Verstappen secures Red Bull’s 100th pole position

Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez will be on the front row for the first Chinese Grand Prix in 5 years

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 20: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit on April 20, 2024 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202404200248 // Usage for editorial use only //

Red Bull will go into tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix celebrating their 100th pole position in Formula 1 after Max Verstappen set the fastest time in qualifying at Shanghai.

It’s the reigning champion’s first pole at the track, and he’ll be joined on the front row by his teammate, Sergio Perez.

There was a closely fought contest for second as track evolution saw the times fall late on – Fernando Alonso lines up on the second row with Lando Norris.

There was a surprise in Q1 as six-time Chinese Grand Prix pole sitter Lewis Hamilton failed to make it out of the bottom five, struggling to find pace in his Mercedes.

Alpine showed signs of improvement after a difficult start to the season, with both cars making it into the second session.

Q2 was halted when Carlos Sainz spun in the final corner, colliding with the barrier and leaving debris across the track, resulting in a red flag.

The Spaniard managed to get his car back to the garage, with the Ferrari mechanics repairing the damage in time to give him one flying lap right at the end of the session, and it was enough for Sainz to secure a spot in Q3.

Nico Hulkenberg qualified ninth, but faces a trip to the stewards after overtaking in the pitlane at the start of qualifying.

Provisional qualifying result:

1 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

3. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)

4. Lando Norris (McLaren)

5. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

6. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

7. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

8. George Russell (Mercedes)

9. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

10. Valtteri Bottas (Sauber)

11. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

12. Daniel Ricciardo (VCARB)

13. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

14. Alex Albon (Williams)

15. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

16. Guanyu Zhou (Sauber)

17. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

18. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

19. Yuki Tsunoda (VCARB)

20. Logan Sargeant (Williams)

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