Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Chinese Grand Prix returns to Formula 1

Kara Lee

Round five of this year’s Formula 1 season took place last Sunday in Shanghai, China, at the Shanghai International Circuit. The Chinese GP returned to the F1 calendar for the first time since 2019 after being removed due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. 

Red Bull Racing had a front-row lockout for the second time this season after Qualifying on Saturday, meaning both their drivers started at the front of the grid. Current World Champion Max Verstappen started from pole position with his teammate, Sergio Perez, behind in second position (P2). Verstappen’s pole position was Red Bull Racing’s 100th pole, the first of which was also achieved in the Chinese GP 15 years ago by the now-retired four-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, in 2009. 

Verstappen took the 58th win of his career after crossing the finish line, extending his lead in the World Championship after an incident-filled race with two safety cars deployed. Perez lost P2 to Lando Norris from McLaren, who secured his second podium of the season and finished P3, extending his own second place in the World Championship. Norris remains fifth in the Driver Standings. 

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso had qualified for P3 but lost the position due to the inferiority of his car’s performance compared to teams like Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari. He finished P7 and secured the fastest lap of the race in Lap 45 with a time of 1:37.810 seconds. 

This race weekend was also the first Sprint weekend of the calendar. A Sprint race is a half-an-hour-long race held before the regular Qualifying session that offers a smaller amount of points but provides teams the opportunity to test racing conditions at the track. Norris had managed to qualify P1 for the Sprint but lost the position in lap one of 19. Verstappen won the Sprint after starting P4 and was joined on the podium by seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton in P2 and his teammate, Perez, in P3. 

Hamilton, who has won the Chinese GP six times in his career, finished Sunday’s race P9 after a difficult qualifying session that saw him start P18 at the back of the grid. When asked if he enjoyed the race by an interviewer afterward, he said, “Not particularly. I was pretty slow.”

Zhou Guanyu from the Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber, who finished P14, received much attention during the weekend as the first and, currently, only Chinese F1 driver. This was his first home race, as he joined the grid in 2022 when the Chinese GP was suspended. He was given a special parking spot on the track after the race finished and was reduced to tears due to the support from the fans. 

“Very emotional weekend, of course,” Zhou said in the Post-Race show. “I never expected to have such a crowd like that.” 

Round six of the 2024 F1 season will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5, in the United States at the Miami International Autodrome.

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About the Contributors
Marcela Montufar Soria
Marcela Montufar Soria, Multimedia Editor
Marcela (She/Her/Ella) is an Honors College History and Classical Studies and Humanities major with a concentration in Religious Studies and a minor in East Asian Studies. She is an international student from Mexico and is the fourth member of her family to be a student at UTSA. After graduation, she plans to pursue a graduate education in Chinese history. Outside of school, Marcela volunteers at the Witte Museum as a gallery attendant during the weekends. Her hobbies include violin playing, amateur stargazing, video editing, writing, reading non-fiction, and painting. She joined the Paisano in Fall 2021, became Assistant Multimedia Editor in Spring 2022, and became Multimedia Editor in Spring 2023.
Kara Lee
Kara Lee, Graphic Editor
Kara is a communication major on track to graduate in 2025. After graduating they hope to work for non-profits that specialize in environmental concerns so they can give back to the planet that provides so much for us. When Kara is not in school or working they can be found either drawing or hiking.

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