F1 Australian Grand Prix ... Charles Strikes Again!
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F1 Australian Grand Prix ... Charles Strikes Again!
F1 Australian Grand Prix ... Charles Strikes Again!
F1 Australian Grand Prix ... Charles Strikes Again!
F1 Australian Grand Prix ... Charles Strikes Again!
F1 Australian Grand Prix ... Charles Strikes Again!
F1 Australian Grand Prix ... Charles Strikes Again!
F1 Australian Grand Prix ... Charles Strikes Again!
F1 Australian Grand Prix ... Charles Strikes Again!
F1 Australian Grand Prix ... Charles Strikes Again!
F1 Australian Grand Prix ... Charles Strikes Again!
F1 Australian Grand Prix ... Charles Strikes Again!
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Melbourne, 10 April 2022

Scuderia Ferrari has won the Australian Grand Prix for a tenth time. Charles Leclerc represented the Maranello marque on the top step of the podium, taking his second win of the season, his fourth with Ferrari, putting him level with Eddie Irvine, Clay Regazzoni and John Surtees. Leclerc led all 58 laps around Albert Park, also setting the race fastest lap, thus taking his first ever “Grand Chelem.” It was Scuderia Ferrari’s 240th victory. The only regret on the day was Carlos Sainz’s retirement on lap 2, after he went off the track at turn 11, following a difficult start from ninth on the grid. Despite this, Ferrari has only dropped one point to the second placed team in the championship, which got both its cars to the line. It has moved a further eight ahead of the team that has had the faster car in this first part of the season, but only got one car to the chequered flag today.

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The Australian race, run on a very different type of track to the first two rounds in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia has confirmed yet again that those in Maranello have done a good job. The F1-75 has been versatile in adapting well to the characteristics of the different tracks and Charles was comfortable right from the start today. In the early laps, he was able to fend off Max Verstappen, the only driver who looked capable of putting him under pressure. But Leclerc managed to pull away thanks in part to the F1-75 allowing for better management of the Medium tyres. This was also seen later when after the second Safety Car, brought out following Sebastian Vettel’s crash, all the cars were already running the Hard tyres.

A difficult Sunday
Carlos had a tough afternoon. A problem with some switches meant the team had to change the steering wheel on car 55, just a few minutes before the start. This did nothing for the Spaniard’s concentration and he did not get off the line well, partly because he was starting on the Hard tyre, chosen to go for a different strategy to those around him on the grid. Trying to make up ground having dropped to 13th, Sainz spun at turn 11 and was beached in the gravel trap.

Onward to Imola
"Now the team will tackle the long trip home from Australia where all the data will be analysed in Maranello before the Easter break. The next round is in Italy, the Made in Italy and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, host of the first Sprint of the season. The team will arrive at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on 104 points, ahead of Mercedes on 65 and Red Bull on 55. Charles leads the Drivers’ classification on 71 points, ahead of second placed George Russell on 34."

Charles Leclerc #16
"What a great victory this was for us! We managed our pace well and were extremely competitive. We didn’t suffer from tyre degradation, even when pushing hard. The car was just amazing and I’m very pleased with how my race went.On paper, this was a track that we expected to be tough for us, so we have to review our data because we were in fact very strong.It’s a great way to start the season, but we have to keep in mind that we are only three races into a very long championship. We can’t afford to relax at any moment and have to stay on top of things, most of all on development.Congratulations to everyone on our team. What an amazing job you have all done! I’m very proud of how far we’ve come and can’t wait to continue fighting. Forza Ferrari!"

Carlos Sainz #55
"This is definitely a difficult weekend to digest. After all that happened yesterday, I was looking forward to the race but we hit problems even before the start. On the laps to the grid we had an issue with some switches on the steering wheel and we had to change it one minute before the formation lap. Unfortunately, at the start, the anti-stall kicked in.Trying to recover and overtake, I made a mistake as I pushed too early when the tyres were probably not ready. Up until Q3 the weekend was going ok but from then on everything just went wrong. We will analyse it carefully, learn and move on. The car felt good so congrats to the team and to Charles for the win. We’ll come back stronger in Imola."

Mattia Binotto, Team Principal & Managing Director
"I am very pleased. It’s always great to win and it also boosts the morale of the team who deserve all this, because they have all developed the right mentality to face difficult moments head on and make the most of any opportunity. We always say that you can only come out on top in Formula 1 if you do everything to perfection and I think today’s race proved that. Charles delivered a mature performance, something he is now making a habit of.It’s a shame for Carlos, because his weekend was complicated by a series of circumstances in both qualifying and the race, which affected his performance. I know him well enough to believe that he will turn the negatives to his advantage and come back stronger next time he’s in the car. The start of the season has been positive and the work of the past few months is paying off. We will continue to concentrate on ourselves and take it one race at a time. We have earned some time with our families over Easter, but then we will get back to it, working on the next race, which being at Imola, takes on even greater importance. We can’t wait to be there and we’re looking forward to seeing the circuit packed with our fans, to share this good start to the year."

Temperature: air 28°, track 36°

Charles is on pole with new Medium tyres, Carlos starts from ninth on used Hards. When the lights go out, Leclerc keeps the lead, but Carlos drops down to 14th.

Lap 2
Sainz goes off the track at White corner and his race ends there. Safety Car.

Lap 7
The race restarts and Charles still leads.

Lap 18
Charles pulls away from Verstappen, building up an 8 second lead.

Lap 23
Charles pits for Hards and keeps the lead.

Lap 24
Safety Car caused by Sebastian Vettel wipes out Leclerc’s lead.

Lap 27
Restart: Charles once again maintains the lead.

Lap 38
Charles leads with a 6 second advantage over Verstappen.

Lap 39
Verstappen stops with a problem so Perez is second.

Last lap
Charles manages the gap to Sergio Perez and George Russell to record his fourth career win, the second out of the first three races of the season. The Monegasque also sets the race fastest lap in 1’20”260.

Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
“Bringing home four points with another top ten finish is really good, especially to bounce back after the off-race in Jeddah. The team did a good job in difficult circumstances today: the timing of the first Safety Car wasn’t ideal and it cost us track position, especially with Zhou; we also got stuck in a couple of DRS trains that made progress hard, so we had to earn our place the difficult way. That we did, and we went so close to having two cars in the points again, is proof that we are going in the right direction. The whole team did well today, now we can focus on the race in Imola to continue our battle for a good position in the constructors’ championship.”

Valtteri Bottas #77 8th Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42 (Chassis 01)
“I really enjoyed the race today, it was a good performance with close racing and battles from beginning to end. Of course, the most important thing is that we brought home some points, and that is due to a good job done by everyone in the team: I am happy with the calls that were made and how we raced – and, definitely, the thinner wing that penalized us yesterday turned out to be the right choice and helped us make progress. I had a fun day even though I had to work hard, pushing all the race: now hopefully we can continue to be strong and improve. We have upgrades coming in the next few rounds so we can continue fighting for points in every race.”

Zhou Guanyu #24 11th Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN C42 (Chassis 02)
“I am proud of my race, but obviously I am a bit upset at missing out on the points for such a close margin. Our pace was good, but we lost a few positions with the safety car and that made our life a lot harder. I gave it all and pushed so hard at the end, but I had no tyres left when I got to battle Alex and I couldn’t make it in front. Still, we solved the problem at the start and the race was good: I am looking back at my first three rounds in Formula One and my worst result is 11th, so I can build on this positive start, aiming to score points in every race.”

Esteban Ocon
“This weekend has ended with some mixed feelings for us. Of course, finishing the race in seventh is a decent result, especially after what was a difficult weekend for me. Yesterday was not our strongest day and that definitely made a difference in how today played out. So, there’s lots of learning for us to do from the last couple of days with the team as we know we’ve got more potential to unlock. All in all, I’ve been in the points in three out of three races, and I am leaving Australia satisfied with how my season has started. I am hungry for more and excited for the next one.”

Fernando Alonso
“I am gutted with this weekend, to be honest. It’s hard to accept the result after the bad luck we had in Saudi and again here in Melbourne. Today we were looking good for possibly sixth place, and of course the podium was even on the cards before yesterday’s issue in qualifying. The strategy was good today and the car felt strong on the Hard tyre. The pace was there with everyone stopping on the Mediums around us, but then the Safety Car regrouped the field and it effectively ended our race. Overtaking was difficult today and especially with the DRS train towards the end of the race. We degraded our Medium tyres in this train, so we needed to stop again. There are twenty more races to go and hopefully luck will shift in our favour for the rest of the season!”

Laurent Rossi, CEO Alpine
“We are generally disappointed with today’s result, however, it’s a good sign that we’re not satisfied as it underlines how far we have progressed as a team. We know that we had the speed, and the potential, for a much better result with both cars today but the race weekend just didn’t quite unfold in our direction. The track proved very difficult for overtaking, especially in comparison to the previous two races, and we knew that Saturday’s qualifying result would play a huge part in the outcome of Sunday’s race. With our cars starting in eighth and tenth, it was always going to be a challenge to make an advance on those places. After some early promise, the Safety Car was especially unfortunate for Fernando who was managing a quiet, but effective, reverse strategy on Hard to Medium. Overall, we’ve shown we are competitive, and we will keep building on the good base that we have, especially by bringing some upgrades to upcoming races to enable us to keep fighting higher up the grid. For that, we will work on consistency in order to get both cars into the points. I’m confident in everyone at Enstone and Viry to continue their hard work in pushing this team deservedly forwards. We move onto the next one when we race in Europe again in Imola. Our team is very much in the mix and it is up to us now to remain highly motivated in this championship contest.”

1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 1:27:46.548
2. Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) + 20.524
3. George Russell (Mercedes AMG) + 25.593
4. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes AMG) + 28.543
5. Lando Norris (McLaren) + 53.303
6. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) + 53.737
7. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) + 1:01.683
8. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) + 1:08.439
9. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) + 1:16.221
10. Alexander Albon (Williams) + 1:19.382
11. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo) + 1:21.695
12. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) + 1:28.598
13. Mick Schumacher (Haas) + 1 Runde
14. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) + 1 Runde
15. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) + 1 Runde
16. Nicholas Latifi (Williams) + 1 Runde
17. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) + 1 Runde
---------------- dnf ------------------------------
NC Max Verstappen (Red Bull) Retired fuel leak lap 38
NCSebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) Retired spun off lap 22
NC Carlos Sainz jr. (Ferrari) Retired spun off lap 1