Race Weekend Central

Max Verstappen on Pole for Chinese Grand Prix

Max Verstappen led Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez during Saturday’s (April 20) qualifying session for the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix to complete another lockout of the front row for Red Bull Racing.

Fernando Alonso and Lando Norris will make up the second row of the grid, with the former being only seconds away from securing a second-place start in the race before Perez put in his final fast lap.

“I think after the sprint race, it gave us a few more ideas for the car and I think the car worked even better in qualifying,” Verstappen told Sky Sports’ Ho-Pin Tung after the session. “So, definitely very happy with how the whole of qualifying went. The car was very nice to drive.”


Valtteri Bottas and Nico Hullkenberg were the stories of Q3, both drivers vastly outperforming their respective teammates who were eliminated in Q1. It was the first Q3 appearance of 2024 for Bottas, and the second for Hulkenberg, who qualified 10th for the opening round in Bahrain.

Pos.Driver No.DriverTeamTime from Leader
1.33Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:33.660m
2.11Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT+0.322s
3.14Fernando AlonsoAstin Martin Aramco Mercedes+0.488s
4.4Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes+0.505s
5.81Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes+0.613s
6.16Charles LeclercFerrari+0.629s
7.55Carlos SainzFerrari+0.637s
8.63George RussellMercedes+0.773s
9.27Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari+0.944s
10.77Valtteri Bottas KICK Sauber Ferrari+1.005s
See also
Max Verstappen Takes Sprint Win in China


Sainz brought out the a red flag halfway through the second session of the day after spinning at the exit of turn 16, sliding into the barrier and slinging gravel across the circuit. Luckily for the Spaniard, there was no major damage to his car and he was able to drive away from the sight. Track cleanup efforts brought the red flag to a length of just over 10 minutes.

Pos.Driver No.DriverTeamTime from Advancing
11.18Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes+0.069s
12.3Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT+0.165s
13.31Esteban OconAlpine Renault+0.454s
14.23Alex AlbonWilliams Mercedes+0.472s
15.10Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault+0.694s


As they have been all weekend, all eyes were locked on Zhou Guanyu as F1’s only Chinese driver looked for a solid start in his first home race. The Shanghai native climbed as high as eighth in the closing stages of Q1, but a flurry of fast laps from the rest of the field left Zhou as the first car to be eliminated from qualifying.

Logan Sargeant spun in turn 9 late in the session, denying himself a chance to advance from the last row of the grid.

Pos.Driver No.DriverTeamTime from Advancing
16.24Zhou GuanyuKICK Sauber Ferrari+0.218s
17.20Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari+0.229s
18.44Lewis HamiltonMercedes+0.286s
19.22Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT+0.459s
20.2Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes+1.071s

2024 F1 Chinese Grand Prix Qualifying Results

The Chinese Grand Prix will get underway Sunday (April 21) at 3 a.m. ET with coverage on ESPN.

About the author

Alex is the IndyCar Content Director at Frontstretch, having initially joined as an entry-level contributor in 2021. He also serves as Managing Director of The Asia Cable, a publication focused on the international affairs and politics of the Asia-Pacific region which he co-founded in 2023. With previous experience in China, Japan and Poland, Alex is particularly passionate about the international realm of motorsport and the politics that make the wheels turn - literally - behind the scenes.

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