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F1 Chinese GP 2024: Driver Ratings

Max Verstappen claimed his fourth win of the season in Shanghai. Here are the F1 Driver Ratings from the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix


Max Verstappen enjoyed total domination at the Formula 1 2024 Chinese Grand Prix to extend his lead at the top of the Drivers’ Championship, but how did the other drivers perform in Shanghai? Here are our F1 Chinese GP 2024 Driver Ratings.

After clinching pole position and a victory in the F1 Sprint on Saturday, Sunday’s race was a mere procession for the Dutchman as he finished some 13 seconds clear of Lando Norris in second, with Sergio Perez taking the final spot on the podium.

There was drama midway through the race after the safety car was brought out, with Lance Stroll crashing into Daniel Ricciardo, with a host of penalties handed out by the stewards in Shanghai.

After 56 laps of action in China, Total-Motorsport.com’s F1 Chinese GP 2024 Driver Ratings assesses all 20 drivers based on their Sprint Qualifying, Sprint Race, Qualifying and Grand Prix performances.

F1 Chinese GP 2024 Driver Ratings

Max Verstappen 9.5/10

Qualifying: 1st – Race: 1st

At a risk of sounding like a repetitive machine, Verstappen just can’t be stopped. Lewis Hamilton found that during the sprint race after being passed with consummate ease before Verstappen disappeared down the road. Then he left Perez in his rearview mirror during the race to re-establish the gulf between them. A sprint race win, pole position and victory represents a fine weekend’s work.

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

Sergio Perez 7/10

Qualifying: 2nd – Race: 3rd

Not often you would describe a podium finish as a disappointment for a driver, but this was one of those weekends where the gulf in class between Verstappen and Perez was palpable. A 19-second gap between them, and Perez couldn’t find a way to close the gap to Norris in the fastest car on the grid.

Fernando Alonso 8/10

Qualifying: 3rd – Race: 7th

A bizarre call from Aston Martin to put him on the soft tyres when he was running in P3 effectively ruined his race, as he needed to stop again for a set of mediums. That at least allowed to have some overtaking fun at the end and set the fastest lap, but he didn’t get the points his driving deserved.

Lando Norris 9/10

Qualifying: 4th – Race: 2nd

He was voted Driver of the Day by the public after clinching a 15th career podium and the McLaren star thoroughly deserved it for a mature and professional drive. Had it not been for his nightmare sprint start, this would have been a memorable weekend for the 24-year-old. That said, he can be very happy with beating Perez to the ‘best of the rest’.

Lando Norris during 2024 Chinese GP | Aston Martin McLaren
Lando Norris during 2024 Chinese GP | Aston Martin McLaren

Oscar Piastri 6/10

Qualifying: 5th – Race: 8th

Sustained damage to the rear of his car after being hit by Daniel Ricciardo on Lap 27 during the safety car restart chaos, severely impacting the Australian’s race. Holding off Lewis Hamilton is a small consolation after the misery of watching Norris celebrate an impressive podium, leaving him to wonder what could have been.

Charles Leclerc 8.5/10

Qualifying: 6th – Race: 4th

The Monegasque was determined to make amends for some below-par displays in qualifying by scoring points on raceday, and he outpaced his team-mate Carlos Sainz in China for the majority of the weekend. The safety car effectively ruined his chances of a podium by promoting Norris, but fourth is still a result he can be proud of.

Carlos Sainz 7.5/10

Qualifying: 7th – Race: 5th

For the first time this season, the Spaniard didn’t finish on the podium which shows just how far he’s come that fifth might be considered a disappointment. His spin in qualifying reminded the 29-year-old that there are some improvements still to be made, but this was a solid drive from seventh to beat Russell and Piastri.

George Russell 7.5/10

Qualifying: 8th – Race: 6th

This was the third time he has finished in the top six in five races this season – having only secured a top-six grid spot once in qualifying. And his incremental improvements in the unstable W15 will please Toto Wolff, while his more senior team-mate Hamilton continues to struggle.

George Russell at 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images
George Russell at 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images

Nico Hulkenberg 7.5/10

Qualifying: 9th – Race: 10th

Haas continue to defy their pre-season predictions of being F1’s bottom feeders and Hulkenberg – with his third points finish of the season – has embodied the new setup under Ayao Komatsu. The German did superbly in qualifying to squeeze into Q3 and converted that into another precious point.

Valtteri Bottas N/A

Qualifying: 10th – Race: DNF

Showed some good speed all weekend and managed to get into Q3, which was a major shock considering the team’s lack of pace this season. But an engine issue denied him the chance to score his first points of the season.

Lance Stroll 4/10

Qualifying: 11th – Race: 15th

The Canadian tried to absolve himself of blame for the Daniel Ricciardo incident, but F1 fans will know he has a proclivity to switch off and cause incidents. That was the case in China, with Stroll once again outclassed by Alonso, and he will face more scrutiny over his future after a shambolic crash into the back of Ricciardo.

Daniel Ricciardo N/A

Qualifying: 12th – Race: DNF

The Australian’s X-rated verdict about Stroll’s careless driving showed his frustration after suffering a second successive DNF. Prior to that, he was in with a chance of scoring points and that’s a positive for the RB driver to focus on.

Esteban Ocon 7/10

Qualifying: 13th – Race: 11th

So close to ending Alpine’s points drought after a difficult start to the season, the Frenchman is at least staking his claim as the team’s No 1 driver after beating Gasly in all but one of their head-to-head battles this season. More upgrades are needed to bring them back into points contention and Miami may be the place to do it.

Alex Albon 6.5/10

Qualifying: 14th – Race: 12th

It was critical for the Thai driver to keep his front nose clean after disastrous and costly incidents in Australia and Japan. And he did just that without doing anything spectacular, as well as putting a huge 30 seconds between himself and his team-mate.

Pierre Gasly 6/10

Qualifying: 15th – Race: 13th

\Beaten again by Ocon, the 27-year-old’s only excuse is that he didn’t have the same lighter chassis as Ocon for this race. Otherwise, a performance that offered little encouragement from the Frenchman.

Zhou Guanyu 6/10

Qualifying: 16th – Race: 14th

It was clearly an emotional weekend for the Sauber driver, who was driving at his home race in Shanghai for the first time. He may not have got the result he wanted, but Zhou didn’t disgrace himself on the track and his P9 in the sprint race shouldn’t be overlooked.

Kevin Magnussen 4/10

Qualifying: 17th – Race: 16th

Aside from an entertaining battle with Stroll, the Dane wasn’t quite at the races in China after his disappointing Q1 exit and was entirely at fault when clipping the rear of Tsunoda’s RB. Hulkenberg’s pace will raise some questions over whether he should be doing better than finishing second-last.

Lewis Hamilton 6/10

Qualifying: 18th – Race: 9th

Has there ever been a more difficult weekend to judge the 39-year-old? Exceeded expectations with a front-row start for the sprint race and even led it before settling for second, before qualifying 18th for the race – his worst performance in 15 years. Given the ‘experiments’ he ran on his car, he would have been quite pleased to get in the points.

Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images
Lewis Hamilton during 2024 Chinese Grand Prix | Mercedes / LAT Images

Yuki Tsunoda N/A

Qualifying: 19th – Race: DNF

The Japanese struggled for pace across all three days and wasn’t close to beating Ricciardo. He was an innocent bystander when he was clipped by Magnussen and that forced him out of the race.

Logan Sargeant 4/10

Qualifying: 20th – Race: 17th

His penalty for overtaking under the safety car summed up what was another miserable weekend for the American. Coming last in qualifying and stranded at back of the 17 finishers, the Williams driver needs a big improvement soon or he could be out of a job in 2025.

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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