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2024 Australian Grand Prix Wrap Up

Staff Writer Will Black gives an in-depth analysis on the recent Australian Grand Prix.

A Verstappen retirement, a Hamilton retirement and a very smooth operation. Let’s wrap up the 2024 Australian GP.

POSNODRIVERCARTIMEGAPLAPS
14Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:18.56423
21Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:18.582+0.018s19
363George RussellMERCEDES1:18.597+0.033s21
416Charles LeclercFERRARI1:18.599+0.035s22
522Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT1:18.621+0.057s26
611Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:18.642+0.078s23
718Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:18.667+0.103s26
855Carlos SainzFERRARI1:18.686+0.122s23
944Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:18.771+0.207s20
1081Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:18.918+0.354s25
113Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT1:19.274+0.710s25
1223Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:19.443+0.879s11
1320Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:19.489+0.925s21
142Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:19.519+0.955s22
1531Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:19.561+0.997s25
1627Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:19.604+1.040s21
1710Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:19.622+1.058s25
1814Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:19.716+1.152s16
1924Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:19.989+1.425s23
2077Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:20.014+1.450s21

Alpine

The French team once again were miles off the pace. Esteban Ocon finished dead last in P16 and his teammate Pierre Gasly did not fare much better only being able to achieve P13. A slow stop on lap 23 did not do Ocon much good. I’m sure Alpine fans will be eagerly waiting for 2025.

Aston Martin

For the first time this season, Lance Stroll beat his teammate two-time world champion Fernando Alonso finishing P6 ahead of Alonso’s P8. That means Stroll was able to convert a strong qualifying as he set himself up at P9 on the starting grid, ahead again of his teammate who started P10.

Ferrari 

After missing out in Saudi Arabia, the smooth operator himself Carlos Sainz took advantage of Verstappen’s early retirement and took the lead of the race on the second lap. It was the Spaniard’s most solid and consistent race I have watched as he controlled P1 excellently all race.

He pushed out ahead of his teammate Charles Leclerc who finished P2 in the late stages of the race taking the third race win of his career. It seems having his appendix removed last weekend gave him the boost he needed and the Ferrari 1-2 will give hope to some of the Scuderia that perhaps a championship in 2024 is not has far of as it might seem. Australia clearly showed the SF-24 is the quickest car behind the Red Bull. A very positive weekend for Ferrari.

Haas

For two races in a row Haas finished in the points with Nico Hulkenburg and Kevin Magnussen finishing a respective P9 and P10. Magnussen raced Albon ‘so hard’ around Albert Park and a deep lunge on lap 45 was able to push him into the points.

Kick Sauber

Sauber maintained their excellent pit stop form with Valterri Botta suffering another horrifically slow stop on lap nine, the third race in a row that the team in green have majorly spoilt one of their driver’s races in the pit lane. Zhou Guanyu was unable to push up the field much either in the severely underpowered C44 meaning another weekend without any points. 

Mercedes

Despite a great start from both George Russel and Lewis Hamilton the Silver Arrow’s weekend ended in disaster. First on lap 15 Hamilton faced complete engine failure forcing his retirement. Russell looked strong the rest of the race, fighting for P6, but he did a Russel special and on lap 58 of 58 he pushed up too close to Fernando Alonso, went too fast into turn four and slammed into the barrier ending up in the middle of the track on his side. A double DNF for Mercedes, the first since 2018.

McLaren

The Papaya’s had a solid race, taking advantage of the Verstappen retirement and leading to Lando Norris’ 14th podium finishing P3, just ahead of teammate Oscar Piastri at his home race who finished in P4. There was little drama for the McLarens with Piastri moving out of the way for Norris to overtake on lap 29 under team orders. This weekend makes Lando Norris the driver with the most podiums but no wins. 

RB

Questions regarding Daniel Ricciardo’s seat were not subdued this weekend after a poor qualifying on Saturday following a lap time deletion for exceeding track limits started him at P18. That means his teammate Yuki Tsunoda has out-qualified Ricciardo every weekend so far this season. Tsunoda himself had a solid race getting up to P7 and staying there. Ricciardo’s home GP was of no solace to him. 

Red Bull

On his way to reaching ten race wins in a row for the second time Max Verstappen was forced to retire as smoke plumed out the back of his Red Bull on lap four. The Dutchman faced a fire in his right rear brake. Sergio Perez had a somewhat disappointing race considering the speed of his RB20 only managing P5.

Williams

A slight bit of drama at Williams following Alex Albon’s crash in FP1. Team principal James Vowles made the decision to sacrifice teammate Logan Sargant’s chassis for qualifying and on Sunday. The William’s driver’s proclivity for binning the cars in the walls so far in 2024 are not helping William’s limited budget. The team simply does not have the spare chassis to afford the consistent crashes from Albon or Sargeant. With the change in place Albon was only able to manage a P11 despite excellent defending from Magnussen during the race. 

Coming Up:

Race 4: Japan, Suzuka International Racing Course, April 05-07

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