Charles Leclerc achieved the most dominant victory in Formula 1, winning by more than 20 seconds ahead of Sergio Perez, while Max Verstappen retired due to a fuel system failure in his Red Bull.

Leclerc had superior speed over everyone else at all times during the race, building an advantage over his rivals several times and achieving his second win of the season and fourth in his F1 career.

Perez finished second after Verstappen retired in the lap 39, and Russell completed the podium for Mercedes ahead of team-mate Hamilton.

Leclerc and Verstappen retained the lead at the start of the race, but Hamilton overtook Norris and Perez and took third place ahead of Perez, Russell and Norris.

Sainz got off to a bad start and fell behind Schumacher in 14th place, and in the second lap he spun in the third sector after cutting the ninth turn and got stuck in a gravel trap that was the end of his race.

The incident caused first a virtual and then a real safety car that retreated to the pits at the end of the sixth lap.

Perez overtook Hamilton in braking zone for Turn 3 in the lap 10 and Leclerc had a 5.6-second lead in the  lap 14 over Verstappen who complained that his front left tyre was in poor condition.

2022-Australian-GP-start-of-the-race-Photo-Red-Bull-Edited-by-MAXF1net
2022-Australian-GP-start-of-the-race-Photo-Red-Bull-Edited-by-MAXF1net

Verstappen enters the pits at the end of lap 18 after Leclerc built a big nine-second lead, replacing medium tyres with hard and returning to seventh place ahead of Alonso who started on hard and just managed to overtake Gasly.

Perez takes new tyres at the end of lap 20 after being under pressure from Hamilton and Norris at McLaren follows him and returns to 12th place.

In the next round, both Leclerc and Hamilton enter the pits – Leclerc returned ahead of Russell, who was not yet in the pits, and Hamilton overtook Perez, who regained his position on the track.

Vettel spun in the Turn 4, crashed into a wall and stood next to the track in lap 24 and triggered a safety car,  Russell taking advantage of that, changing his tyres in those conditions and returning to third place behind Leclerc and Verstappen.

Alonso did not enter the pits and held fourth place ahead of Perez and Hamilton, and the safety car withdrew at the end of the 26th lap.

Leclerc did a bad re-start and gave Verstappen a chance to attack, but managed to defend himself by taking the inside on the brakes for the first corner and kept the lead.

Alonso on much older tyres has no chance of defending his position from Perez and Hamilton overtaking him in the 30th and 31st laps while McLaren drivers Norris and Ricciardo overtook Magnussen who was also not yet in the pits.

Perez managed to overtake Russell in lap 36 in the fight for third place, and Verstappen retired in lap 39 due to an fuel system failure – Alonso and Magnussen used their chance to make tire changes in virtual safety car conditions while Albon was the only one yet to make his tire change and so he held seventh place.

Leclerc celebrated convincingly with more than a 20-second lead over Perez, and Russell finished third and achieved the first podium for Mercedes, the second in his career after the 2021 Belgian GP in Williams.

Hamilton finished fourth in the second Mercedes ahead of two drivers McLaren Norris and Ricciardo and Ocon finished seventh for Alpine.

Bottas drove a good race for Alfa Romeo after a fight with Stroll and finished eighth ahead of Gasly in AlphaTauri and Albon in Williams who won the last point by changing tyres in the last lap of the race.

Zhou was 11th in the second Alfa Romeo ahead of Stroll at Aston Martin who received a five-second penalty for too many side changes in defense against Bottas, and Aston Martin is the only team without points after three races.

Haas drivers Schumacher and Magnussen finished 13th and 14th ahead of Tsunoda and Latifi, and Alonso was the last of the drivers to finish the race due to two tyre changes and poor speed and degradation on medium tyres.

The next race will take place in two weeks in Imola.

AUSTRALIAN GP RESULTS

1 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 58
2 11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 58 20.524
3 63 George Russell Mercedes 58 25.593
4 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 58 28.543
5 4 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 58 53.303
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 58 53.737
7 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 58 1:01.683
8 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 58 1:08.439
9 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Red Bull 58 1:16.221
10 23 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 58 1:19.382
11 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 58 1:21.695
12 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 58 1:28.598
13 47 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 57 1 lap
14 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 57 1 lap
15 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Red Bull 57 1 lap
16 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 57 1 lap
17 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 57 1 lap
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 38 Retired
5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 22 Retired
55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1 Retired

Fastest lap: Charles Leclerc – 1:20.260 (lap 58)

DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER 3/23 RACES

1 Charles Leclerc 71   26 19 26
2 George Russell 37   12 10 15
3 Carlos Sainz Jr. 33   18 15
4 Sergio Pérez 30   12 18
5 Lewis Hamilton 28   15 1 12
6 Max Verstappen 25   25
7 Esteban Ocon 20   6 8 6
8 Lando Norris 16   6 10
9 Kevin Magnussen 12   10 2
10 Valtteri Bottas 12   8 4
11 Daniel Ricciardo 8   8
12 Pierre Gasly 6   4 2
13 Yuki Tsunoda 4   4
14 Fernando Alonso 2   2
15 Zhou Guanyu 1   1
16 Alexander Albon 1   1
17 Mick Schumacher 0  
18 Lance Stroll 0  
19 Nico Hülkenberg 0  
20 Nicholas Latifi 0  
Sebastian Vettel 0  

CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

1 Ferrari 104 44 34 26
2 Mercedes 65 27 11 27
3 Red Bull 55 37 18
4 McLaren/Mercedes 24 6 18
5 Alpine/Renault 22 8 8 6
6 Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 13 9 4
7 Haas/Ferrari 12 10 2
8 AlphaTauri/Red Bull 10 4 4 2
9 Williams/Mercedes 1 1
10 Aston Martin/Mercedes 0
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