F1 2024 Australian GP – Fastest Lap

Charles Leclerc set the fastest lap in an unpredictable race in Melbourne

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Charles Leclerc took the fastest lap at the 2024 Australian Grand Prix by posting a 1:18.813 on Lap 57 in a disappointing day from an individual perspective.

Leclerc started the 58-lap race from fourth place and when Max Verstappen retired on Lap 5, he would have been dreaming of a first win since the 2022 Austrian GP.

But it wasn’t to be as he lacked the pace that his teammate, and eventual winner, Carlos Sainz had as the Monegasque racer had to focus on fending off Lando Norris at the end of the race.

Nonetheless, the 19 points he gained are big for his own championship and he will point to that as a bonus as well as being happy for Ferrari to get another victory in Formula 1, but he would have wanted that win.

Max Verstappen Red Bull leads Carlos Sainz of Ferrari into the first corner at the start 2024 Australian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Max Verstappen Red Bull leads Carlos Sainz of Ferrari into the first corner at the start 2024 Australian Grand Prix | Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool

Sainz wins Down Under

As soon as Sainz got past Verstappen in the early stages, he never looked back. He pushed on and opened up a big gap to ensure that he could safely pit when he needed to.

And from there, he expertly managed the gap to the cars behind to ensure he was never truly under threat from any of his rivals and when the virtual safety car came out at the end, he got a chance to coast to the line to soak up the victory within the cockpit.

Elsewhere, Haas had a big result by scoring three points to take their total for the season to four in what will be a tight battle at the back of the field.

Lando Norris got his 14th career podium for McLaren after team orders from the pit wall saw Oscar Piastri let him by. Norris was much quicker anyway so it didn’t make a big difference at the end.

Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton retired in the first 20 laps of the race, both due to technical failures as Verstappen’s brakes failed whilst Hamilton’s Mercedes PU just switched off.

Then at the end, George Russell had a big crash as he chased Fernando Alonso and lost the car at Turn 6, with his Mercedes even flipping onto the side. Fortunately he was okay and got out of the car unaided.

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