Carlos Sainz was sublime in a Ferrari 1-2 after winning F1 Australian GP from Charles Leclerc, as Lando Norris rounded out the podium.

It was a clean start from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen to lead F1 Australian GP from Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and McLaren’s Lando Norris in the Top 3, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri staying put in the Top 5.

Mercedes’ George Russell passed Red Bull’s Sergio Perez for sixth on the opening lap, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll up in eighth from Visa Cash App RB’s Yuki Tsunoda and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who cleared Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.

There was apparent issue for Verstappen who lost the lead to Sainz on Lap 2. The Dutchman stayed with him but his car started to smoke from the right rear. He eventually started to lose places and pitted when the right rear caught fire.

It was seemingly from the brakes as he retired to end his 43-race streak. It was Sainz in F1 Australian GP lead from Norris who held off Leclerc and Piastri in close quarters. Only few laps after that the pit stop game started from Russell, Leclerc and Piastri.

They maintained their positions but both eventually gained track position over Norris when the Brit pitted. Sainz, meanwhile, kept his net lead too despite a Virtual Safety Car period to clear Hamilton’s car whose engine went bust to end his race.

It aided Alonso with track position to be fifth behind Sainz, Leclerc, Piastri and Norris in close quarters. Perez was sixth after his top with Russell seventh ahead of Stroll, Tsunoda and Williams’ Alexander Albon in the Top 10, from Haas’ Kevin Magnussen.

It was a slow stop again for Stake F1 Team for Valtteri Bottas as their temporary fix to cross-threading didn’t work either. Alpine’s Esteban Ocon too had a slower stop after a tear-off stuck to his brake duct which dropped him to last.

The Top 4 settled down with McLaren deploying team orders allowing Norris to get through Piastri for third in the quest to catch Leclerc, who complained about issues while dropping off his teammate Sainz. The Spaniard was cruising well in the lead.

Perez cleared Alonso for fifth but the Mexican couldn’t stretch clear despite the tyre difference, with the Spaniard on the Mexican’s tail for long. Russell was a distant seventh from Stroll and Tsunoda, as Haas deployed team orders too for 10th place.

They asked Kevin Magnussen to give the place to Nico Hulkenberg, who was up to 10th after Albon pitted. The German going long in his first stint helped him after he pitted under thee VSC period, with Alpine’s Pierre Gasly up to 12th too.

Hulkenberg had track position over Albon despite his pit stop but it was pretty close between the two, where the Thai was not happy with the defences of the German. At the front, Leclerc went for an early second stop along with Perez.

But they maintained track position as Sainz led Leclerc, Norris, Piastri, Perez, Alonso, Russell, Stroll, Tsunoda and Hulkenberg in the Top 10. Piastri had a hairy moment before his stop to drop back on his teammate, as Russell stopped late to be close to Alonso.

He was chasing Spaniard for sixth late in the race, as there was fight behind them as well. While Stroll was clear, Tsunoda had Hulkenberg close behind. The German fended off Albon who fell into the clutches of Magnussen in the fight for 11th.

The Dane tried a couple of times to clear the Thai and he eventually did so to tuck himself in 11th and on the back of his teammate. At the front, Sainz started to feel the health scene towards the end but it was under control to win F1 Australian GP.

It was a Ferrari 1-2 after Leclerc was up to second from fifth as Norris completed the Top 3 with the grand prix ending under VSC period for Russell, who crashed out at Turn 6 while chasing Alonso for sixth. He dropped onto the gravel with his car sideways on track.

The medical car was deployed after the car got stuck onto the rear left tyre in an awkward position. It allowed Alonso to breathe in sixth behind Perez, with Stroll making up a place to be seventh from Tsunoda, Hulkenberg and Magnussen in the Top 10.

The Dane making it double points finish for Haas as Albon was 11th from Visa Cash App RB’s Daniel Ricciardo, Gasly, Bottas, Stake F1 Team’s Zhou Guanyu and Ocon while Russell was classified in 17th despite his late crash – everyone from Magnussen until Russell finished a lap down to Sainz.

UPDATE: Gasly was handed 5s time penalty for once again crossing the yellow line at pit exit. He was reprimanded after qualifying but he repeated it in the race again. Here:

There was also a fine for Stake F1 Team of €5,000 after a wheel nut came lose and dropped onto the fast lane during the pit stop of Bottas. Here:

The late incident where Russell crashed out at Turn 6 while chasing Alonso has seen a drive-through penalty converted to 20s of time to the Spaniard’s total time after the stewards found him to have slowed earlier than the braking point which surprised the Brit.

Alonso admitted that he decided to lift earlier in the corner for a better exit. He braked little earlier as well but it was not significant contribution into the shunt. While the intention of slowing was not clear if he did so to upset the chasing Russell, but it was enough to disrupt the other driver.

The crash wasn’t the main factor of the penalty as stewards noted, it was more down to Alonso driving potentially dangerously. As a result of it, he dropped to eighth with Stroll moving up to sixth and Tsunoda up to seventh in the order.


Here’s link to a F1 Discord channel, join in to interact