Max Verstappen Dominates In Japan, Leads Home Another Red Bull 1-2

Max Verstappen Dominates In Japan, Leads Home Another Red Bull 1-2
Max Verstappen Dominates In Japan, Leads Home Another Red Bull 1-2

Max Verstappen has dominated the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix, leading a Red Bull 1-2 finish with Sergio Pérez in second place. Carlos Sainz, the winner in Australia, rounded out the podium with a third-place finish for Ferrari.

On the opening lap, the race was halted by a red flag due to a crash involving Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon, who collided and spun into barriers. Thankfully, both drivers walked away unharmed.

The race resumed with a standing start after a nearly 30-minute delay, and tyre degradation was on the abrasive Suzuka circuit, affecting the medium-tyre runners. Lando Norris was the first leader to pit, switching to hard tyres, which allowed him to eventually overtake Pérez and Sainz due to a well-crafted undercut.

Verstappen pitted on lap 17, switched to medium tyres, and quickly regained the lead from Charles Leclerc. Pérez, after pitting for hard tyres, overtook Norris and later Leclerc, who struggled and pitted again. Verstappen made a final pit stop for hard tyres, maintaining his lead after Sainz pitted.

In the final laps, Verstappen led Pérez by 11 seconds, with Pérez ahead of Leclerc by 9.6 seconds. Sainz then passed Norris and Leclerc to finish third. The race concluded with Verstappen’s third win of the season and a repeat of his success at Suzuka in 2023.

“Today was simply lovely and I really enjoyed the race. We stayed out of trouble in the first lap and from there, we tried to look after the tyres as much as possible. We made the right calls before we went into qualifying, which definitely helped today and it is very nice to come back and win after Australia. The car just got better throughout the race and, although it took a few laps before I got a nice rhythm as we didn’t have many practices on the long runs, on the second stint the car really came alive. I could push where I needed to and I could look after my tyres well, so the race went really nicely. It was a great Team result the whole weekend and brilliant to score a one two here: our third of the season. Suzuka is always a great track to go racing at and overall I am really happy about the performance today,” said Verstappen.

Other notable finishes included Norris in fifth, Fernando Alonso sixth for Aston Martin, and George Russell seventh for Mercedes, who was under investigation for a coming together with Oscar Piastri in the closing laps. Yuki Tsunoda finished tenth, scoring a point in his home race for the first time in his F1 career.

There were three retirements, Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon both retired on the first lap due to their accident, while Zhou Guanyu also retired due to gearbox issues after 12 laps.

5 Things We Learned From The 2024 Japanese Grand Prix

2024 Japanese Grand Prix Race Results

PositionDriverTeamLapsRace TimeGap
1Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing531:54’23.566
2Sergio PérezRed Bull Racing531:54’36.101+12.535
3Carlos SainzFerrari531:54’44.432+20.866
4Charles LeclercFerrari531:54’50.088+26.522
5Lando NorrisMcLaren531:54’53.266+29.700
6Fernando AlonsoAston Martin531:55’07.838+44.272
7George RussellMercedes531:55’09.517+45.951
8Oscar PiastriMcLaren531:55’11.091+47.525
9Lewis HamiltonMercedes531:55’12.192+48.626
10Yuki TsunodaRB521:54’25.1681 lap /1.602
11Nico HülkenbergHaas521:54’30.7341 lap /7.168
12Lance StrollAston Martin521:54’34.7991 lap /11.233
13Kevin MagnussenHaas521:54’41.4851 lap /17.919
14Valtteri BottasSauber521:54’42.4591 lap /18.893
15Esteban OconAlpine521:55’04.7181 lap /41.152
16Pierre GaslyAlpine521:55’18.6321 lap /55.066
17Logan SargeantWilliams521:55’36.3311 lap /1’12.765
Zhou GuanyuSauber1249’29.022Gearbox
Daniel RicciardoRB0Accident
Alexander AlbonWilliams0Accident

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