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Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19
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Formula 1 Australian GP
Analysis

The critical calls preceding Verstappen's Melbourne march and F1's red flag saga

The Australian Grand Prix ended in chaotic scenes as two late red flags resulted in a bizarre finish under safety car. But there was no dispute surrounding its winner Max Verstappen, who asserted his dominance at the head of the Formula 1 field

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The 2023 Australian Grand Prix actually had to explain itself, which seemed about right. The stewards of the third Formula 1 race of the current campaign summoned its promoter – the Australian Grand Prix Corporation – to explain how fans had breached safety perimeter fences close to the debris barriers near Turn 1 when action was still ongoing on the final lap. One was actually on the circuit waving manically as soon-to-be winner Max Verstappen swept by celebrating his victory in bizarre, neutralised circumstances.

The Dutchman made it three Red Bull wins in three attempts so far in 2023, with lots of what happened in Melbourne very familiar to the Bahrain and Jeddah proceedings. But they were bookended by two very different chapters – one very good, one very bad.

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