Australian GP: Carlos Sainz leads Ferrari one-two from Charles Leclerc

Lando Norris took third to claim his first podium of the season ahead of McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri, while Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez was unable to apply pressure to the leaders as he took fifth

Fernando Alonso benefitted from pitting under a virtual safety car caused by the retirement of Lewis Hamilton on lap 17 to take sixth, while the Brit’s team-mate George Russell completed a double DNF for Mercedes by crashing out on the penultimate lap when chasing the Aston Martin.

The incident that saw Russell crash out remained under investigation after the race, with both he and Alonso called to the stewards amid suggestions Mercedes felt the Aston Martin driver ‘brake-tested’ the Brit.

Carlos Sainz led Charles Leclerc as Ferrari sealed a one-two at the Australian Grand Prix following the early retirement of world championship leader Max Verstappen.

Verstappen was attempting to equal his own record 10-race winning streak as he started from pole position in Melbourne, but completed only three laps before the brakes on his Red Bull caught fire and forced him out of the contest.

Sainz, returning to action having missed the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after undergoing appendix surgery little more than two weeks earlier, took full advantage of the opportunity as he calmly controlled the race from the front to stay clear of Leclerc.

The Spaniard, who ended Verstappen’s record streak in Singapore last year, is the only driver other than the Dutchman to have won any of the last 21 F1 races.

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