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Score the 2024 F1 Australian GP race

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Because the Purple Bull driver suffered a brake downside at the beginning of the race, his Ferrari rival took management early on and by no means relinquished it, scoring his first win since final 12 months’s Singapore GP.

Charles Leclerc settled for second as Ferrari grabbed its first one-two end of the 12 months, with McLaren’s Lando Norris finishing the rostrum forward of Oscar Piastri and Sergio Perez, who in Verstappen’s absence, led a really discreet Purple Bull efficiency. 

Our writers give their verdict on the third spherical of the 2024 season.

It is the hope that will get you: 5/10 – Matt Kew

Scary ending famous, that is simply blown a gap within the facet of the (already weak) argument that Components 1 is good as long as you ignore Max Verstappen. Even with the dominant driver out the way in which, one other champion retiring to introduce a tantalisingly timed digital security automobile, and the Ferrari duo very briefly teeing up a cube for the win, all of it fell flat. There was a dearth of wheel-to-wheel racing. Granted, a number of the blame goes to the slender nature of the Albert Park lap.

The Australian GP was the most effective race of the tame season up to now – sure, that is very a lot damning with faint reward. A correct, spectacular retirement for Verstappen plus an on-track overtake for the lead (albeit the Purple Bull was kneecapped from the beginning) earn a few factors. However these graining Pirellis impressed processions fairly than divergent methods.

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Charles Leclerc’s early cost to shut to inside a second of chief Carlos Sainz provided promise – how would the tacit primary driver fare in opposition to his successfully sacked stablemate? But it surely got here to little.

In brief, the fiery Verstappen brake failure created a headline. George Russell’s crash is one other. Nonetheless, there wasn’t a number of substance past that.

Oscar Piastri, McLaren MCL38 Sergio Perez, Purple Bull Racing RB20 and George Russell, Mercedes F1 W15

Photograph by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

The very best race of 2024, however that is not a lot: 6/10 – Oleg Karpov

I felt it was the most effective race of the season up to now. By far. And that is just about all you might want to know in regards to the season. Max’s retirement made it thrilling, just because we knew we might lastly get a brand new winner, and the truth that it was Carlos ultimately – with a feelgood story getting back from his surgical procedure – made it even higher. And generally, once you’ve seen one driver dominate for therefore lengthy, it is simply sufficient to make you be ok with the race.

Two extra retirements, each of them from Mercedes, made a prize for the ‘B’ group of present F1 even larger – and that was thrilling to look at. Nicely, as thrilling as a combat for P9 could be (which turned eighth after Russell’s exit). Nicely executed to Yuki Tsunoda for profitable that race! His efficiency in opposition to Daniel Ricciardo additionally turned one of many speaking factors of the 12 months – and the discuss in F1 has at all times been simply as vital because the motion on observe.

In any case, we will faux for the subsequent few weeks that the championship battle is alive once more, with Checo Perez closing in on Max. Which is a bit higher than simply watching the Dutchman win race after race.

Watchable race offers Ferrari and neutrals hope: 6/10 – Filip Cleeren

If sure individuals had been anticipating Components 1 to instantly ship a thriller for the ages as soon as the dominant Verstappen is taken out of the image, then the Australian Grand Prix poured a bucket of chilly water over that concept.

With Ferrari’s race tempo being as sturdy as it’s, Sainz’s win by no means actually appeared doubtful. We are going to by no means know if the race for first would have been higher had Verstappen’s brakes not exploded, however not less than the Spaniard’s much-deserved win is the largest feelgood story up to now of a season that might use some.

The drivers might hate the graining, however I preferred Pirelli’s determination to go a step softer with its tyre compounds because it lastly delivered some strategic variance and jeopardy at Albert Park fairly than a boring one-stopper.

Between that, and a number of the midfield heroics involving the Haas vehicles and RB’s Yuki Tsunoda, I assumed the race was fairly watchable and positively the most effective we have had up to now, even when that is not saying a lot.

The Australia race weekend does present extra hope that Ferrari can go toe to toe with Purple Bull on extra circuits and McLaren wasn’t miles away both.

Not a traditional race, however an indication of what F1 wants total: 6/10 – Alex Kalinauckas

Purple Bull not profitable was the stress launch F1 wanted after the dire begin to the marketing campaign within the championship pleasure stakes.

However, as soon as Verstappen was out and Sainz was clear within the lead, the battle on the entrance was right down to a boring tyre administration race, particularly when Leclerc needed to pit early in stint one to cowl others behind.

Perez could not produce the everyday Purple Bull fightback and the motion but once more was primarily down the order, together with the Alonso/Russell crash controversy on the final lap. But, if actual, common kind swings from race to race can happen, F1 would have a traditional season.

That is nonetheless most likely the purpose for 2025 onwards. Nonetheless, as of proper now, this appears like a one-off totally different winner.

Smoke spills from the rear of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, as he retires from the race

Smoke spills from the rear of Max Verstappen, Purple Bull Racing RB20, as he retires from the race

Photograph by: Mark Horsburgh / Motorsport Images

What 2024 may be like with out Verstappen: 6/10 – Haydn Cobb

No person desires Max Verstappen to go away Components 1 as a result of it’s great watching the most effective drivers on the planet compete in opposition to one another. However this race answered the query of what the 2024 season may be like if the reigning champion wasn’t on the grid.

Nonetheless an excessive amount of tyre administration however nearer gaps on the entrance between evenly-matched groups, with Ferrari prevailing and a feelgood story of Carlos Sainz’s appendicitis comeback.

With Lewis Hamilton additionally DNF-ing, after which the shock late crash by George Russell, it gave the midfield groups a number of factors positions to focus on and due to this fact spiced up that combat too.

Lack of intra-Ferrari battle takes away some shine: 6/10 – Rachit Thukral

Verstappen’s early retirement in Melbourne did not blow the race as broad open as many would have anticipated, with Sainz cruising on the entrance as soon as after snatching the lead from him on lap 2.

Whereas a non-Purple Bull win already places the Australian GP larger up than most grands prix we have witnessed within the floor impact period, a scarcity of combat between Sainz and team-mate Leclerc meant that the race wasn’t precisely as thrilling as a fast look on the outcomes may recommend.

Whereas Leclerc’s first objective was to maneuver away from the McLarens and safe a 1-2 end result for Ferrari, he could not step up his recreation within the last stint, eluding followers of a correct combat for victory.

There was additionally a scarcity of intra-team battle at McLaren, with Lando Norris additionally untroubled by Piastri as soon as he had been let by by his team-mate.

Perez may have proven the power of the Purple Bull package deal and added an additional variable to the race, however fifth was as far he may get on his RB20 on a weekend the place he was no match to Verstappen.

Verstappen not at all times the issue: 5/10 – Pablo Elizalde

Whereas it was good to see a special winner, the Australian GP dispelled the notion that F1 races are boring completely due to Verstappen’s dominance. The issue goes a lot deeper than that.

Satirically, given Sainz’s kind, the race would have most likely been higher had Verstappen not retired, though contemplating his traditional tempo on Sundays, that is troublesome to know for sure.

With the world champion out of the image, Sainz was free to cruise house unchallenged, and the remaining drivers within the prime positions had been by no means shut sufficient to one another to make the race semi-interesting.

Like in Saudi Arabia, the battles for the locations exterior the highest 10 had been probably the most entertaining ones, however that is a really low bar for F1, particularly in a race with the dominant world champion out by lap 3.

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