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Dominant Leclerc wins Australian Grand Prix, claims first career grand slam

Fire forces Verstappen to retire early for a second time

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was once again in the zone as he performed brilliantly to win the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne for his second win of the 2022 Formula One season.

Leclerc came into the Australian Grand Prix, the third race of the season, on the back of two impressive performances in the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Saudi Grand Prix, in which he won one and finished second in the other. He had also delivered a tense battle with reigning World champion Max Verstappen in both races.

In the qualifying session, Leclerc claimed the pole position with Red Bull duo Verstappen and Sergio Perez finishing just behind him to secure a tantalising lineup for the race.

Leclerc was the fastest out of the blocks as he flew into the lead from the start of the race without relinquishing control even once throughout the 59 laps. He remained in the lead all through the race, showing masterful driving with his terrific Ferrari car in Melbourne before eventually finishing in 1:27:46.548s.

Leclerc finished the race in first place while also completing his first-ever Grand Slam; he won pole position, had the fastest lap in the race and led the race for the entire time without falling behind even once.

Verstappen saw his ill-luck catch up with him on the track in the Australian Grand Prix for a second time in three races this season. The Dutchman was poised to finish second but saw his race end prematurely in the 39th lap after his engine caught fire. His engineers had to ask him to retire at Turn 2.

Verstappen’s Red Bull Racing teammate Perez took full advantage and managed to cross the finish line in second place, with Mercedes’ George Russell finishing in third place for his first-ever podium finish. Lewis Hamilton saw his underwhelming season continue as he finished in fourth place.

Lando Morris finished in fifth and his McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo was sixth in the race. Esteban Ocon, Valtteri Bottas, Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon completed the top ten at the Australian Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc has 71 points and has opened up a stunning 34-point lead over second-place George Russell in the Championship standings, with Max Verstappen sitting in sixth on 25 points, three points behind Hamilton in fifth.

After the Australian Grand Prix, the drivers will now turn their attention to the Italian Grand Prix in Imola from April 22nd to 24th.

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