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The Debrief by Aramco: Chinese Grand Prix

Alonso China Saturday Debrief header

The team is in China for the fifth round of the 2024 Formula One World Championship. Get the latest thoughts from Lance and Fernando following the Chinese Grand Prix.

In our debut Chinese Grand Prix, Fernando finished P7 after starting the race from the second row of the grid, while Lance classified P15.

Sunday round-up and reaction

  • Another points finish was achieved after Fernando classified in P7. He also set the fastest lap with a time of 1:37.810.

  • Fernando began the race from the second row of the grid after qualifying P3. Ahead of the race, repairs were made to his car on the grid following damage to the floor.

  • Drivers used different strategies to complete their races at Shanghai International Circuit. After starting on the Soft tyre from P11, Lance made four pitstops. Fernando began on Mediums and made three pitstops.

  • At the start of the Grand Prix, Fernando made up a place on the first corner, moving into P2. Lance also made up places during the first few laps.

  • Fernando pitted for Hard tyres at the end of lap 11. During a Safety Car period, he switched to Softs which he stayed on for 20 laps. He finished the race on Mediums, allowing him to make up five places towards the end of the race to finish in seventh. With an additional point for the fastest lap, Fernando secured seven valuable points.

  • Meanwhile, Lance pitted for Mediums on lap 9. Under the Virtual Safety Car, he switched to Hard tyres. He then pitted after picking up damage before taking his final pitstop for Hards on lap 35.

F. Alonso
FL: 1:37.810
L. Stroll
FL: 1:39.444

#18 | Lance Stroll | Race

"We were on for a good result today. The Soft tyres had performed well at the start of the race and I made a couple of crucial overtakes to climb into the points. We timed our stop well under the VSC and I think ninth place was on the cards. Then, when the Safety Car came in, there was a chain reaction with all the cars ahead suddenly slowing. I didn't have enough time to react and avoid contact with Daniel [Ricciardo]. It's frustrating, because I ended up with the penalty, but the incident was caused by someone at the front of the pack braking suddenly. After the front wing change we were running last which meant our race was effectively over. It's a shame to lose out on the points, but we'll regroup ahead of another Sprint weekend in Miami."

#14 | Fernando Alonso | Race

"We didn't quite have the pace today and it was a tricky race with a lot of things happening. Despite this, it was important to score some points and a bonus to get the fastest lap too. We made a good start and moved up to second, and for a moment I thought it would be nice to lead the race for a lap, but we couldn't make that happen. A few Safety Cars changed the strategy a little bit and we didn't have any more Hard tyres available, so that's why we made a switch to the Soft compound. Overall, it was a good race, but we have some work to do to improve our Sunday pace and match what we can do in Qualifying."

Mike Krack | Team Principal

"Seven hard-earned points today after an eventful Chinese Grand Prix weekend. Fernando's three-stop race was compromised to some extent by the extended Safety Car periods, which negated the full benefit of the Soft tyres. Fernando's recovery in the final laps, making use of new Medium tyres, provided plenty of entertainment and brought him back to P7. We also picked up a point for the fastest lap. It was good damage limitation. Lance's strong race was undone by the incident under the Safety Car: we need to fully analyse what happened but it was a chain reaction caused by cars ahead. He was running well in the points, was on the best tyre strategy, and was set to score good points. We will regroup ahead of another Sprint weekend in Miami."

Next up

We make our way to the Miami Grand Prix weekend which takes place between May 3rd and May 5th.


  • After starting the Sprint from the front row, Fernando had been running in third for most of the session until picking up a puncture which led to him having to retire. Meanwhile, Lance finished the Sprint in P14.

  • In the second Qualifying segment, Lance missed out on Q3 by qualifying P11, only 0.069 seconds from getting through.

  • Fernando made it safely into Q3 for the fifth time this season.

  • A strong final Qualifying segment for Fernando resulted in him recording the third-fastest time in Q3. He will line up from the second row of Sunday's grid, in third place.

#18 | Lance Stroll | Sprint & Qualifying

"This morning's Sprint was a difficult race: we struggled for pace and couldn't make much progress. Despite making some set-up changes ahead of Qualifying, the car still isn't where I need it to be and it was frustrating not to make it through to Q3 by such small margins. We'll do our best to fight for points tomorrow."


#14 | Fernando Alonso | Sprint & Qualifying

"I am happy with third position in Qualifying today. Both Q1 and Q2 went smoothly, and we progressed into Q3. I then nearly aborted my last lap in Q3 because I lost a few tenths in the first sector. I made back some of this lap time during the rest of the lap, so I kept going and I'm glad I did. We are again a few positions higher in Qualifying than our natural position suggests, but we will take this result and it's always nice to finish in the top three. It will be a real fight to keep our rivals behind us for a full race distance, but let's see what we can do tomorrow."


Mike Krack | Team Principal

"A busy day in Shanghai with the Sprint this morning and Qualifying this afternoon providing plenty of entertainment for the fans. We saw box-office racing in the Sprint and it was a shame that Fernando lost out in the close podium battle, but placing his car in P3 for tomorrow's Grand Prix is the perfect response. His final lap in Q3 really pulled it out of the bag because he was a few tenths down after the first sector. Lance lines up in P11 and is well placed to challenge for points. We made quite a few changes to the car after the Sprint, which will hopefully pay off in the race tomorrow. It is a weekend where learning quickly has been paramount and, as a team, we have responded well to the challenge of fast-evolving conditions."


  • At our first race weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit, Lance finished top of the leaderboard in FP1.

  • The weekend's only Practice session was spent gathering information about the track and checking the car ahead of Sprint Qualifying.

  • After SQ2 was hit by rain, Lance classified P15.

  • The rain continued into SQ3, resulting in Alonso opting for Intermediate tyres before qualifying P3.

#18 | Lance Stroll | Free Practice & Sprint Qualifying

"We completed some solid running in FP1 and I found some good speed towards the end of the session on the Soft tyre. However, I just didn't have the grip I needed in Sprint Qualifying when the track was dry. We then got a bit caught out by the rain, so I didn't get a second push lap in SQ2. Our options are limited in a short Sprint given we're starting P15, but we'll take today's learnings and see what we can do for the rest of the weekend."


#14 | Fernando Alonso | Free Practice & Sprint Qualifying

"It was quite a stressful Sprint Qualifying. In SQ1 we were looking at the radar and checking if the rain was coming. We progressed and safely made it into SQ3 in eighth position before it rained more heavily. As the conditions changed, we were quite competitive. The tyres seemed to improve with each lap, but the circuit was just getting worse with the rainfall increasing. It was difficult to judge the level of grip and how much risk to take. We have the two races now, so let's see if we can score some points in the Sprint and qualify well for Sunday."

Sprinting in Shanghai

F1 returns to China

Chinese GP preview
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