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RACE REPORT | Leclerc dominates, Verstappen suffers from Red Bull woes

RACE REPORT | Leclerc dominates, Verstappen suffers from Red Bull woes

10 April - 07:42 Last update: 07:42
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Rafael Diaz Lehmann

It was a display of dominance from Charles Leclerc and Ferrari at the Australian Grand Prix, with rival Max Verstappen suffering from reliability issues causing him to retire from second. However, it was an eventful race behind the Ferrari-man.

Leclerc dominates down under

From the start of the Grand Prix to the end only one man lead the field. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc drove his most dominant race yet. Pace matched by no one, the Monegasque went on to put in his first grand slam of his career; pole position, fastest lap, every lap lead. It was a masterclass performance from Leclerc.

 

Red Bull reliability woes hit Verstappen

The only driver able to even remotely challenge Leclerc for the lead was reigning world champion Max Verstappen, who could only once have a look for the lead at the second Safety Car restart, such was the pace of the Ferrari in front. However on lap 39, Verstappen found himself at the side of the track with smoke pouring out from the engine. The unreliability of the Red Bull engine had struck once again. Although the Dutchman was running in second for the entire race, he finds himself leaving Australia achieving zero points.

Russell scores first podium for Mercedes

After the retirement of Verstappen an he various Safety Cars throughout the race, it was Mercedes-man George Russell who picked up his first podium for the Silver Arrows. The Brit finished ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton, which caused tension in the seven-time champion, complaining to the team of the position he was put in. Nevertheless, it was a great performance from Russell who held on to third place with Hamilton breathing down his neck for the last stint of the race. Perez rounded up the podium in second.

Struggle for Sainz

The struggle of the weekend by far was Ferrari's Carlos Sainz. After a poor quaifying saw the Spaniard starting from P9 on the grid, the son of the Rally legend dropped back to 14th after a terrible start. Pushing hard to make up time, he made a mistake coming into Turn 9 which saw him spin into the gravel and get stuck on only the second lap. This brought out the Safety Car on only the third lap of the race. After Leclerc's dominant performance surely the Spaniard will have a hard look at himself and try to bring back the Sainz who beat Leclerc we saw last season.

Vettel puts final stamp on horrible weekend for Aston Martin

To say Aston Martin have had a horrible weekend would be the understatement of the century. Stroll and Vettel crashed in FP3, Stroll crashed in Qualifying, both eliminated in Q1. Maybe things would get better in the race? Not a chance. On lap 10 Sebastian Vettel had a small off into the gravel that saw the German drop to 19th, before having a hefty shunt into the wall on lap 26, bringing his race to an end and bringing out the Safety Car for the second time. After suffering from Covid and missing the first two racs of the season, to having a return like thsi, it's safe to say that Vettel isn't having the best of times.

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