Max Verstappen withdraws from the race, and Carlos Sainz wins the Australian Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen’s formidable hold on the Formula One championship was broken on Sunday at the Australian Grand Prix by Carlos Sainz, who caused the Red Bull driver to retire from the competition. It was noteworthy since it was Sainz’s first race back since he underwent appendix surgery only two weeks prior. Oliver Bearman, an 18-year-old reserve driver, replaced Sainz at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to appendicitis. After starting the race second on the grid behind Verstappen, the three-time world champion, the Spaniard kept a close distance from him before overtaking him with ease on the second lap.

Verstappen’s car’s issues soon became evident as he yelled over the radio, “I have smoke, fire, fire, brake, my brake,” before slowing down and hobbling into the pit lane with flames in his wheels and smoke billowing behind him. He retired from a Grand Prix for the first time in just two years, blaming brake failure. The 26-year-old later conveyed his dissatisfaction. It’s not perfect, yes. After retiring for the first time since the 2022 Australian Grand Prix, Verstappen stated, “Of course you always want to finish the races but it’s a mechanical sport.” “Unfortunately, these things do happen, but I believe the most crucial thing is that we comprehend why it happened.”

Due to his dominance over the previous two seasons, the Dutchman’s withdrawal from the race placed the other competitors in a vulnerable position. But Sainz never really seemed like he was going to lose, and he held on to win easily. His colleague Charles Leclerc finished in second place to clinch a Ferrari 1-2. After the race, Sainz told Sky Sports, “I felt really good out there.” Naturally, it wasn’t the easiest race and was really stiff, especially physically. However, I was fortunate to be mostly by myself, so I was able to control my pace, my tyres, and everything else. But I’m also really content, proud of the team, and glad to be playing in a 1-2 with Charles.

It demonstrates how perseverance pays off and how wacky life can be at times. Oscar Piastri, who races for McLaren, finished fourth, and Lando Norris finished third. They managed to hold off Sergio PĂ©rez, who, although driving an all-conquering Red Bull car, could only manage fifth place. Mercedes, on the other hand, had a terrible race when both of their vehicles had to be retired. George Russell crashed into the wall on the final lap while attempting to take sixth place, and Lewis Hamilton’s engine failed on lap 17, forcing a virtual safety car to stop the race.

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