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Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix 2024

Verstappen grabs historic 100th Red Bull pole for Chinese Grand Prix

Max Verstappen earned Red Bull's 100th pole position at the Chinese Grand Prix, as Lewis Hamilton was dumped out early in Q1.

Verstappen China
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Max Verstappen broke his own career-best for successive pole positions in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix with his sixth straight, while also recording Red Bull's 100th.

The World Champion, who won the sprint on Saturday morning, was the only driver in qualifying to dip under the 1:33 barrier at the Shanghai International Circuit as he continued his pole run which started at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Verstappen's 37th career pole makes him the first driver in the 21st century to record pole in the first five races of a season, with Mika Hakkinen being the last to do so in 1999 for McLaren.

It comes 15 years since Sebastian Vettel scored Red Bull's first pole at the 2009 Chinese GP, and makes the team only the sixth Constructor to reach triple figures after Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes, Williams and Lotus.

A 1:33.660 was good enough to secure the historic position, with team-mate Sergio Perez making it a Red Bull one-two for the second straight race.

Fernando Alonso was third ahead of sprint pole winner Lando Norris, as Lewis Hamilton suffered a surprise early exit in Q1 with 18th, as home hero Zhou Guanyu also fell in Q1 with 16th.

Result Qualification - Chinese

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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Q3

On the first runs, Verstappen recorded a 1:33.977 attempt, despite a brief snap coming onto the long back-straight, but it was still enough for provisional pole from Alonso and Perez in third.

On the second runs, most of the top 10 improved their laps to take second place but were unable to dislodge Verstappen.

He found 0.317s on his second attempt to post a 1:33.660 as Perez made it a Red Bull one-two with the final lap of the session to deny Alonso a front-row.

Alonso is joined by Norris on the second-row with Oscar Piastri fifth and Charles Leclerc edging Carlos Sainz by 0.012s for sixth.

George Russell, Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas rounded out the top 10 for Mercedes, Haas and Stake - although Hulkenberg's ninth is under threat as he must go to the stewards for an infringement in Q1.

Sainz crashes in Q2

In Q2, with 6:44 remaining on the clock, Sainz crashed at the final corner, dipping a wheel into the Turn 16 gravel and sliding across the track.

He hit the barrier on the left-hand side of the circuit, ripping off his front-wing in the process.

The red flags were thrown, but he was able to get the Ferrari going again and pitted for repairs, a new front-wing and new soft tyres, before getting going on his way again.

He would end the segment in third place, ahead of team-mate Leclerc in fourth.

Lance Stroll was bumped out at the last moment by Bottas in 11th, as Daniel Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon, Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly also fell.

Albon described the Williams as being "on a knife-edge" as he took 14th, nearly half-a-second down on Bottas.

Up front, Verstappen became the first driver to break the 1:33 barrier across the weekend with a 1:33.794, with Perez in second on a 1:34.026.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Hamilton eliminated in Q1

Hamilton was eliminated at the death of Q1 after his final lap was only good enough for 12th on the board.

A lock-up at Turn 14 with a tail-wind cost the Mercedes driver as he was eliminated by less than a tenth, with Perez surviving on the bubble.

Leclerc was able to escape the drop-zone, but in doing so, dropped Zhou into the bottom five, with Kevin Magnussen 17th.

The back-row will be shared between Yuki Tsunoda and Logan Sargeant, who spun on his final lap.

Verstappen topped the segment on a 1:34.742.

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