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Carlos Sainz

Sainz revels in 'rollercoaster' season: 'Life sometimes is crazy'

Carlos Sainz took his third career victory in Formula 1 as he took the chequered flag at the Albert Park Circuit, home of the Australian Grand Prix.

Sainz Australia FP2
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Carlos Sainz has declared his victory at the Australian Grand Prix has added to his “rollercoaster” 2024 Formula 1 season.

Sainz took the chequered flag at the Albert Park Circuit ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc on Sunday following an early race retirement for Max Verstappen.

The Spaniard made his return to the cockpit after being forced to miss the previous round in Saudi Arabia due to appendix surgery.

His victory comes in what is his final season for Ferrari ahead of Lewis Hamilton's arrival next year.

Speaking after the chequered flag, Sainz said: “It was a really good race, I felt really good out there.

“Of course a bit stiff and it wasn't the easiest, but I was lucky that I was more or less on my own and I could manage my pace, manage the tyres, manage everything and it wasn’t the toughest race of all.

“I'm very happy, very proud of the team, happy to be in a one-two with Charles here.

“It shows that the hard work pays off. Life sometimes is crazy, what happened at the beginning of the year, then the podium in Bahrain and the appendix, the comeback, the win - it’s a rollercoaster.”

Sainz concerned over safety car disruption

Sainz took the lead of the race early on before Verstappen retired, making the overtake stick into turn 9 after a mistake from the world championship leader earlier in the lap.

From there, the 29-year-old controlled the race but was wary of a safety car or red-flag disruption hurting his chances.

“From lap two when I was leading, I said with the pace I had yesterday, I knew I could get it done,” Sainz said.

“Especially in clean air managing the tyres, I could get it done.

“Obviously the risk of a safety car or red flag here was always in the back of my mind. But luckily, it was a clean race and not too much happened.

“[I'm] sorry for George there at the end. It looked like a big one. I hope he's OK. I could finish the race, win it and bring it home, a great feeling.”

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