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Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 2024

Winners and losers from 2024 Australian Grand Prix

Who has made the list of winners and losers from the 2024 Australian Grand Prix?

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To news overview © XPBimages

Expecting the unexpected has become difficult to do in Formula 1 given the run that Max Verstappen has been on of late. The Dutchman looked on course to match - and eventually beat - his streak of consecutive wins until his right rear brake decided otherwise.

It set up an intriguing fight for an alternate race winner at the Australian Grand Prix, something fans have not been accustomed to in recent times.

Verstappen knew the day would come when his 43-race streak of consecutive finishes would come to an end, now the second longest in F1 history behind only Hamilton's run of 48 successive finishes set several years ago.

Ferrari capitalised on the issues for Verstappen, and Carlos Sainz sailed to his third career victory, leading home a Ferrari one-two.

Where better then, to start our list?

Winner - Carlos Sainz

It is baffling to think that earlier this month Sainz was lying in a hospital bed in Saudi Arabia having undergone surgery after developing appendicitis.

Fast forward two weeks and his hospital garments were substituted for Ferrari overalls and his questionable hospital meals were replaced by champagne, which was sprayed from the top step of the podium.

Simply returning to the cockpit this weekend was a mighty achievement for Sainz who was not completely comfortable behind the wheel.

The Spaniard would have been excused for lacking some performance as he continued his recovery. Instead, he qualified on the front row, overtook Verstappen early on and cruised to a victory that was delivered with class.

Each of Sainz's three race wins have come amid mature and measured drives, rather than simply clinching it through avoiding chaos.

As he searches for a new home for the 2025 campaign, Sainz did himself plenty of favours in generating interest from other top manufacturers.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Loser - Mercedes

Oh boy! During Mercedes' trouble-filled seasons in 2022 and 2023, after three rounds it had managed to tally 65 and 56 points respectively. Its score after three events in 2024? A paltry 26.

Lewis Hamilton endured a nightmare weekend during which he struggled to get to grips with his W15. Any hope of bringing home something tangible from the race was shattered by a power unit issue sustained a third of the way into the grand prix.

George Russell looked to be on course to salvage something for the Brackley-based squad in seventh, but a crash on his penultimate lap ensured Mercedes went home empty-handed.

Alonso's 20-second time penalty for 'potentially dangerous driving' that led to Russell's crash will be little consolation to the team.

Mercedes currently sits just a single point ahead of Aston Martin in the constructors' championship in what is its worst start to a season (based on the opening three rounds) since the 2011 campaign.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Winner - McLaren

It is true McLaren needed some good fortune to get onto the podium, and that is exactly what unfolded for the Woking-based squad when Verstappen retired.

McLaren has repeatedly declared since the start of the year that its pace is not enough to rival that of Red Bull and Ferrari. Waiting in the wings, when the opportunity presented itself, McLaren took it.

It seemed early on that it would be Oscar Piastri to score the podium, which would have gone down well with the local fans.

But as has often been the case in the past, Lando Norris had the stronger race pace and through a team order, the duo switched positions to allow the Briton the chance to attack Leclerc.

Such a seamless team order is a win in itself as it would have been easy for Piastri to protest given the luxurious position he was in at his home race.

The Melbourne native, however, played the team game to ensure McLaren maximised its result.

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	© XPBimages

Loser - Williams

Williams' weekend was compromised from the moment Alex Albon pitched his car into the barrier at high speed to damage the chassis.

Team principal James Vowles was forced to make a difficult decision and benched Sargeant for the weekend, gifting the only other available chassis to Albon to complete the round.

It almost paid off too, with the Thai-British driver finishing in 11th. If Albon had managed to come out on top in his battle against Haas, he would have scored points and Williams may well have been considered a winner on this list.

With the weekend over, it must now deal with the hangover of the decision made and the potential ill effects it may have caused Sargeant.

Whether it was the right decision to make or not, either way, Williams was down one car after Friday practice - a hellish scenario for any team.

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	© XPBimages

Winners - Haas

Haas heavily downplayed expectations ahead of the new season. It asserted that it would likely be positioned at the bottom of the pecking order with little chance to fight for points.

After three rounds, Nico Hulkenberg scored back-to-back top-10 finishes in Saudi Arabia and Australia while team-mate Kevin Magnussen got his tally started in Melbourne.

The duo classified in ninth and 10th (admittedly helped by Russell's late crash) but it has been an encouraging stretch for the US-owned team.

Can the Haas be a consistent points challenger? At this stage, it is a little early to say as a lot will ride on how well the car develops throughout the season, an area in which Haas has struggled in the past.

But its race-day execution has been on point and it certainly is not in the pit of despair that it was anticipating during pre-season.

Three races in and four points on the board for a team expected to be last? It's a very strong showing.

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	© XPBimages

Losers - Perez

Perhaps we could have tied in Red Bull as a whole on this one, with Verstappen also having his woes.

Perez's race was slightly compromised when he was issued a three-place grid penalty for impeding Hulkenberg during qualifying and in the race, Perez felt he did not have the car underneath him to compete.

But it was a major missed opportunity. At the opening two races, Perez finished second on the road and he knows that likely his best chance of winning is capitalising on the misfortune of Verstappen.

The Australian Grand Prix was such a chance but it was Ferrari, not Perez, who jumped on Vertappen's woes to seal the win.

Red Bull's run of dominance is such that at the current moment it is expected that the team will win week in, week out. If it is not one driver, it is the other.

However, the moment for Perez to win his first race in almost 12 months slipped by.

			© Red Bull Content Pool
	© Red Bull Content Pool

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