Follow reaction to the third F1 race of the 2022 as Charles Leclerc notched a brilliant triumph at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
The Ferrari drive led from start to finish after securing pole position 24 hours earlier and was barely challenged as he cemented his place as the championship favourite.
Red Bull suffered reliability issues as Max Verstappen was forced to retire for the second time in three races. The reigning champion ‘smelt some weird fluid’ in his car and had to pull over. Marshals were then required with fire extinguishers to avoid any further damage to driver or car.
Sergio Perez secured a relatively lonely second place while Mercedes will be quietly pleased with third and fourth. George Russell took his first podium of the season, while Lewis Hamilton wasn’t far behind his teammate. McLaren also clinched a first points double of the campaign with Lando Norris ending fifth and home favorite Daniel Ricciardo in sixth.
Follow all the reaction from the Australian Grand Prix below:
Perez bemoans Red Bull back luck
Sergio Perez has been reacting to his second place finish as well as team-mate Max Verstappen’s retirement.
“We’ve been so unlucky these first few races,” Perez said on Sky Sports F1. “It’s nice to be back on the podium but the race didn’t go as planned, we had too much degradation on the tyres. We were quite far from the Ferraris today. the setup direction we had to take with the car is what hurt out degradation. It’s only race three so a long way to go. It was a shame we lost Max especially with Carlos out, it was a good opportunity to close up the gap to Ferrari.
“I really trust our people. Everyone is working flat out so these points are going to be costly at this point but we have to keep our heads down and keep pushing. We have a good car so we are there, but today fundamentally we got a few things wrong and paid the price. But that’s racing.”
Dan Austin10 April 2022 08:24
Full race results
A quick reminder of the full results from Melbourne this morning:
Dan Austin10 April 2022 08:09
Horner ‘understands’ Verstappen frustration after second retirement
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says he understands Verstappen’s anger after his second mechanical retirement in three races.
“It’s totally understandable, his frustration,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “That was a really disappointing result. We don’t know what the issue is yet but I don’t think it’s engine related, it seems fuel related. t. We can’t accept DNFs, we need to understand the issue and get on top of it. Max hadn’t been happy all weekend with getting the car in the right window. That’s usually the sign you haven’t got the right balance. We have things in the pipeline I think will help, but we need to put this behind us and move on.
“We did’t have the pace to race Ferrari today, but it’s still frustrating not to bag those points. We just didn’t have the pace to beat Charles. The Ferrari was untouchable and it came alive for them today. I’d rather ix a fast because then try and make a slow one fast.”
Dan Austin10 April 2022 08:00
Verstappen second calls Red Bull retirement ‘unacceptable’
Max Verstappen is now a whopping 46 points behind Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ standings, with two retirements in the early rounds costing him big.
The world champion’s frustration is clear to see and he has called Red Bull’s form ‘unacceptable.’
“We are already miles behind”, he told Sky Sports F1. “I don’t even want to think about the championship fight right now, it’s more important to finish races. Today was a very bad day again. It looked like an easy P2 and I couldn’t fight Charles so didn’t put pressure on him, but we didn’t even finish the race. it’s unacceptable. If you want to fight for this title this kind of thing cannot happen. I knew there was an issue [this morning] but this kind of thing should not happen.”
Dan Austin10 April 2022 07:57
Russell talks up Mercedes’ chances later this season
George Russell earned a surprise podium in part thanks to some fortunate safety car timing and Max Verstappen’s retirement.
The Briton is now second in the drivers’ standings but says Mercedes have a long way to go before fighting with Ferrari and Red Bull on pace.
“We have to capitalize on others’ misfortune,” he told Sky Sports F1. “We got a bit lucky today but we take it. There’s so much work going on to get us back to the front so to be on the podium is special. We’re never gonna give up. We have to keep fighting. We’re a long way behind our rivals but we have to keep this up. It’s gonna take some time til we can fight these boys in red and blue but if anyone can Mercedes can, so we’ll see [in Europe].
Dan Austin10 April 2022 07:55
Perez rue Verstappen retirement for ‘unlucky’ Red Bull
Sergio Perez took another strong result by finishing second in Albert Park, but bemoanded Max Verstappen’s retirement which cost the Red Bull team a double podium.
The Mexican dropped down to fourth at the start but drove strongly from there to recover and finish best of the rest behind Charles Leclerc.
“The start was a bit tricky,” he told Sky Sports F1. “Lewis [Hamilton] overtook me down the inside. After that it was about getting him. Always with Lewis it’s very entertaining. Very hard racing but very fair and always have fun.
“My first stint was very poor, we struggled with degradation. We received positions after the safety later. It’s a good result but unfortunately we lost Max, it would have been great to have a double podium. We have been quite unlucky at the start of the season.”
Dan Austin10 April 2022 07:49
Leclerc delighted after superb performance
Charles Leclerc has taken the first F1 grand slam since Fernando Alonso in Singapore in 2010, meaning he was fastest in every session and led every single lap of the grand prix.
The Monegasque is clearly delighted in parc fermé and is beaming while giving his post-race interview.
“In Formula 1 it’s [my first victory] where we controlled the gap [from start to finish],” he told Sky Sports F1. “What a car today. I did a good job all weekend but it was not possible without the car. We have been extremely strong here. The race pace was so good and we had good degradation.
“The safety car restart I had a huge understeer goal after the first [few] corners I managed to regain the grip. It is incredible to win here. We are only at the third race so it’s difficult to think about the championship. But we have a very strong car and a very reliable car. If its stays like this we have a very strong chance and it’s great to be back in this position after two difficult years for the team and myself.”
Dan Austin10 April 2022 07:46
Leclerc thanks Ferrari team
Charles Leclerc has been on the team radio to thank his Ferrari team for their help in securing victory at Albert Park today.
The 24-year-old also took fastest lap with a quick time on his very last tour of the circuit, which could well be crucial come the end of the season.
“I wanted to do [ the fastest lap],” Leclerc said. “Well done guys, thanks for everything. The car was great!”
Dan Austin10 April 2022 07:35
Hamilton finishes fourth with Norris fifth
Lower down the order, Lewis Hamilton follows team-mate George Russell across the line for fourth place.
Behind the Mercedes pair are both McLarens, with Lando Norris leading Daniel Ricciardo home for fifth and sixth.
Esteban Ocon, Valtteri Bottas, Pierre Gasly and Alexander Albon are the other points scorers.
Dan Austin10 April 2022 07:33
Charles Leclerc wins the Australian Grand Prix!
The checkered flag is out and Charles Leclerc has won the Australian Grand Prix!
The Monegasque has put in an absolutely superb performance across the whole weekend for Ferrari, and is full value for the 33 point lead he now holds in the world championship.
Second place goes to Sergio Perez, and third is George Russell.
Dan Austin10 April 2022 07:31