F1: Norris Grabs P1 for McLaren in Rainy Chinese GP Sprint Qualifying

Sahil Mohan GuptaMay 16, 2024

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Norris capitalised on a pacey McLaren in rainy Shanghai to gain pole in sprint qualifying

In a thrilling return to the Shanghai International Circuit after a five-year absence, Lando Norris claimed pole position for McLaren in a rain-soaked sprint qualifying session. The challenging conditions saw some unexpected results, with the usual frontrunners from Red Bull and Ferrari struggling to match the pace of the midfield teams.

Lewis Hamilton showcased his exceptional wet-weather skills, securing P2 for Mercedes, while Formula 1 veteran Fernando Alonso demonstrated his mastery of the conditions, taking P3 in his Aston Martin. The rain began to fall lightly during SQ1, with Red Bull and Ferrari initially leading the pack. However, as the downpour intensified, the midfield teams capitalised on the opportunity to outperform their rivals.

Reigning world champion and current championship leader Max Verstappen managed to salvage P4, while Carlos Sainz Jr led the charge for Ferrari in P5, ahead of Red Bull's Sergio Perez. Charles Leclerc rounded out the top seven for Ferrari. McLaren's Oscar Piastri couldn't quite match his teammate's heroics, settling for P8.

The 7-time world champion finally showcased his exceptional skills in wet weather with a slow Mercedes.

The Stake F1 duo of Valtteri Bottas and local favourite Guanyu Zhou secured P9 and P10, respectively. Haas also had a strong showing, with Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg claiming P12 and P13, just behind Mercedes' George Russell, who struggled to find pace in the difficult conditions.

Daniel Ricciardo finally got the better of his Visa Cash App RB teammate Yuki Tsunoda, securing P14, while the Japanese driver could only manage P19. Aston Martin's Lance Stroll also had a challenging session, finishing in P15, well behind his experienced teammate Alonso.

The Alpine pair of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon took P16 and P17, followed by Williams' Alexander Albon. His teammate Logan Sargeant completed the grid in P20.

As the Chinese Grand Prix weekend continues, all eyes will be on the unpredictable weather conditions and how they might influence the outcome of the race. With Lando Norris leading the charge for McLaren, fans can expect an exciting and potentially surprising event.

Qualifying order

1 Lando NORRIS 1:57.940

2 Lewis HAMILTON +1.261

3 Fernando ALONSO +1.975

4 Max VERSTAPPEN +2.088

5 Carlos SAINZ +2.274

6 Sergio PEREZ +2.435

7 Charles LECLERC +2.626

8 Oscar PIASTRI +3.050

9 Valtteri BOTTAS +3.104

10 Guanyu ZHOU +5.597

11 George RUSSELL 1:36.345

12 Kevin MAGNUSSEN 1:36.473

13 Nico HULKENBERG 1:36.478

14 Daniel RICCIARDO 1:36.553

15 Lance STROLL 1:36.677

16 Pierre GASLY 1:37.632

17 Esteban OCON 1:37.720

18 Alexander ALBON 1:37.812

19 Yuki TSUNODA 1:37.892

20 Logan SARGEANT 1:37.923

Chinese GP
Sprint qualifying
Lando Norris
McLaren F1
Lewis Hamilton
Fernando Alonso
Aston Martin F1
Max Verstappen
Red Bull F1
Shanghai international circuit