Verstappen Overcomes Safety Car Challenges To Win Chinese Grand Prix Ahead Of Norris

Sunday, 21 April 2024 at 10:45
verstappen max redbull rbcp154
Max Verstappen comfortably won the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix despite challenges presented during the race.
Starting the Chinese Grand Prix from the pole position, the Dutch driver was once again the top favorite to win the race at the Shanghai International Circuit, which was the first in China since 2019.
From the start, the three-time World Champion seemed to be unchallenged by his rivals, creating bigger gap between himself and the closest rivals, which were his teammate Sergio Perez, but also Lando Norris in McLaren and Charles Leclerc in Ferrari, who were trying a one-stop strategy.
However, Verstappen's race came under challenge on Lap 20, when Valtteri Bottas had to stop his Kick Sauber, initially triggering only yellow flags, then virtual safety car, and finally also the safety car.
As a result, Norris and Leclerc managed to match their strategy to the rest of the field, and with earned positions thanks to off-setting their first pitstop, they were now in second and third.
Another safety car helped drivers preserve their drivers even further, as Lance Stroll crashed into the back of Daniel Ricciardo, before Kevin Magnussen spun Yuki Tsunoda, with both of them getting 10-second penalties, while both RB drivers were out of the race.
That second safety car helped Norris to potentially have a shot at the race win, as the British driver managed to stay relatively close behind the race leader, but ultimately Verstappen showed his speed, creating a two-digit seconds gap upfront.
Surprisingly, the Dutchman's teammate, Perez, who moved up to third after overtaking Leclerc, couldn't speed up to overtake Norris, as the McLaren driver managed to finish in P2, meaning the Chinese Grand Prix marked the first race of the season when a team didn't manage to finish one-two.
Behind the three drivers finished scarlet Ferraris with Leclerc fourth and Carlos Sainz in P5. Adding 25 points to his total in the World Drivers' Championships, Verstappen extended his lead even further.