2024 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix Highlights


Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team


A tough weekend at the 2024 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne ended with both cars failing to finish the race at Albert Park.

Lewis suffered from a Power Unit failure in the race’s early stages, while George had a big accident on the penultimate lap. Starting P7 on the Medium tyre, George gained several positions early on, while Lewis did similar on the Soft compound. They pitted early onto the Hard tyre, but Lewis’s race would not last much longer. A Power Unit failure consigned him to retirement.

The Virtual Safety Car was deployed, enabling Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin to jump George. With a gap of over nine seconds to catch, George set about whittling it down over his final two stints.

By extending his middle stint, he emerged on fresher rubber and put pressure on Alonso in the closing stages. Unfortunately, he crashed at Turn 6 on the second-to-last lap and was out of the race. He reported that he was OK over the radio, but it was a disappointing end to a tough three days here in Melbourne.

The stewards investigated the incident after the race and decided to hand Alonso a drive-through penalty imposed after the race, which was converted to 20 seconds added to the elapsed time in the race.

George Russell

Fortunately, I’m OK after the accident. I don’t really know how to explain what happened. I was half a second behind Fernando (Alonso) 100 metres before the corner, and then suddenly, he came back towards me extremely quickly. It was clear that he braked earlier than he had done on previous laps and then got back on the throttle. I wasn’t expecting that, and it caught me by surprise. I hit the wall and had a dramatic few seconds after that.

It was a disappointing end to a difficult race. Our pace wasn’t where we wanted it to be. We showed spells of good lap times, but ultimately, we have work to do to catch those ahead. We will focus on how we can make improvements ahead of Japan in two weeks.

Lewis Hamilton

My race was going OK until we suffered the Power Unit failure. It’s quite tough to overtake here, but we had gained some positions early on with the Soft tyre. It was unfortunate that we had to retire, as there was still a long way to go. I was beginning to press on, but the Power Unit just stopped. These things happen, and I know we will bounce back.

We will also improve the car as the season goes on. We have done so in previous years, and I am confident we will do so again. It is demanding that we are not as competitive as we would like now, but we will keep working hard. I am focused on doing that with the team. I expect we will still find it difficult to challenge further up in the short term, but we will see what we can do in the medium term.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO

That was a disappointing race to end a difficult weekend. After bravely deciding to start on the Soft tyre, Lewis had made good progress initially. Unfortunately, his race came to an end shortly afterward. We will return the Power Unit to Brixworth and investigate what caused the failure. For George, it was clear that Alonso braked earlier than he had on previous laps. It is now with the stewards to determine what caused that. Nobody feels optimistic about where we find ourselves right now, but we are focused on turning this around. It is tough to take, but we will remain calm and composed. We have seen others who have shown that things can turn around quickly when you get it right. That is what we are aiming to do.

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

That was a very disappointing end to a tough weekend, with a significant amount of accident damage to remedy ahead of Japan in two weeks’ time. We went into the race hoping to progress from our grid positions: with Lewis, which involved starting on the Soft, which helped him gain positions on the opening lap, and George on the Medium. Lewis’s race was cut short by a sudden and unexpected Power Unit failure; we had no warning of it and will need to investigate further when the PU returns to Brixworth. George knew he had to complete two lengthy stints on the Hard and find the right balance between pushing the tyre and stretching out its life. Clearly, we could not fight with the three teams in front, and he was racing for P6 after Alonso had pitted under the VSC for Lewis’s retirement and gained track position. George had an opportunity to get the place back on the final stint and was clearly caught by surprise by the unexpected deceleration in front of the penultimate lap.

It has been a bruising weekend for us, during which we were unable to compete on a single lap or the long runs, and we will be continuing to trawl through the data in the coming days to see what isn’t working and why we are only currently able to deliver flashes of performance from the car. It’s clear that we have much to work on to give both drivers a better tool to work with at the race weekends. We now need to get our heads down, work through the challenges individually, and aim to deliver a more substantial showing next time in Suzuka.

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