REACTIONS: What teams had to say after the Chinese Grand Prix

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F1 Grand Prix, GP China, Shanghai International Ciruitcn

Although Max Verstappen secured another victory in utterly dominant fashion, there were several battles and crashes up and down the field at the Chinese Grand Prix. F1Technical's senior writer Balázs Szabó delivers teams' reaction after the Shanghai F1 race.

Red Bull

Red Bull have taken a dominant start to the 2024 F1 season. The only hiccup has been their technical woes in Australia where Carlos Sainz took a sensational victory after Max Verstappen was sidelined with a brake issue.

In China, the Milton Keynes-based outfit continued this trend by securing victory both in Saturday's sprint race and in the grand prix courtesy of the three-time world champion. Sergio Perez was the only disappointment for the team as the Mexican was unable to pick off Lando Norris for P2 despite Red Bull's dominant display in Shanghai.

Max Verstappen, 1st
“I think today went really well and I was very happy with everything, we had great pace in the whole race although of course with the deployment of the safety car, the gap that I had made was shortened and we then had to gain that back. Today the car was very well balanced, every time that we needed to be quick we were and it felt much more consistent to drive in comparison to the Sprint, even for the restarts and overall I am really pleased with the performance that we had as a team.

"Every race is different in terms of emotions, this one was particularly enjoyable because the whole weekend went so well, especially considering that it was a Sprint weekend which is always much more hectic. A weekend like this is as much as you can ever hope for. A win in Shanghai was definitely on my list, to be here and to win in front of such an amazing crowd is very special and I am pleased that the race is back on the calendar."

Sergio Perez, 3rd
“The safety car cost us a little today, it would have been close but unfortunately it came at the wrong time for us and put us on the back foot and we lost two places. Fighting with Charles damaged my tyres a little too much and it made it hard. The level of degradation was a little too trying on this track to make better progress, so we struggled.

"I wanted more today, I did expect a little more from the race, the Sprint looked very promising but today we were not able to capitalise on that. We made some changes that potentially took away some of our performance. We will review those for Miami to make sure we keep this progression going to keep these better weekends. We are having a lot stronger weekends and it’s just a matter of now being able to lead from lap one and do our own race, hopefully that will come soon."

Aston Martin

Aston Martin had a very contrasting weekend. While Lance Stroll languished down in the lower region of the field and was involved in a crash with Daniel Ricciardo in the main race, Fernando Alonso excelled once again. The Spaniard took P3 on the grid for the sprint which he was unable to convert into a point-scoring position due to a puncture, but the two-time world champion bounced back with a sensation third-place finish in the main qualifying session.

The grand prix saw Alonso make an impressive overtaking manoeuvre on Sergio Perez at the start, but he was unable to hold off the Mexican as the tyres on his Aston Martin AMR24 quickly started to heavily degrade. In the end, Alonso finished P7, securing vital points for his team.

Fernando Alonso, 7th
“We didn't quite have the pace today and it was a tricky race with a lot of things happening. Despite this, it was important to score some points and a bonus to get the fastest lap too. We made a good start and moved up to second, and for a moment I thought it would be nice to lead the race for a lap, but we couldn't make that happen.

"A few Safety Cars changed the strategy a little bit and we didn't have any more Hard tyres available, so that's why we made a switch to the Soft compound. Overall, it was a good race, but we have some work to do to improve our Sunday pace and match what we can do in Qualifying.”

Lance Stroll, 16th

“We were on for a good result today. The Soft tyres had performed well at the start of the race and I made a couple of crucial overtakes to climb into the points. We timed our stop well under the VSC and I think ninth place was on the cards. Then, when the Safety Car came in, there was a chain reaction with all the cars ahead suddenly slowing.

"I didn't have enough time to react and avoid contact with Daniel [Ricciardo]. It's frustrating, because I ended up with the penalty, but the incident was caused by someone at the front of the pack braking suddenly. After the front wing change we were running last which meant our race was effectively over. It's a shame to lose out on the points, but we'll regroup ahead of another Sprint weekend in Miami.”


McLaren expected their car to suffer on the Shanghai International Circuit, but the MCL38 performed much better than hoped. Lando Norris took pole position in difficult conditions in the sprint shootout only to lose out at the start by running wide at Turn 2.

However, the Briton came home second in the race to register his best result of the season. He benefitted from the safety car interruption compared to Red Bull's Sergio Perez, but his pace on the hard compound was truly brilliant.

His team-mate Oscar Piastri ended up P8 in the race after picking up a damage as a result of his incident with Daniel Ricciardo. However, the Australian struggled for race pace both in the sprint and the race, having been unable to manage his tyres in the same manner as Norris.

Lando Norris, 2nd
8 “I am very happy for the whole team today, they deserved it so big thanks to them. Our pit stops were solid and the car felt great today. I really wasn’t expecting it to be the kind of race where we would perform like this, but I was comfortable, we could manage the tyres far easier than yesterday and push. Good day, good points and another podium - I’m very happy. It’s a pleasant surprise but it shows the team have done a good job. We’re working hard and it’s paying off.”

Oscar Piastri, 8th
“It was a difficult afternoon for me. I struggled a little bit in the first stint and then, on the Safety Car restart, I got hit from behind which caused a lot of damage and made the second half of the race pretty painful. It was good to still score some points and get Lando on the podium, so we come away from China with positives, and now look forward to Miami.”


Ferrari were expected to challenge for top position on the front-limited Shanghai International Circuit, but the Scuderia were unable to live up to the expectations. In qualifying trim, they were unable to beat Red Bull, but the McLarens and the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso were also quicker than Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

In race trim, the situation improved, but Red Bull were a fair chunk quicker than Ferrari, and Lando Norris also managed to stay ahead of Leclerc and Sainz. The SF-24 lacked speed in the first sector all through the weekend which did not vanish in the race either.

Charles Leclerc, 4th
"We’re not completely satisfied with our result as a team today. We have two things to focus on leaving Shanghai, one is our qualifying trim and the other our pace on the Hards, which was our main challenge today. Our strategy and performance were strong until the Safety Car, but after that we were all on the same strategy and it was a bit more difficult for us to get back to speed on the Hard tyres.

"What will be essential is the upcoming upgrades, as they will define the direction we will take for the next part of the season."

Carlos Sainz, 5th
"A tough race on a challenging track for us this weekend. The first few corners were far from ideal and with the traffic we decided to pit early to switch to the Hard tyres. Some laps later, under the Safety Car, we stayed out on that tyre and went to the end to finish fifth.

"In any case, overall we struggled more than expected and the result today is not what we wanted. We will review everything before going to Miami, where I’m confident we can return to the form we showed in the previous weekends."


Mercedes had arrived in Japan in the hope that the Shanghai International Circuit would favour their car more than the previous venue. However, the W15 appeared to lack pace compared to Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and even to Aston Martin.

Having delivered a sensational lap in damp conditions, Lewis Hamilton took the second starting position for the sprint race which he could hand on to. However, he was knocked out in Q1 of the main qualifying session, and finished P9 in the race. His team-mate George Russell qualified eighth on the grid for the grand prix, but his lack of race pace meant that he was unable to challenge for top positions, and left China with a sixth-placed finish.

Lewis Hamilton, 9th

"I went forwards and got into the points, but it was a tough race. Ultimately, I made a bad set-up change to the car yesterday and I paid the price for it. I plan to make sure I don’t do that in the future! The car does seem to work in a small window, and I did think it was the correct thing to do. Sadly, it made today very difficult. The team did a great job with the pit stops though and George did well to score some solid points. I’m sure the next race in Miami will be better.

"Whilst I didn’t have the best race, it’s still been awesome to see the incredible fans here. They are some of the best anywhere in the world. I am so grateful to see them again after several years away and it made for a brilliant atmosphere."

George Russell, 6th
"Starting P8 and making up a few positions was what we were expecting from today’s race. The result is probably a fair one and we know we have work to do. We’ve had a similar battle with Alonso and Piastri in the last three races so P6 is about where our car is at present.

"It was interesting weekend, overall. With the Sprint format, we ended up having two very different set-ups on the car from Friday and Saturday morning into the rest of the weekend. There’s lots to pick through and hopefully things to build on. We need to keep on adding performance to the car in order to finish higher up the grid. We will keep working hard to do so."


Another points for Nico Hulkenberg. Haas have brought a raft of upgrades to China which the German driver managed to capitalize on with a point-scoring finish in the race. The German's drive confirmed once again hoch much improvement Haas have made in terms of tyre management compared after their tyre struggles from 2023. His team-mate Kevin Magnussen endured a dismal qualifying yesterday, and picked up a ten-second time penalty in the race for tagging the RB of Yuki Tsunoda and sending the Japanese driver into a race-ending spin.

Nico Hulkenberg, 10th
“It was a faultless and clean race from my side today. I think it was a well-managed and well-controlled race from the team. It’s a positive and I’m very happy about that – we got that one point that was up for grabs today. One of the top-five team’s cars had a problem and that’s the spot we got because of it, otherwise it’s not really possible to race with them. It also shows we need to have a perfect qualifying on Saturday and a perfect race on Sunday to be able to be where we are today. We couldn’t have done much more. One point, in our world, is a lot!”

Kevin Magnussen, 15th
“It just really wasn’t our day today to be honest. We started 17th after a bad qualifying yesterday – we took the consequence of that today. Sometimes you can make it back, but today we couldn’t. We had attempted a one-stop strategy, we had to bail out because the degradation was too high on the hard.

"As soon as I came out on the new hard rubber, I had the puncture because of the incident with Yuki – so had to pit again for the medium. I effectively had to do a one-stop anyway, even though we didn’t want to. Things were working well with the car though, we seem to have decent pace in it, that was also the case in Sprint qualifying and the Sprint race earlier in the weekend.”

Kick Sauber

Zhou Guanyu was over the moon after climbing out of his car. The Chinese driver fulfilled one of his biggest dreams by racing in front of his adoring crowd even if the race saw him finish down in P14.

His team-mate Valtteri Bottas secured an impressive tenth place in qualifying, but a technical issue with his power unit forced him to retire from the race.

Valtteri Bottas, DNF
“Today marks a rather disappointing ending to a very promising weekend: starting from P10 put me in a good position to fight for points, and the race was going well overall until I suddenly lost drive and my engine turned off – something we’ll have to thoroughly investigate in the upcoming days.

"It’s quite unfortunate, while there was still a long way to go, I was fighting with Nico [Hülkenberg] who made it into the points. It’s tough to accept, but this is racing, and many more opportunities will arise: our pace is improving and as a team, we’re making small steps on many fronts all the time. We’ve been around P10 the entire weekend and were able to learn a lot about our car and our upgrades that will allow us to maximise our potential. As we keep making those steps, I’m looking forward to racing in Miami again, a track I have enjoyed a lot in the last years.”

Zhou Guanyu, 14th
“This weekend has been an amazing experience: for years, I dreamt about racing at home and finally I was able to do it. To see the passion and the love from everyone on the stands was something I’ve never experienced before: the in-lap, in particular, was something I won’t ever forget, seeing so many people cheering and shouting your name. I made sure I waved at each grandstand, at every corner with fans. As much as I treated this as a regular race weekend, the emotion was undeniable and it really got me in the end, especially when I stopped in Parc Ferme: it was a special moment, topping off the honour of being the first ever Chinese driver to race in a Chinese Grand Prix.

“The race was tough, especially in the first stint where I didn’t have a lot of grip and I was sliding all over the place, but we did manage to recover well. Finishing the race isn’t what makes me happy – it's to do so fighting my way through the field, giving everything and leaving nothing behind. Unfortunately, starting from the back we knew breaking into the points would be difficult, but we can focus on some positives, such as our pace; and, of course, the great improvement done by the team and the crew in the pit stops, which were mostly clean.

" At the end, we chose to go for a cheeky stint on softs: we knew we’d be able to keep the position we were in if we didn’t stop, so we gambled to switch to softs and see if we could improve even more. We did a lot of overtakes, the car felt good and it was nice to fight my way through. Given the pressure of this weekend, I am happy with the job I have done. The whole weekend was positive, yesterday afternoon and today a bit tougher but we gave it all.”


RB had a difficult weekend in China. After Yuki Tsunoda scored points in the last two races, it was a big stepback for the Faenza-based team. The Japanese driver struggled for pace all through the weekend, while his team-mate Daniel Ricciardo appeared to be more comfortable in his VCARB01 than in the opening three races of the season.

The Australian outpaced his Japanese teammate in qualifying and looked on course to secure his first points of the season, but an unfortunate action from Aston Martin's Lance Stroll saw him pick up a significant damage on the floor of his car. Ricciardo was forced to reture from the action a few laps later, while his team-mate was tagged by the Haas of Kevin Magnussen which also caused a race-ending moment for Tsunoda.

Daniel Ricciardo, DNF

“We started to make up a lot of ground in the stint before the Safety Car but during the restart, I got a pretty big hit and the car was damaged. We decided to retire because I wasn’t really driving an F1 car. It’s very frustrating. I watched his onboard and it looked like he wasn’t even looking at me, it seemed that his helmet was looking at the apex. We’ll never know what could have happened later in the race, but I think we were looking in a good place.

"Getting ruined by someone else makes me frustrated and this is where the disappointment comes, because today we had an opportunity and we missed it. I think there’s a lot of disappointment for everyone in the team. When I got back to the garage, I saw the mechanics looking at the damage and they feel as heartbroken as I do. I think we definitely had a better weekend from a pace point of view, and I I think the team could feel some momentum and some shift to the season. We go onto Miami and we’ll just try to keep working on that.”

Yuki Tsunoda, DNF
“It’s unfortunate and frustrating how it ended up today. I was happy with how I progressed in the race until my contact with Magnussen. After the Safety Car, the start was good and I gained five positions, so I feel I maximised what I could do but the pace itself hadn’t improved as much as we wanted.

"We’ve been sliding more than other cars and the team has been pushing hard and helping me sort it out but overall, this week we weren’t able to show our true strong performance, and that’s a shame. We’ll look into why back in Faenza, and I know as a team we’ll come back stronger in Miami. It’s a shame that also Daniel had to retire because he had good pace in this race, so as a team, it’s frustrating that neither car finished the race and we couldn’t score points.”


Following their tough start to the season, Alpine displayed a better pace in China. Esteban Ocon's car was equipped with a new floor which Pierre Gasly will receive in Miami in two weeks' time With both car fighting themselves through into Q2, the team could take a slight relief after their struggles in the opening three rounds.

Ocon was happy to register the team's best result of the season with an 11th-placed finish, but the team was particularly delighted with the tyre management of their troublesome A524 which was their main weakness in the previous round in Japan.

Esteban Ocon, 11th
“As expected, it was a hectic race today with plenty of action and close racing, which was really fun from behind the wheel. Overall, we managed the race and the tyres well. The positive is that we were more competitive here and put ourselves in contention for points, but narrowly missed out in the end - albeit being the best result of the season.

"We made a small step in performance this weekend, with the new parts the team brought to the track working as expected. Thank you to the team for fast-tracking the upgrades, but we must keep improving in order to remain in the fight for points in the coming races, continuing in Miami in two weeks’ time.”

Pierre Gasly, 13th
“We can be encouraged with the outcome today looking at the performance this season so far. It was quite interesting how the race unfolded and there are a few areas where we lost time today, but I am glad we managed to recover some places. We will take a lot of learnings with us.

"There is a lot for us to analyse and understand from this weekend, which we will focus on in the coming days preparing for the next race in Miami. I am already looking forward to being back in the US, where we will have the opportunity to run with the new package on my side for the first time. Until then, the team will continue to work hard, so we can make sure we can continue improving and get us closer back to where we want to be. The Chinese fans put on a great show today and it felt great to be back here after such a long time.”


Williams have endured a very difficult weekend in China. The team clearly struggled for outright pace which was mainly caused by the instability in high-speed corners. In the end, Alexander Albon and logan Sargeant finished P12 and P17 respectively, but they never looked quick enough for scoring points. Williams stated that they expect the forthcoming Miami circuit to better suit their car.

Alex Albon, 12th

"It was an okay race today. Although the lower winds helped us, we were battling a lot of tyre degradation throughout the race. We ultimately didn’t have the pace to overtake [Esteban] Ocon at the end and he was defending well. We understand the problems with the car, but they’re not immediate fixes and we will need a few upgrades to improve our performance. Looking to Miami, I think our car will suit the track much better and I’m optimistic we can have a better result."

Logan Sargeant, 17th

"It’s been a difficult weekend as we’ve been struggling to get the car in the right window. We’ve had good moments and some bad moments through the weekend. Most importantly we need to figure out what we could’ve done better as a team. The first half of the race was solid. The start on the Softs was strong then we were in a really good place on the Medium tyres.

"We probably could’ve done without the Safety Car because we would’ve gone Medium, Medium which would’ve suited us better. When we put the Hard tyres on, I couldn’t get them to switch on and suffered with degradation. The penalty for the Safety Car infringement doesn’t really matter in the end. From my perspective, I thought I crossed the line first. When the cars are going at such different speeds, I don’t know how I could’ve known the true order."