Charles Leclerc won the 2022 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix to consolidate his and Ferrari’s championship leads as Max Verstappen suffered a second retirement in three races – Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez finishing second and Mercedes’ George Russell completing the podium.
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A capacity crowd descended on Albert Park, Melbourne hosting its first Australian Grand Prix in 1,100 days. After action-packed free practice and qualifying sessions, they were treated to another thrilling show on Sunday afternoon.
The driver of The Day Leclerc kept his rival Verstappen at bay through two Safety Cars – the first when teammate Carlos Sainz spun out from P14 on Lap 2, and the second on Lap 23 after Sebastian Vettel’s crash. The threat dissolved on Lap 39 when Verstappen stopped with his engine on fire, allowing the Ferrari driver to cruise to victory over Perez with the fastest lap to boot.
Russell took P3 having pitted during the caution for Vettel’s crash, Hamilton losing out on another podium by two seconds in P4 – Mercedes however outscored Red Bull to retain P2 in the constructors’ standings.
McLarens were a distant P5 and P6, Lando Norris a few tenths ahead of home hero Daniel Ricciardo in a solid showing for the team in orange – Esteban Ocon eight seconds back in P7.
A penultimate corner lock-up on Lap 54 saw AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly drop from P8 to P9, while Valtteri Bottas gained an extra place to take P8 having started 12th. The Alfa Romeo driver capitalised on Gasly’s mistake, Sainz’s retirement and a difficult race for Fernando Alonso (P17 after a late pit stop for the fastest lap).
One of a handful to start on hards, Alex Albon stopped late before claiming P10 to give Williams a deserved first point of 2022.
Zhou Guanyu had a solid 58-lap journey from P14 to P11, missing out on the final point by a whisker to the wily Williams of Albon ahead.
Mario Isola – Head of F1 and car racing at Pirelli commented:
The tyres performed in line with the expectations we had established from Friday’s free practice sessions, despite the much higher temperatures on race day and expected track evolution. Nearly all the drivers made just one pit stop, with many of them taking advantage of safety cars to minimise the time loss. The different characteristics of the medium and hard tyres, with deliberately higher degradation on the medium, also presented the drivers with a wide pit stop window. This allowed them to maximise strategic opportunities today.
The modified track layout here in Melbourne helped to underline how the new car and tyre package for 2022 permits drivers to attack and overtake, with a high number of passing manoeuvres. We also saw some ingenious pit strategies, such as two consecutive pit stops from Lance Stroll to cycle through the medium tyre, and a very long hard stint from Alex Albon that enabled him to get from last on the grid into the points.
2022 Formula 1 Australian GP Race Results
|1.||16||Charles Leclerc||Monaco||Scuderia Ferrari||1:27:46.548||26||71|
|2.||11||Sergio Perez||Mexico||Red Bull Racing Honda||+20.524s||18||30|
|3.||63||George Russell||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+25.593s||15||37|
|4.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+28.543s||12||28|
|5.||4||Lando Norris||Great Britain||Mclaren Racing||+53.303s||10||16|
|6.||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Australia||McLaren Racing||+53.737s||8||8|
|7.||31||Esteban Ocon||France||Alpine F1 Team||+61.683s||6||20|
|8.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Finland||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+68.439s||4||12|
|9.||10||Pierre Gasly||France||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+76.221s||2||6|
|10.||23||Alexander Albon||Thailand||Williams Racing||+79.382s||1||1|
|11.||24||Zhou Guanyu||China||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+81.695s||0||1|
|12.||18||Lance Stroll||Canada||Aston Martin F1 Team||+88.598s||0||0|
|13.||47||Mick Schumacher||Germany||Haas F1 Team||+1 lap||0||0|
|14.||20||Kevin Magnussen||Denmark||Haas F1 Team||+1 lap||0||12|
|15.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Japan||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+1 lap||0||4|
|16.||6||Nicholas Latifi||Canada||Williams Racing||+1 lap||0||0|
|17.||14||Fernando Alonso||Spain||Alpine F1 Team||+1 lap||0||2|
|18.||1||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing||DNF||0||25|
|19.||5||Sebastian Vettel||Germany||Aston Martin F1 Team||DNF||0||0|
|20.||55||Carlos Sainz||Spain||Scuderia Ferrari||DNF||0||33|
2022 Constructor Standings
|1.||Red Bull Racing||759|
|3.||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team||515|
|4.||Alpine F1 Team||173|
|6.||Alfa Romeo Racing||55|
|7.||Aston Martin F1 Team||55|
|8.||Haas F1 Team||37|
Here are the team-by-team highlights:
Scuderia Ferrari has won the Australian Grand Prix for the tenth time. Charles Leclerc represented the Maranello marque on the top step of the podium, taking his second win of the season, his fourth with Ferrari, putting him level with Eddie Irvine, Clay Regazzoni and John Surtees. Leclerc led all 58 laps around Albert Park, also setting the race fastest lap, thus taking his first ever “Grand Chelem.”
It was Scuderia Ferrari’s 240th victory. The only regret on the day was Carlos Sainz’s retirement on lap 2, after he went off the track at turn 11, following a difficult start from ninth on the grid. Despite this, Ferrari has only dropped one point to the second-placed team in the championship, which got both its cars to the line. It has moved a further eight ahead of the team that has had the faster car in this first part of the season but only got one car to the chequered flag today.
Confirmation. The Australian race, run on a very different type of track to the first two rounds in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia has confirmed yet again that those in Maranello have done a good job. The F1-75 has been versatile in adapting well to the characteristics of the different tracks and Charles was comfortable right from the start today. In the early laps, he was able to fend off Max Verstappen, the only driver who looked capable of putting him under pressure. But Leclerc managed to pull away thanks in part to the F1-75 allowing for better management of the Medium tyres. This was also seen later when after the second Safety Car, brought out following Sebastian Vettel’s crash, all the cars were already running the Hard tyres.
A difficult Sunday. Carlos had a tough afternoon. A problem with some switches meant the team had to change the steering wheel on car 55, just a few minutes before the start. This did nothing for the Spaniard’s concentration and he did not get off the line well, partly because he was starting on the Hard tyre, chosen to go for a different strategy to those around him on the grid. Trying to make up ground having dropped to 13th, Sainz spun at turn 11 and was beached in the gravel trap.
Onward to Imola. Now the team will tackle the long trip home from Australia where all the data will be analysed in Maranello before the Easter break. The next round is in Italy, the Made in Italy and Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, host of the first Sprint of the season. The team will arrive at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari on 104 points, ahead of Mercedes on 65 and Red Bull on 55. Charles leads the Drivers’ classification on 71 points, ahead of second-placed George Russell on 34.
Charles Leclerc #16
What a great victory this was for us! We managed our pace well and were extremely competitive. We didn’t suffer from tyre degradation, even when pushing hard. The car was just amazing and I’m very pleased with how my race went. On paper, this was a track that we expected to be tough for us, so we have to review our data because we were in fact very strong. It’s a great way to start the season, but we have to keep in mind that we are only three races into a very long championship. We can’t afford to relax at any moment and have to stay on top of things, most of all on development. Congratulations to everyone on our team. What an amazing job you have all done! I’m very proud of how far we’ve come and can’t wait to continue fighting. Forza Ferrari!
Carlos Sainz #55
This is definitely a difficult weekend to digest. After all that happened yesterday, I was looking forward to the race but we hit problems even before the start. On the laps to the grid, we had an issue with some switches on the steering wheel and we had to change it one minute before the formation lap. Unfortunately, at the start, the anti-stall kicked in. Trying to recover and overtake, I made a mistake as I pushed too early when the tyres were probably not ready. Up until Q3, the weekend was going ok but from then on everything just went wrong. We will analyse it carefully, learn and move on. The car felt good so congrats to the team and to Charles for the win. We’ll come back stronger in Imola.
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal & Managing Director
I am very pleased. It’s always great to win and it also boosts the morale of the team who deserve all this, because they have all developed the right mentality to face difficult moments head-on and make the most of any opportunity. We always say that you can only come out on top in Formula 1 if you do everything to perfection and I think today’s race proved that. Charles delivered a mature performance, something he is now making a habit of. It’s a shame for Carlos because his weekend was complicated by a series of circumstances in both qualifying and the race, which affected his performance. I know him well enough to believe that he will turn the negatives to his advantage and come back stronger next time he’s in the car.
The start of the season has been positive and the work of the past few months is paying off. We will continue to concentrate on ourselves and take it one race at a time. We have earned some time with our families over Easter, but then we will get back to it, working on the next race, which being at Imola, takes on even greater importance. We can’t wait to be there and we’re looking forward to seeing the circuit packed with our fans, to share this good start to the year.
Scuderia Ferrari best pictures:
George secured his first podium for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team in his 63rd race in F1. Both drivers made an impressive start with Lewis making up two places and George passing NOR to go P5.
George benefitted from a Safety Car on lap 24 to make his first stop and move up to P3, with Lewis in P5 having stopped the lap before to cover PER. Managing his tyres later in the race, George put up a light defence to allow PER to move ahead, leaving the Silver Arrows running P4 and P5 before a reliability issue for VER moved both drivers up a place, sealing the team’s second podium of the season. Lewis managed a heating engine late on to ensure the team maximised its points opportunity this weekend.
It’s a great result for us as a team, honestly. This weekend we have had so many difficult moments with the car and to get fifth and sixth in qualifying, to have progressed like we have, with the reliability we have, is amazing. We definitely didn’t expect to be third and fourth today. George did a great job – I got to see a bit of the battle of him racing Perez and I wish could have been in it but nonetheless, we’ll take these points and keep pushing. I couldn’t fight for third because the engine was overheating so I had to back off and sit behind, but we bagged as many points as we could as a team and that’s great.
You’ve got to be in it to win it and capitalise from others’ misfortune, and the guys at Brackley and Brixworth have been working so hard on giving us a reliable car. We got a little bit lucky today, probably twice, but we take it. There’s so much hard work going on back at base to try and get us back at the front so to be standing on the podium today is special a reward for all their hard work. We’re never going to give up, we’ve got to keep on fighting. This weekend we were a long way behind our rivals but here we are standing on the podium. We’ve got to keep this up while we are on the back foot, maximise our points opportunities and I am sure we will get there after a few more races.
We are leaving Melbourne in a better state than when we arrived– more lessons learned, more data to analyse and more points on the board. Clearly, we haven’t got the pace yet to challenge Ferrari and Red Bull but we know where we need to seek performance. One factor that leaves me very optimistic for the future is the mindset and strength of the team. Everyone in the UK, in Stuttgart and in the travelling race team is pulling together every ounce of effort we have to tackle the performance gaps with determination and deep hunger.
Seeing Lewis and George perform at an exceptionally high-level today with a tool that is clearly not on the pace of the leaders is another example of the spirit of this team. We are optimistic yet realistic on the timeline for improvement and the advantage our competitors have, but P3 and P4 help us leave Australia with a good feeling. Both drivers deserved the podium today, Lewis was unlucky with the timing of the Safety Car but the partnership between the two and how they work with one another epitomises the overall spirit of the team.
Mercedes-AMG F1 Team best pictures:
Sergio Pérez secured his first podium place of the 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship season in Melbourne on Sunday when he dug into bank second behind winner Charles Leclerc at the Australian Grand Prix.
Oracle Red Bull Racing looked on course for two podium spots with reigning world champion Max Verstappen running in second and Mexican Pérez in third with roughly two-thirds of the race gone, however, the Dutchman suffered a mechanical failure and was forced to retire.
Pérez is now fourth in the early driver standings – 41 points behind Ferrari’s leader Leclerc – with Verstappen sixth a further five points back as Frenchman Gasly moves above Tsunoda with six points overall.
It’s of course very disappointing to not finish today’s race, I don’t really know what happened to the car yet, we’ll take it back to the factory and regroup. I already knew there was a possibility ahead of the race that we might not finish but I tried not to think about it. This is not what you need when you want to fight for the Championship, the gap is already pretty big. Of course, Checo did well to come second, he scored some good points. Overall it doesn’t look like there is an easy fix so we need to work hard as a Team, there are a lot of things to work on. We’ll wake up tomorrow and focus on the upcoming races and do the best that we can. It is of course a long season and a lot can happen; I think at this stage we need 45 races! [laughs].
It was a good result but, unfortunately, we lost Max and it would have been great to have a double podium for the Team. On the other hand, it is a good result after so many unlucky moments in the first couple of races for me. It was a very complicated race with the start I had and the safety cars but we managed to overcome it. My first start was very poor, we struggled a lot with the degradation on the medium tyre, we were a bit unlucky with the safety car and we lost two positions which we recovered later.
We got a few things wrong across the weekend and we were battling more with Mercedes than Ferrari so the pace wasn’t where we want it to be, but we will work on it. There is some good analysis to be done from this weekend because yesterday we were close for pole but in the race, we were a bit too far off the pace. The fastest guys out there are Ferrari, we want to be up there fighting with them and today that wasn’t the case. If we can improve the car a little, then we can be more confident.
Christian Horner – Team Principal
Checo drove an exceptional race today with some stunning overtakes to secure his first podium of the season and bag some solid Championship points. But it was very much a day of mixed emotions with Max not finishing. We think it was an external fuel leak and we need to understand exactly what has caused that failure, so it was a very frustrating race in that respect. But we are in this as a team and we will bounce back. We didn’t have the pace of Ferrari today, so congratulations to Charles. It’s a long season ahead and we have the basis of a quick and competitive car, but we need to get on top of these issues quickly and we will keep pushing.
Red Bull Racing Honda best pictures:
Hear from McLaren Formula 1 drivers Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, and Team Principal Andreas Seidl after the 2022 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.
A decent race. We didn’t have the best of first laps but I think by the end we were still in good positions for us as a team, and we couldn’t have done a lot more. I think Mercedes had a much better pace than us today, so we’re happy with where we ended up. Good points for us, a great pit stop and good progress from the team. We’ll take what we’ve learned today and try to carry it with us into the next few races.
It has been a better weekend which is positive for the team. I’m happy with the progress and, as a team result, I think we executed everything we could. I think the first part of the race was positive but there is still a bit to work on. Probably in that second stint I lost a little bit of pace on the Hard tyre. It came back to me a little bit – but we still have a bit of understanding to do. I’ll keep working on it but generally, as a whole, the weekend’s been smooth. I’m happy to walk away with my first points of the year at home, which is also nice for all the fans who came out here, so I’m feeling pretty content. We leave Melbourne in good spirits, which feels nice as it’s probably been four years since I left here in good spirits.
P5 and P6 today. Two cars home and our first double-points finish of the season. This is a great result for the team, thanks to everyone in the garage, back at the factory for all their hard work and to our colleagues at Mercedes HPP. It was good to see that we could confirm the progress we made in terms of car performance over the weekend also in the race.
Special thanks to Lando and Daniel for their excellent work behind the steering wheel all weekend, extracting everything we have out of the car. I don’t want to forget to mention our pit crew. Again, two excellent pit-stops today. We take this result as motivation to keep working hard to bring more performance to the car.
Melbourne was, as always, a great place to come racing. Having Daniel on board meant we had an even bigger crowd cheering us on this weekend and it was a real pleasure to give them something to celebrate. The support we’ve felt from the fans has been incredible. Thank you, Australia!
McLaren Racing best pictures:
BWT Alpine F1 Team extended its promising start to the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season with a third consecutive points-scoring finish, courtesy of Esteban Ocon’s smooth run to seventh place in the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. Team-mate Fernando Alonso ended outside of the points in the seventeenth.
Esteban has now scored points at every race so far this season and is seventh in the Drivers’ Championship with the team now in fifth in the Constructors’. Esteban enjoyed a solid and stable race, progressing from eighth on the grid to seventh at the chequered flag on a one-stop, Medium to Hard strategy, pitting on lap 17.
After a strong effort from the mechanics to prepare the #14 A522, Fernando opted for a reverse Hard to Medium plan, which looked promising at the midway point of the 58-lap race. However, an ill-timed Safety Car to clear an incident on lap 24, put the Spaniard on the backfoot and meant scoring any points would be a challenge. He pitted on lap 39 under the Virtual Safety Car, and with his Mediums degrading, he was forced to pit again on lap 53.
The team looks ahead to Imola in two weeks’ time looking to build on its strong start to the 2022 campaign.
I am gutted with this weekend, to be honest. It’s hard to accept the result after the bad luck we had in Saudi and again here in Melbourne. Today we were looking good for possibly sixth place, and of course, the podium was even on the cards before yesterday’s issue in qualifying. The strategy was good today and the car felt strong on the Hard tyre. The pace was there with everyone stopping on the Mediums around us, but then the Safety Car regrouped the field and it effectively ended our race. Overtaking was difficult today and especially with the DRS train towards the end of the race. We degraded our Medium tyres on this train, so we needed to stop again. There are twenty more races to go and hopefully, luck will shift in our favour for the rest of the season.
This weekend has ended with some mixed feelings for us. Of course, finishing the race in seventh is a decent result, especially after what was a difficult weekend for me. Yesterday was not our strongest day and that definitely made a difference in how today played out. So, there’s lots of learning for us to do from the last couple of days with the team as we know we’ve got more potential to unlock. All in all, I’ve been in the points in three out of three races, and I am leaving Australia satisfied with how my season has started. I am hungry for more and excited for the next one.
Laurent Rossi, CEO Alpine
We are generally disappointed with today’s result, however, it’s a good sign that we’re not satisfied as it underlines how far we have progressed as a team. We know that we had the speed, and the potential, for a much better result with both cars today but the race weekend just didn’t quite unfold in our direction. The track proved very difficult for overtaking, especially in comparison to the previous two races, and we knew that Saturday’s qualifying result would play a huge part in the outcome of Sunday’s race. With our cars starting in eighth and tenth, it was always going to be a challenge to make an advance on those places. After some early promise, the Safety Car was especially unfortunate for Fernando who was managing a quiet but effective, reverse strategy on Hard to Medium. Overall, we’ve shown we are competitive, and we will keep building on the good base that we have, especially by bringing some upgrades to upcoming races to enable us to keep fighting higher up the grid. For that, we will work on consistency in order to get both cars into the points. I’m confident in everyone at Enstone and Viry to continue their hard work in pushing this team deservedly forwards. We move on to the next one when we race in Europe again in Imola. Our team is very much in the mix and it is up to us now to remain highly motivated in this championship contest.
Alpine F1 Team best pictures:
Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN claimed four important points at the 2022 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, as Valtteri Bottas finished eighth at the end of a thrilling race. Team-mate, Zhou Guanyu, went close to making it a double-point finish as he pulled off a remarkable comeback to finish P11, just over two seconds away from the top ten.
The result increases our tally to 13 points, with the team currently in sixth place in the constructors’ championship.
Valtteri Bottas (car number 77)
I really enjoyed the race today, it was a good performance with close racing and battles from beginning to end. Of course, the most important thing is that we brought home some points, and that is due to a good job done by everyone in the team: I am happy with the calls that were made and how we raced – and, definitely, the thinner wing that penalized us yesterday turned out to be the right choice and helped us make progress. I had a fun day even though I had to work hard, pushing all the race: now hopefully we can continue to be strong and improve. We have upgrades coming in the next few rounds so we can continue fighting for points in every race.
Zhou Guanyu (car number 24)
I am proud of my race, but obviously, I am a bit upset at missing out on the points for such a close margin. Our pace was good, but we lost a few positions with the safety car and that made our life a lot harder. I gave it all and pushed so hard at the end, but I had no tyres left when I got to battle Alex and I couldn’t make it in front. Still, we solved the problem at the start and the race was good: I am looking back at my first three rounds in Formula One and my worst result is 11th, so I can build on this positive start, aiming to score points in every race.
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
Bringing home four points with another top ten finish is really good, especially to bounce back after the off-race in Jeddah. The team did a good job in difficult circumstances today: the timing of the first Safety Car wasn’t ideal and it cost us track position, especially with Zhou; we also got stuck in a couple of DRS trains that made progress hard, so we had to earn our place the difficult way. That we did, and we went so close to having two cars in the points again, is proof that we are going in the right direction. The whole team did well today, now we can focus on the race in Imola to continue our battle for a good position in the constructors’ championship.
Alfa Romeo F1 Team best pictures:
Haas F1 Team finished with Mick Schumacher 13th and Kevin Magnussen 14th at the 2022 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix, held Sunday at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, in Albert Park.
Schumacher started the race from 15th place on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires and made up a place early on before moving past Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz. A minor wide moment at turn 10 cost Schumacher a couple of positions and he came into the pits on lap 14 to take on White hard tires. Schumacher remained in the hunt for the top 10 but ultimately classified in 13th at the checkered flag.
Magnussen started 16th on hard tires and picked up positions before unfortunately running wide while chasing Alpha Tauri’s Yuki Tsunoda. Magnussen stayed out behind the safety car to rise to seventh before making his sole pit stop under virtual safety car conditions on lap 39, taking on mediums. Magnussen emerged in 17th but battled his way through to 14th, coming home directly behind Schumacher.
Upfront Charles Leclerc registered a dominant victory for Scuderia Ferrari, ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez and Mercedes AMG’s George Russell.
Haas F1 Team holds seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship with 12 points.
Kevin Magnussen, Driver No. 20
It was good fun and a nice track. Disappointed not to get points today but we made a small gamble on the hard tire as we felt we were faster than our position, which we were, but the safety car came and ruined the strategy. The starting set-up that we had here wasn’t good and we were struggling a little bit with tires on this new tarmac but we were able to turn it around and get much closer to the pack in the race and have a pretty decent pace. We were able to turn things around and we’ll score points next time.
Mick Schumacher, Driver No. 47
It was a very eventful one. Right from the beginning with Carlos coming around and cutting back across the track, I think we got missed by a few meters there, and obviously Yuki under the safety car coming quite close together. I think in terms of pace we were not too far off, it’s just unfortunate that there’s not a huge amount of passing opportunities here. Lots were learned, some positives, so we’ve just got to take it away with us and hopefully be better in Imola.
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team
It didn’t work out as we planned. We always make sure that the safety car is out at the wrong time – but seriously though – sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you get unlucky. The car was strong and the drivers did a good job so we know if we qualify better we can score points, and that is what we keep on trying to do. As I always say, this year we’ve got a car that can score points, we’ve just had a difficult weekend. It’s one of three which was difficult, here we go again in Imola.
Haas F1 Team best pictures:
Scuderia AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly fought hard to claim a ninth place and two points, while Japanese teammate Yuki Tsunoda had to be content with 15th around the Albert Park Circuit.
Pérez is now fourth in the early driver standings – 41 points behind Ferrari’s leader Leclerc – with Verstappen sixth a further five points back as Frenchman Gasly moves above Tsunoda with six points overall.
I’ll take those two points today! It’s been quite an unfortunate race for me, I managed to pass two cars at the start, but then I got unlucky pitting right before the safety car and dropped to P14. I was pretty mad at the time, but I stayed focused and managed to come back through to P9. I had a nice battle with Lance which I enjoyed, it was pretty intense on a track like this, but in the end, I got the best of him. Objectively, it’s been a tough weekend for us, so I think we can be quite happy with the result and leave with two points. I still feel like we’ve got a few things to improve on, we’ve got some new parts coming in the next few races, so we’ve got to keep up with the others if we want to keep fighting for these positions. We would like to be a bit further up in the order, so we’ll keep pushing.
There wasn’t any pace today. We struggled for the whole race, so we need to work out why to avoid something like this happening again. It was very difficult to keep up with other cars and stay in their DRS, we just lacked performance overall and I didn’t expect it to be that bad. It is what it is, we have to stay positive and work on improving for the next race.
Jody Egginton – Technical Director
Today’s race was not straightforward with, similar to the last race, Pierre losing track position with the safety car, meaning he had a lot to do to recover into a points-scoring position. These battles took a lot out of his front left tyre and, unfortunately, a small mistake meant we lost a position to Bottas in the closing laps, finishing P9. Yuki has had a tough day struggling for pace on both compounds, so we need to understand the factors behind this as he was reasonably happy with his car during the Friday and Saturday sessions. We have a lot of work to do ahead of the next race, but at the same time, we are looking forward to the challenge.
Scuderia AlphaTauri Team best pictures:
A bold strategy matched by a stunning drive meant that Alex Albon secured his and the team’s first point of the 2022 season. After starting on the hard compound tyre, the Thai driver, who began in P20, stayed on the same set for 57 laps before switching to the softs on the final lap to come home in P10.
I am very pleased with how today went,” he explained, continuing: “We came in this morning, looked at our race predictions starting from last and felt pretty sad, so to end Sunday with a point is extremely rewarding. It was a race where we took risks and really allowed our tyres to get into a nice window, and from then they just felt better and better.
I was putting in what felt like continuous qualifying laps for the last 25 laps of the race! For me, it really highlights the work that’s been done at the factory and at the track; this is the result of the team’s determination and motivation. It’s been a great day and I’m really happy to have played my part in this for the team.
It was definitely a tricky race, but we were expecting that after the FP2 high fuel running that we did. It seemed that we struggled with the tyres quite a lot, experiencing graining on both compounds and struggling to keep them in the right window.
There was a lot going on with multiple safety cars and Virtual Safety Car periods. It was great to see Alex finish P10 in the end and I’m super happy for the whole team.
It’s been a difficult start to the season and there’s still a lot to find on my side. If Alex is able to extract that performance out of the FW44 then there’s no reason why we can’t in the other car. We will now spend a lot of time looking through the data and understanding how we can make it work.
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance:
Alex drove brilliantly today and found a sweet spot on the Prime tyre, which gave him good pace and, crucially, much less degradation than many other cars. He completed a very long stint and we ignored several opportunities to pit under safety cars, hoping that something might happen to allow us to keep as many of the gains as possible.
In the end, the degradation of cars behind and difficulty in overtaking gave us a small opportunity to run until the very end and pull a gap big enough for a pitstop. Under huge pressure, the pit crew were very good, and Alex was quick enough on the out-lap to secure tenth place.
After the ups and downs of the previous two days, this was an excellent result for the entire team. Nicholas had a more difficult race following a very different strategy than Alex. We wanted to spend a lot of the race on the Prime tyre with both cars, but we chose to get Nicky’s Option stint done early in the race rather than put him on the riskier strategy that Alex followed.
Nicky found the opening stint on the Option difficult and showed degradation like most of the field. His pace on the Prime was better, but he still couldn’t quite match the degradation of Alex. We need to understand if differences in the car and driving style contributed to this, and this will be the main focus of our work as we prepare for the next race in Imola.
Williams F1 Team best pictures:
Lance Stroll finished the 2022 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in 12th position after spending the late stages of the race inside the top 10, ultimately just missing out. Team-mate Sebastian Vettel unfortunately retired before mid-distance after contact with the wall on the approach to Turn Five.
We did not quite have the pace for points today, although we were able to defend a position inside the top 10 for a while late on. I think we had the right idea with our strategy by running the majority of the race on the Hard tyre, but we will look over the data and see what else we can learn. The five-second penalty was frustrating, even though it did not change our final race position. I caught Valtteri [Bottas] after the Virtual Safety Car and made up a place so it was frustrating to receive a penalty for weaving. I also want to say thank you to the team once again: everybody did a tremendous job to get the cars repaired this weekend. We will keep our heads up and dig deep to try to extract more from the car in the races to come.
My lack of race experience with this car did not help today. I was pushing a little too hard and I lost the car on the kerbs at Turn Four and could not prevent the impact, which is very frustrating. Every lap in race conditions counts because this was my first time racing this car, so it is a shame not to have completed the race. We know that the car is challenging, but we are continuing to search for solutions to add more performance. Things did not go our way this week, but it is time to move on and I am confident that we can come back stronger at Imola.
We had a frustrating end to a weekend to forget. Sebastian had an accident on the exit of Turn Four and was taken to the Medical Centre for precautionary checks, but I am glad to say he is OK. Our strategy team reacted cleverly to the lap-four Safety Car triggered by [Carlos] Sainz’s lap-three shunt, pitting Lance twice in quick succession. He had started on the Hard, which we expected to be a better race tyre than the Medium, so we gave him just a single lap on the Medium before pitting him again to put him back on the Hard. At one point we hoped that that strategy might lift him to a points finish, but in the end, it did not quite do that. From here we will go home to Silverstone where we will work hard to prepare for Imola, where we want and expect to have a better race than we have had here. Nonetheless, I am pleased that the famously passionate Melbourne fans have had a Grand Prix to enjoy at Albert Park for the first time in three years.
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