It’s Ferrari Day in Australia As Sainz Leads 1-2 Finish

March 24, 2024Ramon Jones
Formula 1

Carlos Sainz crossed the finish line a winner today in Australia in a fashion that was in stark contrast to the race in 2023. World championship leader Max Verstappen was forced to retires from the race after his back right axel caught fire and had a catastrophic failure. The retirement was his first retirement in two years. “Yeah, it’s not ideal. Of course you always want to finish the races but it’s a mechanical sport,” Verstappen said following his first retirement since the 2022 Australian Grand Prix. “These things unfortunately happen, but I think it’s the most important that we understand why it happened.”

Sainz Bounces Back in Return Race

After missing the race in Jeddah due to precautions surrounding surgery Sainz came back in full force.

What a rollercoaster! I’m extremely happy,” said Sainz. “I felt good in the car right from lap 1 and after overtaking Max (Verstappen), when I was in free air, I started setting a strong pace that took me all the way to the finish line, bringing home the first win of the season. I’m also happy that George is OK after the heavy crash. The team deserves this one-two, we did a fantastic job all weekend, from FP1 to the last lap. We executed a perfect race, nailed the strategy and the mechanics were incredible delivering precise and quick pit stops every single time. Congratulations to everyone! Let’s carry this momentum to Japan! Vamos!

Charles Leclerc complained about the rear wing selection on this car in qualifying. Despite the early struggles, the P2 finish was a good team finish for Ferrari who have struggled in recent years to maintain a regular presence on the podium as race winners. That all changed this weekend. “It was a really good weekend for the team. We maximized our points and left nothing on the table, bringing home a 1-2 finish and the fastest lap.

Carlos did a solid job today. On my side, I had a good first stint and we managed to get ahead of Lando (Norris) during the pit stop. I struggled a bit with graining on my first set of Hards and had a stronger pace on the last stint on the second set of Hards, managing the gap to Lando.
We’ve started out the season with three weekends in which we have made the most of our potential, which feels really good and is a testimony to all the hard work that our team has put in over the past months.”

Double DNF for Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton was the first Mercedes out of the race. The race seemed to be going well for Hamilton but he had a sudden loss of all power in the car. My race was going OK up until the point we suffered the Power Unit failure. It’s quite tough to overtake here but we had gained some positions early on with the Soft tyre. It was unfortunate that we had to retire as there was still a long way to go. I was beginning to press on, but the Power Unit just stopped. These things happen and I know we will bounce back.” His teammate George Russell crashed out of the race on the final lap which was a low point for the Mercedes side.

McLaren secured maximum points behind the Ferraris with Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri finishing P3 and P4 respectively.

Full Australian Grand Prix Results

155Carlos SainzFERRARI581:20:26.84325
216Charles LeclercFERRARI58+2.366s19
34Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES58+5.904s15
481Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES58+35.770s12
511Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT58+56.309s10
618Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES58+93.222s8
722Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT58+95.601s6
814Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES58+100.992s4
927Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI58+104.553s2
1020Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI57+1 lap1
1123Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES57+1 lap0
123Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT57+1 lap0
1310Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT57+1 lap0
1477Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI57+1 lap0
1524Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI57+1 lap0
1631Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT57+1 lap0
1763George RussellMERCEDES56DNF0
NC44Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES15DNF0

Note – Leclerc scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race. Car #2 (Logan Sargeant, Williams) withdrawn. Gasly received a five-second time penalty for crossing the line at the pit exit. Alonso received a drive-through penalty converted to 20-second time penalty for potentially dangerous driving.