Verstappen gives Hamilton and Norris Chinese GP sprint hope with twin Red Bull worries

Max Verstappen was unusually off the pace in sprint qualifying for the 2024 Chinese GP, behind McLaren, Mercedes and Aston Martin

-

Max Verstappen conceded he could struggle at the start of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix sprint race starting on the inside of the track behind Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and polesitter Lando Norris.

Verstappen was unable to master the RB20 in the rain at the Shanghai International Circuit, only completing one lap that put him fourth on the grid for the sprint, starting on the more uncompetitive right-hand-side of the track.

After a five-year absence from the Formula 1 calendar, the Chinese GP returned with a resurfaced track including a surface treatment that first gave the appearance of paint, causing consternation amongst drivers.

“It’s not ideal to start on the inside here, there’s a lot lower grip, left to right, with this painted stuff on the tarmac,” Verstappen told the media. “So we have to try and you have the best start possible.

“And then of course, I think it’s going to be quite a long stint on one set of tyres in the sprint, but that makes it quite, quite interesting.”

Verstappen: Sprint qualifying ‘like driving on ice’

Max Verstappen in the Paddock ahead of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen in the Paddock ahead of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Verstappen was over two seconds behind Norris, though it was impressive he was even able to crack the top five given uncharacteristic mistakes ruined his first two laps and he only got a competitive time on the board at the death.

He ended up two places ahead of teammate Sergio Perez while Ferrari – usually Red Bull‘s closest challengers in 2024 – also could trouble the top spots.

The sprint qualifying at least sets up a more intriguing race, though Verstappen will remain the favourite if conditions do dry up.

“it was incredibly slippery, I just struggled a lot to get the temperature in the tyres so that’s why it was just very difficult to to keep the car on track,” Verstappen added. “And it never really switched on for me so it was just like driving on ice.

“That’s why also I think it’s quite deserved where we are in qualifying, it was just not really working for me in the wet even though I think in the dry we look quite good so I’m of course quite happy with that.”

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
- Advertisment -

LATEST NEWS

Liam Lawson prepares for free practice at the 2022 Mexican Grand Prix | Peter Fox/Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Red Bull bosses agree on Liam Lawson F1 prospects in 2025

0
Christian Horner and RB CEO Peter Bayer refused to back Liam Lawson's prospects for a full-time Formula 1 drive...
Carlos Sainz looks on at the 2024 Monaco GP | Ferrari

After Carlos Sainz’s Mercedes denial, why does his future remain an enigma?

0
Ferrari swinging the axe on Carlos Sainz's career in scarlet must have stung, but the Spaniard at least had...
Charles Leclerc dives into the Monaco harbour | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Where does Charles Leclerc rank 2024 Monaco Grand Prix win?

0
Charles Leclerc is a race winner for the first time in almost two years as the Ferrari ace crushed...
Charles Leclerc celebrates winning the 2024 Monaco GP | Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

What we learned from the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

0
The 2024 Monaco Grand Prix may not have served up a classic, but it wasn’t short on storylines as...
Sergio Perez talks to his engineer Hugh Bird and team principal Christian Horner in the garage | Mark Thompson / Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Look away Checo – Horner praises Perez’s F1 rival as star fights for Red...

0
Christian Horner insists Red Bull will make a decision about Sergio Perez's Red Bull future "in the fullness of...
Max Verstappen during 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Winners and Losers of 2024 Monaco GP

0
Charles Leclerc vanquished his Monte Carlo demons to finally take victory at his home race, while Red Bull continued...
Daniel Ricciardo of Visa Cash App RB during the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

F1 Driver Ratings – Monaco GP 2024

0
Charles Leclerc was in dreamland as the Ferrari driver finally celebrated an elusive victory at home race at the...
Josef Newgarden drinks his milk after winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: James Black

2024 Indy 500 Race Results

0
Josef Newgarden joined an elite group of drivers by winning the Indy 500 for the second consecutive year in...
Josef Newgarden celebrates winning the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Amber Pietz

Newgarden takes sensational Indy 500 win after epic battle for glory

0
The Indianapolis 500 never fails to excite and even a four-hour rain delay couldn't dampen the drama for IndyCar's...
Tom Blomqvist crashes in Lap 1 at the 2024 Indy 500 | Penske Entertainment: Aaron Skillman

2024 Indy 500: Results and Highlights as Newgarden wins

0
Welcome to this Total Motorsport live blog for the 2024 Indy 500, is among the most prestigious motorsport events...
- Advertisment -