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Verstappen surgesan early retirement from Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix ahead of Sainz and Perez.

SportsVerstappen surgesan early retirement from Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix ahead of Sainz and Perez.

An angry Max Verstappen was an early retirement from the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, with the Red Bull driver sustaining a fiery engine failure on the fourth lap of the race, enduring his first race retirement since Albert Park in Australia in 2022.

Minutes after his retirement, he was seen on TV coverage of the race in a heated discussion with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

Verstappen had won the first two F1 races of the season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and was on a nine-race winning streak.

Meanwhile Daniel Ricciardo suffered an early exit in front of his home fans, having had a lap time deleted and ultimately finishing Q1 in P18. The Kick Sauber of Zhou Guanyu will start from the back in P19, with only 19 cars running due to Sargeant’s absence.

“My right rear brake basically stuck on from when the lights went off,” Verstappen said. “The temperatures (in the car) just kept on increasing until the point that it caught fire. They (mechanics) could see what was going on but they don’t know what what caused it.”

“We had a lot of good races in a row, I knew that the day would come when you end up having a retirement and unfortunately that day was today.”

Max Verstappen claimed an assured pole position in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix, with the Dutchman setting the pace ahead of Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez.

After setting a time of 1m 16.048s in the first runs of Q3, Verstappen improved on his effort in the final laps with a 1m 15.915s. This put him 0.270s clear of Sainz, who had looked impressive in his first qualifying since returning following surgery for appendicitis two weeks ago.

Perez will share the second row with the lead McLaren of Lando Norris, while Charles Leclerc wound up fifth after abandoning his final flying lap.

Home favourite Oscar Piastri will start from sixth, ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell in seventh and RB’s Yuki Tsunoda in eighth after a strong performance.

The Aston Martin duo of Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso completed the top 10, with each having a moment during their laps in Q3.

FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX 2024
Qualifying results

POSITION
Team Name
TIME
1
Max VERSTAPPENRed Bull Racing
1:15.915
2
Carlos SAINZFerrari
1:16.185
3
Sergio PEREZRed Bull Racing
1:16.274
4
Lando NORRISMcLaren
1:16.315
5
Charles LECLERCFerrari
1:16.435
VIEW FULL RESULTS
There was a shock in the final moments of Q2 as Lewis Hamilton was pushed out of the top 10 by Tsunoda, meaning that the seven-time world champion will start from P11 on the grid following a difficult session for Mercedes.

He will be joined on the sixth row by Alex Albon, who has taken over the chassis of team mate Logan Sargeant for the remainder of the weekend, after Williams were left with only one following Albon’s crash in Free Practice 1.

Valtteri Bottas – a keen fan of Australia – will start from P13, with Kevin Magnussen the lead Haas in P14 while Esteban Ocon hauled his Alpine into P15, despite a brush with the wall in Q1.

Nico Hulkenberg was amongst the drivers eliminated in Q1, with the German set to start from P16, while Alpine’s Pierre Gasly ended the session in P17 and will also be investigated after the session for crossing the line at the pit exit.

Meanwhile Daniel Ricciardo suffered an early exit in front of his home fans, having had a lap time deleted and ultimately finishing Q1 in P18. The Kick Sauber of Zhou Guanyu will start from the back in P19, with only 19 cars running due to Sargeant’s absence.

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