'It Was Ferrari's Day' Even If Verstappen Finished Says Brundle

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 at 10:30
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Sky Sports commentator and former F1 driver Martin Brundle suggested he felt Ferrari would have won even if Max Verstappen had finished the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.
The third race of the 2024 season marked the end of Verstappen's winning streak. He could have equaled his record of 10 consecutive race wins (his streak started in 2023) but had to retire his car after less than five laps.
The triple World Champion later told the media that he struggled with a brake issue from the start of the race, which led many fans to speculate whether Carlos Sainz would even overtake him if it weren't for the problem. Martin Brundle wrote in his column for Sky Sports F1:

"The big question is whether Ferrari would have beaten Red Bull anyway. Sainz had already overtaken Verstappen but the RB20 was ailing."

The other Red Bull driver, Sergio Perez, finished only fifth and couldn't catch up with the leading top four, which consisted of two McLarens and two Ferraris.
Not yet knowing that his car lost performance (because of an issue later explained by Christian Horner), the Mexican driver asserted Sainz would have "absolutely" won even if Verstappen finished the race. Brundle continued:

"Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull would only finish fifth, some half-minute behind, before the virtual safety car intervened on the last lap, but he apparently had some aerodynamic damage having earlier shown very good pace."

"McLaren kept Ferrari remarkably honest with their race pace suggesting Verstappen would have been right in there."

At the end of the day, Verstappen showed that he had the speed as he qualified on pole, and we know that Red Bull tends to be even faster in the race.
However, the former F1 driver asserted he felt that the team from Maranello would have won the race around Albert Park Circuit either way, as he added:

"We'll never know the answer to the question of course, but my gut feeling all the way through was that it was Ferrari's day."