Leclerc in scintillating lights-to-flag victory at Australian GP – Sports activities Africa

It’s solely been two races, however we’re witnessing what would possibly as nicely be the return of Ferrari to the highest.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took a lights-to-flag victory in Sunday’s F1 Australian Grand Prix to grab the initiative within the 2022 title race, as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen as soon as once more retired with mechanical points.

Starting from his pole place, Leclerc seemed snug on the entrance all afternoon lengthy, and was by no means headed as he additionally set quickest lap on his technique to his second win in three races up to now in 2022.

“It’s the first win where we have controlled the gap,” mentioned a jubilant Leclerc afterwards. “Honestly, what a car today. Of course I did a good job all weekend but it was not possible without the car.”

“Especially in the race pace, we were extremely strong. Tyres felt great – from the first lap to the last lap we were managing the tyres extremely well. I am just so happy.”

Leclerc’s pleasure stood in stark distinction to the distress of Verstappen. The Dutchman appeared unable to dwell with the tempo of the Ferrari, and ended up pulling off on lap 39 with an obvious engine concern.

After having additionally retired from the primary race of the season, Verstappen already has a 46-point deficit to his would-be title rival Leclerc, and rued his poor reliability up to now in 2022.

“We’re already miles behind,” the Dutchman mentioned. “I don’t want to think about a title fight, I just want to finish races. It’s frustrating and unacceptable. These kinds of things, if you want to fight for the title, cannot happen.”

Behind Leclerc, Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez took a distant second place, with Mercedes’ George Russell benefiting from a fortunately-timed Safety Car interval to vault into third.

Russell’s teammate Lewis Hamilton took an sad fourth place, forward of the 2 McLarens of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, with the Woking squad placing on a much-improved displaying after a troublesome begin to 2022.

Esteban Ocon took seventh in his Alpine, forward of Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas and the AlphaTauri of Pierre Gasly.

After going virtually the entire race with out making a pitstop, Williams’ Alex Albon climbed from the again of the sphere to take the ultimate level for tenth place, simply forward of China’s Zhou Guanyu in his Alfa Romeo.

In addition to Verstappen, Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz was one other notable retiree after spinning out on lap 1, with Sebastian Vettel compounding a depressing weekend for Aston Martin by crashing out on lap 23.

After two wins from three races, Leclerc is already nicely forward within the 2022 Drivers’ Championship with 71 factors, as he seeks to be Ferrari’s first World Champion since 2007. Russell presently sits second with 37 factors, forward of Sainz, who drops to 3rd on 33 factors.

In the Constructors’ standings, Ferrari are nicely out in entrance on 104 factors. Despite their early-season struggles, Mercedes presently sit second with 65 factors, with Red Bull’s reliability woes holding them in third place with 58 factors.

The subsequent spherical of the 2022 F1 season is the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in Imola, Italy, on April 24.

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