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Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix 2024

How much F1 has changed since the last Chinese Grand Prix

Formula 1 returns to China and Shanghai this weekend - but how much has actually changed since the last visit five years ago?

XPB 982841 Hi Res
To news overview © XPBimages

When the world first started to take note of a pneumonia outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan in early 2020, the Chinese Grand Prix was called off in February.

A necessary precaution perhaps as the unknown disease would prove to be a coronavirus that would shut down the world within weeks, but the first Formula 1 race to fall victim to COVID-19 is also the last to return - which it will be when the paddock turns up to the Shanghai International Circuit this weekend.

That race was the 1,000th World Championship Grand Prix, and this weekend's is 1,106, but just how much has changed in the last 105 races?

The state of F1 in 2019

F1 was slap-bang in the middle of the Lewis Hamilton-Mercedes heyday for the third round of the 2019 season, with Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas having won a race apiece to start the year.

Ferrari slotted in behind with new whippersnapper Charles Leclerc keeping team leader Sebastian Vettel more than honest as Max Verstappen's new team-mate Pierre Gasly was struggling to adapt.

Elsewhere, rookies George Russell, Alex Albon and Lando Norris were still enjoying that new car smell, as Russell was joined at Williams by Robert Kubica - the pole having made an extraordinary comeback to F1 following his dreadful 2011 rally accident. Unfortunately, the Williams FW42 was slow, late and illegal in pre-season testing and neither could prove what they were capable of through the year.

Toro Rosso rookie Albon and Carlos Sainz, now at McLaren alongside Norris after Fernando Alonso 'retired' also both still had their appendix.

In politics, the budget cap was being floated as Red Bull got to grips with new engine partner Honda after a year spent with Toro Rosso.

2019 Chinese Grand Prix

On the grid, Bottas nipped pole position from Hamilton as the grid came two-by-two with Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, Renault and Haas filling out the top 10, in that order, with Albon in the pit-lane after a big FP3 crash.

At lights out, Hamilton squeezed past Bottas, whilst at Turn 4, Danill Kvyat collected the McLaren pair of Sainz and Norris, tipping Norris into the air and all but ending his race.

The race turned into a classic Mercedes-Hamilton demonstration run, with the highlight being the double-stack pit-stop the team pulled off, seemingly just because it could.

It was the first time a team had finished the first three races of a season with a one-two finish since Williams in 1992. Mercedes would claim further one-twos in Azerbaijan and Spain before a one-three in Monaco.

Hamilton took the 75th win of his career, waved home by Alain Prost, the Frenchman being the most senior available world champion not racing.

Bottas was second as Vettel filled out the podium with everyone including seventh-place finisher Daniel Ricciardo lapped.

2019 Chinese Grand Prix - results

Position Driver Team Gap Points
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:32:06.350 25
2. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +6.552 18
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +13.774 15
4. Max Verstappen Red Bull +27.627 12
5. Charles Leclerc Ferrari +31.276 10
6. Pierre Gasly Red Bull +1:29.307 9
7. Daniel Ricciardo Renault +1 lap 6
8. Sergio Perez Racing Point +1 lap 4
9. Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo +1 lap 2
10. Alex Albon Toro Rosso +1 lap 1
11. Romain Grosjean Haas +1 lap 0
12. Lance Stroll Racing Point +1 lap 0
13. Kevin Magnussen Haas +1 lap 0
14. Carlos Sainz McLaren +1 lap 0
15. Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo +1 lap 0
16. George Russell Williams +2 laps 0
17. Robert Kubica Williams +2 laps 0
DNF Lando Norris McLaren Collision 0
DNF Danill Kvyat Toro Rosso Collision 0
DNF Nico Hulkenberg Renault Power unit 0

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