Sainz Wins Australian Grand Prix After Verstappen's Retirement

Sunday, 24 March 2024 at 06:24
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Carlos Sainz won the 2024 Australian Grand Prix after tremendous performance, with Ferrari recording a one-two.
The Italian team entered the third race of the season in high hopes, with pre-race pace predictions showing they could be close to Red Bull, which has been dominant in the first two races of the season.
Max Verstappen recorded his 100th podium in Saudi Arabia, and the Dutch driver wanted to start the new century in Australia, and starting from the pole position, the odds were in his favour.
However, already few laps into the race, the three-time World Champion was forced to retire his car, but that was after Sainz already overtook him on track, even though the Dutch driver was already managing an issue.
The Spanish player then raced ahead of everyone, as his teammate, Charles Leclerc, wasn't able to keep up with his pace. However, despite the team from Maranello being ahead of everyone, McLaren always stayed in touch with them.
Lando Norris, who was behind his teammate Oscar Piastri after first stops, was let through, and the British driver was only around two seconds behind Leclerc at times.
Still, no one was able to challenge Ferraris in Australia, as Sainz crossed the finish line first, with Leclerc coming second ahead of Norris, who recorded another podium.
In the last laps of the Grand Prix, Sainz complained about his tires, but that didn't matter much, as he once can became the man who stopped Verstappen's winning streak, after previously doing it at the 2023 Singapore Grand Prix.
Behind the top three, the race was still very interesting, as Sergio Perez, the only other running Red Bull, struggled to keep up with not only the pace of Ferraris but also McLarens, finishing the race only in fifth.
After Lewis Hamilton was also forced to retire, in his case because of an engine failure, George Russell was the only Mercedes on the track, and in the last laps of the Grand Prix, he had to fight Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso for the sixth position.
Ultimately, Russell didn't handle the pressure as he crashed his Mercedes on the second to last lap, ensuring that the 2024 Australian Grand Prix would finish under virtual safety car.