World Cup standings: Verstappen’s lead by a thread, Pérez and Leclerc are catching up

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World Cup standings: Verstappen's lead by a thread, Pérez and Leclerc are catching up

Max Verstappen has to give up his lead in the World Cup after dropping out early in the Australian Grand Prix. His right brake exploded and then caught fire, which was quickly over. Carlos Sainz took over the lead after the first lap and also won the race. The Spaniard immediately makes up for what he had to miss in Jeddah.

Verstappen dropped out of the race after the second lap with a problem with his brakes. His right brake exploded and then burst into flames, forcing him to drive his car back to the pit lane. The Dutchman therefore continues to Japan with not a single point in his pocket. His fifteen-point lead over Pérez is therefore gone, and Sainz has been able to make a huge jump in the World Cup standings, just like Leclerc. The start of Lewis Hamilton’s season could not have been worse, the seven-time world champion also dropped out and therefore does not take any points with him.

Ferrari delivers a big blow after a one-two finish

Sainz and Leclerc were on track for a one-two early in the race, and they managed to maintain that for the rest of the race. The Spaniard was in an extremely good rhythm up front, and the Scuderia asked Leclerc to maintain these positions. Sainz soon pulled away and was able to easily take the victory. Barely two weeks ago, Madrid was operated on for appendicitis, which forced him to miss a large part of the weekend in Jeddah. As a result, he went to Australia with a slight disadvantage, which he has now made up for. Ferrari takes 33 points from the Australian Grand Prix and is therefore only fifteen points behind Red Bull.

So it was a good day for Ferrari and McLaren, who were able to reduce their gap to the leader in the World Cup. Both teams scored a lot of points, and Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll also did good business for Aston Martin by scoring a total of twelve points with two cars. After Mercedes was able to finish the race with one driver, it seemed that Russell could save the day for the Silver Arrows, but he crashed late in the race, and so Mercedes went home with zero points. Since McLaren took 27 points, Mercedes and its customer team could not make any progress in the World Cup standings. Mercedes is still on 26 points, McLaren on 55.

Point for Haas and the first for Visa Cash App RB

After Yuki Tsunoda’s good qualification, he also managed to maintain his position in the top ten, finishing eighth and therefore taking four points for the team. This is undoubtedly very welcome, as these are the first points of the year. Haas also took another point with Hülkenberg, giving it a total of four points in the World Cup.

View the full World Cup standings here

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