Greetings to all F1 enthusiasts worldwide, just a quick recap of a very exciting race that happened earlier this month. On the weekend of April 2nd we were in the country of Australia, at the Albert Park Circuit, and it was utter madness! Where do I start? Well, for starters it was a full house of crazy F1 fans and they definitely got their money’s worth and more. It was chaos right from the beginning, all the way to the end this incredible race. But before I leap into the race, lets go over some track facts and ill brief you on days 1 and 2 practice sessions.
The track, Albert Park Circuit, held its first Grand Prix in 1996. The length of this circuit is 5.278 km and there are fifty-eight laps on this track. The race distance here is 306.124 km and Sergio Perez (2023) has the lap record with a time of 1:20.235.
There are a few “gravel pits” to watch out for on this track where drivers beach their cars in the gravel with no way out, as many did this year.
Now let us do a quick review of the practices during the first two days before the race.
FP1; At the top of the timesheet were two Red Bulls, Max Verstappen, who finished in 1st with a time of 1:18,790, followed by Lewis Hamilton who came in 2nd with a time of 1:19,223. Perez finished in 3rd with a time of 1:19.293. Rounding out the top five were Alonso in 4th with a time of 1:19.317 and Leclerc in 5th with a time of 1:19.378.
FP2; Drivers practiced in the rain on an unsettling wet surface. There was traffic on the track and some gamesmanship going on between drivers. McLaren was having some issues.
The top five on the timesheets for practice 2 saw Alonso finish in 1st with a time of 1:18.887. Leclerc finished in 2nd with a time of 1:19.332. Verstappen followed finishing in 3rd with a time of 1:19.502. Rounding out the top 5 were Sainz finishing in 4th with a time of 1:19,695 and Ocon finishing in 5th with a time of 1:19.725.
Very happy with my Quali and to be on Pole here in Melbourne!
Looking forward to tomorrow’s race @redbullracing 💪 pic.twitter.com/1NeVSsLwbd
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) April 1, 2023
FP3; Many fans were out on day 2 for FP3 and Qualifications. Again there was a lot of traffic on the track and a red flag to go along with it. We saw Zhou hitting the wall and Perez in the gravel! Let the gamesmanship begin! All the teams were setting their strategy primary plans for the race and collecting data as the session went on. The pace picked up before we had rain at the end of the session.
The top five on the timesheet for P3 saw Verstappen in 1st with a time of 1:17.565, followed by Alonso in 2nd with a time of 1:17.727. Ocon finished in 3rd with a time of 1:17.938, and to round out the top five was Russell who finished in 4th with a time of 1:17.955 and Gastly in 5th with a time of 1:18.094.
The day finished with qualifying for grid positioning. Sergio Perez beached his car in the gravel in Q1 and could not get out. Thus he started in 20th place on the grid.
Grid positioning was as follows;
P1 – Verstappen
P2 – Russell
P3 – Hamilton
P4 – Alonso
P5 – Sainz
P6 – Stroll
P7 – Leclerc
P8 – Albon
P9 – Gasly
P10 – Hulkenberg
Race Day Sunday
Where do we begin? Well! Perez, through this chaotic and unpredictable race had a lot of overtakes. He zigged and zagged his way from 20th to finish in 5th, and on top of that he had the fastest lap of the race. That’s one extra point in the books for him.
Three red flags, two safety car periods, standing starts and messy multiple car crashes that left only twelve cars out of twenty to finish the race.
It was a wild one down under and a sold out crowd loved every second of it!
But wait, there’s more, we ended with an FIA ruling from the Stewards on Carlos Sainz five sec time penalty for causing a collision, or was it just a racing incident? A little harsh? You could hear Sainz on the team radio saying, “No, it cannot be, it is unacceptable! They need to wait until the race has finished and discuss it with me.”
I agree, some rulings are in the grey area but this was a harsh penalty with twelve cars left and no point for Sainz and Ferrari. What a day and what a race.
Back where we want to be☝️
Today completes a really good weekend for us @redbullracing @HondaRacingGLB 💪 Very happy with that 🙌
Thank you Australia for your great support all weekend 👏 pic.twitter.com/X9j8Tom5zv
— Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) April 2, 2023
- VERSTAPPEN (Red Bull Racing) 2:32:38.371
- HAMILTON (Mercedes) +0.179s
- ALONSO (Aston Martin) +0.769s
The fastest lap went to PEREZ of Red Bull Racing with a time of 1:20.235
Quotes of the Day
“We had a rollercoaster of emotions today, many things going on at the beginning, and the last half hour! Mercedes were very fast and Lewis did an incredible job, I could not match the pace, but we take P3.” – Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin
“We had a very poor start, Lap 1 was careful as I had a lot to lose. After that, the pace of the car was quick. With these red flags, I don’t know, I don’t understand. It was a bit of a mess, but we had a good pace and we won, so that’s important. It’s great to win here, my first win here as well.” – Max Verstappen, Red Bull
Next up is the 4th race of the season in BAKU, Azerbaijan.
On Sprint weekend, sessions will change.
April 28th, FP1, 5:30-6:30 a.m. (EST) – Qualifying, 9:00-10:00 a.m. (EST)
April 29th, FP2, 5:30-6:30 a.m. (EST)- Sprint 9:30-10:30 a.m. (EST)
April 30th, Race Day Sunday, 7:00 a.m. (EST)
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