The 3rd Formula 1 race of this season took place in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday. In advance it was already counted on at least one restart, but no one could have imagined that it would become so chaotic, and that Alonso would crawl through the eye of a needle twice.
The Formula 1 race weekend was one of contrasts anyway. During practice and even during qualifying, the drivers had to deal with wet weather conditions. Then, on the day of the race, it was sunny and warm. This was therefore, far from ideal for the drivers as they all suddenly had to adopt a completely different strategy.
Good Formula 1 qualification for Dutchman Verstappen
Ultimately, the Dutch Max Verstappen set the fastest time, allowing him to start first on Sunday. The grid continued with Russel in second, Hamilton in third, Fernando Alonso in fourth and Spaniard Carlos Sainz in fifth. Once again, both Spaniards had a good starting point.
First red flag early in the race after Albon crash
All in all, the race was chaotic and far from boring. Fairly early in the race, Albon crashed, causing a yellow flag to be waved in the first instance. Some drivers wanted to take advantage of this and went in for a tire change. This caused Alonso to move forward a few spots. However, shortly afterwards, the yellow flag was turned into red, requiring a restart.
Second red flag just before the end of the race
Alonso was able to drive reasonably up front for a long time. Nevertheless, the red flag was used for the second time when Magnussen was suddenly driving with only three tires. He had crashed into the wall, blowing off his right rear tire and littering the road surface with pieces of carbon. This happened on one of the last laps and for the second time the drivers had to restart.
Chaos complete after three red flags
Max Verstappen has an excellent start at the second restart, but disaster unfolded behind him. The chaos of the race was complete when Sainz tapped Alonso and Alonso ended up backwards on the track. Alonso was furious because his podium spot seemed to be lost. The Alpine drivers then collided and Pérez, Stroll, De Vries and Sargeant also ended up in the gravel trap. Finally the red flag waved for the third time and the chaos in the penultimate lap was complete.
Spaniards collide: happiness for one and hard punishment for the other
After much deliberation, the race management decideed that the last lap was to be driven behind the safety car and Max Verstappen thus recorded his first ever victory in Australia. Although Alonso lost many places due to the collision with Sainz, he was allowed to start third and therefore also finish. Hamilton came second. Sainz received a time penalty of 5 seconds, which meant he did not finish fourth, but ultimately in twelfth place. He reacted angrily in front of the camera and said: “This is the biggest disgrace I’ve ever seen in Formula 1.”
At the moment, the Dutch Verstappen is in first place with 69 points. After three races, Alonso takes second place with 45 points and the Spaniards Sainz takes fifth place with 20 points. Although Alonso is happy with the podium places, he is determined to end up a little higher on the podium next time.
Not only did Alonso end up with a podium place, but after tens of thousands voted, he won the overtake of the month award with this amazing move.
Thank you to everyone who voted 🙏
— Formula 1 (@F1) April 3, 2023