Leading from start to finish with his Ferrari, Charles Leclerc flew over the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday 10 April in the heart of Melbourne’s Albert Park. The Monegasque made a perfect run quickly dismissing the Red Bull threat. He won ahead of Sergio Pérez and George Russell’s Mercedes.
A victory that allows him to consolidate his leadership in the world. At the antipodes of his success in Saudi Arabia, Max Verstappen, meanwhile, laid down his arms over a mechanical problem. This is his second retirement in three races.
It is more than a trend. Following Charles Leclerc as the new muse of the podium, the Red has returned to fashion on F1 circuits. With a second pole position this season, the Monegasque led the parade at Albert Park. At the start, as in the two race restarts after the safety car entered, he left no one to frustrate his plans and escaped each time without looking back.
– Formula 1 (@ F1) April 10, 2022
Even Max Verstappen, winner of the last GP in Jeddah, failed to steal the show. The situation is even worrying for the Dutchman who was the victim of a new break in his Red Bull whose reliability is being tested during this year of renewal. This leaves the field open to Leclerc who signs a hat trick with the fastest lap point of the race and flies away to the driver classification (71 points).
The Monegasque, who only wins when he leaves the pole, is 34 points ahead of George Russell (37). “This is the first of my victories where we were able to control what was happening behind us“said the Monegasque, winner of his fourth race of the race.”The pace of the race was very solid. The second resumption was difficult due to an oversteer at the last corner, but then I found my tires. We have a very good and very reliable car. We’ve always been in the game since the start of the season. We must continue like this.“
At Ferrari, for which it was the 240th victory in the Grand Prix, we will quickly ask ourselves the question of whether to make Leclerc the number 1 for the rest of the championship with 18 races left on the calendar (19 if the Russian GP). Carlos Sainz is certainly 3rd in the standings, but his failure in the standings and his retirement after two laps to fall alone on the gravel do not ask for him in favor, while his teammate leads three races in the new cloud .
Although Sergio Pérez signed 2nd place, Verstappen will continue to be the leader of Red Bull. After retiring on lap 39, the reigning world champion, however, struggled to swallow this new charlatan. “It is unacceptable when you fight for the championship“, he reacted to Canal +.It can’t go on like this. We need a faster car than yours, but that’s not the case right now.“
The good surprise in Melbourne came from Mercedes, which, unable to compete in performance with Ferrari and Red Bull, managed to add valuable points. Opportunists on Sunday, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished 3rd and 4th respectively ahead of the two McLarens who also recovered. In the tricolor clan, Esteban Ocon finished his weekend in 7th place while Fernando Alonso was also able to see a Top 10 (17th). Pierre Gasly limited the damage with his 10th position.