best tracker Max Verstappen forced to retire from Australian Grand Prix after car CATCHES FIRE as Carlos Sainz races to victory – Techss

Max Verstappen forced to retire from Australian Grand Prix after car CATCHES FIRE as Carlos Sainz races to victory

CARLOS SAINZ recovered from appendicitis to win the Australian Grand Prix after Max Verstappen retired with a brake failure.

The Spanish driver was forced to miss the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and was replaced by British driver Oliver Bearman in Jeddah.

GETTY

Max Verstappen started the Aussie Grand Prix on pole[/caption]

Rex

But the defending champion was forced to retire in the third round[/caption]

Verstappen’s rear break caught fire
AP

His Red Bull was enveloped by smoke[/caption]

However, despite undergoing surgery just 16 days ago, Sainz was in position to capitalise on a rare retirement from the reigning world champion.

Sainz, 29, scored his third win of the season and boosts his chances of earning a seat on the grid in 2025 after Ferrari decided to replace him with Lewis Hamilton, who was forced out of the race with an engine issue.

Sainz, who later pointed out he is ‘still jobless for next year’ said: “It was a really good race. I felt really good out there.

“Of course a bit stiff and especially physically it wasn’t the easiest but I was lucky I was more or less on my own and I could manage my pace, my tyres, manage everything, and it wasn’t the toughest race of all.

“But very happy, very proud of the team, and happy to be in a one-two with Charles [Leclerc].

“It shows that hard work pays off and life sometimes is crazy.

“What happened at the beginning of the year, then the podium in Bahrain, then the appendix, the comeback, the win…it’s a rollercoaster.

“But I loved it and I’m extremely happy.

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Getty

Carlos Sainz celebrates winning the Australian Grand Prix[/caption]

“I will recommend all the drivers to take [their appendix] out this winter!”

Verstappen had started on pole but was passed by Sainz on the second lap as the Dutchman was unable to pull away in his usual manner.


And on the third lap, Verstappen was in trouble with smoke coming from his rear right brake.

His bid for a record 10th straight win ended when he was forced to retire.

He said: “What we can see so far from the data is that as soon as the lights went off the right-rear brake just stuck on.

“It just caused the damage and it kept on increasing so it was also basically driving with the handbrake on.

“That’s why the car felt really weird to drive in some corners, just very snappy, while the laps to the grid the car was really spot on and I was happy with what we were doing.

“But if a brake is stuck on it doesn’t help.”

Verstappen’s DNF allowed Norris to take the final spot on the podium ahead of his McLaren teammate, Oscar Piastri.

Norris said: “It was a very good day for us. I’m very happy and proud of the team because P3 and P4 is a lot of points in the championship. So that’s the first thing.

“We missed out on [second place to] Charles, I think our pace was a little bit better.

“But Ferrari and Carlos did a very good job, so hats off to them, they’ve been fast all weekend.

AFP

Mercedes’ George Russell had a huge crash on the final lap after making contact with Fernando Alonso[/caption]

Reuters

Lewis Hamilton was forced to retire on lap 17 after his engine shut down[/caption]

“I felt good, I could manage the tyres very well today, it was a good step.

“Probably wasn’t expecting to be on the podium so I’m very happy.”

However, it was a miserable race for Mercedes as both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell retired.

Hamilton retired on lap 17 when he pulled over when his engine shut down and was left in no uncertain terms as to the poor start he has made to the season.

He said: “I mean, this is the worst start to season I’ve ever had.

“Surprisingly, I feel pretty good. I’m trying to keep things in perspective, you know, this like, could be so much worse.

“I’m really grateful. I’ve really enjoyed my time here in Australia, I’m still enjoying working with a team.

“Of course, I’d love to be fighting for wins and actually finishing races.

“It’s never a great feeling when you come all this way, and you don’t see even half of the race, but what I know is that we will bounce back, we will eventually get there, we just have to continue to chip away.”

Meanwhile, Russell had a big crash on the final lap when he made contact with Fernando Alonso.

The clash is now the subject of an FIA investigation with suspicions that Alonso had brake-tested the Brit.

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