2024 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix Highlights


Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team


George Russell finished P7 and Lewis Hamilton P9 at the 2024 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix.

Both drivers tried to pressure the car ahead in the closing stages but had to settle for P6 and P9 at the flag.

George Russell

We expected to start P8 and make up a few positions from today’s race. The result is probably fair; we know we have work to do. We’ve had a similar battle with Alonso and Piastri in the last three races, so our car is currently in P6.

Overall, it was an interesting weekend. With the Sprint format, we had 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 must keep adding performance to the car to finish higher up the grid, and we will keep working hard to do so.

Lewis Hamilton

I went forward and got into the points, but it was a tough race. Ultimately, I made a lousy set-up change to the car yesterday and 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 scored some solid points well. I’m sure the next race in Miami will be better.

While I didn’t have the best race, seeing the incredible fans here has been fantastic. They are some of the best anywhere in the world. I am so grateful to see them again after several years away, and it created a brilliant atmosphere.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO

Considering where we started today and, more importantly, where we had put the cars in terms of their set-up after the Sprint, P6 and P9 were the best predictions from our pre-race simulations. The car that we have under us is not currently fast enough. However, we must ensure that we are not trying to find a silver bullet each weekend when it comes to how we run the car; we need to focus on getting the basics right and maximising the package we have. Today, we didn’t have the car in the right window: we made too many extreme changes after the Sprint, making the most crucial part of the weekend much more challenging. We know that today’s result is not strong enough overall, so we must dig deep to make improvements. The pack behind Red Bull is close, and small details can make a big difference in terms of finishing position. We have developments to bring in the coming races, which we hope will be a step forward and will improve the car.

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

It was always going to be a tough race for us. We’re not quick enough currently, and we don’t qualify well. Our finishing positions were precisely where we’d forecast them to be this morning. George couldn’t really have got more out of it; he got a good start, which put him ahead of the Ferraris, but we’d taken a bit too much out of the rear tyres in that first stint and had to box earlier than planned. That early stop would have been more painful to deal with, but the two Safety Car periods were helpful for us and neutralised the tyre age offset. The race from there in was straightforward. We were not quick enough to attack Sainz but had the pace to stay ahead of Fernando.

Lewis’s race wasn’t easy as he didn’t gain much off the line on the Soft tyre. He then got stuck in a traffic jam on the inside line around Turn 2 and lost to cars on the wide line. We had made some changes to his car after the Sprint, and clearly, they didn’t improve the car. It made Qualifying and the race difficult. He was struggling to turn the car and had to use the power to do so, which was hurting the rear tyres. We decided to pit him under the Virtual Safety Car to offset other cars, but most of our competitors did the same once the Safety Car was deployed. We benefitted from a couple of cars dropping out ahead, but considering the early part of the race, it was a relief to get some points. We will work hard to ensure we do a better job at the next race in Miami.

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