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Max Verstappen takes the top spot in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix while Lewis Hamilton drops down the rankings.
F1 Sport

Max Verstappen takes the top spot in qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix while Lewis Hamilton drops down the rankings.

Max Verstappen is aiming to achieve a third consecutive victory to kick off 2024. As the current reigning Formula One champion, he has secured pole position for the Australian Grand Prix.

On Saturday, the Red Bull champion dominated the qualifying round in hopes of repeating his victory from last year’s race at Albert Park. This secured his 35th career pole position. Behind him were the rejuvenated Carlos Sainz from Ferrari and his Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez.

Sainz had to miss the Saudi Arabia race two weeks prior due to surgery for appendicitis. He was replaced by British newcomer Oliver Bearman. Although there were doubts about his participation in the Melbourne race, Sainz has smoothly returned to his Ferrari, even though he is still experiencing some discomfort.

Second-placed qualifier Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr with pole winner Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, both of Red Bull Racing, after qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix at the Albert Park.View image in fullscreen

Oscar Piastri, a rising star from Australia, secured a place in sixth for Sunday’s race after a strong qualifying session with McLaren. Piastri’s teammate, Lando Norris, waited until the last minute to achieve his fastest time, propelling him to fourth place.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton experienced his poorest qualifying round in Melbourne since 2010, finishing in 11th place. This marked his final appearance at the Australian Grand Prix before his upcoming switch to Ferrari next year. In a dramatic turn of events, the revered Mercedes driver was eliminated at the end of Q2.

Daniel Ricciardo, representing Australia, was knocked out in the first qualifying session at Albert Park for the first time ever. This was due to the stewards removing his fastest lap. Despite his strong performance, Ricciardo missed out on advancing to the top 10 towards the end of the session. This ended his streak of always qualifying within the first 15 positions in Melbourne.

In his first home Grand Prix since 2022, Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo will start from 18th place.View image in fullscreen

However, the 34-year-old was found to have gone beyond the designated limits of the track and was subsequently dropped to 18th place for his first Grand Prix on his home soil since 2022.

Alex Albon placed 12th in qualifying, showing his appreciation for Williams’ support after taking the place of teammate Logan Sargeant in the car. Albon’s car was heavily damaged in a practice crash on Friday, leading to Sargeant relinquishing his position for the remainder of the weekend.

Source: theguardian.com