Formula One, Ferrari double in Australia: Sainz wins then Leclerc

It is therefore a good time to celebrate in Maranello. The Ferrari one-two on the southern continent had not been seen for exactly 20 years, since Schumacher and Barrichello were already starting to dominate the last year of the red team’s unforgettable favorable series. With them on the podium, Fernando Alonso in the Renault (today sixth and the only driver of the time still racing in the top series). Schumacher still holds the record for victories on this track with four (all in red, but with Benetton), followed by Button and Vettel. With today’s success, Ferrari joins McLaren in the constructors’ ranking at the Australian GP, ​​at 11th, and Mercedes in the engine rankings, also at 11th.

This is obviously the first coronation for Carlos Sainz jr on this track: he undoubtedly ‘sends a message’ to the team, but an important contract to replace him has already been signed and next year he will no longer wear the same suit. However, Hamilton will do it and, always thinking about the numbers, he will not lack the desire to redeem himself from today’s sad retirement. In fact, he has a personal best that is very difficult to beat: in Melbourne he boasts 8 pole positions, with very distant pursuers: Senna at 6, Mansell, Hakkinen and Schumacher at 3. No active driver with more than one success on Saturday.

The balance of the day

The balance of this day is one of the lowest ever for Red Bull for years now. Due to the inexorable decline of Perez, who is also afflicted by rear-end problems, today Chris Horner’s team is coming dangerously close to Vasseur’s men in the important constructors’ classification, rising to 97 and 93 points respectively. At the start of the longest season ever, with 24 races (of which 6 accompanied by Sprint tests), it indicates a reopening of the games, in the hope that 2024 will not be as monotonous as the last 3 years. There are also four points between Verstappen’s 51 and Leclerc’s 47, with Perez dropping to third place with 46 points and Sainz just behind on 40.

Also noteworthy is the performance of the Aston Martins (not perfect race pace, but also a lot of luck), immediately behind the inevitable fifth place of the Mexican, who brings a car superior to the lot of manufacturers and the best ‘garage drivers’. It’s a shame about the gap: 80 seconds for Alonso, sixth, not much reduced by the Virtual Safety Car on the last lap. 13 further back Stroll, seventh, who however had qualified just ahead of the Asturian at the bottom of Q2. Tsunoda, who started eighth, ate him early. Russell, better than them on the starting grid, left the scene on the last lap.

The Mercedes twists

In addition to the retirement with fire and even a small explosion in the return lane for the Dutch champion, in fact, the strongest load of twists today is in favor of Mercedes, which obtains a Do Not Finish with both drivers taking home a loot of zero points. Hamilton, already coming from a very modest qualifying where he had not even made it into Q3, parked in the grass on lap 17 with no more thrust from the propulsion. Russell, however, on the last of the fifty-eight laps, risks a late braking and hits the wall with a daring rebound which, at first, also worries everyone. Perhaps it wasn’t all his fault, because a problem partially admitted by Alonso with his car may have led the Mercedes driver to get too close and lose aerodynamic load, reducing braking effectiveness and increasing oversteer, sending him into an impact and partially spinning into a uncomfortable and dangerous position for others too. There were no physical consequences for the driver, but the Englishman threw away a difficult qualifying on the fourth row and caused the Mercedes team to slip to fifth place among the constructors with 26 points. The direct opponents are now only those of Aston Martin, ahead by only one point. A renewed McLaren is on the run, with more than double, at 55.

#Formula #Ferrari #double #Australia #Sainz #wins #Leclerc
2024-03-24 08:32:54

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