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Formula 1: 2024 Japanese Grand Prix Wrap Up

Staff Writer Will Black provides an in-depth summary of the 2024 Japanese Grand Prix.

Ricciardo and Albon crash out, Ferrari’s fourth podium in a row and another Red Bull 1-2. Let’s wrap up the 2024 Japanese GP.

POSNODRIVERCARLAPSTIME/RETIREDPTS
11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT531:54:23.56626
211Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT53+12.535s18
355Carlos SainzFERRARI53+20.866s15
416Charles LeclercFERRARI53+26.522s12
54Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES53+29.700s10
614Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES53+44.272s8
763George RussellMERCEDES53+45.951s6
881Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES53+47.525s4
944Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES53+48.626s2
1022Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT52+1 lap1
1127Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI52+1 lap0
1218Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES52+1 lap0
1320Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI52+1 lap0
1477Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI52+1 lap0
1531Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT52+1 lap0
1610Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT52+1 lap0
172Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES52+1 lap0
NC24Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI12DNF0
NC3Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT0DNF0
NC23Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES0DNF0

Alpine

Alpine’s performance was once again mundane and underwhelming. The team showed zero race pace and it seems clear that despite the massive budget that Alpine’s parent company, Renault, have in F1, it is not translating to results. Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly finished a disappointing P16 and P17 respectively, ending the race only above Logan Sargeant following his spin late on. The two nearly performed an Ocon/Gasly classic, touching on the race restart and barely avoiding a crash. 

Aston Martin

We saw Fernando Alonso once again outperforming his teammate Lance Stroll. Alonso managed P6 with Stroll ending the race P12. Many Aston fans will likely be happy with the news that the two-time world champion plans to stay with the team past 2026, signing the longest contract of his career – but the question still stands towards Stroll’s performance. Although Stroll seemed to pull things together towards the end of the race his 15 point deficit to Alonso does not help his case. 

Ferrari 

Another great race from Carlos Sainz as he managed another podium for Ferrari finishing the race P3. The two took on different race strategies with Charles Leclerc pushing long on his medium tyres in P1 after the first pit window and he managed to come out of his stop ahead of Sainz. Sainz was however able to pip his teammate on lap 46 to take P3 but Leclerc must be commended for his strong performance starting in P8 and ending P4. His P3 at Suzuka gives Sainz his third podium of the season and Ferrari four podiums in a row in 2024. It seems Sainz’s form is staying strong coming off his win in Australia. He is looking like a very hot ticket for this year’s driver’s market after he lost his seat to Hamilton for 2025.

Haas

Haas were looking for their third points finish in a row in 2024 but sadly just missed out. Nico Hulkenberg managed P11 and Kevin Magnussen finished P13. Team principal Ayao Komatsu recently revealed in Damon Hill’s ‘Beyond the Grid’ podcast ahead of the Japanese GP that he hopes Haas’ performances will only improve as he attempts to bring the US and UK based factories closer together. The American team are only looking up as they now sit seventh in the constructor’s standings with four points. 

Kick Sauber

Sauber’s poor form continued in Japan as Zhou Guanyu was forced to retire on lap 14 following a gearbox issue. Teammate Valtteri Bottas was only able to manage P14 ahead of the Alpines. Sauber broke tradition and managed to have two decently timed pit stops but the wheel nut issues they have been facing on the pit stops still remains in question.

Mercedes

Following the race restarts, both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton showed a lack of pace. They dropped down quickly on the start and lost positions quite easily. Hamilton was only able to manage P9 and his teammate Russell P7. Hamilton also seemed to suffer with poor strategy choice as Mercedes chose to keep the world champion out much longer than necessary and the tyre degradation he faced severely slowed his pace.

Russell was reasonably successful and managed to get into P7 with a last lap overtake on Oscar Piastri. The Silver Arrows seemed to lack the pace of the McLarens and Alonso’s Aston Martin. Team boss Toto Wolff will be eagerly looking towards the regulation changes in 2026. 

McLaren

Lando Norris qualified well, starting the race in P3 and maintaining position reasonably well. He unfortunately missed out on the pit window however and lost position to Leclerc and Sainz on laps 41 and 43. Despite a strong performance from the Brit it’s clear the McLarens simply don’t have the race pace of the Ferraris. Oscar Piastri demonstrated a consistent race too but was unfortunate with P8 following Russell’s last lap overtake. The team maintain a strong P3 in the constructor’s standings. 

RB

It was definitely a mixed story for RB. Daniel Ricciardo crashed into Alex Albon on the first lap of the race at turn two. Ricciardo missed Alex Albon coming up on his right-hand side and pushed him off track, with Albon clipping his right rear, sending both cars into the wall and causing a red flag. It was unfortunate from the Aussie, considering a strong P11 qualifying and hopes of getting his first points finish of the season.

Yuki Tsunoda had a much more positive race at his home GP as he managed P10 with a series of brilliant overtakes at the Esses. The pit stop crew similarly helped the points finish as he went into the pits P14 and came out at P11. Overall a mixed day for RB and Ricciardo’s seat looks no more secure.

Red Bull

Another dominant weekend for Max Verstappen. Verstappen maintained P1 throughout the entire race and finished ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez by 12 seconds. Perez, however, did have a strong race. He did well to maintain P2 from the start and allowed for Red Bull to take their third 1-2 of the season.

Williams

The weekend started rough with a crash from Logan Sargeant in FP1 which brought out the red flags. The Williams drivers’ love for crashing continued as Alex Albon was pushed off track by Ricciardo on lap one and into the barrier. Admittedly, Albon was not at fault for the crash but the concern for the limited number of chassis Williams have has not been helped.

Sargeant himself raced well – he overtook both Alpines and the possibility for a point finish seemed within reach. He however continued his form and went off course on lap 42 after going into turn seven too fast. This brings the total number of Williams crashes to three after only four races. The fact Williams started the season without any spare chassis now means the team will be running with damaged chassis for the remainder of the season, or until a new one can be built. James Vowles can surely not be confident for the rest of his first full season as team principal. 

Current Driver’s Standings

POSDRIVERNATIONALITYCARPTS
1Max VerstappenNEDRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT77
2Sergio PerezMEXRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT64
3Charles LeclercMONFERRARI59
4Carlos SainzESPFERRARI55
5Lando NorrisGBRMCLAREN MERCEDES37
6Oscar PiastriAUSMCLAREN MERCEDES32
7George RussellGBRMERCEDES24
8Fernando AlonsoESPASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES24
9Lewis HamiltonGBRMERCEDES10
10Lance StrollCANASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES9
11Yuki TsunodaJPNRB HONDA RBPT7
12Oliver BearmanGBRFERRARI6
13Nico HulkenbergGERHAAS FERRARI3
14Kevin MagnussenDENHAAS FERRARI1
15Alexander AlbonTHAWILLIAMS MERCEDES0
16Zhou GuanyuCHNKICK SAUBER FERRARI0
17Daniel RicciardoAUSRB HONDA RBPT0
18Esteban OconFRAALPINE RENAULT0
19Pierre GaslyFRAALPINE RENAULT0
20Valtteri BottasFINKICK SAUBER FERRARI0
21Logan SargeantUSAWILLIAMS MERCEDES0

Coming Up:

Race 5: China, Shanghai International Circuit, April 19-21

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