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F1 winners and losers from 2024 Chinese GP

Max Verstappen powered to victory ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris and Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez but who were the winners and losers from the Chinese GP 2024?


Formula 1‘s return to Shanghai after a five-year absence sputtered with some bright moments but failed to really ignite over three days of action, with the customary dominance of Max Verstappen providing a predictable dampener, here are the F1 winners and losers from the Chinese GP 2024.

The real kicker was the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix appeared to be beautifully set up with the different strategies across five drivers in the battle for second, but the mid-race safety car break destroyed all of that.

So the Chinese GP itself doesn’t feature in the F1 winners and losers from 2024 Chinese GP, and while the new sprint format did appear to fix a lot of problems from last year, we’ll reserve our judgement until next fortnight when we see it in action for a second time.

And Mercedes also don’t feature in the F1 winners and losers from 2024 Chinese GP after their weird weekend packed full of ups and downs but precious little in the middle to build from in Miami, though Toto Wolff was a loser of the post-Chinese GP as Christian Horner eviscerated him in a scathing press conference.

All the Winners and Losers from Chinese GP 2024

Winner: Lando Norris

Lando Norris celebrates finishing second at the 2024 Chinese GP | McLaren
Lando Norris celebrates finishing second at the 2024 Chinese GP | McLaren

The wait for the first F1 race win goes on, but that was about the only drawback from an otherwise superb weekend from Lando Norris.

To take sprint pole after costing himself several tenths with that mistake at the end of the previous lap, against a certified rain grandmaster in Lewis Hamilton, was a phenomenal effort from Norris though he’ll be kicking himself for failing to better handle his first-corner battle with the seven-time champion.

However, on a weekend where McLaren may have just announced themselves as true contenders for second place in the constructors’ championship, Norris was a step ahead of Oscar Piastri on all three days and was rewarded with his second podium of the season.

Holding off Sergio Perez for almost the entire second half of the race would’ve been impressive enough on its own, but to do so in a manner that meant the Mexican never even got close was another level.

Loser: RB

It’s rare that a team’s race falls apart so completely so quickly due to entirely separate incidents.

But after Lance Stroll relieved Daniel Ricciardo of half his rear diffuser, an equally brainless move by Kevin Magnussen just eight corners later sent Yuki Tsunoda spinning into a retirement to give the team their first double-DNF since the days of Toro Rosso, Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly.

It’s especially a shame for Ricciardo who simply looked reborn, as if he’d picked up exactly where he left off when he won at the Shanghai International Circuit in 2018.

It’s still a wholly positive step forward in terms of performance as Ricciardo consumately outperformed Tsunoda, qualified 12th and looked set for points but the fact is he remains one of just six scoreless drivers in 2024.

At least the Australian gave an absolute all-time corker of an interview afterwards, thus becoming the first driver to be quoted in one of these Winners and Losers articles.

“I’d slowly started to calm down, and then I was told what Lance thinks of the incident,” Ricciardo told the press in China. “Apparently, I’m an idiot, and it was my fault.

“That made my blood boil, because it’s clear as day and it’s also behind a safety car. The only thing you’ve got to do is watch the car in front. We can’t predict what the leader’s going to do. The race doesn’t start until the control line.

“I’m doing my best not to say what I want to say, but f*ck that guy. And I’m being nice, too! But if that’s what he thinks.”

Winner: Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen was over three-quarters of a second PER LAP quicker than Perez from the final safety car restart to the end of the race.

Perez could’ve featured in the losers instead but on a weekend where Verstappen actually faced some on-track adversity in sprint qualifying, the Dutchman’s peerless performance in both races was a remind of just how far ahead he and the RB20 are right now.

F1 2024 Chinese GP winner Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
F1 2024 Chinese GP winner Max Verstappen celebrates on the podium | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Loser: Ferrari

Could we be witnessing the start of a good old-fashioned Ferrari self-combustion here? Probably not, but with Carlos Sainz already axed for next year and needing to focus on giving himself the best possible shop window appearance as much as helping the team, the ingredients are there.

After a stellar start to the season, the Spaniard’s impressive run of podiums in every race he’d started this season came to an end as he was distinctly second-best to Charles Leclerc in an error-strewn weekend.

For Leclerc, being distinctly the best Ferrari was at least a change of fortune for 2024 and did at least halt a slide against Sainz that was looking particularly troubling given their contrasting contract situation.

But the final stint of the race also exposed that Ferrari were simply outperformed by the MCL38 in China – it’ll be interesting to see how they bounce back in Miami.

Winner: Nico Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg shares a joke with his engineer on the first day of 2024 F1 pre-season testing in Bahrain | Simon Galloway/LAT Images / Haas F1 Team

Remember when it looked like Haas were adrift after testing? How wrong we all were.

Incredible as it may have seemed before the 2024 Bahrain GP, Haas are just two points behind RB and while Ayao Komatsu deserves a boatload of credit, Hulkenberg has been the one actually turning that positivity into points and he did it once again in China.

While Hulkenberg struggled in the sprint, the second of his weekend exemplified the benefits in the parc ferme rule change as he once again reached Q3, then was once again the man who picked up the pieces (and the points) when incidents put faster cars out of contention.

Somewhat criminally, this is the first time he’s featured in the Winners this season but we can promise that if he keeps up this level of performance, it won’t be the last. And remember, last season was Hulkenberg‘s first full campaign since 2019 and though he turns 37 in August, the West-German-born driver is going even better than ever.

Loser: Aston Martin

Stroll‘s clumsy shunt of Ricciardo was just the out-of-date icing on a stale cake of a weekend. 15th in sprint qualifying, half a second behind Fernando Alonso, the Canadian barely improved in the race and though he was closer to his teammate in qualifying he still recorded a second Q2 exit in two attempts.

He looked set to at least slightly redeem himself in the grand prix but perhaps the only thing than the Ricciardo gaffe was his complete lack of accountability afterwards.

Meanwhile, seven points wasn’t a bad return for Alonso but his sprint race exit combined with the post-safety car rubber hamstringing his grand prix leaves the feeling that it’s an underwhelming haul on a weekend where Mercedes weren’t at the races but still outscored Aston Martin.

Winner: Zhou Guanyu

Zhou Guanyu certainly wasn’t a winner on track, his performance peaked when he reached SQ3 and he was an agonising six seconds off home points, before the grand prix section of the weekend couldn’t match that promise.


As much as it is about points, F1’s not just about the standings after a race and neither are these lists. Everyone reading this should be able to recall a truly special moment they’ve experienced watching this sport and how can living out a lifelong dream be anything other than a win for Zhou?

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.
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