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carlos sainzwinner 2024 australian gp

Australian GP: Super Sainz leads Ferrari 1-2, Verstappen breakdown

carlos sainzwinner 2024 australian gp

It had to happen, for the first time in ten races, Max Verstappen did not win the Grand Prix on Sunday, in Melbourne, he was out of the picture when he retired his hitherto bullet-proof early on in the race. Instead, the winner was Carlos Sainz on one of his greatest days in Formula 1.

The 2024 Australian Grand Prix marked the end of an astounding run by Verstappen, breathing fresh air into a title race that until today looked like a foregone conclusion.

It will also be remembered for the scary crash suffered by George Russell on the final lap, denying himself points on a woeful weekend for Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton suffered a DNF.

This weekend was going to plan for the World Champions. Verstappen Qualified on pole, and launched off the line in style only to end the race early on. But when DRS was allowed, Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari scurried past the #1 Red Bull to take the lead arguably on merit before the RB20’s brakes caught fire and melted. Game over.

Also victim of DNF on the day was Lewis Hamilton whose final Australian Grand Prix as a Mercedes driver (next year he will be driving for Ferrari) ended with retirement with a smoking PU.

That left only one Formula 1 World Champion in the mix, namely Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso who finished P6.

Sainz passed Verstappen for the lead on merit before the #1 Red Bull expired

australian gp Sainz passed Verstappen for the lead on merit before the #1 Red Bull expired

At the front, after dispatching Verstappen neatly when the #1 Red Bull was still healthy, Sainz proceeded to take control of the race. An impressive first stint, going longer with the Pirelli Mediums than his rivals in the Top 10.

Thereafter he was untouchable. Remarkable considering Sainz was having his appendix removed a couple of weeks earlier. Leclerc kept his teammate honest but paid the price of not running his first stint as effectively as the winner. And Driver of the Day to boot!

It was a great afternoon for Ferrari and for Formula 1, a different winner is refreshing and breathes fresh energy into this Championship. Red Bull are vulnerable, they’re beatable and Sergio Perez is simply not on the level of his teammate as an underwhelming P5 at Albert Park today testifies.

For the winner, Sainz was simply superb. Jobless at the end of this year, Fred Vasseur may be thinking he dropped the wrong Charlie in favour of Ferrari-bound Lewis Hamilton next year.

Sainz attacked Verstappen early took the lead and proceeded to deliver a stellar first stint, going several laps longer than most. It was a controlled performance, the Smooth Operator kept the gap to around five seconds all the way, and even when Leclerc pushed the Spaniard had the answers.

Sainz: It shows that hard work pays off and life sometimes is crazy

ausgp Sainz: It shows that hard work pays off and life sometimes is crazy

Visibly exhausted and emotional, speaking in Parc Ferme, Sainz said of his third F1 victory: “It was a really good race. I felt really good out there. Of course a bit stiff and especially physically it wasn’t the easiest but I was lucky I was more or less on my own and I could manage my pace, my tyres, manage everything, and it wasn’t the toughest race of all.

“But very happy, very proud of the team, and happy to be in a one-two with Charles here. It shows that hard work pays off and life sometimes is crazy. What happened at the beginning of the year, then the podium in Bahrain, then the appendix, the comeback, the win…it’s a rollercoaster. But I loved it and I’m extremely happy,” added Sainz.

Later, Carlos Sainz senior oozing with pride as he watched his brave son hoist the AusGP winner’s trophy on the Albert Park podium was a priceless moment for the ages.

“It feels good mostly for the team of course. It’s amazing to know we can do that. Carlos had an incredible weekend to come back after his surgery. He’s done an amazing race,” acknowledged Leclerc.

“I struggled a bit more in the second stint with the first hard. I didn’t manage the tyres well But then the last stint was more positive. First and second was the best we could do. Carlos has done a better job all weekend and he definitely deserved that victory.

“I’m really happy for him and the team. It’s really good points. We came into the weekend telling ourselves we needed to maximise the points and there’s nothing we could have done better,” lamented Leclerc.

Norris: Ferrari and Carlos did a very good job but happy with a podium

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P3 and P4 was a solid day for McLaren who were easily third in the pecking order behind Ferrari and Red Bull. To beat the World Champions was a big boost for Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, in what was an impressive team effort.

Norris summed up his afternoon: “It was a very good day for us. I’m very happy and proud of the team because P3 and P4 is a lot of points in the championship. So that’s the first thing.

“We missed out on Charles, I think our pace was a little bit better. He undercut us in the first stint so maybe a little bit of hope for second place, I think our pace was strong enough today.

“But Ferrari and Carlos did a very good job, so hats off to them, they’ve been fast all weekend. I felt good, I could manage the tyres very well today, and it was a good step. Probably wasn’t expecting to be on the podium so I’m very happy,” declared the McLaren driver.

Perez was relatively anonymous. His Qualifying penalty did him no favours, turning P3 on the grid into P5. In the race, he had no answer when it mattered.

Alonso’s P6 and Lance Stroll’s P7 were good results for Aston Martin who did not have the pace today that they enjoyed last year when Alonso finished on the podium. Nevertheless, like their fellow Mercedes customer – McLaren – beating both Silver Arrows matters.

Good day for Haas, bad day for Sauber

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Yuki Tsuonda delivered a solid weekend Down Under. Easily beating teammate Daniel Ricciardo down in P12. The Japanese driver in P8 will be a boost for his VCARB team.

Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen made it a good day for Haas, with gutsy drives to P9 and P10 respectively. The pair enjoyed a bare-knuckle battle with Alex Albon in the sole Williams who had to settle for P11 in Logan Sargeant’s car.

Worth noting, Sauber were dreadful in the servicing of their drivers. Lengthy pitstops for both their drivers was unforgivable as it happens every race Sunday. Valtteri Bottas might have snuck a point had it not been for the fumbles. Guanyu Zhou was also a victim of his team’s shortcomings on the day.

Report in progress…

2024 Australian Grand Prix Result

2024 Australian Grand Prix result f1

How the Australian Grand Prix unfolded:

The top ten lined up:
VER-SAI-NOR-LEC-PIA-PER-RUS-TSU-STR-ALO

Good start from the top three rows. Clean getaway for all, with Russell muscling past Pere, the only position change in the top ten off the grid.

Sainz overtakes Verstappen with DRS opened, A lap later the Red Bull starts smoking. Soon he had to park the smoking Red Bull in the pits, where he climbed out on lap 5. Sainz now led from Norris by 1.6 seconds.

The new Top 10 was: SAI-NOR-LEC-PIA-RUS-PER-STR-TSU-HAM-ALO
With Ferrari versus McLaren for the podium, with Perez work to do. The top four separted by by less than three seconds, with Russell a further 3.5s behind in P5 with Perez stalking.

Hamilton, the only one who started on Softs, pits for Hards on on Lap 8. A lap later Russell pits, releaseing Perez. Bottas pits for Sauber only to have his team botch his pitstop again.

Lap 10 Top 10: SAI-NOR-LEC-PIA-RUS-PER-STR-TSU-ALO-HUL-GAS

The top four had yet to stop, they were: SAI-NOR-PER-ALO.
Leclerc in P5 had track position over Piastri in P5 after they stopped. At this point, Perez was complaining about his tyres as he dropped from the two ahead. Sainz was picking up the pace with a flurry of fastest laps.

Norris pits on lap 15, followed by Perez. At the front, Sainz led Alonso by 17.5s. Only ones of the top five yet to pit.

Lap 16 Sainz dipped into the pits for his first stop which put Alonso into the lead on the Hards. At the same time almost, Hamilton’s Mercedes PU cried enough. The Briton parking the broken Merc.

Alonso pitted a lop later. The top ten order with all on the second set of tyres, with a couple of Ferraris in the lead.
SAI-LEC-PIA-NOR-ALO-RUS-STR-PER-TSU-ALB.
Sainz was 1.1s ahead of his teammate Leclerc. Perez was past Stroll on lap 19.

Perez was stalking Russell at this point, while the rest of the field was in stalemate mode. Piastri and Norris were running nose to tail.

On Lap 22, Perez was past Russell into P6 with Alonso four seconds ahead of the Red Bull. At the front Sainz was edging ahead of his teammate at about a tenth or two of a second per lap with the fresher tyres.

On lap 27, Perez was all over the back of Perez before he darted past to take P5, with Norris 12 seconds ahead. The McLaren driver a second down on Piastri behind the two Ferraris.

Sainz was now five seconds in the lead over his teammate, with Leclerc 2.8s ahead of Piastri in P3 until McLaren swapped the order, allowing Norris (on fresher tyres) now up to third with the aim of hunting down Leclerc.

On Lap 35 the top ten were: SAI-LEC-NOR-PIA-PER-ALO-RUS-STR=TSU-HUL

Norris was closing in on Leclerc who complained about his tyres. Ferrari promptly pitted him. Luckily he got out ahead of Perez and Alonso, it was very close. Risky but a great strategy call by the Reds.

At the front, Sainz led Norris by ten seconds. Perez was next of the front runners to pit.

Big battle for the low points-paying position with Albon sandwiched and battling with brawlers Hulkenberg and Magnussen.

Piastri pits on lap 40, after going off track just before. A lap later Norris was in for his second stop.

Sainz led by 25 seconds from Leclerc, with a stop in hand before they brought him in on lap 42. He merged, 5.5 seconds. A Ferrari one-two beckoned. But who would get the top step? Leclerc signalled his intent with the fastest lap at this point, to bring the gap below five seconds.

Lap 45 the Top 10 were: SAI-LEC-NOR-PIA-RUS-PER-ALO-STR-TSU-HUL. Only Russell had yet to stop.

The spotlight was the P11 battle between Albon and Magnussen. The Haas veteran was not shy to have stabs at the sole Williams. K-Mag finally got it done on lap 45.

At the front, Sainz responded to Leclerc to peg the lead at five seconds.

Norris in P3, 3.7s behind Leclerc pops the fastest lap. As the top ten enter stalemate mode. Closest battle for P5 with Alonso behind and chased down by Russell.

Ahead Norris was also flinging all he had at it in his pursuit of P2. But it was a case of too much, toom late. But full credit for giving it a bash.

On the final lap, Russell pranged heavily. Race over. Sainz and Leclerc head home for a Ferrari 1-2. No Red Bull driver on the podium.

Report in progress…


Australian Grand Prix Perview: The Max Verstappen Show Resumes

2024 australian grand prix starting grid

The Max Verstappen Show ticked the first important box of the 2024 Australian Grand Prix, topping the timesheets in Qualifying means the Red Bull #1 car will line up P1 on the grid for today’s race in Melbourne.

[Note: This preview will make way for the Australian Grand Prix report after the race and will be updated accordingly. Please refresh this page for the latest updated version. Enjoy the race!]

The second box to be ticked the most important points-paying one is already pencilled in as Verstappen seems unstoppable, and his third Grand Prix victory of the season beckons. And it would be foolish to contemplate anyone else winning today barring, of course, force majeure.

Verstappen starts from pole position for the 35 time in his career and while he claimed surprise at the feat, it was never in doubt in anyone else’s mind, such is the dominance he is currently flaunting. Victory today is a foregone conclusion.

As should be P2 for his teammate Sergio Perez, who is far more comfortable in the remarkable Red Bull RB20 as P3 showed on Saturday. But a penalty for impeding set the Mexican back three places. However such is the superiority of the RBR he drives, this should be another on-two for the World Champions. Anything less would be off-kilter.

Can Ferrari ‘do a Singapore‘ on Red Bull at the Australian Grand Prix today?

Australian GP Qualifying: Max Verstappen claims F1 pole from Carlos Sainz Can Ferrari 'do a Singapore' on Red Bull in Melbourne today?

Sharing the front row is his former Toro Rosso teammate Carlos Sainz, the Ferrari driver delivering a heroic display this weekend, considering that two weeks ago he was undergoing surgery. Missing Jeddah clearly inspired the Spaniard.

Don’t discount Sainz stealing a win today, as he did in Singapore. Ferrari was bullish ahead of this weekend, and it appears they have a solid car. Let’s see what the Reds can conjure for their Tifosi from P2 and P4 on the grid, the less grippy and dustier side.

On the rubbered-in side, directly behind P1 on the grid, the McLarens of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will line up nose-to-tail in P3 and P5 eager to be the kittens among the pigeons. The race will tell if they have the pace to be in the mix for a podium. This would mean keeping demoted Perez at bay coming from P6 and dealing with both Ferrari drivers. It will be interesting.

As will be the next three rows, with George Russell hoping the Mercedes is better in the race than in Qualy. Sadly they have no clue what car will turn up on race day and if the two opening races of the year are anything to go by, it could be a pain-filled day for the Silver Arrows.

Hamilton ditching Mercedes for Ferrari at the right time

What the teams said – Qualifying at the 2024 Australian Grand Prix Hamilton ditching Mercedes for Ferrari at the right time

One like Lewis Hamilton had today. Perplexed, confused or whatever by the W15 that is looking to be the worst of a once fine pedigree of W-designated F1 Mercs to roll out of their factory. Hence the man with a104 F1 pole position starts own and P11, knowing that scoring a point today will be far harder than some of the 103 victories he has enjoyed in the top flight.

Let’s face it, Lewis picked the right time to ditch this project and move to Ferrari and I bet for him December cannot come fast enough.

Aston Martin ‘own’ Row 5 with Lance Stroll surprisingly outqualifying his veteran teammate Fernando Alonso suggesting the AMR24 is not a bad car to drive because the Canadian tends to go well in efficient cars, but not so in cars that require the kind of elbow grease his teammate has in spades.

Expect Alonso, and Stroll for that matter, to be in the mix early on. And thereafter their fate is on whether the Aston Martin has race pace in it for the Spaniard to make it onto the podium as he did here last year.

Throw into the mix the fire and brimstone that is Yuki Tsunoda in the VCARB and you have an explosive top ten, when the lights go out, blasting into that far-away Turn 1 which will more than likely to be incident-packed. As is the likelihood of a safety car that could turn the whole race on its head. It’s happened several times in past races.

Other AusGP sideshows to watch out for

Großer Preis von Australien: Logan Sargeant muss nach Crash von Alex Albon im Williams in Melbourne zusehen - Eurosport

  • How will the one-car Williams team fare?
  • Who crashes first? Yuki? Lance? Fernando? Lewis? Max? Checo?
  • Will Daniel Ricciardo finish last at his home race?
  • Has anyone seen the Haas F1 Team or the Sauber lads Down Under? If yes, please tell them it’s GP weekend!
  • Where will Logan be sitting down to watch the race he is forced to miss?

Formula 1 Facts & Stats by Reuters | Australian Grand Prix

  • Round 3 of the 24-race 2024 FIA F1 World Championship
  • Albert Park, Melbourne
  • Lap distance: 5.278km. Total distance: 306.124km (58 laps)
  • 2023 pole position: Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull One minute 16.732 seconds.
  • 2023 winner: Verstappen
  • Race lap record: Sergio Perez (Mexico) Red Bull, 1:20.235, 2023.
  • There was no grand prix at Albert Park in 2020 and 2021. The circuit was shortened by 28 metres, with two turns taken out and seven corners modified, in 2022 and is now considered a new layout from 2019.
  • Start time: 0400 GMT (1500 local)
  • There are two Australian drivers in Sunday’s race, McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and RB’s Daniel Ricciardo, for the first time since 2013 when Ricciardo was on the grid with Mark Webber.
  • No Australian driver has ever won a home grand prix.
  • This year’s race will be the 27th held at Albert Park, and 38th Australian Grand Prix. It was held in Adelaide, as the final race of the year, between 1985 and 1995.
  • Five current drivers have won in Melbourne: Fernando Alonso (2006), Lewis Hamilton (2008, 2015), Valtteri Bottas (2019), Charles Leclerc (2022) and Verstappen (2023).
  • Ferrari great Michael Schumacher won a record four times in Australia.
  • Hamilton has been on pole in Melbourne a record eight times (2008, 2012, 2014-2019).
  • McLaren have won a record 11 times in Australia, with Ferrari on 10.
  • The lowest starter to win was Britain’s Eddie Irvine from 11th in 1999 for Ferrari. Seventeen of the 26 races in Melbourne have been won from the front row.
  • Pirelli are bringing their softest tyres to the race. The track has the second shortest pit lane on the calendar at 281 metres.

2024 F1 World Championship Top 10 Drivers’ & Constructors’ Standings

2023 f1 season after jeddah round 2 points graphic

  • Verstappen has led the championship for a record 41 successive races dating back to Spain in May 2022.
  • He is 15 points clear of Perez, with Ferrari’s Leclerc third and a further eight adrift.

Victories, Poles & Podiums

  • Hamilton has a record 103 career victories from 334 starts but is chasing his first since 2021 — a run of 47 races without a win.
  • Red Bull won 21 of 22 races last year, with Verstappen victorious in a record 19, and have won 33 of the last 35.
  • Verstappen has won 56 grands prix and is third on the all-time list. Michael Schumacher is second on 91.
  • Verstappen has won the last nine races and can equal his record of 10 in a row set in 2023.
  • Hamilton has a record 104 career poles, his most recent in Hungary last year.
  • Verstappen took his 100th career podium in Saudi Arabia. He is only the seventh driver to reach that number and the third with a single team. Michael Schumacher had 116 with Ferrari and Hamilton is on 148 (out of a total 197) with Mercedes.
  • The Red Bull driver set a record of 21 podiums in a season last year but Michael Schumacher remains the only driver to have stood on the podium in every race of a season (2002).

Melbourne Milestones

  • Red Bull’s one-two win in Saudi Arabia put them ahead of Williams in solo fourth place in the all-time list of winners with 115.
  • Sunday could be the first time Red Bull have finished one-two in three successive races.