Leclerc wins Australian GP as Verstappen retires

Sports Desk, Apr 10 (EFE).- Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc led from start to finish at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne as he took his second win of the season.

Leclerc also posted the quickest lap of the race, securing the Scuderia’s first ‘Grand Slam’ of pole position, race win and fastest lap since Singapore in 2010.

It was a perfect afternoon for the Monegasque driver, whose main title rival, Red Bull’s reigning world champion Max Verstappen, failed to finish for the second time this year.

“What a car today,” Leclerc said. “We were managing the tires so well, and I’m very happy.”

Red Bull’s weekend was saved by Sergio Perez, who saw off challenges from George Russell and Lewis Hamilton for Mercedes to secure second place.

Russell came third, just ahead of Hamilton, after fortune favored the younger Briton when a safety car following a Sebastian Vettel crash allowed Russell to pit and emerge ahead of the seven-time world champion.

It was a desperately disappointing weekend for Leclerc’s teammate, Carlos Sainz, who had bad luck in qualifying on Saturday and started in 10th, and he crashed off the track on the first lap as he tried to surge through the field.

Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo turned in solid results for McLaren, placing 5th and 6th respectively.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 10.

Leclerc now has a commanding lead at the top of the drivers’ standings with 71 points, ahead of Russell in second on 37 points, while Sainz is third with 33. EFE


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