The F1 Australian Grand Prix returns after a short absence on the race calendar. This season is quickly turning into an exciting year for the sport as new technology and regulations introduce more unpredictable factors. The first two races presented incredible storylines, and the Australian GP is no exception.
That said, Nitrobetting gets into the details of the latest event, covering the three biggest takeaways of the 2022 Australian Grand Prix.
Top 3 Takeaways from 2022 Australian Grand Prix
Hot and cold results for the Scuderia
Charles Leclerc dominated the weekend, taking pole position, the fastest lap of the race, and his fourth career win. He brought Ferrari much-needed points after Carloz Sainz had to retire after spinning out into the gravel pit.
The Monacan driver looks comfortable on top of the standings. Leclerc has a championship contender car in his hands and the talent to challenge Max Verstappen in front. He proved that he can win across different track formats, which shows how strong he and Ferrari are at the moment. Leclerc displays impressive tire management, defending, and laser focus from start to finish.
Leclerc finished 20 seconds ahead of the next driver, Sergio Perez when he crossed the checkered flag. He would have stretched the lead further if it weren’t for several safety cars showing up following the incidents of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Sebastian Vettel.
Ferrari leads the constructors’ standings with 104 points despite Sainz recording a DNF in Australia. Meanwhile, Charles Leclerc leads the driver standings with 71 points and is well ahead of the next driver, George Russell, who scored 37 points after a strong P3 finish last weekend. With momentum on their end, Ferrari can assert dominance on home soil at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, where the first of three Sprint races take place.
More issues for Red Bull and Verstappen
The reigning world champion is out with another disappointing race. Sunday’s race brought more disappointment to Max Verstappen after getting forced to stop due to mechanical issues. He held onto a comfortable P2 behind Leclerc, but the misfortune came on Lap 39 as the RB18 suddenly lost power in Turn 2. Max now has to close a 46-point gap if he wants to get back into the title fight.
Team principal Christian Horner commented that he suspects another fuel problem as the main culprit. If powertrain issues are ruled out, it gives the team a breather knowing that their proprietary engine meets reliability.
In an interview, Verstappen said, “We’re already miles behind,” Verstappen said. “I don’t even want to think about the championship fight at the moment. I think it’s more important to finish races.”
The only saving grace for Red Bull is Sergio Perez finishing P2. He filled the void left by Verstappen and remained consistent throughout the race. Checo currently sits behind Sainz in the 2022 driver standings, collecting 30 points in three races despite a DNF in the opening race. He is five points clear of his teammate and is Red Bull’s talisman at this point.
Ultimately, if the team fails to find a remedy for its issues, Ferrari might find itself a more worthy opponent in an improving Mercedes team.
Albon and Williams finish in the points
If it weren’t for Albon and his incredible drive, NitroBetting would have looked into McLaren’s strong weekend. However, Jost Capito’s work with Williams deserves a spot on our list. Alex Albon brought home points in Australia after a sneaky P10 finish.
Williams struggled with the latest Formula 1 regulations so far but Albon found a clear lane with the hard compound tire at Melbourne’s Albert Park. He was able to pull off a one-stop strategy with the team, using the extra time to go up into the points before switching to soft tires near the final lap.
They timed the pit stop perfectly as the team saw issues with one of the tires that could eventually lead to a crucial blow. Nevertheless, Albon maintained a solid position, ahead of Zhou Guangyu, to score his first point for the racing team.
Albon said: “I don’t know what it is about that tire but the hard tire suits us every time we put it on. It was good. We fought hard and it was like qualifying for 30 laps for us.
“I think the front left was a little slow, but it almost suited us because I came out right alongside Zhou so he couldn’t get a run on me into turn three so that was a plan,” Albon added.
It was a great day for Albon and Williams. Their slow stop worked out well in the end, showing the potential of the new tires. It unlocks new pit stop strategies moving forward all thanks to Capito’s risk-taking abilities.