Verstappen dominates Japanese GP; Sainz on podium

Verstappen won, 12.535 secs ahead of Perez

Bouncing back from his Australian GP retirement, Max Verstappen returned to winning ways at Suzuka, leading another dominant 1-2 finish for Red Bull. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz passed Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc in the closing stages to land the final spot on the podium.

  1. Verstappen wins, 12.535 secs ahead of Perez
  2. Ferrari’s Sainz and Leclerc finish P3, P4
  3. Tsunoda scores point on home soil

Ricciardo, Albon bring out red flag

The race was red flagged just seconds after the start as Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon crashed at Turn 3. This puts added pressure on Williams, with team principal James Vowles confirming the team won’t have a spare chassis ready until at least the Miami GP.

The race itself saw a variety of different strategies come into play, due to the warmer-than-expected weather conditions. But Verstappen stayed in control out at front throughout. He crossed the chequered flag 12.535 secs ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez, handing Red Bull its third 1-2 finish in four races.

“I think the critical bit was of course the start, to stay ahead, and after that the car got better and better for me throughout the race. I don’t know if it had to do with the clouds coming in, but yeah, [it was] very nice,” said Verstappen.

“Everything just went really well, the pit stops went well, the strategy I think worked out well, so it couldn’t have been any better.”

Sainz on podium

Sainz continued his run of finishing on the podium in every single race he’s participated in this year. He was the last of the front-runners to stop for new tyres and took advantage of that fresher rubber to overtake Norris and Leclerc in the closing laps.

Leclerc, who was on the alternate strategy, fended off Norris to hold on to fourth place. Fernando Alonso finished sixth for Aston Martin, followed by Mercedes’ George Russell and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.

Lewis Hamilton ended up ninth, while Yuki Tsunoda pulled off some strong overtakes to score the final point on home soil.

2024 F1 championship standings

Thanks to his latest win, Verstappen has extended his championship lead to 13 points from teammate Perez. Leclerc is third overall, 18 points off the lead and four points ahead of his Ferrari teammate Sainz.

F1 will now head to the Shanghai International Circuit for the Chinese GP on April 19-21. The round will also host the first of six sprint races this season.

2024 F1 Japanese GP results

2024 F1 Japanese GP results
Pos Driver Team
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing
2 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari
5 Lando Norris McLaren
6 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin
7 George Russell Mercedes
8 Oscar Piastri McLaren
9 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
10 Yuki Tsunoda RB
11 Nico Hulkenberg Haas
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas
14 Valtteri Bottas Stake Sauber
15 Esteban Ocon Alpine
16 Pierre Gasly Alpine
17 Logan Sargeant Williams
NC Zhou Guanyu Stake Sauber
NC Daniel Ricciardo RB
NC Alex Albon Williams

Also see:

Sainz wins Australian GP as Verstappen retires

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