ninth. Piastri places fifth.

Eliminated are Gasly, Ocon, Albon, Tsunoda, and Sargeant.

Once again, there’s a fire in turn 5, similar to this morning but at another part of the circuit! Sparks from the cars land in the grass and ignite it, likely causing a delay to SQ2.

SQ2 – 10 minutes – Medium tires

Rain still looms over the Shanghai circuit, but according to the teams, it will take several minutes for the heavy showers to hit. Verstappen is one of the last to start, a risk if the rain arrives earlier than expected, but Red Bull seldom miscalculates at this level. Norris’s engineer tells him that this lap might be the only one that counts, given the impending rain.

Norris finishes in 1’36″047, beaten by his teammate Piastri, who clocks in at 1’35″853. Sainz is third, followed by Magnussen and Stroll, and Alonso takes fourth place, while Hülkenberg has his time deleted.

Leclerc posts the fastest time at 1’35″711, and Bottas climbs to fifth, with Zhou seventh. Russell is only eighth, and Hamilton is seventh. Hülkenberg records the 12th fastest time, and Verstappen takes the top spot with 1’35″606. Pérez moves up to third place.

Bottas’s engineer, holding a strong seventh position, warns of rain in less than three minutes, and race control data even predicts it within a minute. The sky has darkened considerably over Shanghai.

Russell, eleventh and provisionally eliminated, heads out for a fast lap, but the track is already losing speed, and the Brit gives up on his lap. The race direction declares the track wet. With two minutes remaining, the times are frozen. Bottas and Zhou will advance to SQ3, much to the delight of the Shanghai circuit crowd!

Eliminated are Russell, Magnussen, Hülkenberg, Ricciardo, and Stroll.

SQ3 – 8 minutes

SQ3 should have been done with soft tires, but the rain set in and the drivers will opt for grooved tires. It’s worth noting that the FIA has confirmed that it’s the sparks from the cars that are setting the grass on fire.

All drivers have fitted intermediate tires, as the track is not wet enough for full wet tires. With only eight minutes, the drivers will need to post a good lap time right from the first lap, as conditions might worsen, and accidents could also occur.

During his installation lap, Leclerc hit the barriers! We also saw Norris go off track, though without serious consequences. The Monegasque hit twice but slowly, and his front wing is possibly broken. Race control has noted a violation by Alonso exiting the pits. Leclerc returns to the pits.

This time, Verstappen was the first to take to the track, but the Dutchman makes a mistake! Piastri finishes in 2’02″598, Verstappen is second four tenths behind, and Norris does worse, as does Sainz! However, Pérez sets the fastest time at 2’00″455, with a margin of over two seconds!

Alonso places ahead of Sainz, Zhou in last position, and it’s Bottas who makes an excellent move by placing second, nine tenths behind Pérez! Verstappen has his lap time cancelled for not respecting track limits.

Piastri then Norris slot between Pérez and Bottas, and Pérez improves to 2’00″375. And Alonso sets the fastest time at 2’00″213, while Verstappen sees his second lap time also cancelled! Norris also has his time cancelled, and Leclerc positions himself third. Hamilton takes the fastest time at 1’59″321!

Verstappen manages to complete a lap and places second, and it’s Norris who takes the first position, but his time is again cancelled! Piastri does no better than seventh, and Alonso places himself again ahead of Alonso!

The times seem to stabilize, but race direction reinstates Norris’s best time! Thus, the McLaren driver will be in the first place on the Sprint grid, ahead of Hamilton! Alonso and Verstappen will be on the second row ahead of Sainz and Pérez. Leclerc is seventh ahead of Piastri, then the Alfa Romeo of Bottas and Zhou.

2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix – Sprint Qualifying Results
PosDriverNat.TeamSQ1SQ2SQ3
1Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m36.384s1m36.047s1m57.940s
2Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m37.181s1m36.287s1m59.201s
3Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m36.883s1m36.119s1m59.915s
4Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m36.456s1m35.606s2m00.028s
5Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1m36.719s1m36.052s2m00.214s
6Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing1m36.110s1m35.781s2m00.375s
7Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m36.537s1m35.711s2m00.566s
8Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m36.542s1m35.853s2m00.990s
9Valtteri BottasFINStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m37.112s1m36.056s2m01.044s
10Zhou GuanyuCHNStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m37.544s1m36.307s2m03.537s
11George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m37.310s1m36.345s 
12Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m37.033s1m36.473s 
13Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m36.924s1m36.478s 
14Daniel RicciardoAUSVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m37.321s1m36.553s 
15Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m36.961s1m36.677s 
16Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m37.632s  
17Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m37.720s  
18Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m37.812s  
19Yuki TsunodaJPNVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m37.892s  
20Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing1m37.923s  

2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix – Sprint Qualifying Results. 2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix – Sprint Qualifying Results. f1 2024 2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix – Sprint Qualifying Results

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