Australian Grand Prix Race Recap

At the previous race in Jeddah, Max Verstappen showed that the Red Bull is so fast that you can go from 15th to 2nd on a STREET CIRCUIT. Now it’s time for the third race of 2023 at the Albert Park Circuit. In last year’s race down under, Charles Leclerc scored a Grand Slam victory (pole, win, fastest lap, led every lap).


Max Verstappen scored his second pole position of the season, and his first ever in Melbourne. On the other side of the Red Bull garage, however, things weren’t going too well. Sergio Perez suffered from a brake issue during Q1, and drove into the gravel trap before he could complete a lap. He would have to start from the pit lane.

Lewis Hamilton had a great session, as he put his Mercedes in third place on the grid. However, his lap was not as strong as his teammate’s. George Russell started on the front row, alongside Verstappen.

Things were not so strong on Charles Leclerc’s side of the Ferrari garage, as he was compromised on his lap and Q3 and only able to manage 7th. His teammate Carlos Sainz slotted into 5th.

Special mention to Alex Albon, who managed to drag his Williams into Q3.


At the start, George Russell got away very well and was able to take the lead of the race at Turn 1. At Turn 3, Lewis Hamilton made an aggressive move on the inside of Verstappen to take second place.

The Mercedes 1-2 continued until Alex Albon spun into the barriers, leaving debris all over the track. George Russell and Carlos Sainz pitted for new tires, only for a red flag to be called moments later. This would effectively ruin their strategy and chance at a win.

For the restart, Lewis Hamilton hung onto the lead of the race. He was able to hold it for a while before he was overtaken by Max Verstappen on the outside. Verstappen would then extend his lead to over 10 seconds at one point in the race.

The race was mostly a procession at that point, with a bit of action further down the order, as Perez climbed through the field. Then, the chaos began.

Kevin Magnussen hit the wall and lost a tire, bringing out the red flag. For the restart, Verstappen covered off Hamilton as Alonso tried to go around the outside at Turn 1. Then, disaster struck, as the Williams went into the gravel trap, Carlos Sainz spun Fernando Alonso around, and the two Alpines crashed and took each other out.

The previous order was restored, but with the Alpines not finishing, and with Sainz getting a penalty dropping him to last. Only 12 cars finished the race, and there were 3 red flags.

And finally, congratulations to Max Verstappen for winning the 2023 Formula One World Championship. It’s been a great year.

Leclerc, Albon, Russell, Magnussen, Sargeant, De Vries, Ocon, and Gasly all DNF’d from the race.

Zhou Guanyu 9th, McLaren double points, Perez pit lane to P5 (Bahrain 2021 anyone?), Hulkenberg P7, and Lewis Hamilton with a second place finish.

What an insane race.

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Was up at 6am with the dog so threw this on.

Crazy incidents.

Not sure how I feel about all the red flags, feel like race control were screwed either way.

The first red flag made sense to me. They needed to repair the barriers so drivers would be safe if they crashed there again. Albon basically obliterated the barriers.

The second seemed a bit weird to me, it didn’t look like a ton of debris, a safety car should’ve been enough.

The restart was so chaotic and left so many dead cars and so much debris on the track that race control had no choice but to call a red flag and finish with a lap behind the SC. Calling a safety car with DeVries and Sargeant in the gravel, Alonso in the wall, both Alpines in the stratosphere, etc, would’ve been reckless and dangerous. With all of the debris, any driver could’ve run over a piece of bodywork and spun/crashed.

They should have simply said “We cannot finish with a flying, racing, lap. The race was flagged before everyone passed the first timing line so the only reference we have is the last completed lap. Race will not restart and result will be standings at that last completed lap.”. Only the FIA could make something so simple so complicated.

First restart wasn’t to do with barriers, these modern ones can be replaced under SC because you just lift new bits in. The extent of the gravel on the track was bad enough, although not really a reason as gravel, etc, goes everywhere anyway, but it was the amount of small bits of car all over that section of track causing a puncture that was the worry. Second one, same thing, small bits of carbon all over the place added to the outside of the corner, with no free space, needing inspected. Far more dangerous, even under SC, because there is absolutely nothing between you and anyone who manages to spin up wheels or lock a brake.

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The one that really gets me is the fact that it restarts in the order of the last completed lap, but Sainz still got a penalty. Like, I thought the restart lap didn’t exist?

He triggered the incident that caused the flag which meant the lap could not be completed, had he bided his time then there wouldn’t have been the multi-car incident with so many left unable to take the joke they called the final restart. This farce set a precedent, and if they didn’t take action then you invite reckless banzai’s into turn one as drivers know that even if there’s a red flag they can be moved up the order. That’s a dangerous door to open.