Sainz leads Ferrari one-two at 2024 F1 Australian Grand Prix

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Ferrari took home a one-two finish after an eventful Australian Grand Prix held on Sunday at Melbourne’s Albert Park Circuit.

Carlos Sainz, in his first race since his recent surgery for appendicitis, was the first to cross the finish line, with Charles Leclerc finishing just over two seconds behind. Rounding out the top three was McLaren’s Lando Norris, approximately six seconds behind the winner.

The race, which served as round three of the 2024 Formula 1 World Championship, started out like any weekend of the past few seasons, with reigning champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing on pole position, and Sainz also at the front of the grid.

Verstappen made a smooth start and was soon building a gap when problems emerged in his car. As Verstappen slid at one corner, Sainz was able to make a move and take the lead. Moments later, puffs of smoke began to appear at the rear of Verstappen’s car and he soon retired. It was determined later that there was a brake issue with the car. It was the first time the triple champion had failed to finish a race since the 2022 Australian Grand Prix, when he was sidelined by a fuel system issue.

2024 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix

Leclerc at this point was third in the race, with Norris splitting the two Ferrari men. A successful undercut on lap nine got Leclerc ahead of Norris, and he drove brilliantly in the final stint to keep the position away from Norris who was on the fresher tires at the time.

Fellow McLaren driver Oscar Piastri also successfully completed an undercut on Norris during the initial round of pit stops, but would later return the position on team orders. Piastri would also run off the track at one point, leaving him in a lonely fourth by the finish. Rounding out the top five was Red Bull’s Sergio Perez who had to deal with some traffic after starting at sixth due to a three-grid place penalty received for impeding Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg during qualifying.

The weekend turned out to be a bad one for Mercedes-Benz AMG. Star driver Lewis Hamilton retired on lap 17 with a power unit failure, and teammate George Russell suffered a major crash on the final lap, which ended the race under the virtual safety car. Russell crashed after making a move on Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso for sixth position. The stewards later deemed that Alonso had played a part in the incident and gave him a 20-second penalty.

Following the weekend’s action, Verstappen still leads the 2024 Drivers’ Championship with 51 points. Leclerc has overtaken Perez to move into second with 47 points, with Perez just one point behind. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull leads with 97 points, versus the 93 of Ferrari and 55 of McLaren. The next race on the calendar is the Japanese Grand Prix in two weeks.

Carlos Sainz at the 2024 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz at the 2024 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix

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

1) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
2) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +2.366 seconds
3) Lando Norris, McLaren +5.904 seconds
4) Oscar Piastri, McLaren +35.770 seconds
5) Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing +56.309 seconds
6) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin +93.222 seconds
7) Yuki Tsunoda, RB +95.601 seconds
8) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin +100.992 seconds
9) Nico Hulkenberg, Haas +104.553 seconds
10) Kevin Magnussen, Haas +1 lap
11) Alexander Albon, Williams +1 lap
12) Daniel Ricciardo, RB +1 lap
13) Pierre Gasly, Alpine +1 lap
14) Valtteri Bottas, Sauber +1 lap
15) Zhou Guanyu, Sauber +1 lap
16) Esteban Ocon, Alpine +1 lap
17) George Russell, Mercedes-Benz AMG – DNF
NC) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz AMG – DNF
NC) Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing – DNF

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