Australian F1 GP: Melbourne painted red!

Carlos Sainz took advantage of Verstappen's trouble to win his third race of the season. A second Leclerc completed Ferrari's victory by painting Melbourne red!

The Ferrari It's about 1-2 from Bahrain 2022. There were all indications that the SF-24s would be a very competitive three days in Australia this year. However, as we wrote yesterday, they will also need luck to beat him Verstappen.

Help from the aforementioned deity came in the form of Verstappen dropping out on the opening lap of the race. However, this fact, of course, does not negate the amazing overall performance he had Saint In Melbourne. The Spaniard, just two weeks after his surgery, dominated in Verstappen's absence to win the third race of his career in style.

Most drivers opted to switch to hard, aiming for two pit-stops with the medium tyre. The reverse was planned by Alonso-Hulkenberg HamiltonRicciardo and Zou started on soft rubber.

Start

Verstappen got a good start and got back into first leaving Saint for second. The rest of the drivers held their positions with clean starts.

Everyone expected the Dutchman to open his gap with Ferrari. However, this did not happen. On the second lap, in fact, Saint would pass Verstappen on the back straight if the TRS was activated!

After some time, the reasons for this unexpected development were revealed. The Dutchman made a mistake at Turn 6 due to the RB20's problematic rear right disc brake. Unfortunately he had a stuck disc brake and things didn't improve. So in the 4th round the Dutchman is forced to leave for the first time since 2022!

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A responsible saint

Carlos Sainz completely dominated the race. Behind him were the two McLarens of Norris-Piastri Leclerc among them. The Spaniard slowly but surely managed to open up a gap from his pursuers.

The Pirelli soft tires saw most of the pit-stops before lap 10. Hamilton pitted first, followed by Russell. Leclerc-Piastris will follow. However, Saint had better pace and was in no rush to cover a potential undercut by both drivers. On the contrary, Leclerc will be in an advantageous position against him Norris He also did not respond to the stance of the two drivers behind him.

He would continue to lead the race until the 16th when he switched to harder rubber. This brought him back temporarily Alonso In the first place.

The Spaniard would make his own stop shortly after (switching from the hard to the medium tyre), using a virtual safety car caused by Hamilton's exit with a PU problem.

Red 1-2

So the Ferraris took the top two places after the stops Piastre And Norris should follow. The rate of the two SF-24s was clearly superior to that of the MCL38s. The same was true of the inside Ferrari battle, with Sainz comfortably taking first place from his team-mate.

Behind the McLaren was Alonso, although he was under pressure Perez. The Mexican would pass the Aston Martin on lap 27 despite wearing harder rubber.

Two laps later, Norris overtook Piastre for third place on fresh rubber, and the Australian warned not to delay his team-mate.

So when the race reached its midpoint, Saint, Leclerc, Norris, Piastre, Perez, Alonso and Russell lined up. But Leclerc was threatened by a flaw from McLaren. So Ferrari called him for a second pit-stop on lap 35.

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McLaren will make their own changes after the 40th lap. However, they could not overtake Monaco. Ferrari would hold 1-2 until the checkered flag given under VSC due to a major crash Russell Last round!

Norris finished third, with Piastre, Perez, Alonso, Stroll, Tsunoda, Hulkenberg and Magnussen completing the top ten.

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