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Live: F1 Australian GP commentary and updates

Follow the live action as the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix reaches its climax on race day.

The third round of the 2024 F1 season will get under way with Max Verstappen once again starting on pole position. 

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc go from second and fourth for Ferrari with both having shown strong long-run pace in practice. Sergio Perez had qualified third but suffered a three-place grid drop for impeding, promoting Lando Norris to his original position.

Lewis Hamilton suffered a dreadful Saturday, qualifying 11th, and Logan Sargeant sits out the race after Williams gave his chassis to Alex Albon following a crash for the latter - the Thai driver viewed as the best opportunity for a points score. 

The race will get under way at 4am GMT (3pm local time).

By: Haydn Cobb, Sam Hall

Summary

Summary
  • Sainz leads Ferrari 1-2 ahead of Leclerc
  • Norris completes podium for McLaren
  • Verstappen and Hamilton retire with mechanical issues
  • Russell suffers a major crash on the penultimate lap
Leaderboard
  1. Sainz, Ferrari
  2. Leclerc, Ferrari
  3. Norris, McLaren
  4. Piastri, McLaren
  5. Perez, Red Bull
  6. Alonso, Aston Martin
  7. Stroll, Aston Martin
  8. Tsunoda, RB
  9. Hulkenberg, Haas
  10. Magnussen, Haas
Status: Stopped
With that we'll call time on this live coverage of the Australian GP. Never fear, we'll be back for the fourth round, the Japanese GP at Suzuka, on 5-7 April. Until then, have a lovely rest of your Sunday! Go well!
Sainz, Leclerc and Norris get busy with the fizzy to bring an end to a dramatic and entertaining Australian GP! Here's the full race report: Sainz leads Leclerc home for Ferrari 1-2, Verstappen retires early.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-24

Photo by: Mark Horsburgh / Motorsport Images

Sainz lifts the winners' trophy aloft to the acclaim of his Ferrari team. What a win that is. One to look back on in a few years and go "remember when".
For the first time since last year's Singapore GP it isn't the Dutch and Austrian national anthems on the F1 podium - but it is the Spanish and Italian national anthems again!
 
Norris: "There is still another one or two steps to Red Bull and Ferrari so we need to catch up, but we are getting closer and days like today prove that, so a big thanks to all at McLaren. We are getting closer to our target."
Norris on his podium: "It was a very good day for the team, I am very proud of the team, P3 and P4 is a lot of points in the championship so that's the first thing. We missed out on Charles, our pace was a little bit better but he undercut us in the first stint so maybe there was hope for second place today."
Leclerc on second place and a Ferrari 1-2: "Yes it felt good, mostly for the team, first and second didn't happen for the team since Bahrain 2022, which were very good memories, so it is amazing that we can do that. Carlos had an incredible weekend to comeback after his surgery and he did an amazing race."
The Alonso and Russell Turn 6 incident at the end has been placed under investigation by the FIA stewards. More on it when we get it.
Sainz: "I will recommend to all the drivers to take it [appendix] out this winter, there is a tenth there!"

Drive to Survive star Guenther Steiner is on the mic for the top three questions and first up is Sainz: "It was a really good race, I felt really good out there, of course a bit stiff and physically it wasn't easy but I was lucky that I was more or less on my own so I could manage the tyres and everything.


"Life is crazy sometimes - what happened at the beginning of the year and the podium in Bahrain, then the appendix, the comeback, the win, a rollercoaster. But I love it."

Sainz looks shattered both physically and emotionally as he embraces his team. Incredible effort.
In all the late mayhem Sainz forgot his traditional "smooth operator" rendition over the team radio. From smooth operation to smooth operator.
"This is amazing, thank you guys, life is a rollercoaster sometimes, thank you Ricky, thank you Ferrari!" Sainz celebrates over team radio. What a story. From the operating table to an F1 race win in a little over two weeks.
Russell's late exit means with Perez fifth and Alonso sixth, Stroll is promoted to seventh ahead of Tsunoda, Hulkenberg and Magnussen - a double points finish for Haas!
Thankfully Russell is OK, he is out of the car and walks unaided into the medical car.
Replays of Russell's crash reveal what's happened. He closes up to Alonso into Turn 6 but appears to lose downforce and the car slides from underneath him, which sends him over the gravel and into the barrier.
Norris completes the podium for McLaren ahead of team-mate Piastri who just misses out on a home rostrum.
Sainz wins the Australian GP! It is a Ferrari 1-2! Wow!
The virtual safety car has been deployed, so effectively that'll be race over as we are on the final lap. But what a shocking finish as Russell's car is wrecked after a clash with the barrier at Turn 6.
Huge crash for Russell! What happened there?
Again Russell looks up the inside of Alonso at Turn 11, but again he cannot move alongside to go for the move. Final lap time!
The lower order of the points looks fairly set - barring anything crazy - with Stroll, Tsunoda and Hulkenberg having comfortable margins for their positions.
"Tyres don't feel great now," Sainz reports on team radio. His lead is down to 3.6s on the penultimate lap.
Russell is able to gain with DRS but he cannot get close enough to make a move.
Russell has sneaked into DRS range of Alonso, but can he make it count? The evergreen Spaniard will have something to say about that.
Into the final five laps and it looks like last orders for any late race battles. Russell is just outside DRS range of Alonso in the fight for sixth.
And even though Ocon is 17th and last of those still running, this would also equal his best result of the season. If that doesn't highlight the plight of Alpine, little else will.
Perez's expected charge towards the top four hasn't materialised as he is still 12s behind Piastri. There's been no reported issue for the Mexican but the expected pace is not there.
But bad news for Gasly, as Bottas closes to within three seconds of him. Now, he would Gasly's penalty would see him drop from P14 to P15. 

On a positive note, that would still be his best finish of the season.
Sainz's lead is 5.5s and he appears to be matching Leclerc's lap time to ensure the gap remains stable as he manages his tyres to the finish. It has been a supreme performance by the Spaniard so far.
Norris then posts a fastest lap of 1m19.971s to force a response from Leclerc ahead. The gap is down to 4s in the fight for second.
A five-second penalty for Gasly. That would have no effect on his result as things stand.
Gasly is now under investigation for crossing the line on pit exit. He was caught out by that in qualifying as well.
Russell is the last of the frontrunners to pit, putting him out on fresh hards behind Alonso. They will battle for sixth place until the finish.
Piastri is enjoying life much more on these tyres, as he puts in a fastest lap of anyone of 1m20.395s. But not for long, as Sainz posts a 1m20.223s.
And there's the move from Magnussen, who uses DRS to steam around the outside into Turn 9.
Magnussen has a bold lunge on Albon into Turn 11 and narrowly avoids contact. This appears to be only a matter of time until the move is made now.

On the Williams pitwall, James Vowles looks concerned.
Sainz has nursed his hard tyres into life and stabilised a gap that was falling to Leclerc. The difference between the top two is now 5.1s.
Far from pressuring Hulkenberg for a point, Albon has now dropped into the clutches of Magnussen in P12. You can almost hear the Sargeant fans gathering...

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