Talking points: Ferrari advantage as Leclerc dominate in Australia Car News

A stroke of luck for George Russell

The Mercedes-AMG lack of pace continued in Australia, with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell once again finding themselves powerless to contend with Ferrari and Red Bull.

Hamilton got off to a great start from fifth on the grid to finish third, but had no way of fending off Sergio Perez in the Red Bull. He actually jumped the Mexican at the pit stops, only for ‘Checo’ to pass him comfortably and on the outside. It must have been discouraging.

What made matters worse was the latest in a string of unlucky safety car breaks for the seven-time champion. Vettel dropping his Aston couldn’t have come at a worse time for Hamilton as it allowed teammate George Russell to pit stop and jump the other Silver Arrows in order. That made the difference for the final podium spot, with Russell winning ahead of a disgruntled Hamilton. The result leaves Russell a surprise second in the points behind Leclerc, although it is not representative of the form of rebounding Mercedes cars.

Bad day for Sainz, Vettel and Alonso

Carlos Sainz Jr only qualified ninth, then spun on lap two – never great, especially when your teammate is winning; Vettel looked completely askew in his first F1 race this season after a Covid fight; and Fernando Alonso was left “speechless” following a race that promised so much and delivered a big zero.

Unlucky to have been thrown into an accident during qualifying by a technical failure, the Alpine driver had been stalled for a place on the first two rows of the grid. Instead, from 10th place he ran long on the hard tire and moved up the standings, only to have Vettel’s safety car interfere with his strategy. When he finally stopped for medium-compound Pirellis, he routed them trying to make up lost ground, swooped for more and finished last.

Good day for Williams

On the other hand, Alex Albon and Williams played a new game which offered a much needed world championship point. The Thai rider covered nearly the entire 58-lap distance on a single set of hard tyres, only stopping on the penultimate lap to secure 10th place.

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This notice was published: 2022-04-11 09:24:50

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