Formula 1 – Chinese Grand Prix qualifying: Star


Follow Mail Sport’s live blog for the latest leaderboard and lap-by-lap updates from the Chinese Grand Prix qualifying.

The drivers’ standings ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix

  1. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 85 pts
  2. Sergio Perez – Red Bull – 70
  3. Charles Leclerc – Ferrari – 64
  4. Carlos Sainz – Ferrari – 59
  5. Lando Norris – McLaren – 40
  6. Oscar Piastri – McLaren – 36
  7. George Russell – Mercedes – 25
  8. Fernando Alonso – Aston Martin – 24
  9. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 17
  10. Lance Stroll – Aston Martin – 9
  11. Yuki Tsunoda – AlphaTauri – 7
  12. Oliver Bearman – Ferrari – 6
  13. Nico Hulkenberg – Haas – 3
  14. Kevin Magnussen – Haas – 1
epa11289676 Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands in action during the Sprint ahead of the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix, in Shanghai, China, 20 April 2024. The 2024 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix is held at the Shanghai International Circuit racetrack on 21 April after a five-year hiatus.  EPA/ALEX PLAVEVSKI

A clash between Spaniards

Hardy veteran Fernando Alonso and young upstart Carlos Sainz tangled in the sprint race, after the latter’s feisty overtake in lap 16.

After a tussle, there was a coming together that allowed both cars to be left in Perez’s dust, and Alonso was keen to pass the buck after the race at the ‘lack of space’ he was given by the soon-to-be-former Ferrari man.

Both men have been summoned to the stewards in the aftermath – watch this space.

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 20: Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin and Spain  during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 20, 2024 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

On the subject of the seven-time world champion, all has not been well this week. Hamilton hit out at those who ‘continue to talk s***’ about his move from Mercedes to Ferrari.

But who are these critics? Or does Hamilton simply feel stronger when he believes himself to be the underdog.

Mail Sport’s JONATHAN MCEVOY shares his thoughts, below.

Hamilton is in high spirits after his second-place finish

But he does warn that ‘this afternoon will be a lot harder’.

After recording a highest qualifying finish of seventh this season, you can understand why he might want to manage expectations.

Henry Clark is in Shanghai

…. and his report from this morning’s sprint race is in. Max Verstappen may have edged his longstanding rival, but this early session could suggest Lewis Hamilton will have reasons to be cheerful behind the wheel of a Mercedes before long.

You can read his report in full below.

Good morning!

Hello and welcome to Mail Sport’s live coverage of this morning’s qualifying session – with the fifth race of the season, the Chinese Grand Prix, taking place tomorrow.

After an early sprint race, we’re all tee’d up to bring you all the latest build-up and more ahead of our 8am start time.

Qualifying will last around about an hour – potential for small fires not withstanding – so we should know our order for tomorrow’s grid by 9am BST.

Formula One F1 - Chinese Grand Prix - Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China - April 20, 2024 Singaporean singer JJ Lin poses with Red Bull's Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton after sprint REUTERS/Edgar Su