(Ferrari on Twitter)
After two years away from the Albert Park Street Circuit in Melbourne, Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions, a record attendance of over 400,000 people packed the outskirts of the circuit to see the return of the Australian Grand Prix in which Charles Leclerc hit the Grand Slam of Formula One in rout to a dominating victory.
Leclerc sat on pole position when the lights went out on Sunday as 20 of the worlds best drivers barreled into the newly reconfigured circuit with Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen right behind him. During the parade lap, Carlos Sainz unfortunately had issues with anti-stall on lap one and fell all the way to 14th by lap 2. In an attempt to fight his way back towards the front, Sainz lost control of his car trying to pass the Haas of Mick Schumacher in Turn 10. Sainz got trapped in the gravel pit and was forced to retire from the race. After the incident, a safety car was deployed.
After the safety car was called in, Lewis Hamilton was passed by Sergio Perez on lap 10. During the caution, Lance Stroll pitted twice to change his tires from hard to medium, and then medium to hard as rules state that he must run two tire compounds during the race. Never specified for how long.
The second safety car was brought out on lap 24 as an accident forced Sebastian Vettel to retire the car. George Russell used the opportunity to pit and come out third behind Leclerc.
On lap 39, a virtual safety car was deployed as Max Verstappen had to retire due to engine trouble. The safety period was dropped on lap later. In a very strong showing, Alex Albon, who started in 20th position for Williams made a pit stop on lap 57 to change tires. In a more impressive effort, Albon finished in 10th place which gave Williams its first championship points for the 2022 season.
For Leclerc he started on pole, had the fastest lap, and won the race in dominating fashion by 20 seconds over Perez. Since 2011, every driver who completed a grand slam in a Formula One season has gone on to win the championship at seasons end.
1st: Charles Leclerc
2nd: Sergio Perez
3rd: George Russell
4th: Lewis Hamilton
5th: Lando Norris
6th: Daniel Ricciardo
7th: Esteban Ocon
8th: Valtteri Bottas
9th: Pierre Gasly
10th: Alex Albon
Championship Standings (Top 3):
1st: Leclerc - 71
2nd: Russell - 37
3rd: Sainz - 33
Constructor Standings (Top 3):
1st: Ferrari - 104
2nd: Mercedes - 65
3rd: Red Bull - 55
Formula One returns to the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari (Imola) for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Sunday, April 24th.
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