F1 2024 Chinese GP: Fastest Lap

The driver who wins the fastest lap award is given an extra point as long as they finish inside the top 10

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Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso took the fastest lap at the Formula 1 2024 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

The Spaniard will take the extra point that comes with the fastest lap time after finishing inside the top 10 in China. His lap time was the quickest by some margin after being the last driver to pit for fresh rubber late on.

Alonso set a time of 1:37.810 on Lap 48, which was only a few seconds shy of his qualifying time, on Lap 49 to take the extra point away from Max Verstappen, who was a long distance clear of the rest of the grid as the Red Bull star stormed to another win.

Fernando Alonso was the fastest driver on the track | Aston Martin F1 Team

Alonso was running smoothly along in P5 before his team gave him a stiff task to make his way through the traffic, having decided to switch to the medium tyre on the final stint when getting rid of the softs.

And it certainly gave him a pace advantage against those on worn, hard tyres as he homed in during the final stages of the race. He managed to catch Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes and had a significant pace advantage against the rest of the field, having also passed Oscar Piastri.

A scary moment for Alonso

Alonso needed a slice of luck and all of his experience to avoid a high-speed crash after nervously clipping the gravel on the pit straight, but managed to steer into the skid and survive and passed Hamilton on the same lap.

It wasn’t enough for the 42-year-old in the end after struggling to close up to George Russell, as he had to settle for seventh place.

In doing so, he scored a total of seven points – six for the race finish and an extra point for the fastest lap.

It means Alonso now has 31 points after five races in the drivers’ championship – some way down on his tally at this stage last season – but given Aston Martin’s limited pace, it is another impressive display of how he is extracting the maximum from his AMR24.

Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan
Joe Krishnan is an NCTJ-qualified journalist who has worked for a number of media organisations, including the Daily Express, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Independent and Bleacher Report. Joe has been following F1 since when he watched Mika Hakkinen clinch the 1999 drivers' championship, and his first taste of real-life racing action was watching David Coulthard spin off into the gravel at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 2001.
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