Singed by Verstappen, heroics by Sainz in Australia | Formula 1 | Sports

What seemed impossible happened this Sunday in Australia, where Max Verstappen and Red Bull, who lived in the Eden of the divinities, suddenly came down to earth to give themselves a good blow. A brake failure on the Dutchman’s car caused his first retirement in almost two years and made it clear that no one is perfect, not even the team that has been able to design one of the most dominant cars ever. ‘Mad Max’ had not been forced to retire early since, precisely, the 2022 Australian Grand Prix, due to a failure in the fuel supply system. On this occasion, the overheating of the right rear brake at the first shift (fourth lap) led to a fire that inevitably led him to head towards the workshops, where the workers put out the fire with a fire extinguisher.

The streak of 43 consecutive races without suffering a terminal technical problem will go down in history as one of the strongest series of the competition. Even more so if we take into account that, in that time window, the three-time champion was able to accumulate 35 victories and 39 podiums. Verstappen’s shot opened a gap towards hope through which Carlos Sainz slipped in, making an epic effort to add his third victory in the World Cup. Charles Leclerc completed a great weekend for Ferrari, which celebrated its first double since the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix. The podium was completed by Lando Norris, while Fernando Alonso crossed the finish line sixth, even though the race was neutralized in the last lap, as a result of the crash suffered by George Russell.

Two weeks after the scare he suffered in Saudi Arabia, where he had to get out of the car to undergo emergency surgery for appendicitis, Sainz arrived very weak in strength in Melbourne, where he went from less to more, to the point of placing himself in the first line of the grid, right next to the leader, waiting to be able to take advantage of any eventuality that could affect the Hasselt rider. Unlike what had been usual, Verstappen was unable to open a gap on the first lap, a circumstance that allowed the Madrid native to get on top of him and overtake him on the second lap. “I have lost the car,” warned the driver of the red buffalo brand, who two laps later said goodbye to Melbourne in a bad way: “I see smoke, I have fire, my car is on fire!”

With the main favorite out of the game, Sainz took a step forward and began to lead the peloton without showing a single crack, hammering the stopwatch as the current champion normally does, without giving the slightest chance to any of his rivals. After spending ten days in bed, solely focused on recovering to try to reach Australia, the son of ‘Matador’ brought out the best version of himself to vindicate himself in the best possible way. “This is incredible. Life is as a rollercoaster. Forza Ferrari,” said the winner, the only one who has been able to win in a prototype other than a Red Bull, in the last two years.

The ‘Scuderia’ announced before the start of this championship that Lewis Hamilton will replace Sainz next year, in a somewhat understandable maneuver, especially from a marketing point of view. In any case, the operation places the Spaniard on the market. With Sundays like this last one at the Albert Park circuit, there will be no shortage of girlfriends.

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