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Australian Grand Prix 2024 LIVE! F1 updates and latest news as Carlos Sainz wins

Australian Grand Prix 2024 LIVE! F1 updates and latest news as Carlos Sainz wins

Australian Grand Prix LIVE!

The 2024 Formula One season headed to Melbourne today as Max Verstappen failed to make it a hat-trick of F1 wins from pole position due to an early retirement.

Carlos Sainz took the chequered flag in a dominant display having overtaken the Red Bull on lap two, before leading a Ferrari 1-2 with teammate Charles Leclerc. The McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri completed the top four.

It was a bad day for Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton stopped on lap 17 with an engine issue before George Russell’s late crash while fighting Fernando Alonso.

Australian Grand Prix highlights

  • LIGHTS OUT! Verstappen caught by Sainz on lap two

  • RETIREMENT! Verstappen out as brakes catch fire

  • VSC! Hamilton retires with engine failure

  • CRASH! Russell hits barrier on final lap

  • CHEQUERED FLAG! Sainz wins in Melbourne

Carlos Sainz storms to victory

05:56 , Marc Mayo

It was almost business as usual in Formula One at the Australian Grand Prix as the race winner soared to victory with far superior pace and as their rivals fell away with issues and errors.

Only, this time, it was Carlos Sainz taking the chequered flag for Ferrari to end Max Verstappen’s perfect start to the 2024 season.

There was simply no stopping the Spaniard, who sat out the race in Saudi Arabia a fortnight ago after surgery to remove this appendix, as he overtook Verstappen on lap two before the Red Bull’s brakes caught fire to force his early retirement.

Thanks for joining us in today’s live blog!

Recap the action with our race report!

 (AP)
(AP)

Big celebrations on the podium

05:50 , Marc Mayo

We don’t hear the Italian anthem very often on the F1 podium these days!

Ferrari have made big in-roads on Red Bull in both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship.

Read the full standings here!

Investigation into Fernando Alonso

05:39 , Marc Mayo

Stewards are having a look at how Fernando Alonso might have impacted George Russell’s crash.

Mercedes may well claim he brake-tested the Brit.

And, finally, third-place finisher Lando Norris

05:37 , Marc Mayo

“It’s a very good day for us, I’m happy and proud of the team.

“We missed out on Charles, our pace was a bit better but he undercut us. Ferrari and Carlos did a very good job, hats off.

“I felt good, probably wasn’t expecting to be on the podium so very happy.”

Charles Leclerc up next

05:36 , Marc Mayo

“It feels good, mostly for the team. It’s amazing that we can do that, Carlos has had an incredible weekend after surgery.

“I struggled a bit with the second stint, on the tyres.

“Not really [could I attack Sainz], we had to protect in the first stint then Carlos was very fast and I was struggling. He’s done a better job all weekend and deserves the victory.”

Carlos Sainz reacts

05:33 , Marc Mayo

“It was a really good race, I felt really good. Physically I was lucky I was on my own and could manage my pace.

“Very happy, very proud of the team. In a 1-2 the hard work pays off. Life sometimes is crazy, what happened at the beginning of the year, then Bahrain, the appendix... it’s a rollercoaster but I’m extremely happy.

“I will recommend to all the other drivers to take [their appendix] out!”

Big celebrations for Carlos Sainz

05:30 , Marc Mayo

He embraces his Ferrari mechanics after exiting his car. Special moments for the team.

George Russell crash

05:26 , Marc Mayo

Into Turn 7, it looks like he just got too close to the rear wing of Fernando Alonso and either the dirty air or an evasive action (or both) send him into the gravel and barrier.

He’s made quite a mess of that Mercedes!

CARLOS SAINZ WINS!

05:24 , Marc Mayo

It’s a Ferrari 1-2 in Melbourne!

George Russell crashes!

05:23 , Marc Mayo

A big shunt for George Russell by Turn 7! Virtual safety car is called for and he’s ok.

Final lap!

05:22 , Marc Mayo

Ferrari are closing in ona 1-2 but Carlos Sainz has told team radio his tyres are feeling dodgy...

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 57/58

05:22 , Marc Mayo

Fernando Alonso is holding onto sixth place well while Charles Leclerc has grabbed the fastest lap point, as things stand.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 53/58

05:16 , Marc Mayo

The gaps at the front stand at 5.2 seconds between Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, with 3.5 back to Lando Norris.

The big battle in the top ten could be for seventh with George Russell catching Fernando Alonso fast.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 49/58

05:11 , Marc Mayo

Five-second penalty for Pierre Gasly, who’s back in 14th, for an infringement on the pit-lane exit.

Just waking up?

05:09 , Marc Mayo

Ten laps to go and Carlos Sainz leads the Australian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen’s brakes failed on lap three as he retired, leading to the Ferrari storming towards victory having already overtaken the Red Bull.

Charles Leclerc could well be caught by Lando Norris late on in the fight for second.

Lewis Hamilton retired earlier on with an engine failure.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 47/58

05:08 , Marc Mayo

Fastest laps exchanged by the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri, the former now sat 3.6 seconds off Charles Leclerc.

George Russell does ultimately pit and comes out in eighth place.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 44/58

05:04 , Marc Mayo

George Russell looks like he’ll bomb on with a one-stopper, with 34 laps on his hard tyres and six seconds on Sergio Perez in the battle for fifth place.

Everyone else has now done two stops.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 42/58

05:01 , Marc Mayo

Carlos Sainz pits from the lead of the race!

Nice and clean by Ferrari, he comes out on new hard tyres with 5.8 seconds on Charles Leclerc.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 41/58

05:00 , Marc Mayo

Oscar Piastri pits but is ahead of Sergio Perez by over 10 seconds in the battle for fourth place.

Lando Norris is next in, he returns to the track third and 3.6 seconds behind Charles Leclerc.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 40/58

04:58 , Marc Mayo

Into the final third of the grand prix and Charles Leclerc clocks the fastest lap as Lando Norris looks to make the overcut work.

Oscar Piastri won’t trouble the podium as things stand, he loses four seconds to a lock-up on the final corner and trims the grass.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 37/58

04:54 , Marc Mayo

Zhou Guanyu sits stationary for a long time as Stake F1 continue to struggle with their tyre changes. He’s now last.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 36/58

04:53 , Marc Mayo

Sergio Perez next to pit, in a bid to shake off Fernando Alonso. He rejoins in ninth, with an RB and Aston Martin ahead.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 35/58

04:52 , Marc Mayo

You sense the next round of pit stops will decide the make-up of the podium, as McLaren and Red Bull plot how to leapfrog the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.

Speak of the devil, the Monegasque says on team radio that his tyres are gone... and in he comes!

No tyre change for the McLarens yet but a clean stop for Leclerc, who comes out ahead of Perez.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 33/58

04:49 , Marc Mayo

Fernando Alonso has not yielded after losing position to Sergio Perez - he’s still within DRS of the Red Bull.

Lando Norris could be about to reel in Charles Leclerc, too.

Max Verstappen explains his DNF

04:47 , Marc Mayo

“As soon as the lights went off, you could see the right-rear brake was stuck on. We’ll investigate.”

Top ten at Lap 30

04:46 , Marc Mayo

  1. SAI

  2. LEC

  3. NOR

  4. PIA

  5. PER

  6. ALO

  7. RUS

  8. STR

  9. TSU

  10. HUL

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 29/58

04:44 , Marc Mayo

McLaren swap their drivers!

Oscar Piastri, in his home race, is asked to pull aside and let Lando Norris through in a bid to catch Charles Leclerc and ensure Sergio Perez doesn’t creep up and nab the final podium place.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 27/58

04:41 , Marc Mayo

Carlos Sainz continues to soar as he goes 4.4 seconds clear of Charles Leclerc, with the Spaniard on fresher tyres that have clicked into top gear now.

Sergio Perez gets Fernando Alonso in the fifth for fifth, while Alex Albon is holding off Kevin Magnussen in the final points place.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 25/58

04:38 , Marc Mayo

A fastest lap from Carlos Sainz edges him to 2.6 seconds clear of Charles Leclerc, who at this stage may not be pushing 100 per cent.

Oscar Piastri is 2.3 further back, so this race is far from over.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 22/58

04:34 , Marc Mayo

Sergio Perez steams past George Russell to go sixth, Fernando Alonso is next up the road for the Mexican.

If he finishes second or third with the fastest lap, he’ll lead the F1 world championship.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 20/58

04:31 , Marc Mayo

Charles Leclerc is now on the back of Carlos Sainz with the VSC and Ferrari order their cars to hold position.

Oscar Piastri is looking good for the third podium spot, at least, as the only real challenger behind.

Sergio Perez may well gather a bit of pace in the second half but he’s in seventh.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 18/58

04:28 , Marc Mayo

Fernando Alonso is up to fifth place as the VSC ends, not bad for a man who started 10th.

Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly also take advantage of cheap stops.

Virtual Safety Car!

04:27 , Marc Mayo

Lewis Hamilton has stopped in sector three... that could draw out something more serious.

Fernando Alonso leads the race and will now take a cheap pit stop. Where will he come out?!

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 17/58

04:26 , Marc Mayo

Charles Leclerc has put 2.5 seconds on Oscar Piastri in the de facto battle for second place.

Carlos Sainz pits from the lead... and Lewis Hamilton’s engine has gone!

Will he make it home to avoid stopping on track and a safety car?

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 15/58

04:24 , Marc Mayo

Sergio Perez tells team radio he’s worried they’ve missed the window to jump off his starting medium tyre, he’s third and 14 seconds off the lead.

The Mexican and Lando Norris then swap tyres, coming out 10th and 5th respectively.

Fernando Alonso, Nico Hulkenberg and Pierre Gasly are those running long first stints in the top ten, the former two both on hards, as well as Carlos Sainz.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 12/58

04:20 , Marc Mayo

You might have thought a lack of Max Verstappen may make this a competitive race for the win.

But Carlos Sainz is now over FIVE seconds clear of Lando Norris out in front. He’s absolutely flying!

Surely Oscar Piastri and Charles Leclerc will leapfrog the Brit when he pits.

Watch the moment Max Verstappen retired

04:18 , Marc Mayo

The Red Bull’s rear-right brakes caught fire and exploded as he limped home to the pits.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 10/58

04:17 , Marc Mayo

Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri pit to cover over George Russell’s undercut.

It works too, while Carlos Sainz says he feels good and wants to extend the first stint.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 9/58

04:16 , Marc Mayo

This is looking very good for Ferrari. Carlos Sainz has 2.1 seconds on Lando Norris now, who has Charles Leclerc on his rear wing.

Oscar Piastri is nibbling on the back of the man in third, too.

George Russell pits from fifth place - his mediums didn’t last long. Plenty of the midfield coming in too and Valtteri Bottas having issues with a long stop, the front-left did not want to come off!

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 8/58

04:14 , Marc Mayo

Lewis Hamilton pits to replace his soft tyres, as expected.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 6/58

04:12 , Marc Mayo

Max Verstappen’s brakes look melted as he stands aghast in the Red Bull garage.

We now have Ferrari, McLaren, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes in the top five..!

Carlos Sainz has 1.7 seconds on Lando Norris.

MAX VERSTAPPEN HAS ISSUES!

04:10 , Marc Mayo

Max Verstappen says his car is “loose” but he has bigger issues with smoke pouring out the back of his car!

And he’s peeling off to the side, he’s complaining of fire in his brakes!

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 3/58

04:07 , Marc Mayo

Carlos Sainz takes the lead! In the second DRS zone the Ferrari driver sends the crowd into pandemonium!

“I just lost the car, weird,” says Max Verstappen on team radio.

Australian Grand Prix | Lap 2/58

04:06 , Marc Mayo

Lewis Hamilton gets Fernando Alonso and George Russell overtakes Sergio Perez in a good first lap for Mercedes.

Lance Stroll, Valtteri Bottas and Kevin Magnussen also up a place ahead of DRS being enabled.

Australian Grand Prix | LIGHTS OUT!

04:04 , Marc Mayo

A record crowd over 452,000 has packed into Albert Park this weekend for an Australian Grand Prix may have designated a foregone conclusion.

Let’s see how it unravels out on track with Max Verstappen on pole position...

It’s lights out and Verstappen leads through a clean first turn.

Australian Grand Prix | Formation lap

04:01 , Marc Mayo

Time to clear the grid as the cars head for a tour around Albert Park before the race begins.

The first nine runners are on the medium tyres, with Fernando Alonso in 10th on the hard and 11th-placed Lewis Hamilton on the soft!

Over team radio, he suggests he’s having second thoughts...

Nico Hulkenberg, 16th, is on hards, and the backmarkers Daniel Ricciardo and Zhou Guanyu are on softs.

The track temperature is the hottest it has been all weekend so let’s see who can keep their rubber on the road the longest.

All eyes on the Aussies

03:52 , Marc Mayo

Oscar Piastri and Daniel Ricciardo stand together ahead of the pack for the Australian national anthem, they start 5th and 18th shortly.

The RB Aussie will be the last to form up after the formation lap, with Logan Sargeant a DNS and Zhou Guanyu in the pit lane after replacing his front wing.

Tyre strategy

03:46

We’re set for a two-stopper today with graining looking like a big issue.

It could be mediums to start before a couple of runs on the hard starting as early as lap 10.

Get to know Albert Park

03:40 , Marc Mayo

We are set for 58 laps around the Melbourne street circuit, which comes in at 5.278km.

It’s a familiar sight on the F1 calendar but two raised kerbs have been removed since last year’s race, at turns 4 and 10, along with the addition of a concrete run-off strip behind the turn 11 kerb.

Four DRS areas come into play down the start-finish straight and then after turns 2, 8 and 10.

Sergio Perez set the in-race lap record last year, with a 1:20.235 as Max Verstappen claimed his first win here on a one-stopper.

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Australian Grand Prix | Countdown

03:28 , Marc Mayo

We are just 30 minutes away from lights out at sunny Albert Park.

Pit lane open!

03:23 , Marc Mayo

It’s that time of the grand prix when the garages swing open for the drivers to head out on track for the first time, before forming up on the grid.

Max Verstappen pledges his future

03:16

Many inside the paddock see Max Verstappen as crucial to brokering peace inside the Red Bull team.

And he put his flag in the ground amid rumours over his future during the week.

Read the full story!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Baffled Lewis Hamilton stuck in midfield

03:05

Lewis Hamilton admitted he is at a loss to explain why his Mercedes car is performing at wildly different levels over the course of the same day, let alone the season.

The seven-time world champion starts 11th on the grid despite looking secure for a crack at Q3 in practice.

“The inconsistency in the car really messes with the mind,” he said.

“There is a long list of things to fix. Our car is on a knife-edge. In the afternoon the wind picks up and the car becomes unstable, but the others can pick their pace up in qualifying and I am not sure why. It didn’t feel the same in qualifying from practice even though we had lighter fuel.

“It is not a great feeling for everyone in the team but we will keep working away.”

Forgotten F1 flop wins Russia sanction fight

02:56

Not often that the words ‘Nikita Mazepin’ get an airing in F1 circles these days but the Russian had his name taken off an EU sanctions list during the week.

Find out more here.

Carlos Sainz bounces back from surgery

02:45

Carlos Sainz starts second on the grid today having been ruled out of the Saudi GP a fortnight ago with appendicitis.

He said after qualifying: “I think if you would have told me two weeks ago when I got the appendix removed that I would be in Australia ready to go again and fighting for pole position, I would have 100% taken it.”

What’s extra impressive is the Spaniard admitted upon arrival that he was still feeling a bit under the weather - and hadn’t been able to do any simulator work to prepare.

Read the full story!

Australian Grand Prix: Countdown

02:30

Just 90 minutes to go until the race gets underway!

 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Why Logan Sargeant isn't racing today

02:22

Alex Albon’s crash in Friday practice led to his Williams car being deemed beyond repair, with no spare chassis for the British team Down Under.

Given he is their No1 driver, Williams took the tough decision to hand over Logan Sargeants’ car to Albon - a move the American described as his toughest day of his career.

Albon said: “He’s been an absolute gentleman in the whole situation, and he’s a real team player. So on my side, it was just trying to do the job at hand because, at the end, you can’t really think about it too much.

“You know, you go and do your job and then that’s the best payback I could give to the team, and to him, was to try and do a good job today and tomorrow.

“So, obviously the atmosphere and the environment that we’re in is not pleasant. We don’t want it to happen again.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Rewind: Best Australian Grand Prix moments

02:13

There have been some quality moments in the Australian Grand Prix over the years… here are some of the best.

Why Sergio Perez suffered his grid penalty

01:59

Sergio Perez was given a three-place grid penalty for impeding Nico Hulkenberg during qualifying.

The Q1 incident forced the Haas to take evasive action at turn 13 of his hot lap, with the Mexican on the racing line during an out lap - he drops from third to sixth as a result.

“He was having a Mexican siesta, I think,” Hulkenberg remarked afterwards.

“He wasn't looking in the mirror, the closing speed coming around Turn 12 is so quick now. If you're not paying attention enough it happens very easily and quickly. But of course it shouldn't happen.”

Lando Norris has hopped into P3 and admitted before the verdict that he was already chuffed with fourth on the grid.

“It’s probably better than I was expecting,” he said. “Honestly. [I thought] two Ferraris, two Red Bulls, I didn’t expect to be ahead of one of them. It was Charles, so probably even more of a surprise.

“But yeah, happy with today, honestly. I’ve not [felt] like I’ve done that well this weekend. I struggled to put things together and just to get comfortable with the car, knowing how to push on it. Normally when I feel like I push, it goes the opposite way of what I want.

“It’s something I’m still struggling with, I would say, and I’ve struggled with a bit this season.”

Qualifying recap

01:47

Catch up on everything that dominated the headlines in a busy qualifying session.

Read the full story!

Business is booming in F1, but scandals threaten to burst the bubble

01:30

Formula One revealed on Friday morning that 124,113 people had come through the turnstiles simply to watch two practice sessions for the Australian Grand Prix — a record attendance.

Partly, it is the lure of the Australian contingent on the grid: Oscar Piastri and Daniel Ricciardo, not to mention adopted Aussie Valtteri Bottas, whose mullet-wearing, ute-driving antics have been causing a ripple this week.

But also it is the ongoing Drive to Survive effect and the monumental rise in the sport’s popularity both on track and for those watching from the sofa back at home.

Those numbers are all the more remarkable in that this season has the makings of being another monumentally one-sided affair.

F1 has become obsessed with cracking the United States and, it has to be said, with three grands prix there, it has done so successfully. And it begs the question whether the sport’s hierarchy has taken its eye off the ball in this constant drive, with it now seemingly skipping from one scandal to another?

Read the full story!

Australian Grand Prix: Rewind

01:12

Last year’s race was one hell of a stop-start affair - with four red flags!

Weather forecast

00:55

No rain is forecast for this race in the Aussie autumn. Temperatures should sit at a comfortable 21ºC with light winds and some cloud cover.

Starting grid

00:45 , Marc Mayo

  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

  19. Zhou Guanyu

How to watch the Australian Grand Prix

00:36 , Marc Mayo

TV channel: In the UK, coverage of grand prix Sunday begins from 3am GMT on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event.

Free highlights of the race will air on Channel 4 at 12.30pm.

Live stream: Sky Sports subscribers will also be able to watch events unfold live online via the Sky Go app.

Australian Grand Prix LIVE!

00:29 , Marc Mayo

Hello and welcome to Standard Sport’s live blog for the 2024 Australian Grand Prix!

The third round of the F1 season takes us to Melbourne’s Albert Park and it’s, as ever, an early (or late, depending on your approach) one for fans in the UK.

We are set to get underway at 4am GMT with Max Verstappen on pole position.

Follow all the build-up, race updates and reaction right here.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)