Formula 1 Racing

Sainz leads Ferrari one-two in Australia after Verstappen retires early · RaceFans

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Carlos Sainz Jnr won the Australian Grand Prix, leading a one-two for Ferrari after Max Verstappen retired on the third lap.

Sainz passed Verstappen, who had a developing brake problem, on lap two. From there he never looked back, taking Ferrari’s first win of the season and breaking Verstappen’s nine-race winning streak.

Charles Leclerc finished second to secure a Ferrari one-two, with Lando Norris taking McLaren’s first podium of the season in third. His team mate Oscar Piastri, who was told to let him through earlier in the race and later spun, finished fourth.

The race ended under a Virtual Safety Car following a heavy crash on the final racing lap for George Russell who lost control at turn six while pressuring Fernando Alonso for sixth and hit the barrier, leaving him stranded in the middle of the circuit. Russell was able to climb out of the car seemingly unhurt. The stewards are investigating an incident at turn six

Sergio Perez finished in fifth, over 15 seconds behind Piastri’s McLaren. Alonso finished sixth with Aston Martin team mate Lance Stroll gaining seventh with Russell’s last lap crash. Yuki Tsunoda claimed four points for eighth place, with the final points taken by the two Haas drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen.

After Williams opted to put Alexander Albon in Logan Sargeant’s car, leaving Sargeant unable to participate, Albon only just missed out on a point in 11th.

Verstappen was the first driver to retire after suffering a right-rear brake problem which developed over the opening laps, turning into a fire which was safely extinguished in the pit lane. Lewis Hamilton suffered an engine failure on lap 16 when his power unit suddenly cut out along Lakeside Drive.

Despite his retirement, Verstappen continues to lead the championship with 51 points, with Leclerc moving ahead of Perez into second, four points behind Verstappen. Sainz has jumped both McLarens with his win, moving up to fourth.

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