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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Sophie Collins

Formula 1: Four big talking points after the Australian GP as Charles Leclerc reigns supreme

Charles Leclerc has extended his lead in the championship standings by 34 points after an epic win at the Albert Park Circuit on Sunday.

Ferrari continues to dominate the season, with their main man crossing the line 20s in the distance as their arguably closest rivals, Red Bull, came home in second.

The charging bulls had a number of issues across the weekend and even had to retire Max Verstappen’s car on Lap 39 with technical issues they have yet to pinpoint.

It proved another difficult weekend for Mercedes, who managed to land a second podium this season by capitalising on their competitor's unexpected issues during the race.

The 2022 Australian Grand Prix saw a record-breaking 419,114 fans attend Albert Park across the entire weekend with a race day crowd of 128,294 on Sunday.

READ MORE: Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix: All Irish viewers need to know from scheduled start time to track, standings and stats

It marked the highest ever attendance recorded at a GP in Melbourne and even more impressively, one of the most popular sporting weekends in Australian history.

Ahead of the two-week break, here is how the top four teams fared this weekend and where they stand heading into Round Four for the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix on April 24, 2022.


Charles Leclerc is fast becoming the one to watch this season as the battle for the 2022 championship title heads into round four in two weeks' time.

The Australian Grand Prix saw the Monegasque driver extend his lead in the standings to 34 points after claiming his second win of the season - while the team continues to front the constructor's standings on 104 points.

#16 Charles Leclerc,Ferrari. F1 Grand Prix, Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on April 10, 2022. (PA Images)

Leclerc's results this weekend saw him become the first Ferrari driver - since Fernando Alonso - to complete a racing grand slam consisting of securing pole, leading from lights out to chequered flag, and posting the fastest lap time.

His teammate, Carlos Sainz, had a difficult weekend with his F1-75, and although he finished on the podium in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, he had a number of setbacks across the weekend in Melbourne.

After firstly running into issues during qualifying, he was only fast enough to take off from ninth on Sunday.

Then at lights out, he quickly dropped down the order following a slow start and lost control on the second lap, ending his race prematurely.

Carlos Sainz Jr, Ferrari. 08.04.2022. (PA Images)

He currently sits third in the standings with 33 points - just 3 points ahead of Red Bull's Sergio Perez.


The silver arrows were still off the pace compared to Ferrari and Red Bull at the Albert Park Circuit, however, similar to Bahrain’s podium finish, the world champions managed to capitalise on their rival’s unexpected issues.

On the back of a poor weekend for Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and an early retirement for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, George Russell had the opportunity to claim a podium - marking his first triumph for Mercedes.

(PA Images)

Despite an under-performing W13, Russell is currently second in the standings, 34 points behind Leclerc.

Lewis Hamilton remains in an unfamiliar fifth in the standings after the Australian Grand Prix, and is now 43 points off Ferrari’s championship leader, Charles Leclerc.

Despite their difficulties, Mercedes is second in the constructors’ championship with a 10-point lead over Red Bull heading to Imola.

The team is due to bring car updates to the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix in two weeks’ time in a bid to get up to speed with their on-track foes, which include a new rear wing and floor.

Red Bull

This weekend’s race saw Max Verstappen retire for the second time in three races in Melbourne.

The Dutch driver was noticeably frustrated speaking with reporters after the race, and said the team lost out on what would have been an "easy P2."

Verstappen had qualified second on Saturday behind Leclerc and looked set to finish in that position on Sunday, as his RB18 simply didn’t have the pace to threaten the Ferrari driver for first.

On Lap 39 of 58, Verstappen was forced to pull off the track and into retirement, leaving the 2021 champion in P6 in the drivers’ standings, holding onto the 25 points for his Jeddah win.

Meanwhile, Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez finished the race in P2, over 20 seconds behind Leclerc, but well ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell.

His efforts mean Red Bull maintains its P3 in the constructors’ heading to Imola, but is now 49 points behind Ferrari and will be looking to play catch up in Italy.

The pressure will be on ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix as they work to figure out what caused Max Verstappen’s car failure to ensure a similar issue doesn’t raise its head on April 24.


McLaren managed to land their first double-points finish of the season in Melbourne this weekend.

It marked a four-year best for Daniel Ricciardo at his home race which will most certainly have given the Australian driver a much-needed boost after a difficult start to the 2022 season.

The 34-year-old had failed to score points in either of the first two races this season and was likely feeling the pressure ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.

Ricciardo came home sixth just behind teammate Lando Norris in fifth, to match his second-best result in Melbourne.

Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo of the McLaren F1 Team goes into the paddock in Australia. (DPA/ PA Images)

He also came home sixth in 2015 for Red Bull and finished in fourth place in 2016 and 2018 for the charging bulls.

Ricciardo now sits 11th in the drivers’ championship with eight points, while his teammate Norris is in eighth on 16.

McLaren is fourth in the constructors, 31 points behind Red Bull after a welcome improvement was seen this weekend.

Elsewhere in the standings, there are just four drivers who have yet to score points; Mick Schumacher (Haas), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), and Nicholas Latifi (Williams).

Meanwhile, Aston Martin is the only team in the constructors that have yet to bring home points in 2022.

Racing resumes in two weeks’ time at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari Circuit on April 24, where the first Sprint of the season will take place.

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