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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Max Verstappen wins wild Australian GP

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Verstappen misplaced his lead from pole at first, because the Mercedes duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton handed him within the opening corners.

However Verstappen took management after a restart following Alex Albon’s Flip 6 crash, passing Hamilton utilizing DRS within the ultra-fast part forward of Flip 9 whereas Russell – who had pitted instantly after the Williams shunt when a security automotive was briefly declared, previous to the choice to throw purple flags – went out with an engine hearth.

Regardless of a quick off, Verstappen appeared to be cruising to victory when the race was red-flagged once more as Kevin Magnussen crashed his Haas. A two-lap restart was tried, however that resulted in a multi-car crash and led to a different purple flag.

These automobiles that had been nonetheless operating then accomplished a last lap behind the protection automotive within the order of the earlier restart, though a post-race penalty for Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari spinning Aston Martin rival Fernando Alonso on the third, aborted restart dropped him from fourth to twelfth.

2023 F1 Australian Grand Prix outcomes

How the 2023 F1 Australian Grand Prix unfolded

Verstappen acquired wheelspin away from the startline and couldn’t preserve his pole place benefit on the run to Flip 1, the place Russell beat him to the apex and grabbed the lead.

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Hamilton then muscled previous Verstappen for second at Flip 3 as, behind them, final yr’s race winner Charles Leclerc spun into the gravel after his Ferrari clipped Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin, inflicting a security automotive.

The race went inexperienced on lap 4, with Russell main Hamilton, Verstappen, Sainz and Alonso. 

Albon ran sixth early on for Williams, forward of Stroll, however the protection automotive was required once more when Albon crashed out and was simply missed by Pierre Gasly (Alpine) and Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) as he bounced again onto the monitor shrouded in a cloud of mud.

Russell pitted for contemporary arduous tyres, dropping to seventh, permitting Hamilton to inherit the lead, forward of Verstappen, Alonso and Stroll. Sainz was one other to pit, falling again to eleventh. However the FIA selected to purple flag the race to wash gravel and particles from the monitor floor, handing those that hadn’t pitted a free tyre change within the pits – ruining the methods of Russell and Sainz.

That meant a second standing begin, with Hamilton beginning on pole this time, forward of Verstappen and the Astons. Hamilton held the lead from Verstappen and Alonso, with Gasly passing Stroll for fourth and Russell doing likewise to run fifth.

Verstappen cruised previous Hamilton with DRS on the ultra-fast run to Flip 9 and was already 2s clear after they subsequent crossed the end line. Russell handed Gasly for fourth on lap 14, whereas Sainz caught Stroll napping for sixth a lap later.

Russell’s race ended on lap 18, when the rear of his Mercedes erupted in flames and he was compelled to tug off within the pitlane exit, inflicting a quick digital security automotive.

Sainz handed Gasly with a candy transfer at Flip 3 on lap 25 to take fourth, whereas Pink Bull’s Sergio Perez – who began from the pitlane after his qualifying off – was into the factors by this level.

At half distance, Verstappen led by 7s from the intently matched Hamilton and Alonso. He was over 10s clear when he understeered on to the grass on the penultimate nook with 10 laps to go, however he managed to save lots of the second.

Verstappen’s lead vanished fully when the purple flag flew as Magnussen went off at Flip 2 with 4 laps remaining, and his automotive and indifferent tyre wanted recovering. Earlier than that, Hamilton had saved Alonso at bay for second, with Sainz falling away within the closing levels and Gasly proper on his tail. A spirited battle between Lando Norris (McLaren) and Hulkenberg seemed sealed with six laps to go when Norris dived previous, however the second purple flag meant they lined up once more for a two-lap dash.

Verstappen led from his second pole begin of the day forward of Hamilton, as Sainz pushed Alonso right into a spin at Flip 2. Each Alpines then collided as Gasly drifted throughout the trail of Esteban Ocon and ended their races within the wall, whereas Nyck de Vries and Logan Sargeant had been stranded within the Flip 1 gravel after the Williams rookie ploughed into his AlphaTauri counterpart. The drama continued into Flip 3, the place Stroll went off below stress from the delayed Sainz however continued.

The automobiles returned to the pits within the order: Verstappen, Hamilton, Sainz, Hulkenberg, Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Norris, Oscar Piastri (McLaren), the Alfa Romeos of Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas, and Perez – who bumped into the gravel at Flip 1 and dropped to tenth.

However the stewards elected to restart in a distinct order, as automobiles hadn’t gone by way of a sector below racing circumstances, and so accomplished the ultimate lap behind the protection automotive within the order of the final restart for these automobiles nonetheless operating. That elevated Alonso again to 3rd, forward of Sainz – who was given a 5s penalty that dropped him from fourth to 12th.

Stroll was categorized fourth, forward of Perez, Norris, Hulkenberg (who stopped on his in-lap), Piastri, Zhou and Tsunoda.

2023 F1 Australian Grand Prix quickest laps

2023 System 1 Australian Grand Prix pitstops

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