F1 Australian Grand Prix 2024 news and reaction as Sainz wins and Verstappen DNFs

Join us for LIVE coverage of the 2024 Australian Grand Prix direct from the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne

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Welcome to this Total-Motorsport.com blog for the 2024 Australian Grand Prix, coming to you directly from the paddock at the Albert Park Circuit. As the Formula 1 season continues Down Under, join us for real-time updates, expert commentary, and behind-the-scenes insights into every thrilling moment of the action from the race Melbourne

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen took his third pole position of the 2024 F1 season and will be joined on the front row of the grid by Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari. Sergio Perez was handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Nico Hulkenberg during qualifying which promotes Lando Norris to third on the grid. 

Williams start the Australian GP with just one car after Alex Albon wrecked his machine in FP1 and was thus handed Logan Sargeant’s chassis with the team failing to bring a spare to Melbourne, meaning the American driver misses out.

Don’t miss any of the action with every 2024 Australian GP moment brought to you from Melbourne. 

Australian GP 2024 Qualifying – Latest updates

*Refresh the page for the latest updates from the Australian GP


Carlos Sainz reacts to his THIRD career victory

The 2022 British GP, the 2023 Singapore GP … and now the 2024 Australian GP. Carlos Sainz is finding that winning mojo so how did his latest triumph feel to him?

“It was a really good race. I felt really good out there. Of course a bit stiff and especially physically it wasn’t the easiest…

“But I was lucky I was more or less on my own and I could manage my pace, my tyres, manage everything, and it wasn’t the toughest race of all.

“Very happy, very proud of the team, and happy to be in a one-two with Charles here. It shows that hard work pays off and life sometimes is crazy.

“What happened at the beginning of the year, then the podium in Bahrain, then the appendix, the comeback, the win…it’s a rollercoaster. But I loved it and I’m extremely happy.”

Is Charles Leclerc upset Sainz won?

Leclerc admitted he struggled with the tyres compared to the Spaniard, but he was not bitter about the result as he celebrated the success of his colleague and team.

“It feels good mostly for the team of course. It’s amazing to know we can do that. Carlos had an incredible weekend to come back after his surgery. He’s done an amazing race.

“Carlos has done a better job all weekend and he definitely deserved that victory. I’m really happy for him and the team. It’s really good points. 

“We came into the weekend telling ourselves we needed to maximise the points and there’s nothing we could have done better.”

Norris reacts to his latest podium…

Lando Norris speaking to F1 media after finishing third in the Australian GP:

“It was a very good day for us. I’m very happy and proud of the team because P3 and P4 is a lot of points in the championship. So that’s the first thing.

“We missed out on Charles, I think our pace was a little bit better. He undercut us in the first stint so maybe a little bit of hope for second place, I think our pace was strong enough today.

“But Ferrari and Carlos did a very good job, so hats off to them, they’ve been fast all weekend.”

Fernando Alonso and George Russell are under investigation

The pair are being investigated due to Russell’s last lap crash. Mercedes will likely try to argue erratic braking caused their driver to avoid an accident, putting him into the wall in the process.

Your Australian Grand Prix top 10…

Sainz won from Leclerc and Norris.

Then came Piastri, Perez, Alonso, Stroll, Tsunoda, Hulkenberg and Magnussen!

Double points for Haas! What a great day for the team as they earn a huge three points.

Read the full results here

LAP 58: CARLOS SAINZ WINS THE AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX

Appendicitis? No problem for Carlos Sainz as he dominates the Australian Grand Prix to earn his third Ferrari victory as he heads home a Ferrari 1-2 down under!

He took the lead for good on Lap 4 when Max Verstappen retired from the race with a brakes failure and he never ever looked back as he always had the race under control.

That’s a sensational effort by Sainz and a great job advert for those seeking a new driver for 2025!

LAP 58: GEORGE RUSSELL OUT

George Russell crashes out in a huge accident at the end of the race! He was chasing Fernando Alonso for 6th and pushed too much into Turn 6.

He collided with the wall and spun across the track, only for the tyre to slip under the car and gently flip it onto it’s side.

He says he’s okay and that will end the race under the VSC. What a shocker for Mercedes.

LAP 55: Interesting battles on track…

Sainz has won, forget about that now but behind him Charles Leclerc is narrowly clear of Lando Norris as he leads the McLaren by 2.5 seconds.

George Russell is now firmly in DRS range of Fernando Alonso but he’s not quite finding a way past the Aston Martin as of yet.

LAP 51: No wonder Hamilton left Mercedes

George Russell is 40 seconds behind Charles Leclerc after 51 laps and the other Mercedes, Hamilton’s, suffered an engine failure before even making it to the half-way point.

With the team admitting they’re essentially guessing with their car for the third season in a row, it’s no wonder the seven-time world champion called time on his Mercedes career to go to Ferrari.

This race has been an embarrassment for Toto Wolff.

LAP 50: Norris pumping in fastest laps

Lando Norris keeps setting purple times around the lap but it’s not enough to cut the gap to Charles Leclerc down quickly.

Norris is 3.8 seconds behind with eight laps to go.

Lap 47: Sainz in cruise mode

Carlos Sainz has had this race under control ever since he took the lead when Verstappen retired on Lap 4 and he seems set to keep it that way until the flag which is due up in 11 laps.

Norris is the quickest man on track but he’s nine seconds behind and still has to pass Leclerc. He would need to lap around a second faster to threaten Sainz.

Lap 46: Russell finally pits

The sole remaining Mercedes goes from 5th to 7th, he’s 17 seconds behind Perez but Alonso is just three seconds up the road.

Lap 42: Piastri past Alonso

Piastri is all over Alonso with much fresher tyres and the Aston Martin defends, but it’s futile anyway as Piastri gets by into Turn 14 – the third-last corner.

It’s not often someone overtakes there in F1.

Tsunoda also sticks a divebomb on Nico Hulkenberg to move back up into 9th. He’s not had much attention this weekend but he’s driven a steady and reliable job.

Lap 42: Sainz pits and it’s good

Ferrari take no risks with Sainz’s stop so it’s slightly slower but it doesn’t matter as he exits the pits still six seconds ahead of Charles Leclerc, who set the fastest lap.

Lap 41: Norris logically responds

McLaren waste no time boxing Norris after the Piastri error as he had a solid eight-second gap to come back into and that’s what he does.

He’s now four seconds behind Charles Leclerc but he also has tyres that are six laps younger.

LAP 39: Piastri ruins his race

The young Australian, seeking for a podium in his home race, has a huge lock-up into the final corner and loses around four seconds to Lando Norris in the process.

McLaren compounds the misery with a 3.5 second stop so that’ll be his fight for the podium done.

LAP 38: Nico Hulkenberg might be in trouble

As the Haas defends from Alex Albon, he goes right to the limit of acceptability and maybe even beyond it as Albon is forced right to the edge of the track.

The Williams driver quickly radios to his engineer, and race control by proxy, to say that the move was dangerous.

They’re fighting for 11th and the whole ordeal cost Albon around three seconds.

LAP 36: Perez pits

The Mexican pits from 5th and comes out in ninth, just behind Yuki Tsunoda. He no longer seems to be a factor for the win.

Fernando Alonso continues on in 5th but he’s 19 seconds off the lead.

LAP 35: Charles Leclerc pits

Norris does opposite to the Ferrari and so does Piastri, but Leclerc pits and comes out into 4th!

He’s JUST ahead of Perez and Alonso and he backs up the Red Bull just enough to give Alonso a run at Perez later in the lap…

LAP 31: Sainz sitting pretty out in front

Carlos Sainz is managing this race like a man with 20 wins, not two, as he continues to extend his lead at the front of the pack.

He’s now got a 7.7 second gap to Charles Leclerc and a 10-second gap to Lando Norris.

At this stage, all he had to do is react to the pits and if the stop is decent, he will be fine.

LAP 29: Team orders at McLaren…

Oscar Piastri is told to give Lando Norris the position and he obliges, perhaps begrudgingly, showing he’s a team player first.

As a result, he voluntarily gave up a podium at his home race but by doing so, McLaren could potentially win.

Lap 27: Perez rapid as he’s up to 5th

Sergio Perez has good pace today and as he cruises up to another gearbox, he blasts past his challengers with the infamous DRS efficiency the car has.

He’s 12 seconds off the lead, can he win?

Lap 27: Hulkenberg gunning for 10th

Nico Hulkenberg is right on the gearbox of Alex Albon for 10th place with younger tyres, but he doesn’t quite have the speed in a straight line to get the move done.

This move could be worth millions at the end of the year, crucial for both teams.

This is a huge chance for the cars at the back

With Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton out of the race, that means the points hegemony of the top five teams is broken giving a huge opportunity to the bottom five teams to score some valuable points.

Right now, it seems to be an exclusive fight between Yuki Tsunoda, Alex Albon and the Haas cars. Daniel Ricciardo is the next closest to that trio but he’s four seconds behind.

Still a lot of racing to be had though.

LAP 22: Fastest lap goes to Carlos Sainz as he kicks on

The Spanish driver sets a 1:21.471 on Lap 22 as he leads Leclerc by 1.8 seconds. He’s been leading ever since Max Verstappen retired from the race due to a brake failure.

LAP 21: Perez moves up to 6th

Sergio Perez appears to be finding some speed in that Red Bull but he can’t get close enough to overtake the Mercedes into Turn 1.

Fortunately he has a lot of DRS zones around the lap to help him and he gets the move done into Turn 11.

He’s around 17 seconds off the lead with 36 laps to go.

LAP 18: VSC ends and Sainz under threat

The Ferrari fans will be loving the fact they’ve got a 1-2 as Sainz leads Leclerc but Fred Vasseur will be nervous as the two teammates are in DRS.

They can’t afford to trip up over each other, and Ferrari issue team orders to ensure that.

They lead Oscar Piastri by two seconds.

LAP 17: Virtual Safety Car! Alonso pits

Hamilton parks in a good place so it won’t be a long VSC before we’re back racing but Alonso pits and comes out into 5th place.

LAP 16: Sainz pits, Hamilton OUT

Carlos Sainz pits and holds the “true” lead of the race whilst Fernando Alonso takes the literal lead.

Meanwhile Lewis Hamilton’s engine fails and he has to crawl back to the pits. Gutting for the Mercedes driver, although he wasn’t in contention for big points anyway.

Lap 15: Norris and Perez pit

It’s a good stop for Norris, 2.6 seconds and he comes out into “net” fourth behind Sainz, Leclerc and Piastri.

Sergio Perez comes out into 10th-place and immediately has to defend from Lewis Hamilton, which he manages to do so for the minute.

Lap 13: Red Bull aren’t a factor for the win

Max Verstappen is out of the race and Sergio Perez has said that the back of the car is too loose for him too. They’re not going to be winning any races today.

Sainz leads by 6.4 seconds.

Lap 11: Sainz morphs into Max Verstappen

Carlos Sainz took the lead when Verstappen’s brakes failed and he’s already checked out. In the handful of laps since, he’s opened up a 4.6 second lead to Lando Norris.

It’s like Verstappen in red at the moment.

Lap 10: Leclerc, Piastri and Tsunoda pit

George Russell threatened to undercut Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri but the pair respond immediately and, as a result, they keep their places ahead of him.

They will probably undercut Lando Norris now though…

Lap 9: George Russell pits

George Russell pits from fifth place and emerges in 11th with 7 seconds to Gasly.

Lance Stroll also pitted and comes out in 12th, ahead of Hamilton.

Lap 8: Lewis Hamilton pits for hards

It’s unclear if the softs did what Mercedes wanted them to do but either way, they’ve pulled the plug and have gone onto the hard tyres with Lewis Hamilton.

He’s got an 11-second gap to Pierre Gasly meaning he can quietly push on for a good while before hitting traffic.

Alex Albon also pits.

Lap 7: Sainz leads Norris who leads Leclerc

Carlos Sainz leads his ex-teammate, Lando Norris, by 1.7 seconds after seven laps.

Norris is currently holding up Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri as he does the Ferrari driver in the lead a huge favour!

LAP 5: MAX VERSTAPPEN OUT OF THE RACE

Verstappen’s brakes are on fire and he is OUT of the Australian Grand Prix after four laps of racing!

Lap 3: Sainz holds the lead

Verstappen said that he lost the car in Turn 7 and he’s complaining about the rear of the car once again the following lap. The world champion is struggling!

Sainz leads by eight tenths and Verstappen’s car is smoking!

Lap 2: SAINZ TAKES THE LEAD

That Ferrari is rapid in the early laps and he cruises back up to the back of Verstappen with DRS and goes around the outside into Turn 11!

What a start for the Scuderia!

Lap 1: LIGHTS OUT AND WE ARE RACING IN ‘STRAYA

All of the cars survive Turn 1 without any damage and Max Verstappen leads the opening lap from Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris!

Sergio Perez loses a spot to George Russell, dropping him to seventh as Hamilton moves up into 10th too on fresh softs.

Can Carlos Sainz win the race? He points to the one key factor.

Carlos Sainz to Sky Sports F1: “I’m feeling good, lets see how 58 laps go. I’ve been feeling good with the car this weekend.

“Friday I took it easy, but the rest of the weekend I’ve been able to push.”

Lights out in FIVE minutes!

The 2024 Australian Grand Prix is almost upon us and here is a reminder of how the grid will line-up for the race!

Lewis Hamilton has an extra set of new softs

Lewis Hamilton is the only driver in the top 11 to have kept a set of new soft tyres for the race as he didn’t need them for Q3 since he missed out.

Can he use them to get a good launch off the line to go onto the alternative strategy? Or could he cash in with a late safety car if he starts with the hard tyres?

Zhou Guanyu starts from the pits

After qualifying 19th with Sauber, Zhou Guanyu broke Parc Ferme to replace a damaged front wing and as a result, he will start from the pit lane.

Fortunately, due to the concertina effect, he will not take long to catch up to the back of the grid and if he’s managed to change the set-up to a fully-focused race one, he might be ready for a relatively good Sunday as for as he’s concerned.

Will Max Verstappen win 10 in a row and match his record again?

Japan. Qatar. USA. Mexico. Brazil. Las Vegas. Abu Dhabi. Bahrain. Saudi Arabia … and Australia?

Max Verstappen is bidding for his 10th consecutive win for the second time in his career as he looks to beat the rest of the chasing pack around the Albert Park Circuit.

Can he do it?

Track temperature is 36.5 degrees

Speaking to Sky Sports F1, Martin Brundle says that the track temperature is 36.5 degrees meaning that teams are likely to avoid tyre graining.

This is when the track is too cold for the tyres so sufficiently heat up and as a result, it ends up “dragging” along the road instead of working properly leading to a reduced life.

Pirelli have, however, warned that pushing the harder tyres too much in the early laps of the stints will cause graining however.

The opposite of graining, caused by when it’s too hot, is called blistering.

ICYMI: Logan Sargeant will not race

Logan Sargeant will not participate in the race after the American was forced to surrender his car so that Alex Albon could attempt to score the team points.

Albon had wrecked his own chassis in FP1 following a big crash, and as a result Williams did not have the spare parts to fix his car.

ICYMI: What happened in qualifying?

Qualifying was dominated by a tight fight for pole between Ferrari and Red Bull, but, as ever, Max Verstappen prevailed by beating Carlos Sainz to top spot.

Sergio Perez had qualified third before a penalty for impeding Nico Hulkenberg in Q1 saw the Mexican kicked down to sixth on the grid.

Lewis Hamilton suffered a shock Q2 exit to the combined efforts of Lance Stroll and Yuki Tsunoda. Tsunoda delivered an exceptional performance to qualify 8th whilst Daniel Ricciardo, his teammate, will start in 18th.


Good morning, good afternoon, good evening wherever you are in the world and welcome to this live blog for the 2024 Australian GP, where we’ll take you through all the action from Melbourne in Round 3 of the F1 season.

Race Strategy for 2024 Australian GP

A two-stop race looks like the best strategy for teams to opt for, but a lot will depend on the tyre sets the F1 teams have available and of course how the tyres degrade during the race itself.

Starting grid for 2024 Australian GP

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen starts the 2024 Australian Grand Prix on pole position, his third in three races this season in Formula 1. Second on the grid is Carlos Sainz in the Ferrari, which is even more impressive as the Spaniard only has surgery to remove his appendix two weeks ago. Lando Norris moves up to third in the McLaren after Sergio Perez was handed a three-place grid penalty.

Pos.DriverTeam
1Max VerstappenRed Bull
2Carlos SainzFerrari
3Lando NorrisMcLaren
4Charles LeclercFerrari
5Oscar PiastriMcLaren
6Sergio Perez*Red Bull
7George RussellMercedes
8Yuki TsunodaRB
9Lance StrollAston Martin
10Fernando AlonsoAston Martin
11Lewis HamiltonMercedes
12Alex AlbonWilliams
13Valtteri BottasSauber
14Kevin MagnussenHaas
15Esteban OconAlpine
16Nico HulkenbergHaas
17Pierre GaslyAlpine
18Daniel RicciardoRB
19Zhou GuanyuSauber
*Grid penalty

What time does F1 Australian GP 2024 start?

The 2024 Australian GP is set to start at 15:00 local time in Melbourne on Sunday, March 24. That means for viewers in the UK, the race starts at 4:00am on Sunday morning.

Across the pond, viewers in the US have a much easier time with the 2024 Australian GP starting at 00:00 ET on Sunday, March 24 and 21:00 PT on Saturday, March 23. That is the same for Canadian F1 fans. 

Where to watch the 2024 Australian GP?

For F1 fans in Australia live coverage of the 2024 Australian GP can be seen on Fox Sports 506 and Network 10. In the UK, the race is broadcast live on Sky Sports F1 with highlights on Channel 4

For viewers in the US, ESPN 2 and ESPN+ will show the action live from Melbourne. And in Canada the race will be broadcast on TSN 3/5.

Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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