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By Nathan Salt Published: 22:19 EDT, 23 March 2024 | Updated: 00:44 EDT, 24 March 2024 Advertisement Experinced heads smell a podiumKeep an eye on Fernando Alonso in that Aston Martin.He’s currently running P5 and is 10 seconds behind Lando Norris but both he and Sergio Perez P6 are smelling a podium here.Ferrari and McLaren pounceWhat a bonkers start to this race then.There is one Red Bull and one Mercedes left in this race – and neither of them are Max Verstappen or Lewis Hamilton.It’s currently a Ferrari one-two in Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, with McLaren three-four in Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.Breaking:LEWIS HAMILTON IS OUT!ENGINE FAILURE FOR LEWIS HAMILTON!Right, it’s Lewis Hamilton AND Max Verstappen who have retired!Lewis Hamilton chasing speedy Red BullLewis Hamilton is currently 11th but he cannot believe the speed of the Red Bull of Sergio Perez ahead of him.’Jeez, that car’s fast,’ he says on team radio.Debrief underway at Red BullChristian Horner and Max Verstappen are having a debrief now on what went wrong.One of those things. Can’t apportion any blame to the Dutchman on this occasion.The end of Max Verstappen’s raceThe worst case scenario for Red Bull and the runaway world champion.Big smiles in the Ferrari garageI mentioned earlier that Carlos Sainz was optimistic about landing a blow on Max Verstappen here – and now the Dutchman can do nothing about it.The Spaniard, who doesn’t have a drive yet for 2025, has just set the fastest lap.This race is WIDE OPEN nowThat is incredible – who saw that coming?Well, there will be no 10th straight victory for Max Verstappen.It’s now Carlos Sainz as the race leader, followed by Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc. Lewis Hamilton is down in 14th.Breaking:MAX VERSTAPPEN RETIRES!His right rear break is on fire, it’s melted the tyre and the world champion is OUT of the race!Nightmare for Max Verstappen!You couldn’t even make it up that the computer crashed just as we had lights out!But Carlos Sainz is leading the way and Max Verstappen is having a nightmare here. He’s second but he has an engine issue!Sleepy head RicciardoCome on Daniel, now you’re just teasing us bleary-eyed Brits back in the UK…Moments away from lights outDrivers will soon be on their formation lap and we’ll be uttering those famous words: ‘lights out and away we go’Max Verstappen hasn’t always been the best off the line in Melbourne so let’s see if opportunity knocks for Ferrari on Lap 1.All eyes on Carlos SainzGenuinely quite excited to see how Carlos Sainz gets on over 58 laps today.It’s a really interesting spot this season for Sainz to be in, knowing that he’s being replaced by Lewis Hamilton at the end of the season.He’s a super driver and has everything in his locker to go and claim victory today.Wherever he ends up next season, he will want to land a couple of wins for Ferrari between now and then.Martin Brundle’s Australian GP grid walkMartin Brundle is currently undertaking his customary grid walk but it’s not for the faint hearted given the scorching temperatures. He’s currently trying to catch the attention of internet stars Dude PerfectGeorge Russell’s pre-race has been dominated by a row over being filmed at a urinal by a pair of Australian influencers. Who on earth decides to film someone using a urinal!? Dear, oh dear.Let’s hear from Lando NorrisFrom some tired Brits at home to one with a massive smile on his face in Melbourne.Here’s what Lando Norris had to say as the McLaren star prepares to start in P3 from the start…Rise and shine UK fans!Mercedes having a good laugh at the expense of bleary-eyed UK fans waking up for this race.It’s pretty accurate, mind you.Daniel Ricciardo ‘puzzled’ by poor formSpeaking of home favourites, as well as Oscar Piastri there is Daniel Ricciardo.But it has been tough sledding so far this season for the experienced Aussie.MORE ON HIS STRUGGLES HERE.Lots of pressure on Ferrari in AustraliaIt already feels like Red Bull are going to run away with the 2024 season – and it’s only race three of the season!This is a big race for Ferrari and as Martin Brundle has just said in the paddock, the overwhelming feeling is that Ferrari HAVE to win this race today to make things interesting.Carlos Sainz starts at P2 and he will need to make a good start or risks Verstappen riding off into the sunset…REVEALED: Why Sergio Perez was handed a three-place grid penaltyIt was a near-perfect qualifying for Red Bull with both of their drivers on the podium.But a post-qualifying penalty means Mexican star Sergio Perez will start from P6.Reminder of Australian GP starting gridIf you’ve just joined us, here’s a reminder of how the starting grid looks.Sergio Perez qualified third but was handed a three-place grid penalty unfortunatly for him!Love is in the airJon mentioned earlier about the importance of having Aussie drivers to drum up interest and Oscar Piastri is a big part of that these days.Here is the young Aussie entering the paddock alongside his girlfriend Lily Zneimer…Paddock gets a lick of paintIf I am a total sucker for anything it’s sporting murals – and here’s an absolute ripper from the paddock at Albert Park.I get it, you’re tired and it’s very early.Many of today’s F1 stars started out as karting phenomenoms… but can you recognise them? Ready, set, go…Scorching weather for the Australian GPAs Jon said, organisers are handing out suncreen to spectators but the drivers are already oiled up as they parade round pre-race.Trackside update for Australian GPJONATHAN McEVOY IN MELBOURNE: Albert Park is rammed. Two days of record crowds – with an astonishing 120,000-plus here for Friday’s practice alone. Weather changeable. Boiling hot when the sun’s out. They are handing out 50+ sunscreen to all. Having two Aussie drivers helps the numbers but everything is rising on the Drive to Survive tide – even with Verstappen overwhelming favourite to claim his 10th successive win today.Glorious sunshine for the drivers’ paradeSunglasses on, loads of adoring fans… not a bad life, is it?How the Australian GP grid standsHere’s a reminder if you missed qualifying of how the grid stands:1 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1min 15.915secs2 Carlos Sainz Jr. (Spa) Ferrari 1:16.1853 Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:16.3154 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:16.4355 Oscar Piastri (Aus) McLaren 1:16.572, 6 Sergio Perez (Mex) Red Bull 1:16.2747 George Russell (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:16.7248 Yuki Tsunoda (Jpn) RB 1:16.7889 Lance Stroll (Can) Aston Martin 1:17.07210 Fernando Alonso (Spa) Aston Martin 1:17.55211 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1:16.96012 Alexander Albon (Tha) Williams 1:17.16713 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Kick Sauber 1:17.34014 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:17.42715 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Alpine 1:17.69716 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Haas F1 1:17.97617 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Alpine 1:17.98218 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) RB 1:18.08519 Guanyu Zhou (Chn) Kick Sauber 1:18.188REMINDER: Williams are only running ONE car in this race due to damage picked up by Alex Albon’s car in practice. Logan Sargeant is missing outLewis Hamilton’s nightmare weekendLewis Hamilton has already made his mind up and he will move to Ferrari at the end of this current season… but just three races in and this Mercedes car is already ‘messing’ with his mind, he claims.He qualified in 11th and is in store for a long afternoon it seems.How Max Verstappen secured poleYes, he is the master of putting himself top of the pile these days but this was still a thrilling lap from the Flying Dutchman over at Red Bull.Here is how Max Verstappen secured pole in Melbourne…Australian Grand Prix LIVETo those dialling in from the UK, rise and shine sleepy heads! To those of you elsewhere in the world, good morning and good afternoon for the third race of the 2024 Formula One season.Once again it’s Max Verstappen on pole and Mercedes struggling but around those two staples on the grid, there is plenty of intrigue for us to keep track of.Key UpdatesLEWIS HAMILTON IS OUT!View postMAX VERSTAPPEN RETIRES!View postReminder of Australian GP starting gridView post Share or comment on this article: Formula 1 – Australian Grand Prix Race: Start time, timings and lap-by-lap updates as Max Verstappen is OUT after his car catches FIRE

#Formula #Australian #Grand #Prix #Race #Start #time #timings #lapbylap #updates #Max #Verstappen #car #catches #FIRE

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