Round 3 of the 2022 F1 championship took place at Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia. Not hosting F1 races for the past two years due to Covid-19 Pandemic, the Australian GP is back after 3 years in 2022. The track has been restructured since then with an additional new DRS zone.
It was the perfect weekend for Charles Leclerc in his Ferrari F1-75. He becomes the 26th driver in F1 history to achieve a Grand Chelem. Grand Chelem or grand slam in F1 means that Charles took pole position, led every lap, got the fastest lap, was the driver of the day and most importantly won the race. Max Verstappen was the previous driver to achieve this in the 2021 Austrian GP and Alonso was the last Ferrari driver to have done this in the 2010 Singapore GP.
2022 Australian GP Qualifying result
The qualifying on Saturday was very interesting. Stroll and Latifi’s crash in Q1 gave all the time Aston Martin mechanics needed to fix Vettel’s car. But with just one attempt at setting his best time, Vettel only managed to go 17th. Williams failing to provide a litre of fuel from Albon’s car post-session pretty much disqualified him from his 16th position.
Moving up the order, the Haas and Alfa’s lacked the pace compared to the previous 2 races. A record 103 consecutive Q3 appearances for Valtteri Bottas comes to an end, he only managed to secure 12th on the grid.
With Sainz out of the equation, both Red Bulls were a threat for Ferrari. Perez and Max were very close to starting on the front row, but Leclerc on his final hot lap pulled up a brilliant 1.17.86 to secure pole. Max, Perez, Norris and Hamilton secured the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th positions. The complete 2022 Australian GP qualifying result is mentioned below.
|2.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1.18.154|
|3.||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||1.18.240|
|11.||Pierre Gasly||Alpha Tauri||1:19.226|
|12.||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||1:19.410|
|13.||Yuki Tsunoda||Alpha Tauri||1:19.424|
|14.||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||1:20.155|
|16.||Alexander Albon||Williams||1:20.135 (Disqualified)|
|18.||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||1:21.149|
|20.||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||DNF|
With a decent start, Leclerc fends off Max and stays ahead in turn 1. Perez struggled initially and lost a position to Hamilton which he later gained. Sainz starting 9th had an awful first lap where he dropped down to 13th. On lap 2, Sainz carried too much speed into turn 10 which flew him off to the gravel pit concluding his race.
Max stuck behind the leader for a few laps after the first safety car restart. But a huge lock-up from Max later helped Leclerc pull away from him. The leaders were still 4 sec apart after their pitstop, but the second safety car closed it again. The restart had a close encounter between the leaders but Leclerc placed his F1-75 perfectly in the Turn 1 to hold Max.
2022 Australian GP race result
|1.||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||1:27:26.548||26 (+1 for fastest lap)|
|2.||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+20.524s||18|
|8.||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+68.439s||4|
|9.||Pierre Gasly||Alpha Tauri||+76.221s||2|
|11.||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||+81.695s||0|
|12.||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+88.598s||0|
|13.||Mick Schumacher||Haas||+1 lap||0|
|14.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+1 lap||0|
|15.||Yuki Tsunoda||Alpha Tauri||+1 lap||0|
|16.||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+1 lap||0|
|17.||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+1 lap||0|
|18.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||DNF||0|
|19.||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||DNF||0|
There is still a lot of action to come, the next stop is Emilia Romagna GP, Imola, Italy. Stay Tuned for more updates.