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Sainz wins Australian GP as Verstappen, Hamilton forced to retire

Carlos Sainz Wins Australian Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz has won the 2024 Australian Grand Prix after a drama filled race around the Albert Park track.

Starting second on the grid behind Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen, the Ferrari driver, was able to take full advantage after Verstappen was forced to retire on lap 3 due to a brake problem.

After missing the previous Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to appendicitis, Sainz proved far too strong as he calmly led the dramatic race to the finish.

It was a 1-2 finish for Ferrari as Charles Leclerc came in second, whilst also securing the fastest lap, earning full points for the team.

McLaren’s Lando Norris rounded out the podium in third, while his teammate Oscar Piastri finished fourth in his home race.

Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez finished fifth in a disappointing drive as he struggled to push the leaders due to tyre degradation.

In a horror day for Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton was forced to retire on lap 17 due to an engine failure before George Russell crashed out on the final lap while fighting for sixth position with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.

Over three hours after the race, Alonso was given a 20-second penalty, meaning he dropped from sixth to eighth, boosting teammate Lance Stroll and RB’s Yuki Tsunoda up to sixth and seventh respectively.

Haas duo Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen rounded out the points scoring positions, securing critical points for the team.

Verstappen still sits in first place in the drivers’ championship with 51 points, but after his retirement, Leclerc and Perez are right behind him.

It was a historic race for Ferrari, who secured their first 1-2 finish since 2022, leaving them just four points behind Red Bull in the constructor’s championship.

After the race, Sainz addressed the win and his tough start to the season.

“It was a really good race. I felt really good out there.

“Of course a bit stiff, and especially physically, it wasn’t the easiest, but I was lucky I was more or less on my own and I could manage my pace, my tyres, manage everything, and it wasn’t the toughest race of all.

“But very happy, very proud of the team, and happy to be in a one-two with Charles here. It shows that hard work pays off and life sometimes is crazy.

“What happened at the beginning of the year, then the podium in Bahrain, then the appendix, the comeback, the win…it’s a rollercoaster. But I loved it, and I’m extremely happy.”

Looking ahead, the 2024 F1 season continues on the 5th–7th of April with the Japanese Grand Prix, where Verstappen is the heavy favourite to win at $1.20 with the top Formula One betting sites.

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