Figures GP Australia | ‘I think they are scratching their heads in Maranello’

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Figures GP Australia |  'I think they are scratching their heads in Maranello'

With the absence of Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, the Australian Grand Prix suddenly became a lot more interesting. In any case, we got a new winner and the fact that two usual points scorers dropped out meant that excellent players at the back could also take points. Did Carlos Sainz score big with his first win of the year? And how does the F1Maximaal panel view the performance of the rest of the grid?

Sainz proves Ferrari wrong with flawless performance – 9.9

We just take the bull by the horns. Sainz was the only non-Red Bull Racing driver to win a Grand Prix in 2023. In any case, he will already have his first victory to his name in 2024. Impressive, especially when you take into account that he was in hospital two weeks ago with appendicitis. The Spaniard’s return has undoubtedly met the expectations of Ferrari, the team that thanks him for his services after 2024 and continues with Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton.

Editor Stephan Koolschijn explains why he gave Sainz’s weekend a 10: ‘What an incredible weekend for Sainz. Only two weeks after his operation, the Spaniard is back again, and how! Leclerc had the upper hand in the free practice sessions, but Sainz was there when he had to. In qualifying, the now three-time Grand Prix winner only had to tolerate Verstappen and given the dominance of the reigning world champion, that is of course no shame. Even in the race, the Ferrari driver was not actually caught making a mistake and that is very impressive, especially when you consider that he has still not fully recovered from the operation.’

‘Given the circumstances, it is particularly impressive that he, and not teammate Leclerc, was the one who managed to benefit from Verstappen’s setback. With his performance in Melbourne, the Spaniard has done Ferrari, but above all himself, a huge service. The 29-year-old does not yet have a contract for next year, but after his phenomenal performance in Australia, Sainz has undoubtedly become a lot more interesting for teams like Mercedes and Red Bull, both of whom still have seats available in 2025. I think they are in Maranello is also left scratching its head. Did they do the right thing in letting Sainz go? After all, his replacement at Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton, also made a poor impression in Melbourne,” Koolschijn argues.

Figures GP Australia |  'I think they are scratching their heads in Maranello'
Carlos Sainz takes his first win of the year in Australia. (Photo: Ferrari F1 Media)

Home hero Piastri narrowly misses the podium after a solid weekend – 8.5

After the retirements of two world champions, the romantics in the paddock hoped that a podium place might be possible for home hero Oscar Piastri. The Australian had a great performance, with a slide in the last corner halfway through the race as the biggest point of criticism. Partly because of this, he eventually saw teammate Lando Norris take the last podium spot, but that does not alter the fact that he had a strong weekend. Especially compared to the other Australian on the grid, Daniel Ricciardo.

Editor Wim G. Vandebilt explains why he rewarded the McLaren driver with a 9: ‘Piastri had a good race weekend, despite the pressure of a home race. In free practice sessions two and three he was always well in front of his teammate. In qualifying he also managed to keep Norris behind him in Q1 and Q2, but was actually beaten on experience in Q3. He was then asked in the race to let the Briton pass because he was on newer tires, and given the enormous advantage of racing experience, this was also a logical step for McLaren to make. ‘

‘However, Pérez was absolutely unable to come close to the Australian, despite his basically better car, the RB20. In addition, he is still ahead of his McLaren teammate in the World Championship standings, and considering that he has only had one year and now three races in F1, this performance was worth a high mark. Well deserved,” concludes Vandebilt.

Albon does not receive a loan car from Sargeant in the points – 5.8

A third storyline of the last race was Williams’ choice to give Logan Sargeant’s car to Alexander Albon. Albon crashed in his own car and due to a lack of spare parts he was unable to complete the weekend in his own equipment. Teammate Logan Sargeant gave up his own car with pain in his heart in the hope that Albon could score points with it. It is all the more unfortunate that Williams narrowly missed out on the points with eleventh place.

For Lieke Jacobs, Albon’s weekend was worth a 6.0: ‘I hate to say it, but I actually expected more from Albon. Obviously there was a lot of pressure on him after he got Sargeant’s chassis in his hands, but I don’t think he and the team really lived up to expectations. His twelfth starting position could have really earned him points, especially when Verstappen and Hamilton dropped out quite quickly, so a better result would certainly have been achieved if you ask me.’

“Yet he fell back to fourteenth position at the start, and as the race went on it didn’t seem like he could seriously make things difficult for the competition,” Jacobs observed. ‘Both Haas drivers were in good shape throughout the race, but that ultimately cost Albon the crucial points they were hoping for at Williams. Ultimately, thanks to Russell’s late retirement, he still came close to the points, but by crossing the line in eleventh he was still left out.’

‘His performance was not at all close to the level we are used to from him, but I do appreciate the fact that he did not collapse under the pressure. I think that Williams as a team needs to think twice, because the competition appears to be a lot better than last season. “Scoring points would certainly have been an option, but now that the field is getting closer together, I don’t think Albon was the only one to fail this weekend,” concludes Jacobs.

Figures GP weekend Australia



1. Carlos Sainz


2. Lando Norris


3. Max Verstappen


4. Yuki Tsunoda


5. Oscar Piastri


6. Nico Hulkenberg


7. Charles Leclerc


8. Fernando Alonso


9. Kevin Magnussen


10. Lance Stroll


11. Sergio Perez


12. Alexander Albon


13.George Russell


14.Lewis Hamilton


15. Pierre Gasly


16.Daniel Ricciardo


17. Valtteri Bottas


18.Zhou Guanyu


19. Esteban Ocon


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