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Formula 1 Australian GP

Ranked: The 10 F1 teams at the 2024 Australian GP

Those expecting a third Max Verstappen win of 2024's Formula 1 season had their expectations confounded as the Red Bull driver retired in the opening laps of the Australian Grand Prix.

Instead, Carlos Sainz brilliantly controlled the events Down Under and beat Charles Leclerc for a Ferrari 1-2, showing few signs of struggle despite having surgery on his appendix just two weeks ago.

Although Sainz's win was the main headline, there were plenty of other moments that defined the race in Melbourne for each of the 10 teams - all of whom enjoyed varying fortunes throughout the 58-lap blast around Albert Park.

So, without further ado, let's rank how each team got on in Australia.

1. Ferrari

Could it be anyone else? The Prancing Horse arrived in Australia with a car that could genuinely threaten for the fastest time in qualifying, although a couple of missteps on Sainz's final lap contrived to sap away at that chance in Q3 as Verstappen scorched to a third pole of 2024. But Sainz was feisty at the start of the race, smelling blood ahead of him as Verstappen started to contend with the brake issue that eventually put him out of the race.

It was a clinical drive from there. Although Leclerc had a few moments where he looked to be in the victory picture, his balance around Albert Park was not as finely poised as Sainz's and instead focused on ensuring that the Maranello team was able to lock out the top two positions on the podium ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris. It worked out rather nicely, ensuring that Fred Vasseur's squad moved to within four points of Red Bull in the constructors' standings.

2. McLaren

Glimpses of strong pace throughout practice suggested that McLaren would be in the hunt for a top-five finish, so a podium would have been a welcome demonstration of its performance in Australia. Norris gamely clung onto Sainz in the opening stages before the Spaniard started to wheel away at the front, but the earlier stops from Leclerc and team-mate Oscar Piastri cost two places through their undercut.

But Piastri dutifully let Norris back past as the Briton put Leclerc under pressure, feeling that he might have had the pace for second if the race had shaken out a little more favourable. Piastri overcame a small off-road moment a lap before his pitstop but was sufficiently clear of the Sergio Perez-Fernando Alonso battle behind him to ensure he had not cost himself and McLaren a 3-4 finish.

3. Aston Martin

Opportunism handed Alonso a chance to threaten for a top-five finish, when Aston Martin made the call to stop him for a set of mediums amid the Lewis Hamilton-produced virtual safety car on lap 17. Although the yellow-walled tyres needed some preservation efforts to ensure his later final hard stint was not compromised, Alonso made Perez's race significantly more difficult and managed to stay with the Mexican throughout.

Lance Stroll had been strong through the weekend too, recovering from his amateurish Jeddah crash to have a genuine edge over Alonso in qualifying. The Canadian ultimately ceded a place to his veteran team-mate by the chequered flag, but maintained a good level of pace to ensure he was firmly ensconced within the points.

4. RB

In a race that awarded ample opportunity for the bottom five teams to chalk up much-needed points, RB took the initiative the best through Yuki Tsunoda's clean run to eighth place. The Japanese had once again demonstrated a clear advantage over Daniel Ricciardo in qualifying and, unlike Jeddah, maintained his position within the top 10 ensure the Italian squad banked a healthy points haul.

Ricciardo again struggled, failing to double RB's fun with a 12th-placed finish, but Tsunoda's collection of four points gives the team an important boost in the battle for the lower constructors' placings.

5. Haas

Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen combined exquisitely in Jeddah to give Haas its first point of the year, and since added another three to its tally as the two both put moves on Alex Albon to prise the Williams driver out of the top 10. Like Alonso, Hulkenberg stopped under the first VSC to overcome a lowly 16th-place start - and Haas swapped drivers to make the most of the German's medium tyres.

Hulkenberg battled with Albon and, when the two had conducted their second stops, the 36-year-old emerged ahead of the Anglo-Thai driver to bed himself into the top 10. Magnussen also forced his way past the Williams to move up to 11th, which became 10th after Russell's end-of-race shunt. On a day where RB made good headway in the points, this was a much-needed result for Haas.

6. Red Bull

Through Perez, Red Bull retained its position at the top of the constructors' championship - but the lap 4 retirement of Max Verstappen put a significant dampener on its race. The team had been off-colour until Q3, where continual tweaks to the RB20's set-up transformed its weekend, but the Dutchman was unable to convert it into a third victory of 2024 thanks to the expanding brake fire that proved terminal.

Sergio Perez was not particularly on the ball over the race, losing a place to Russell at the start; that he was drawn into further battles showed that he was not sufficiently making the most of his car advantage. Even in clear air, he was unable to close down the Ferraris and McLarens, leaving him a distant fifth. Not a particularly vintage day for the Milton Keynes squad.

7. Williams

On balance, dropping Logan Sargeant out of his car for Albon despite the latter's FP1 shunt was probably the right call, given the Anglo-Thai gave a good account of himself throughout the rest of the weekend. Melbourne ultimately presented a missed opportunity to score, but Albon was a lone ranger in the fight against the Haas duo and thus was outgunned on both pace and tactical latitude.

Still, his proximity to the points vindicated Williams' difficult call, although it being a call that it had to make underlines the work that remains behind closed doors.

8. Alpine

An expected result given the issues that remain overwhelmingly present in the A524, although misfortune rather befell both drivers throughout the race. Esteban Ocon nearly suffered the same fate as Verstappen with a right-rear brake issue before a tear-off was successfully fished out of his brake duct, which elongated his second pitstop and resigned him to the back of the field.

Pierre Gasly made another pit exit faux-pas and collected a five-second penalty for his troubles, but had been far enough ahead of the Sauber pair behind him to remain 13th at the flag - the late virtual safety car perhaps sparing his blushes somewhat. Ocon's Q2 appearance hinted at tentative progress, but there's still a lot of work to do to turn the year around.

9. Sauber

It happened again. Oh, and again. Despite tweaks to its pit equipment to ensure there was a reduced chance of repeated slow pitstops, lightning struck twice. Valtteri Bottas got the first slow stop in the primary pit phase, and Zhou Guanyu was the recipient of the second amid the next set of stops.

This continued woe in the pitlane compromised the team's race considerably, which was more unwelcome given the opportunity for points thanks to the usual contenders dropping out of the top 10. That this didn't automatically shunt the team down to last in these rankings, however, suggests that things can go far worse...

10. Mercedes

On pace terms, Mercedes was somewhat off the boil compared to its top-five rivals; Russell did well to stick the car seventh on the grid, but Lewis Hamilton showed the capriciousness of the W15 with his Q2 exit. The two started reasonably well and Russell got ahead of Perez, but Hamilton's decision to start on softs probably didn't have quite the impact that he had hoped.

It proved moot as the elder Briton's engine called it quits, while Russell lost a place to Alonso and spent the final handful of laps attempting to get even with the Aston Martin driver. He put it in the wall, apparently in response to Alonso slowing at Turn 6, to ensure Mercedes makes the 24-hour flight back to the UK with no points scored from Australia.

Watch: F1 2024 Australian Grand Prix Review - Ferrari On Top Down Under

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