Saturday, October 1, 2022

F1 Australian Grand Prix LIVE: Result and reaction as Charles Leclerc cruises to win after Max Verstappen retirement

(REUTERS)

Follow reaction to the third F1 race of the 2022 as Charles Leclerc notched a brilliant triumph at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

The Ferrari drive led from start to finish after securing pole position 24 hours earlier and was barely challenged as he cemented his place as the championship favourite.

Red Bull suffered reliability issues as Max Verstappen was forced to retire for the second time in three races. The reigning champion ‘smelt some weird fluid’ in his car and had to pull over. Marshals were then required with fire extinguishers to avoid any further damage to driver or car.

Sergio Perez secured a relatively lonely second place while Mercedes will be quietly pleased with third and fourth. George Russell took his first podium of the season, while Lewis Hamilton wasn’t far behind his teammate. McLaren also clinched a first points double of the campaign with Lando Norris ending fifth and home favorite Daniel Ricciardo in sixth.

Follow all the reaction from the Australian Grand Prix below:

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Charles Leclerc dominates Australian Grand Prix to extend his F1 championship lead

World champion Max Verstappen failed to reach the checkered flag for the second time in three races after his Red Bull expired with 19 laps remaining.

Leclerc, a two-timer winner this season, is now 34 points clear of second-placed Russell in the standings. Hamilton is fifth, 43 adrift points.

Read the full race report here:

Dan Austin10 April 2022 09:25

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Constructors standings after Leclerc wins Australian Grand Prix

Dan Austin10 April 2022 09:11

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Drivers standings after Leclerc wins Australian Grand Prix

Dan Austin10 April 2022 08:55

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Binotto praises Leclerc’s growth

Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto says Charles Leclerc has shown tremendous ‘growth’ since he joined Ferrari, which is powering his title challenge at the beginning of the 2022 season.

“Today was great,” binotto told Sky Sports F1. “It is a great satisfaction. Each race can be different but let’s enjoy today! “Charles is very focused and driving very well. Last year was important for him and his growth, Today he was very good at tire management which he has learned through his time here.”

“I don’t know if we are unstoppable, each race will be different. Out Tifosi will be there in Imola [ at the next race in two weeks], so it will be special. it’s a great emotion. We are very happy and looking forward to it. We are not managing the championship, it’s only three races. This one was great. To win you need to be perfect because it’s very tight. We need to approach each race track to do the best.”

Carlos Sainz retired after spinning into the gravel early on in the race, but Binotto said he and Leclerc remain free to fight one another.

“Carlos is pretty disappointed today,” Binotto said. “He has been very fast on Friday and Saturday. There were some circumstances wree he has been a bit unlucky and lost concentration in some places. I know Carlos, he will come back very strong and looking forward to Imola to see his speed.”

Dan Austin10 April 2022 08:41

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Leclerc surprised by Ferrari dominance in Australia

Charles Leclerc has won two of the first three races of the 2022 F1 season, finishing second in the other, and is dominating the drivers’ championship right now.

Max Verstappen retired with some sort of mechanical failure but didn’t have the pace to match Leclerc anyway, who was surprised by Ferrari’s speed after spending the earlier part of the week believing Red Bull would be quickest.

“When I say things on the Thursday [about spped comparisons] it’s what I’m being told by the team,” he explained. “On our paper we were a bit behind Red Bull on this track, but we were stronger than we thought which was a nice surprise. Maybe we need to review our paper! The team has managed [to build] a stronger engine, a reliable engine. I’m incredibly happy and proud to be driving for Ferrari. After the last two years it wasn’t a given we would be back at this level. It’s an extremely good start.

“It’s going to be crazy [at Imola next time around],” he added. “Italy for us is always incredible. I can’t wait to be there but on the other hand we don’;t need to arrive there with the mindset of trying to do more. We’ve been working extremely well since the start of the season and I don’t want to change that. It’s always tense obviously but I just try not to think too much about where we are. We’ll just focus on our job and not focus too much on where we are.”

Dan Austin10 April 2022 08:35

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Mercedes drivers pleased with third and fourth finish

Mercedes took a strong podium with George Russell at Albert Park this morning, while Lewis Hamilton finished in fourth. Both drivers were pleased with their efforts and the solid points the team earned, which leave them second in the constructors’ championship.

“A great result for us as a team,” seven-time world champion Hamilton told Sky Sports F1. “During this weekend we’ve had so many difficult moments with the car so to progress like we have and have a third and fourth [is good]. We’ll take these points and keep pushing. I couldn’t fight for third because the engine as overheating so I had to sit behind and back off. But we bagged as many points as we could as a team so that’s great.”

Team-mate George Russell, meanwhile, was quick to praise the team’s personnel.

It’s a credit to everybody at Brackley and Brixworth because it doesn’t matter how fast your car is if you’re not there at the end,” he said. “We were probably fifth fastest because this weekend but here we are on the weight. We have to be proud of the job we’ve done so far with performance we have. I’m a racing driver and I want to fight for my position. If I managed the tire at the final corner I was a sitting duck, but they have the data in front of them. If I pushed harder I would have finished behind Lewis. Lewis kept me on my toes for sure. he doesn’t give up and was pushing until the end so I had to keep going to keep him behind. Goal [Red Bull] were just too quick for us.”

“Someone told me that [I’m second in the championship] and I didn’t believe them! If we want to keep that position we have to find more performance in the car. We have to be proud about this result because we’re P2 in both championships. We were slower than McLaren and Alpine but we’ve come away with P3 and P4, which is pretty mega. We have to go about the [improvement] process analytically, we can’t do anything crazy. If we do something drastic we’ll go backwards not forwards. It’s going to take time but there’s so much potential in the car. We’re a bit on the heavy side and lacking downforce. There’s always more to come and improve, but it’s been a respectable start and I’ll keep on improving [as a driver].”

Dan Austin10 April 2022 08:27

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Perez bemoans Red Bull back luck

Sergio Perez has been reacting to his second place finish as well as team-mate Max Verstappen’s retirement.

“We’ve been so unlucky these first few races,” Perez said on Sky Sports F1. “It’s nice to be back on the podium but the race didn’t go as planned, we had too much degradation on the tyres. We were quite far from the Ferraris today. the setup direction we had to take with the car is what hurt out degradation. It’s only race three so a long way to go. It was a shame we lost Max especially with Carlos out, it was a good opportunity to close up the gap to Ferrari.

“I really trust our people. Everyone is working flat out so these points are going to be costly at this point but we have to keep our heads down and keep pushing. We have a good car so we are there, but today fundamentally we got a few things wrong and paid the price. But that’s racing.”

Dan Austin10 April 2022 08:24

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Full race results

A quick reminder of the full results from Melbourne this morning:

Dan Austin10 April 2022 08:09

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Horner ‘understands’ Verstappen frustration after second retirement

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he understands Verstappen’s anger after his second mechanical retirement in three races.

“It’s totally understandable, his frustration,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “That was a really disappointing result. We don’t know what the issue is yet but I don’t think it’s engine related, it seems fuel related. t. We can’t accept DNFs, we need to understand the issue and get on top of it. Max hadn’t been happy all weekend with getting the car in the right window. That’s usually the sign you haven’t got the right balance. We have things in the pipeline I think will help, but we need to put this behind us and move on.

“We did’t have the pace to race Ferrari today, but it’s still frustrating not to bag those points. We just didn’t have the pace to beat Charles. The Ferrari was untouchable and it came alive for them today. I’d rather ix a fast because then try and make a slow one fast.”

Dan Austin10 April 2022 08:00

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Verstappen second calls Red Bull retirement ‘unacceptable’

Max Verstappen is now a whopping 46 points behind Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ standings, with two retirements in the early rounds costing him big.

The world champion’s frustration is clear to see and he has called Red Bull’s form ‘unacceptable.’

“We are already miles behind”, he told Sky Sports F1. “I don’t even want to think about the championship fight right now, it’s more important to finish races. Today was a very bad day again. It looked like an easy P2 and I couldn’t fight Charles so didn’t put pressure on him, but we didn’t even finish the race. it’s unacceptable. If you want to fight for this title this kind of thing cannot happen. I knew there was an issue [this morning] but this kind of thing should not happen.”

Dan Austin10 April 2022 07:57

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