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F1 Australian Grand Prix LIVE: Fernando Alonso hit with penalty after George Russell collision

F1 Australian Grand Prix LIVE: Fernando Alonso hit with penalty after George Russell collision

Max Verstappen’s bid to win a record-equalling 10 consecutive races went up in smoke as Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz returned from surgery just 16 days ago to win in Australia.

Verstappen suffered a brake failure after just four laps of Sunday’s 58-lap race at Melbourne’s sun-cooked Albert Park to end his winning streak which stretched back to September’s Japanese Grand Prix.

Sainz took advantage of Verstappen’s first retirement in 43 races to claim just the third win of his career a fortnight after he was ruled out of the previous round in Saudi Arabia with appendicitis.

Charles Leclerc finished second to complete a Ferrari one-two with Lando Norris next up as the British driver landed his first podium of the year. Lewis Hamilton’s miserable start to his final season with Mercedes continued after he retired on lap 17 with an engine failure.

Follow live updates from the Australian GP with The Independent

F1 AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX - LATEST UPDATES

  • Carlos Sainz wins the Australian Grand Prix; Leclerc 2nd; Norris 3rd

  • Click HERE for the top-10

  • OUT! George Russell crashes in the penultimate lap (Lap 57/58)

  • OUT! Lewis Hamilton retires after an engine failure (Lap 18/58)

  • OUT! Max Verstappen retires from the race (Lap 4/58)

  • LAP 2/58: Carlos Sainz overtakes Max Verstappen

  • Sergio Perez given three-place grid drop

  • Hamilton explains ‘long list’ of Mercedes issues after shock qualifying in Australia

  • PREVIEW: F1 fails to shift dark cloud dial in Australia as Susie Wolff takes FIA to court

BREAKING: Fernando Alonso receives 20-second time penalty

09:14 , Kieran Jackson

What a shock, nearly four hours after the race.

Fernando Alonso has been given a 20-second time penalty for that incident with George Russell.

The penalty drops Alonso from sixth to eighth, with Lance Stroll up to sixth and Yuki Tsunoda promoted to seventh.

What do we think of that?

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz wins the Australian Grand Prix

05:26 , Kieran Jackson

What a win for Carlos Sainz, two weeks after abdominal surgery!

Ferrari one-two in Australia!

Charles Leclerc comes home in second, with McLaren’s Lando Norris in third.

4-10: Piastri, Perez, Alonso, Stroll, Tsunoda, Hulkenberg, Magnussen

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

NEW TOP-10:

09:38 , Kieran Jackson

1. Carlos Sainz

2. Charles Leclerc

3. Lando Norris

4. Oscar Piastri

5. Sergio Perez

6. Lance Stroll

7. Yuki Tsunoda

8. Fernando Alonso*

9. Nico Hulkenberg

10. Kevin Magnussen

*Alonso received a 20-second time penalty for brake testing George Russell prior to the Mercedes driver’s crash

Driver Standings after the Australian Grand Prix:

08:56 , Kieran Jackson

1. Max Verstappen - 51 points

2. Charles Leclerc - 47 points

3. Sergio Perez - 46 points

4. Carlos Sainz - 40 points

5. Oscar Piastri - 28 points

6. Lando Norris - 27 points

4. George Russell - 18 points

7. Fernando Alonso - 20 points

8. George Russell - 18 points

9. Lewis Hamilton - 8 points

10. Lance Stroll - 7 points

11. Oliver Bearman - 6 points

12. Yuki Tsunoda - 4 points

13. Nico Hulkenberg - 3 points

14. Kevin Magnussen - 1 point

15. Alex Albon - 0 points

16. Zhou Guanyu - 0 points

17. Daniel Ricciardo - 0 points

18. Esteban Ocon - 0 points

19. Pierre Gasly - 0 points

20. Valtteri Bottas - 0 points

21. Logan Sargeant - 0 points

Lewis Hamilton reacts after dismal Australian Grand Prix

07:38 , Kieran Jackson

Lewis Hamilton reacted to a terrible weekend in Australia after being forced to retire from the race on Sunday.

Hamilton, who has not won a race in more than two years, endured his worst qualifying in Melbourne in 14 years on Saturday, putting his Mercedes only 11th on the grid.

Although Hamilton made up a place early on in the race, by lap 18 the seven-time world champion was finding it difficult to keep his car on the racetrack.

Then suddenly, his power unit failed, with Hamilton reporting: “Engine failure!”

Lewis Hamilton reacts after dismal Australian Grand Prix

McLaren’s Lando Norris:

07:22 , Kieran Jackson

Asked if he could finish in second, he nods: “Difficult to know, I would say yes. We were quicker than Charles but we were undercut. That’s strategic. As a team, as much as we’ll be happy with a P3, was P2 possible? I think it was today. I’ll still take third and fourth.

“Japan was one of our best races last year. Ferrari have taken a big step. I’m expecting Red Bull to be better than what they were this weekend. We still have some weaknesses in slow-speed corners. When we improve that, then I’ll say every weekend we can compete for podiums. We’re missing that bit of magic.”

Max Verstappen rages as Red Bull car catches fire and forces shock retirement from Australian GP

07:04 , Kieran Jackson

Max Verstappen retired from a race for the first time in two years after a brake issue set his Red Bull car on fire in the Australian Grand Prix.

It looked business as usual after the three-time world champion – who won the first two races of the season comfortably – led from pole following a decent start.

However, within one lap, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz overtook the Red Bull around the outside, with Verstappen surprisingly admitting over team radio: “I lost the car, really weird!”

And by lap three, Verstappen fell further down the field with smoke pouring out of the rear of his RB20 car.

Max Verstappen rages as car catches fire and forces shock retirement in Australia

George Russell:

06:52 , Kieran Jackson

On his crash: “My take is I’ve gone off and that’s on me, but I was half-a-second behind Fernando 100m before the corner, then he came towards me extremely quick, was on his gearbox. We’re off to the stewards, a bit bizarre in circumstances like this.

“It’s clear he braked 100m before the corner and then took the corner normally. I’m not going to accuse him until we learn further. I wasn’t expecting it, caught me by surprise. That part’s on me. Intrigued to see what the stewards say.”

F1 highlights from the Australian Grand Prix:

06:33 , Kieran Jackson

Highlights of the race in the UK will be aired on free-to-air Channel 4 at 12:30pm (GMT) on Sunday.

TOP-10 FOR THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

06:32 , Kieran Jackson

1. Carlos Sainz

2. Charles Leclerc

3. Lando Norris

4. Oscar Piastri

5. Sergio Perez

6. Fernando Alonso

7. Lance Stroll

8. Yuki Tsunoda

9. Nico Hulkenberg

10. Kevin Magnussen

NEW: Fernando Alonso under investigation

06:22 , Kieran Jackson

After that late George Russell crash, Mercedes complained that Fernando Alonso ahead was brake testing the Brit.

Alonso has been called to the stewards.

The Italian national anthem being belted out in Australia!

06:12 , Kieran Jackson

Quite the moment for Ferrari!

Time for the podium in Australia!

06:04 , Kieran Jackson

McLaren’s first podium for 10 years... but it’s all about Ferrari in Melbourne!

And such a proud moment for Carlos Sainz as he celebrates his third win in F1!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Lando Norris after finishing third:

05:55 , Kieran Jackson

“It was a very good day for us. Proud of the team, P3 and P4 is a lot of points in the championship. We missed out on Charles, he undercut us in the first stint. Our pace was strong enough today. Ferrari and Carlos did a very good job, congrats to them.

“I wasn’t expecting to be on the podium, very happy.

“It’s clear that this circuit suits us a bit more, we’ve unlocked some speed. Red Bull and Ferrari are still one and two steps ahead but we’re getting closer. Nice to be back at the podium, hopefully we can get some more!”

Charles Leclerc after finishing second:

05:47 , Kieran Jackson

“It feels good mostly for the team. First and second didn’t happen since Bahrain 2022, good memories. Carlos has had an incredible weekend. I struggled a bit more in the second stint. The last stint was more positive - first and second was the best we could do.

“Carlos has done a better job all weekend, he deserves this win. There’s nothing we could have done better!”

Carlos Sainz after his win:

05:40 , Kieran Jackson

“I recommend all the drivers to take it [appendix] out this winter!

“I could keep up with him on the first lap. He lost the car into turn three and then he started struggling for the brakes. A pity as I think we’d have had the fight but happy to take the win, he’s had plenty of them!

“From lap two, with the pace I had I knew I could get it done. The risk of safety car and red flags were big, sorry for George at the end - I hope he’s OK.”

Ferrari boss Fred Vasseur:

05:36 , Kieran Jackson

“I don’t know if we have to do the surgery trick. It’s a good feeling - the one-two is OK! Race was a bit strange but was good we were there from the start of the weekend. Good performance!”

Carlos Sainz:

05:31 , Kieran Jackson

“Hahaha! This is amazing! Thank you guys! Unbelievable! Life is a rollercoaster eh, life is incredible. Thank you Ricky, thank you Ferrari, Forza!”

F1 Australian Grand Prix: George Russell crashes out (LAp 58/58)

05:23 , Kieran Jackson

Huge shunt from George Russell!

Big collision with the wall.

“I’m OK” he says. That’s a relief!

Virtual safety car... we’ll be finishing behind the VSC here.

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz starts his final lap (Lap 58/58)

05:23 , Kieran Jackson

Here we go then.

Ferrari on the verge of a one-two finish. One more lap for the Spaniard.

What a story it will be...

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz...

05:21 , Kieran Jackson

“Tyres don’t feel great now!”

Just two laps to go for the Ferrari! And he has a 3.6 second lead to Leclerc...

F1 Australian Grand Prix: George Russell baring down on Fernando Alonso (LAp 56/58)

05:21 , Kieran Jackson

This will be the battle to watch until the end of the race, with George Russell on the tail of Fernando Alonso in the battle for sixth place.

0.5 secs between them.

Three laps to go.

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz is comfortable out in front (Lap 52/58)

05:16 , Kieran Jackson

Seven laps to go - and it’s just a case of bringing it home for Carlos Sainz!

He is five seconds clear of his team-mate, who is 3.8 secs clear of Lando Norris.

Top-10 looks fairly set now.

1. Sainz

2. Leclerc (+5.0)

3. Norris (+3.9)

4. Piastri (+10.6)

5. Perez (+12.2)

6. Alonso (+16.9)

7. Russell (+1.1)

8. Stroll (+10.1)

9. Tsunoda (+4.2)

10. Hulkenberg (+3.8)

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Geoorge Russell pits (Lap 46/58)

05:08 , Kieran Jackson

After flirting with the idea of a one-stop, Russell does pit for the second time onto fresh hards.

The Mercedes car into clean air in seventh, behind Alonso and ahead of Stroll.

Top-10: Sainz, Leclerc, Norris, Piastri, Perez, Alonso, Russell, Stroll, Tsunoda, Hulkenberg

Lando Norris, four seconds behind Leclerc, sets a new fastest lap of the race...

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris pit (Lap 42/58)

05:03 , Kieran Jackson

Normal order restored.

Norris pits, before Sainz a lap later. Sainz back out in front with a six-second lead to Charles Leclerc, who is four seconds clear of Lando Norris.

Norris on six-lap fresher tyres. Game on for second....

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Oscar Piastri pits (Lap 40/58)

04:59 , Kieran Jackson

Bit slow for McLaren with Piastri - 3.5 seconds - and comes out behind Fernando Alonso in fifth, but in front of George Russell.

Norris coming in as well me thinks...

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Sergio Perez pits (Lap 37/58)

04:57 , Kieran Jackson

The Red Bull comes in and comes back out in seventh, 11 seconds behind George Russell.

Will the other cars at the front of the pack hold out with one stop? You’d have thought not.

Out in front now, Carlos Sainz has a 9.9 second lead over Lando Norris in second.

It’s in Sainz and Ferrari’s hands here.

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Charles Leclerc pits (Lap 35/58)

04:53 , Kieran Jackson

Will this be the start of the second wave of pit stops?

Charles Leclerc pits and comes out just in front of Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso!

Leclerc now down to P4. When will Sainz, Norris and Piastri make their move?

Top-10: Sainz, Norris, Piastri, Leclerc, Perez, Alonso, Russell, Stroll, Tsunoda, Hulkenberg

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Max Verstappen...

04:47 , Kieran Jackson

“As soon as the lights went out, the right-rear brake went on. It was like driving with a handbrake on.

“Car felt weird to drive, very snappy. If a brake is stuck on, that doesn’t help. You accelerate and you see the right rear brake stuck on.”

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri swap positions (Lap 29/58)

04:46 , Kieran Jackson

Interesting move from McLaren!

With Norris on the tail of his team-mate, McLaren swap their drivers to the dismay of the home crowd!

Piastri, on slightly older tyres, moves over without argument.

Now, can Norris go and catch Leclerc?

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz leads by four seconds (Lap 27/58)

04:42 , Kieran Jackson

What a dream afternoon this could be for the returning Carlos Sainz!

The Spaniard has now opened up a four-second lead to his Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc, with Oscar Piastri 2.2 seconds further down the road.

Sergio Perez has also dispatched of Fernando Alonso, and is 11 seconds behind Lando Norris in fourth now.

4-10: Norris, Perez, Alonso, Russell, Stroll, Tsunoda, Albon

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Sergio Perez overtakes George Russell (Lap 22/58)

04:35 , Kieran Jackson

The Mexican in the other Red Bull is the wild card here!

Perez takes Russell for sixth place - with Fernando Alonso next down the road.

“That car is like a rocketship,” said Russell.

Out in front, Ferrari have ordered Sainz and Leclerc to hold position right now. Sainz has a lead of 1.8 seconds.

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Top-10 after 20 laps! (20/58)

04:33 , Kieran Jackson

So, where are we at after the drama in the opening 20 laps!

TOP-10:

1. Carlos Sainz

2. Charles Leclerc (+1.109)

3. Oscar Piastri (+3.5)

4. Lando Norris (+6.2)

5. Fernando Alonso (+12.8)

6. George Russell (+17.5)

7. Sergio Pperez (+18.5)

8. Lance Stroll (+21.4)

9. Yuki Tsunoda (+23.2)

10. Alex Albon (+27.2)

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Green flag conditions!

04:30 , Kieran Jackson

A rapid VSC period - but one where Fernando Alonso made his cheap pit stop!

He drops down to P6...

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton is OUT!

04:28 , Kieran Jackson

Another mechanical failure!

Lewis Hamilton has an engine failure - he’s out of the Australian Grand Prix.

Virtual safety car... his car is being wheeled into a service road.

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz pits (Lap 17/58)

04:27 , Kieran Jackson

The Ferrari comes into the pits then... and is back out behind Fernando Alonso, who is yet to pit.

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Lando Norris drops to P5

04:26 , Kieran Jackson

Surely Norris has lost out here?!

Norris comes into the pits, quick stop, but is back out behind his team-mate Oscar Piastri!

Sergio Perez also pits and is back out in 10th.

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz leads by eight seconds! (Lap 14/58)

04:24 , Kieran Jackson

Cruise time for Carlos Sainz.

He’s eight seconds ahead... and it looks like Lando Norris might come in here!

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Sergio Perez on team radio! (Lap 13/58)

04:21 , Kieran Jackson

“I think we over did it on this tyre, the grip is quite low on the rear,” says Perez.

Have Red Bull made a mistake with their cars here?!

What a start this has been!

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri pit! (Lap 10/58)

04:17 , Kieran Jackson

This is in response to George Russell’s pit stop a lap earlier!

They both come out ahead of the Mercedes, two smooth stops for Leclerc and Piastri!

Leclerc now in fifth, Piastri in sixth.

When will Norris, Sainz and the front of the pack pit?

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton pits (Lap 8/58)

04:15 , Kieran Jackson

An early pit stop for Hamilton, from the softs to the hards, and is out in 14th.

Alex Albon has also gone in, and is out in 16th.

So the top-10 then... without Max Verstappen: Sainz, Norris, Leclerc, Piastri, Russell, Perez, Stroll, Tsunoda, Alonso, Bottas

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Max Verstappen is out!

04:09 , Kieran Jackson

“I have smoke, my brake!” said Verstappen.

Max Verstappen is slowing down and is OUT of the race!

WOW!

It looks like his brakes as opposed to an engine issue!

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz overtakes Max Verstappen! (Lap 2/58)

04:09 , Kieran Jackson

What a move from the Ferrari - Carlos Sainz leads!

The Spaniard goes around the outside into turn nine and makes the move stick, using DRS after lap one!

“I lost the car, really weird! F***, the car is loose!” said Verstappen.

And his car is smoking!

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Lights out!

04:07 , Kieran Jackson

We’re underway with the Australian Grand Prix and everyone is through cleanly, excellent start from Max Verstappen!

George Russell takes Sergio Perez for sixth, while Lewis Hamilton is up a place for P10!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

F1 Australian Grand Prix: Formation lap!

04:02 , Kieran Jackson

Max Verstappen leads the pack around then for the formation lap!

And an early surprise in terms of tyres, with Lewis Hamilton in P11 on the soft tyre. And Hamilton on the radio is not sure about that decision!

Most of the other cars on medium tyres...

Here we go then!

What is the starting grid for Sunday’s race?

03:58 , Kieran Jackson

1. Max Verstappen

2. Carlos Sainz

3. Lando Norris

4. Charles Leclerc

5. Oscar Piastri

6. Sergio Perez*

7. George Russell

8. Yuki Tsunoda

9. Lance Stroll

10. Fernando Alonso

11. Lewis Hamilton

12. Alex Albon

13. Valtteri Bottas

14. Kevin Magnussen

15. Esteban Ocon

16. Nico Hulkenberg

17. Pierre Gasly

18. Daniel Ricciardo

Pit lane - Zhou Guanyu

*Sergio Perez was given a three-place grid penalty for impeding Nico Hulkenberg in qualifying

F1 Australian Grand Prix!

03:57 , Kieran Jackson

Rise and shine! Have you even been asleep?!

Welcome to live coverage of the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne for the third race of the 2024 F1 season. Max Verstappen starts on pole at Albert Park, with Carlos Sainz in second and Lando Norris in third.

Can anyone stop the Dutchman winning a 10th race in a row?

Carlos Sainz ahead of the Australian Grand Prix:

03:50 , Kieran Jackson

“24 hours I feel better, let’s go. I’ve been feeling good with the car this weekend, let’s see if I can push for 58 laps.”

What is the race schedule?

01:12 , Kieran Jackson

(All times GMT)

Sunday 24 March

  • Race: 4am

How can I watch it online and on TV?

The Australian Grand Prix will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom - and ESPN in the United States. Sky’s coverage of the race starts at 3am.

Highlights of the race in the UK will be aired on free-to-air Channel 4 at 12:30pm (GMT) on Sunday.