Australian GP starting grid: Verstappen leads the field to the first corner, Pérez on the third row

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Australian GP starting grid: Verstappen leads the field to the first corner, Pérez on the third row

Max Verstappen will lead the field from the grid to the first corner for the 35th time. The Dutchman took pole position on Saturday after a somewhat chaotic start to qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix. The balance was not yet completely there, but Red Bull Racing still managed to get it done in Q3. Sergio Pérez has to start the race from P6 after a grid penalty.

Verstappen took his 35th pole position of his career at Melbourne after passing greats Alain Prost and Jim Clark in the pole position statistics in Jeddah. The Dutchman did not think he could get the first starting spot due to the imbalance in the car. The Austrian racing team did not quite manage to get the RB20 in line in Q1 and Q2, but the adjustments made were successful in Q3, and so Verstappen was able to clock the fastest time.

However, he was opposed by Carlos Sainz. The Madrilenian was in excellent form after his operation and was able to put pressure on Red Bull while they worked on the car. The Spaniard ultimately clocked the second fastest time and will therefore start next to Verstappen on the front row. Pérez took the third fastest time, but got in the way of Nico Hülkenberg during Q1 and received a three-place penalty. The Mexican will therefore start the race in P6. Lando Norris therefore completes the top three.

Home heroes Piastri and Ricciardo from P5 and P18, Hamilton P11

McLaren performed well during qualifying at Oscar Piastri’s home circuit and was therefore able to put Mercedes to the test. The German racing team’s customer team will start the race from P3 and P5, which offers a good prospect of a podium. McLaren already scored points in Australia last year, although a trophy will of course be the icing on the cake. The other Australian, Daniel Ricciardo, had a disappointing Saturday. He seemed to improve his time, but due to track limits he lost his lap and will have to start from P18.

This time the field consists of only nineteen drivers as Alexander Albon takes part in Logan Sargeant’s car. The British Thai crashed hard on Friday and Williams had no extra chassis ready to repair the car. However, Albon did well in qualifying by finishing P12, just behind Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time world champion struggled during Q1 and Q2, and was unable to progress to Q3. Yuki Tsunoda was the surprise of the field, starting the race from P8.

Starting grid Australian GP

  1. Max Verstappen
  2. Carlos Sainz
  3. Lando Norris
  4. Charles Leclerc
  5. Oscar Piastri
  6. Sergio Perez
  7. George Russel
  8. Yuki Tsunoda
  9. Lance Stroll
  10. Fernando Alonso
  11. Lewis Hamilton
  12. Alexander Albon
  13. Valtteri Bottas
  14. Kevin Magnussen
  15. Esteban Ocon
  16. Nico Hulkenberg
  17. Pierre Gasly
  18. Daniel Ricciardo
  19. Zhou Guanyu

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