This Sunday morning for lovers of Formula 1 tracks, it was forbidden to lie in late. Because if the Australian Grand Prix started from Melbourne at 6:55 am French time, you absolutely must not miss this race, which offered its share of twists worthy of an action film. And, in the end, it was indeed the reigning double world champion, Max Verstappen (Red Bull), who won this third event of the season, on top of a podium completed by Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin).
It took a memorable race to score the Dutchman’s first-ever victory at the Albert Park circuit. And it was, with no less than three red flags waved during a course, marked, from the first lap, by the abandonment of the Monegasque Charles Leclerc, clinging to the wheel of his Ferrari. The second abandonment comes on lap 7, when Alexander Albon (Williams) is, in turn, telescoped. A first red flag is then waved to allow the evacuation of the single-seater.
At the second start of the race, the lead was shared between Hamilton and Verstappen. As the latter gradually took the lead, a new twist occurred: the engine of Briton George Russel, Lewis Hamilton’s teammate at Mercedes, caught fire and also forced him to retire.
A collision between… Gasly and Ocon
New red flag on Lap 55, when Kevin Magnussen (Haas) hits a wall and leaves a wheel there. At the third start of this race, it was once again a mess: Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, the two French Alpine drivers who left respectively in fifth and tenth place, collided and Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) caused the track to leave by Fernando Alonso, which will cause the race to be stopped again and cost the Spaniard a five-second penalty.
This setback did not prevent Alonso from seeking a third consecutive podium, after his third place in Bahrain, then in Saudi Arabia. For his part, after his two victories in Bahrain and this Sunday, and a second place in Saudi Arabia, Verstappen confirms his superb start to the season. In the drivers’ standings, he is ahead of his first competitor, Pérez, by 15 points. After the cancellation of the Chinese Grand Prix, the Formula 1 World Championship will experience a four-week break and will resume in Baku (Azerbaijan) on April 30.