F1 Chinese Grand Prix 2024 Sprint Qualifying – Highlights

Follow all the action LIVE with Total Motorsport as teams and drivers hit the Shanghai International Circuit for Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese GP


Welcome to this Total-Motorsport.com live blog for Sprint Qualifying at the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix, coming to you directly from the paddock at the Shanghai International Circuit as the 2024 Formula 1 season continues. This high-intensity qualifying format sets the grid for the Sprint Race and provides a thrilling spectacle, compressing the drama of strategic racing into a short, fierce battle for positions.

With its unique mix of high-speed straights and tight corners, the circuit poses a formidable challenge to the drivers. The Chinese Grand Prix is back after five years away from the F1 calendar and offers a strategic complexity magnified by the fact it’s the first F1 Sprint weekend of the 2024 season.

Sprint Qualifying transforms the traditional race weekend, adding an extra layer of challenge for the teams and drivers. With only a limited number of laps to secure a top spot, every second counts, making this session a critical test of speed, precision, and nerve. The unique pressures of Sprint Qualifying often lead to unexpected results, as drivers push the limits of their cars and their capabilities.

Fans can look forward to seeing how the drivers tackle the aggressive tyre strategies and manage their cars’ performance over the short but intense session.

Stay connected for real-time updates, detailed analysis, and comprehensive coverage directly from the track as the drama of the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix begins to unfold. Keep this page refreshed for live updates, lap times, and insights as Sprint Qualifying unfolds, marking the start of what is sure to be an electrifying Sprint weekend of motorsport in China.

F1 2024 Chinese GP LIVE – Latest Sprint Qualifying Updates


That’s all we’ve got for today, and what a session it was.

Let’s hope for more rain-fueled fun tomorrow in the Sprint, which starts at 4am UK time. Until then!

Norris ‘sad’ despite getting pole

Lando Norris, speaking to F1: “I’m extremely happy. Big thanks to the whole team. It was tricky. You are always nervous going into a Qualifying like this, especially when you almost know it’s going to rain.

“The conditions, you just have to risk a lot and push to build tyre temperature.

“I was quick but just kept catching the Ferraris, so had to keep backing off so I didn’t do the first two laps well but I did a good final one.

“I’m happy. Sad it’s not for a proper Qualifying, but it’s good enough.”

F1 Sprint Grid: Full classification

Here’s how we’ll line up for the F1 Sprint tomorrow, providing there are no last-minute penalties applied by the stewards:

1 Lando Norris, McLaren, 1:57.940

2 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +1.261

3 Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin, +1.975

4 Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +2.088

5 Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, +2.261

6 Sergio Perez, Red Bull, +2.435

7 Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, +2.626

8 Oscar Piastri, McLaren, +3.050

9 Valtteri Bottas, Sauber, +3.104

10 Zhou Guanyu, Sauber, +5.597

Norris on pole!

Norris goes fastest by 1.3 SECONDS! But no! The lap time is deleted by the stewards for track limits…

But hang on. The lap time has been reinstated… and that’s heartbreak for Hamilton, but delight for Norris, who is on pole for tomorrow’s sprint race.

What a brilliant 40 minutes of dramatic race action that was.

Hamilton snatches provisional pole from Alonso

Alonso grabs provisional pole by two tenths! Can Leclerc snatch it from him? No!

But Lewis Hamilton goes NINE TENTHS clear. Wow! Where did that come from?

SQ3 First run: Perez quickest, Bottas surprise

Perez quickest by TWO SECONDS. Bottas goes P2!

But Norris and Verstappen are going faster… and then the Dutchman goes off into the gravel. Track limits means his lap time will be deleted.

Verstappen struggling in the wet

This is a real test of the drivers’ ability. How do we know that? The wet race specialist Verstappen has just careered off the track and into the run-off area.

He’s fighting the Red Bull. But will he be on pole after that rare mistake?

Leclerc and Norris spin off!

Norris has been told that the rain “will continue at this intensity” and the Briton goes off.

Then Leclerc hits the barrier! But somehow, the Ferrari man keeps it going in the gravel and rejoins the action.


And here we are then, this is what we’ve come here for.

The SQ3 shootout session will sort out the top-10 for tomorrow’s F1 Sprint race and we’re looking forward to seeing who grabs pole.

Can the drivers keep their cars on the track and out of the wall in slippery conditions on the intermediate tyres? Will we get a surprise on the front row? Let’s go!

SQ2 CHECKERED FLAG: Russell OUT, Zhou delights home fans

The rain has arrived at the worst possible time for Russell and he’s seven tenths down in the first sector alone. That’s it, then. He’s out!

And there’s a massive roar from the Chinese crowd. Why? Because their home hero, Zhou Guanyu, is into SQ3! I don’t think I’ve ever heard the crowd so loud in Shanghai.

Eliminated: 11 Russell 12 Magnussen 13 Hulkenberg 14 Ricciardo 15 Stroll

Verstappen quickest; Mercedes in trouble

Well, there’s a surprise. Bottas and Zhou both climb into the top 10 as it stands and they’re outpacing the Mercedes.

Russell, again, is at risk of being eliminated in P11. Ricciardo has pitted and surely won’t be coming out again.


After a brief delay, the cars are itching to get out of the pits with the rain set to fall in Shanghai. And we’ve got 10 minutes of action to decide the top-10 for the SQ3 shootout.

It could make for an interesting final session in the rain. Who will get through? Let’s find out!

Fire in Shanghai!

This is a new one. Sometimes you see animals crossing the road or even some idiotic fans. But in Shanghai, there is a ring of fire on the grass burning away on Turn 5. We’re not kidding!

Apparently, this has been caused by sparks flying off the cars. Who knew?

As a result, SQ2 will be delayed while the trackside firefighters put out the blaze.

Russell squeezes into SQ2

Alex Albon is out, and that’s a big shame for the Williams man. But what about George Russell? He’s in the elimination zone and not going much quicker.

Eventually, the Briton goes 12th fastest. That was too close for comfort for the Mercedes man.

Eliminated: 16 Gasly 17 Ocon 18 Albon 19 Tsunoda 20 Sargeant

Perez goes quickest

Max Verstappen produces a very decent time to go four tenths ahead of Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso, who had been jostling for the top time.

But out of nowhere, his team-mate Sergio Perez puts three tenths between them! The Mexican has knocked out a fine lap there.


We’re underway in Shanghai for the first of three qualifying sessions, which if you remember are shorter than the ones for the race.

Good morning!

Get the kettle on because it’s another early start for UK fans as we’re in China for the F1 Sprint qualifying.

We’ll be bringing you all of the updates from the session so stay tuned.

Pirelli tyres and track info

Pirelli preview of 2024 Chinese GP | Pirelli

2024 Chinese GP Session Times and Dates

The F1 season continues with the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix. Below, find the complete schedule for the F1 Sprint Race weekend, including session times for F1 fans in the USA, the UK, and Australia.

SessionDateAus. (AEST)UK (BST)US (ET)US (PT)
Practice 1Friday, Apr 1913:30 – 14:3004:30 – 05:3023:30 – 00:30*20:30 – 21:30*
Sprint QualifyingFriday, Apr 1917:30 – 18:1508:30 – 09:1503:30 – 04:1500:30 – 01:15
Sprint RaceSaturday, Apr 2013:00 – 14:0004:00 – 05:0023:00 – 00:00*20:00 – 21:00*
QualifyingSaturday, Apr 2017:00 – 18:0008:00 – 09:0003:00 – 04:0000:00 – 01:00
Grand PrixSunday, Apr 2117:00 – 19:0008:00 – 10:0003:00 – 05:0000:00 – 02:00
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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