The first Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix in five years got underway on Sunday at the Shanghai International Circuit. It was an incident-filled event with the top order changing frequently, but in the end Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen cemented another victory.

He was followed by McLaren's Lando Norris in second, close to 14 seconds behind, and fellow Red Bull driver Sergio Perez in third, some 19 seconds behind. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz rounded out the top five.

Verstappen started on the pole position, and despite a strong challenge from Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso was comfortably in the lead with a 10-second gap in the early phases of the race, which served as round five of the 2024 season. However, Verstappen's gap was erased by two consecutive safety car periods near the halfway point.

Initially, a virtual safety car was called after Sauber's Valtteri Bottas came to a stop due to power unit troubles. It then changed to the actual safety car when it was determined Bottas had to retire. Verstappen and Perez changed tires at this point, and Verstappen managed to hold his lead spot after the restart on lap 26.

2024 Formula 1 Shanghai Grand Prix

2024 Formula 1 Shanghai Grand Prix

Further back, drama arose when Aston Martin's Lance Stroll ran into the rear of RB's Daniel Ricciardo after the Australian needed to brake hard to avoid running into fellow Australian Oscar Piastri ahead. Both were able to continue, but Stroll was given a 10-second penalty and two penalty points on his license for the incident.

Just a handful of corners later, RB's Yuki Tsunoda was hit by Haas' Kevin Magnussen, requiring the safety car to be deployed again. Magnussen also received a 10-second penalty this time. Ricciardo was eventually forced to retire and was later given a three-place grid drop for the upcoming Miami Grand Prix, plus two penalty points on his license, for overtaking Nico Hulkenberg during the safety car period.

Following the second restart at the end of lap 31, Verstappen comfortably pulled away from the pack, with Norris behind followed by Leclerc. Verstappen continued to build a gap and cruised all the way to victory. Perez was behind the trio but was able overtake Leclerc, whose tires were fading at this point as he was on a one-stop strategy.

Following the weekend's action, Verstappen leads the 2024 Drivers' Championship with 110 points. Perez is second with 85 points, and Leclerc is third with 76 points. In the Constructors' Championship, Red Bull leads with 195 points, versus the 151 of Ferrari and 96 of McLaren. The next race on the calendar is the Miami Grand Prix in two weeks.

2024 Formula 1 Shanghai Grand Prix

2024 Formula 1 Shanghai Grand Prix

Below are the full results from the 2024 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix:

1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
2) Lando Norris, McLaren +13.773 seconds
3) Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing +19.160 seconds
4) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +23.623 seconds
5) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari +33.983 seconds
6) George Russell, Mercedes-Benz AMG +38.724 seconds
7) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin +43.414 seconds
8) Oscar Piastri, McLaren +56.198 seconds
9) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz AMG +57.986 seconds
10) Nico Hulkenberg, Haas +60.476 seconds
11) Esteban Ocon, Alpine +62.812 seconds
12) Alexander Albon, Williams +65.506 seconds
13) Pierre Gasly, Alpine +69.223 seconds
14) Zhou Guanyu, Sauber +71.689 seconds
15) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin +82.786 seconds
16) Kevin Magnussen, Haas +87.533 seconds
17) Logan Sargeant, Williams +95.110 seconds
NC) Daniel Ricciardo, RB – DNF
NC) Yuki Tsunoda, RB – DNF
NC) Valtteri Bottas, Sauber – DNF