Dominant Red Bull look to continue form in Australia

As Formula 1 heads to Australia for the third round of the season and just one point separating Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez at the top of the championship, the Red Bull duo will be seeking to extend their lead and continue to battle it out in front.  

The reining champions’ closest rival Ferrari will be hoping to close the gap but have said they are not expecting any ‘miracles’. Charles Leclerc won the 2022 Australian grand prix whilst title rival Verstappen had to retire from the race.  

“Yeah, good memories, but looking at this year we are not coming into this race in the same situation as we were last year,” admitted Leclerc. 

“I think clearly our performance is not as good as last year but we are working massively to try and come back to the front.  

We are fully motivated to be back at the front, we know what we need to work on; I don’t think there will be any miracles for this weekend but after that we’ve got three weeks’ break and we will try to use it in the best way possible in order to bring upgrades as quickly as possible on the car.” – Leclerc told F1. 

However, the Monegasque driver was just 0.155s behind Perez on pole position in Jeddah, before receiving his 10-place grid penalty and said that qualifying could be close yet again and it is Ferrari’s race pace that is holding them back.  

Mercedes will also be looking to close the gap to those ahead, after an underwhelming first two races of the season and have already begun the process of redesigning their car. But Lewis Hamilton, seven-time world champion said: “it is going to take us the rest of the year to potentially close that gap.”  

Fellow British and Mercedes driver George Russell also added: “I am not going to say we are terribly optimistic. We recognise Red Bull are a second down the road at the moment.” 

Red Bull have dominated the start of the season, securing two one-two finishes in the first two races and are obvious favourites again this weekend in Melbourne.  

However, the last race in Jeddah ended with a bust up between the two Red bull teammates. Whilst Perez won the race, Verstappen recovered from P15 to finish P2 and claimed an extra point for the fastest lap, which is the single point that separates the pair at the top of the championship.  

After the race Perez called for a review as he had said he was told to keep to a certain pace, which disallowed him to challenge for the fastest lap. 

In an interview since the race the Mexican admitted to some confusion over the battle for the fastest lap in Saudi Arabia and Red Bull and himself have cleared the air.

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