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F1 Australian GP 2024: Ferrari vs McLaren as Verstappen Retires

Written by Owen Bradley

Credit: Kym Illman

Temperatures soaring, with the drivers' heart rates the only thing being higher, we return to Albert Park in Melbourne, for the Australian Grand Prix.

Australian Grand Prix - Results

1st Carlos Sainz, Ferrari

2nd Charles Leclerc, Ferrari

3rd Lando Norris, McLaren

4th Oscar Piastri, McLaren

5th Sergio Perez, Red Bull

6th Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin

7th Lance Stroll, Aston Martin

8th Yuki Tsunoda, RB

9th Nico Hulkenberg, Haas

10th Kevin Magnussen, Haas

11th Alex Albon, Williams

12th Daniel Ricciardo, RB

13th Pierre Gasly, Alpine

14th Valtteri Bottas, Sauber

15th Guanyu Zhou, Sauber

16th Esteban Ocon, Alpine

DNF George Russell, Mercedes

DNF Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

DNF Max Verstappen, Red Bull

Grand Prix

A sizzling start to the Australian Grand Prix, with most of the drivers starting on the Medium compound tyres, looking to only run a short way into the race before their first stop. A clean start for the field, as Russell and Hamilton made a place each from the start. Carlos Sainz managed to stay with Verstappen for the first lap, only just about within one second for the DRS detection zone, and therefore did receive DRS which helped him soar past the Red Bull of Verstappen, something not many people had expected whatsoever.

Verstappen's Retirement

Credit: Kym Illman

Verstappen, who had been slowing slightly, had smoke pouring from the rear left of his Red Bull, which eventually led to a visual fire melting away the brakes and his tyre. Verstappen retired from the Australian Grand Prix after only three laps.

Pit stops for the leading field who had chosen the Mediums, switching to the Hard compound tyres looking to run deep into the race. Perez vs Hamilton as the Mexican fought his way back through the field, now as the only Red Bull.

Hamilton's Disaster

Credit: Mark Thompson

Lewis Hamilton would have his engine completely cut out on him at Turn 7, all the way down the straight as his miserable weekend ended before it could ever really get going. Temperatures absolutely sweltering hot here in Melbourne, as we do wonder how and why some cars are starting to fail.

So, with Carlos Sainz leading the way it's definitely a battle between Ferrari and McLaren for the victory. Fernando Alonso benefitted from a VSC (Virtual Safety Car) as he jumped through the field on the alternate strategy, starting on the Hards and moving to the Mediums, the faster tyres in the middle of the race.

Sauber had also been struggling in the pit stops with their wheel gun, having to hold both cars both times in the first couple of stops, which meant they were battling one another at the back of the field.

Oscar Piastri made another stop after struggling on the Hard tyres, locking up and skipping over the penultimate corner's outside grass. Teammate Lando Norris followed him just a lap later, with Leclerc only a few seconds in front of him.

Fernando Alonso would briefly jump ahead of home-hero Oscar Piastri, as the pair battled throughout a couple of corners, eventually the Aussie would make it past the two-time World Champion.

Eventually, after all the pit stops, the race found it's own pace to run at, Leclerc around five seconds behind the leader Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris a further few seconds behind both Ferrari's, his own teammate Piastri was about 11 seconds further behind him.

George Russell had a monster crash at Turn 6, ending up on his side, as the race finished behind a Safety Car on the final lap. Carlos Sainz then, Wins the Australian Grand Prix in 2024 after missing the Saudi Arabian GP earlier this year. A Ferrari 1-2 as Leclerc finished just a second or two from his teammate. Lando Norris would round the podium off with a great P3 result, from home hero Oscar Piastri in fourth.

1 Comment

Mar 24

Good to see the Gerhard Berger effect being taken up by Carlos ! Reference to Hockenheim 97.

A good race for the championship I think and looking like things should hot up nicely soon, drivers who are on the market and not performing will need to do so pretty soon, those already locked into moves likewise probably want to put in a performance that justifies their move to the new boss. Sargeant is surely just hoping for a car to drive...

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