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Sports: Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc wins Formula 1 Australian GP

F1 Australian GP: Sainz fastest as Ferrari lead Red Bull in FP1

  F1 Australian GP: Sainz fastest as Ferrari lead Red Bull in FP1 Carlos Sainz Jr comfortably had the measure of Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc and the Red Bull duo to top first practice ahead of Formula 1’s 2022 Australian Grand Prix.The Spaniard romped to a 1m19.806s to unsurprisingly smash the existing lap record set on the previous configuration, a 1m20.486s as posted by Lewis Hamilton on his way to pole in 2019.

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Charles Leclerc has completed a dominant weekend in his Ferrari after converting his pole position into a comprehensive triumph in the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.

  Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc wins Formula 1 Australian GP © Provided by The Canadian Press

The 24-year-old Leclerc extended his lead in the drivers’ championship while claiming his second win of the season following victory in the season-opening race in Bahrain.

Leclerc was able to hold off Red Bull rival Max Verstappen during the opening laps and defended well mid-race under safety car conditions to pull away for a decisive 20.524-second victory.

Sergio Perez overcame a slow start to take second ahead of the Mercedes’ combination of George Russell, who secured his first podium finish for the season, and Lewis Hamilton.

F1 Australian GP: Norris leads FP3 as both Aston Martins crash out

  F1 Australian GP: Norris leads FP3 as both Aston Martins crash out Lando Norris topped final practice for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix as both Aston Martin cars crashed out and caused red flags at Albert Park.After missing the opening two races of the season due to COVID-19, Vettel’s difficult return to action in Australia continued as he crashed out 20 minutes into the session.

McLaren pair Orlando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth and sixth.

Verstappen, the world champion, endured another frustrating race when a mechanical failure ended his hopes while he was running second 39 laps into the 58-lap race.

Verstappen, who was clearly disappointed after the race, never really challenged Leclerc, whose Ferrari was the quicker car under race conditions in Melbourne.

The drivers’ championship leader, who pitted on Lap 22, confirmed that when posting the fastest lap of 1 minute, 20.260 seconds with a final-lap flourish.

He is the first Ferrari driver since Fernando Alonso in Singapore in 2010 to complete a racing “grand slam," having claimed the pole position, led wire-to-wire, claimed the race and also posted the fastest time.

F1 Australian GP qualifying results: Leclerc beats Verstappen to pole

  F1 Australian GP qualifying results: Leclerc beats Verstappen to pole Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took pole position for Formula 1's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, beating Red Bull pair Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez after delays caused by two red flags.The one-hour qualifying session, which is split into three segments with five cars each being knocked out in Q1 and Q2 before the top-10 shootout of Q3, was twice red-flagged and meant the decisive final laps took place amid a low sun that proved distracting for the drivers.

“Honestly, what a car today. Of course, I did a good job all weekend, but it was not possible without the car,” he said.

His teammate Carlos Sainz, who finished on the podium in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, had less luck in a testing weekend.

After an issue in qualifying resulted in him starting from ninth, he dropped back further in the field with a slow start and then lost control on the second lap, ending his race.

But Leclerc believes Ferrari has demonstrated it is going to be competitive in the manufacturers’ championship this year.

“Obviously we are only in the third race, so it is difficult to think about the championship,” he said. “But, to be honest, we have a very strong car, a very reliable car too, and for now we have always been there. I hope it continues like this and if it does, we probably have chances for the championship."

The Mercedes team has endured problems so far this year and is off the pace of their Ferrari and Red Bull rivals.

Leclerc takes pole position for F1 Australian Grand Prix, Canadians collide

  Leclerc takes pole position for F1 Australian Grand Prix, Canadians collide MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A Ferrari versus Red Bull battle is shaping up as the likely scenario on Sunday at the first Australian Grand Prix since the pandemic began in 2020. Charles Leclerc claimed Ferrari’s first pole position at the revamped Albert Park circuit since 2007 with a decisive final lap of 1 minute, 17.868 seconds in Melbourne on Saturday. But running close behind were the Red Bulls of world champion Max Verstappen, who qualified .286 seconds behind, and Sergio Perez, who posted the third quickest time. Leclerc and Verstappen have shared the opening two races of the season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia and will now start alongside each other on the front row.

But Russell was pleased with the improvement in his car this weekend, though he conceded they received some luck with Verstappen's misfortune.

“We got a little bit lucky today … but we will take it. To be standing on the podium is special,” Russell said.

“We are never going to give up. We are going to keep on fighting. We have to keep this up while we are on the back foot, I’m sure we will get there after a few more races.”

Verstappen said the Red Bull was “already miles behind” Ferrari.

“I don’t even want to think about the championship at the moment,” he said. “I think it is more important just to finish races, because today was, in general, just a bad day again. It is pretty frustrating and unacceptable.

“I knew there was a problem and it was always going to be a question mark for finishing the race, but these kind of things, if you want to fight for the title, cannot happen.”

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Courtney Walsh, The Associated Press

now dominates Charles Leclec the Formula 1 World Cup 2022? .
© Motorsport Images George Russell is after points the sharpest pursuer of Charles Leclerc is Charles Leclerc almost the new Formula 1 world champion 2022? At least the Ferrari pilot is on the title after the first three season races. The Monegasse has already collected 71 points and thus 34 points more than his first pursuer George Russell - that's more than a race victory ( to the World Cup stand ).

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