China Report: Race day
Alex advances to a Chinese GP P12
Published
21 Apr 2024
Est Reading Time
2 min
Another day of improvement had Alex crossing the finish line two positions higher than he started in P12 on his final day in Shanghai.
Albono's second Chinese GP saw him start the race in P14 and he immediately began fighting forward to P13 while battling Esteban Ocon on the opening lap.
While one Alpine raced ahead, Alex also had to check his mirrors for the sister car of Pierre Gasly, who began adding pressure in the early laps.
Alex defended well when Gasly attempted to overtake at the hairpin to hold position, staying ahead of the Frenchman before the first round of pit stops.
More fighting followed a switch to a second set of Medium tyres, this time with RB’s Yuki Tsunoda, whom Alex went wheel-to-wheel with on his out lap.
The Japanese racer just stayed ahead, but a mid-race Safety Car soon shook up the order as the marshals struggled to remove the Valtteri Bottas’ stranded Sauber that pulled to the side of the road at Turn 11.
Most of the field took the opportunity to switch onto Pirelli’s Hard tyre, including Alex, who would run the white-walled rubber until the chequered flag.
However, the green flag racing would be short-lived as both RBs suffered collisions when the race resumed — Lance Stroll crashed into Daniel Ricciardo, while Kevin Magnussen hit Tsunoda.
Alex cleverly stayed clear of the chaos and sat in P13 when a second Safety Car appearance came to clear debris and remove Tsunoda’s car.
Ricciardo fell victim to a spirited Albono overtake once the Safety Car peeled into the pit lane.
The Australian lost P12 as Alex hugged the inside of Turn 1, using his FW46’s grip to outdrive Ricciardo and be within touching distance of the top-10 positions.
The race became an endurance event for many in the field as drivers tried to eke all the life out of the Hard compound.
Alex would cross the line in P12, just five seconds behind the point-scoring positions after a hard-fought 56 laps around the Shangai International Circuit.
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