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Hamilton Verstappen usurped by Leclerc domination

Hamilton Verstappen usurped by Leclerc domination

F1 News

Hamilton Verstappen usurped by Leclerc domination

Hamilton Verstappen usurped by Leclerc domination
Ewan Gale & Sundaram Ramaswami

Charles Leclerc dominated the Australian Grand Prix to extend his championship advantage after just three rounds of the F1 season.

The Ferrari driver was rarely threatened at Melbourne's Albert Park on his way to a commanding victory, his second of the season and fourth of his F1 career.

With Max Verstappen retiring for the second time in three races, George Russell has surprisingly jumped to second in the drivers' standings courtesy of his first Mercedes podium.

Without further ado, here are the best stats and facts from Down Under.

Leclerc's grand slam omen

Leclerc scored his maiden F1 grand slam [pole, win, fastest lap, leading every lap], which was also the first for a Ferrari driver since Fernando Alonso achieved the feat in Singapore 2010.

Drivers to record a grand slam since 2011 have always gone on to win the title that year.

Ferrari had not registered a single race win or fastest lap in the last two years, but via Leclerc, it already has two victories and three fastest laps to its name this season.

Ferrari's big win

Leclerc took his fourth career win, all of which have come from pole position.

The Monégasque finished 20.524s ahead of Sergio Perez when the chequered flag dropped, making it the biggest winning margin for Ferrari since Spain 2002.

Michael Schumacher won that race by 35.629s from Juan Pablo Montoya.

The result also means the Scuderia has taken the spoils in three of the last four Australian Grands Prix.

Leclerc usurps Hamilton and Verstappen

Leclerc's lead of 34 points is the second-biggest championship gap after the opening three rounds of a season since 2010.

The margin is also greater than the gap achieved at any point last season between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who were separated by 32 points at its widest difference.

To finish first, first you must finish

Verstappen now has the most retirements in F1 [25] since he moved to Red Bull in 2016.

The reigning world champion sits lower than his team-mate in the drivers' standings for the first time since Hungary 2018.

Coming in second, team-mate Perez recorded his best result at Melbourne, after never finishing higher than P7 before.

Sainz's streak ends

Carlos Sainz beached his car on the second lap of the race, bringing an end to his 31-race finishing streak, the fifth-longest in F1 history.

The Spaniard also lost his 17-race scoring streak, with both the longest active in F1 before the weekend.

Hamilton's team-mates and a flavour of Williams

Fourth is Hamilton's lowest race finish in Melbourne in the hybrid era.

Team-mate Russell now has a podium with both Williams and Mercedes, making him the third driver, after Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas, to stand on the rostrum for both teams.

Points in the midfield

Both McLarens made it into the top-six for the first time since Italy 2021, when Daniel Ricciardo led home Lando Norris for a one-two finish.

Pierre Gasly scored his first points in Australia in the AlphaTauri, whilst Alex Albon's heroic effort to finish 10th from the back of the grid for Williams ensures Aston Martin is now the only team not to score so far this year.

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