Three thirds for Max Verstappen, an impressive new pole position for the Dutchman

Formula 1



MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 23: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrate at Park Ferm during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Circuit on March 23, 2024 in Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
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Max Verstappen turned things around after a troubled test at Red Bull yesterday, overcoming the RB20's understeer problems and taking his third pole position in this year's Formula 1 races ahead of Ferrari's Carlos Sainz. Charles Leclerc made a mistake on his second lap in 5th place.

Max Verstappen remained unbeaten in this year's Formula 1 and in his third qualifying of the year – he unexpectedly won pole position after his problems on Friday – ended the Australian GP with two spectacular rounds of testing at Albert Park in Melbourne.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz ultimately had no answer to the Dutchman's pace, despite the Spaniard – two weeks after undergoing appendicitis surgery in Jeddah – outpacing the champion in the first two qualifying sessions.

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 23: (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing drives the RB20 ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Circuit on March 23, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202403230036 // Editorial Use Only //
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As a result, Saint will line up on the front row at the start of tomorrow's (24/03, 06:00) Australian GP, ​​second occupied by Sergio Perez and Lando Norris in the Red Bull RB20 and McLaren MCL38 respectively. . But the Mexican will face a stage penalty for blocking Haas' Nico Hulkenberg in Q1 during the German's fastest lap.

Charles Leclerc was not as competitive today as he showed in free practice: his Ferrari suddenly became uncontrollable, alternating between understeer and understeer on his fastest lap, and he was consistently slower than Saint. These issues saw the 25-year-old retire in 5th place as he made a mistake on his final lap in 13th.

On the third row of the grid will be Monegasque's Oscar Piastre, who carries the Aussie's confidence in the stands, with McLaren upping their one-lap pace impressively from testing and going into battle with the Ferraris, also ahead of Mercedes and Aston Martin. .

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Australian GP 2024 Qualifiers
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