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Sainz wins chaotic Australian GP as Verstappen streak ends with retirement

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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Max Verstappen limps back into the garage and is out of the Australian Grand Prix as smoke pours out of his Red Bull!

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 final lap when chasing the Aston Martin.

Lance Stroll took seventh behind his team-mate, as Yuki Tsunoda completed an impressive weekend by claiming eighth for RB.

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Lewis Hamilton reports an engine failure and retires from a chaotic Australian Grand Prix!

Haas duo Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen completed the top 10, scoring crucial Constructors’ Championship points for the team.

Verstappen, seeking a fourth successive drivers’ title, remains top of the standings but leads Leclerc, who claimed an extra point for setting the fastest lap of the race, by just four points, with Perez a further point back in third.

Sainz is 11 points back from Verstappen in fourth, but would likely be the world championship leader had it not been for his absence from round two in Jeddah. Ferrari have closed to within four points of Red Bull at the top of the constructors’ standings.

More to follow…

Australian GP result: Top 10

1) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari
2) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
3) Lando Norris, McLaren
4) Oscar Piastri, McLaren
5) Sergio Perez, Red Bull
6) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin
7) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin
8) Yuki Tsunoda, RB
9) Nico Hulkenberg, Haas
10) Kevin Magnussen, Haas

Formula 1’s biggest ever season continues with the Japanese Grand Prix, live on Sky Sports F1 from April 5-7. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – No contract, cancel anytime

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