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Charles Leclerc wins Formula 1 Australian GP

MELBOURNE, Australia – Go high after the decisive victory for Ferrari in Australia grand opening on Sunday, Charles Leclerc’s faith in the team’s prospects is growing with the race.

A grand prize is seen as a duel between Leclerc’s Ferrari and red bull of the Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez finished with the Monaco driver as a one-sided winner.

24-year-old Leclerc extended his lead in the drivers’ championship race to 34 points while claiming his second win of the season following victory in the season-opening race in Bahrain.

A crowd of 128,294 in Melbourne enjoyed a spectacular win by Leclerc, who was able to hold off Verstappen in the opening laps and defend well mid-race in safe car conditions to claim a 20,524 win. decisive seconds.

An engine failure forced Verstappen out of the race on lap 38 at the Albert Park track, with Perez overtaking a slow start to take the lead for second. Mercedes the duo of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in third and fourth place, respectively.

McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth and sixth in the Australian GP, ​​attracting a record 419,114 attendees over three days.

Leclerc becomes first Ferrari driver since Fernando Alonso in Singapore in 2010 to complete a “grand slam” race that included winning at the top, leading in lead and being the fastest.

The riders championship leader, who competed in Round 22, posted the fastest lap first minutes, 20,260 seconds with a flourishing final lap and clearly the fastest car of the whole weekend, which he describes as a pleasant surprise.

“Honestly, what a car today. Of course, I did well the whole weekend, but it was impossible without the car,” he said.

His teammate, Carlos Sainz, finished on the podium in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia but suffered several setbacks during a week of testing.

After a problem in qualifying resulted in him starting ninth, he dropped deeper in the field with a slow start and then lost control in the second lap, ending his race. .

However, Leclerc is optimistic about Ferrari’s prospects in this year’s manufacturers’ championship.

“Obviously, we’re only in the third race so it’s hard to think about the championship,” he said.

“But to be honest, we have a very powerful car, a very reliable car, and until now we have always been there. I hope it continues like this and if it happens we may have a chance for the championship.”

Verstappen, the world champion, never really challenged Leclerc and withdrew with a mechanical defeat while finishing second.

Despite winning in Saudi Arabia two weeks ago, the Dutchman was clearly disappointed by the performance in Melbourne and said Red Bull was “many miles behind” Ferrari.

“I don’t even want to think about the championship right now,” he said. “I think it’s more important to just finish the race, because today was, in general, a bad day. It is quite annoying and unacceptable.

“I know there is a problem and it will always be a question mark for the end of the race, but things like this, if you want to fight for the title, can’t happen.”

Team Mercedes has also resolved issues to start the season and is going slow compared to Ferrari and Red Bull.

Russell was able to win his first championship of the year as Verstappen was forced out of the race and can only hope the team is capable of closing the gap later this year.

“We have a bit of luck today… but we’ll take it. To be on the podium is special,” said Russell.

“We will never give up. We will continue to fight. We have to keep this up while we’re on the rebound, I’m sure we’ll finish in a few more races.”

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon ranked seventh, first Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and Pierre Gasly in AlphaTauri.

Despite being disqualified for fuel irregularities, Williams driver Alex Albon finished 10th to claim his first point of the season.

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