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F1 Australian Grand Prix 2023 LIVE! Verstappen wins chaotic race - Result, reaction, updates and latest news

F1 Australian Grand Prix 2023 LIVE! Verstappen wins chaotic race - Result, reaction, updates and latest news

F1 Australian Grand Prix LIVE!

Max Verstappen survived a crazy, chaotic and farcical finale to win the F1 Australian Grand Prix. Verstappen's cruise to the chequered flag was placed in danger when the race was stopped in the closing stages after Kevin Magnussen hit the wall and debris littered the track.

Magnussen's accident set up a two-lap shootout at Melbourne's Albert Park, but the frantic restart lasted only two corners after Fernando Alonso was sent spinning by Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and Alpine team-mates' Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon crashed out.

The race was red-flagged for a third time before a 33-minute delay followed as the FIA rooted through its rulebook. The order of the previous start was taken up, with Verstappen following the safety car home in an absurd procession to the chequered flag.

Lewis Hamilton finished second ahead of Alonso. Sainz crossed the line in fourth, but a five-second penalty for colliding with Alonso dropped him out of the points to 12th.

F1 Australian Grand Prix highlights

  • LIGHTS OUT! Both Mercedes jump Verstappen

  • SAFETY CAR! Leclerc knocked off

  • RED FLAG! Albon crashes out

  • RED FLAG! Magnussen retires late

  • CHEQUERED FLAG! Verstappen wins

Thanks for joining us!

09:18 , Marc Mayo

What a mad Australian Grand Prix.

Recap the action with our race report!

 (AP)
(AP)

Oscar Piastri the home race hero!

09:17 , Marc Mayo

Highlights: The shootout restart mayhem

09:14 , Marc Mayo

What a start to 2023 for Fernando Alonso

09:10 , Marc Mayo

A bit of a break before the next race

09:05 , Marc Mayo

With the Chinese Grand Prix again cancelled, F1 does not reconvene until April 30 with the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku.

How it all finished up

09:00 , Marc Mayo

Carlos Sainz finished out the points after his five-place penalty.

Time for the podium

08:55 , Marc Mayo

Those familiar Dutch and Austrian national anthems are played out with the start-finish straight now packed out with fans.

Max Verstappen lifts the Sir Jack Brabham trophy before Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso gleefully accept their prizes.

Two happy chappies

08:51 , Marc Mayo

Max Verstappen gives his take

08:48 , Marc Mayo

“I was careful, I had a lot to lose. The pace of the car was quick.

“These red flags... the second one I don’t really understand. It was a bit of a mess but we survived.”

Lewis Hamilton next up

08:46 , Marc Mayo

“I’ve had the best week, this town continues to put on a great show.

“Really unlucky for George, otherwise to get those points is really amazing. I didn’t expect to be second - I’m super grateful.

“I still feel uncomfortable in the car, I’m driving as best I can with that disconnect but it’s a long project. Considering we’re down on performance, to be here fighting with Aston is amazing.”

Fernando Alonso gives his reaction

08:44 , Marc Mayo

“We had a rollercoaster of emotions today, the last half-hour was difficult to understand what was going on.

“I could not match the pace [of Hamilton and Verstappen] but we’ll take P3.

“The first red flag did help us, the second didn’t. But we got lucky again, an amazing Sunday.”

The people’s champion

08:43 , Marc Mayo

Sergio Perez is voted the Driver of the Day for a fifth-placed finish from the pit lane.

A very happy Lewis Hamilton

08:40 , Marc Mayo

CHEQUERED FLAG!

08:37 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen wins, Alonso follows Hamilton through to complete the podium!

Not over for Sainz just yet

08:35 , Marc Mayo

It’ll be interesting to see how the Spaniard attempts to build a five-second gap on as many drivers as possible.

Back to the track!

08:34 , Marc Mayo

The cars are preparing to return to the track, tour the circuit under the safety car and dart about 100 yards for the finish line - with no overtaking allowed.

08:31 , Marc Mayo

“No! It cannot be, it’s unacceptable, the race is finished!” Sainz tells team radio. “Please, please, please, please! It’s too severe.”

He’s put his visor down while sat in the Ferrari.

Five-second penalty for Sainz!

08:28 , Marc Mayo

The Ferrari could be bumped to the back of the pack when its added to his race time!

That’s a penalty for knocking Alonso off.

FOURTH start time confirmed

08:25 , Marc Mayo

We’ll go racing (sort of) at 8.33am BST.

The race started two-and-a-half hours ago, remember!

Why the running order has been reversed

08:21 , Marc Mayo

Because that restart did not make it to the end of the first sector before the red flag, we are reverting back to that running order for the finish.

Alonso will finish third, behind Hamilton and winner Verstappen.

Points for McLaren

08:19 , Marc Mayo

A big cheer from the home fans as Piastri will win his first F1 points in Australia!

Back to the initial restart order

08:17 , Marc Mayo

The stewards have determined that the ORIGINAL red-flag order will return for the restart.

They will tour under the safety car and cross the line without racing.

Of course, those who crashed are out.

What happened to Stroll?

08:13 , Marc Mayo

The chaos sent Stroll through into third place before he simply ran off the road at Turn 6. A big opportunity, wasted.

Haas want this final running order

08:11 , Marc Mayo

Hulkenberg grabbed fourth in the carnage.

Tsunoda, fifth, Norris and Piastri in sixth and seventh, then the Alfa Romeo pair of Zhou and Bottas all want this post-chaos order to stick.

Perez will be tenth if it is.

More mayhem

08:09 , Marc Mayo

Something we missed at the restart, the Williams of Sargeant smacked into the back of De Vries to knock both of them into the gravel.

The race is over

08:08 , Marc Mayo

We’re on lap 58/58 and a red flag, so the track action is basically done.

We’re now just waiting to see if the final running order will be the one from the initial restart before the carnage, or after the carnage.

It all boils down to exactly when the red flag was thrown.

How it all went down

08:06 , Marc Mayo

What happens now?

08:04 , Marc Mayo

Let’s see if that red flag restart actually even counts.

The cars will have needed to reach the end of the first sector to clock that as an official restart. If not, we could end up finishing on that initial restart order.

08:03 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen cut Hamilton off, Sainz tagged Alonso at Turn 1.

Perez ran wide and Gasly, who has locked up and run wide, came back on for a hefty blow with Ocon.

Carnage

08:02 , Marc Mayo

Carnage. Carnage. Carnage.

RED FLAG!

08:02 , Marc Mayo

OCON AND GASLY HIT EACH OTHER!

STROLL WENT OFF!

RED FLAG!

VERSTAPPEN LOOKS TO HAVE WON IT!

LIGHTS OUT!

08:01 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen settles into first place on the grid as we prepare for our second restart of the day.

Alonso SPINS!

Reminder

07:59 , Marc Mayo

No DRS in this two-lap shootout.

Here we go...

07:58 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen is sticking tight to the Safety Car, he wants a quicker formation lap than Hamilton afforded him at the earlier restart.

The Red Bull has struggled in both his starts today...

Back to the track!

07:56 , Marc Mayo

The packed crowd looks ready for this thrilling finale as the sun sets on Melbourne.

Nearly time for the restart

07:54 , Marc Mayo

The drivers are settled back into their cars.

They’ll tour Albert Park behind the safety car before racing laps 57 and 58 to the chequered flag, after a standing start.

07:51 , Marc Mayo

Ricciardo and Russell enjoy a friendly chat in the pit lane, I’m sure both of them will wish they were sat in cars preparing for a restart right now.

Running order

07:49 , Marc Mayo

When we get back underway, Verstappen will sit on the front row alongside Hamilton.

Alonso, Sainz, Gasly and Stroll complete the top six before Perez and Norris.

Hulkenberg and Ocon complete the points before home favourite Piastri, then Zhou, Tsunoda, Bottas, Sargeant and De Vries.

Restart time confirmed

07:48 , Marc Mayo

We’ll have a 7.56am BST restart for the final two laps.

Just waking up?

07:45 , Marc Mayo

It was a wild start in Melbourne as Russell and Hamilton got Verstappen off the line and Leclerc spun into the gravel.

Albon then crashed out, leading to Russell pitting under a safety car that led to a red flag - with the Mercedes then seventh.

Verstappen cruised past Hamilton at the restart before a pretty calm middle period of the race.

And Magnussen’s crash with only a few laps to go has drawn another stoppage...

Well, well well

07:43 , Marc Mayo

That means we’ll have a standing start for the final two laps of the race.

Anything could happen!

Red flag!

07:42 , Marc Mayo

The second red flag of the day!

Safety car!

07:40 , Marc Mayo

Not long left, will we get any more running?

Magnussen out!

07:39 , Marc Mayo

The right-rear of the Haas has gone and is sat right on the track as he limps to a safe stopping spot.

Lap 52/58

07:37 , Marc Mayo

Norris makes it stick with a cracking run into Turn 14!

Hulkenberg slides off into the grass but keeps his car pointing in roughly the right direction and some vital points should still come his way.

Lap 51/58

07:35 , Marc Mayo

Hulkenberg walks the line with a staunch defence over Norris for eighth place!

Ten laps to go!

07:32 , Marc Mayo

Alonso still not quite within DRS range of Hamilton, but he has built almost a three second-gap on Sainz.

Lap 48/58

07:32 , Marc Mayo

A huge chunk of front-locking tyres for Verstappen at Turn 15 sends him into the grass, dropping four seconds off his race lead!

That was how Perez ended up in the gravel yesterday...

Lap 46/58

07:29 , Marc Mayo

Aston Martin give Alonso the green light to go full steam ahead at Hamilton for the final 12 laps, in pursuit of second place.

We’re surely going to a get a tasty, wheel-to-wheel battle between the former teammates...

Lap 45/58

07:27 , Marc Mayo

Perez makes easy work of Hulkenberg for seventh place and Norris fancies the Haas, too.

Stroll is 3.5 seconds ahead in Perez’s march.

Lap 44/58

07:25 , Marc Mayo

Perez goes eighth!

That DRS run into Turn 9 has been very fruitful for Red Bull today and he takes the inside line on Norris for another couple of points in the championship.

Lap 43/58

07:24 , Marc Mayo

Perez, finally, catches up to Norris’ McLaren in a battle for eighth with Hulkenberg not much further up the road.

Can the Mexican get the job done?

Lap 41/58

07:22 , Marc Mayo

A very interesting final part of the race coming up with Hamilton, Alonso and Sainz all with a genuine shot at finishing second.

The Mercedes man tells team radio he cannot dare lose this place “to him”. Spicy.

Lap 38/58

07:18 , Marc Mayo

A fastest lap from Hamilton, who has Alonso barely a second behind him.

Sainz has also closed in to within 1.5 seconds of the Asston, with Gasly clinging onto the Ferrari’s DRS.

Lap 37/58

07:17 , Marc Mayo

Will we see any second pit stops? An awful lot is being expected of those Hard tyres since the red flag.

And Sargeant is the first to come in, in the Williams running near the back.

Lap 35/58

07:13 , Marc Mayo

Next up for Perez will be Norris and McLaren have told their man not to fight too hard in a battle he simply won’t win.

Lap 32/58

07:10 , Marc Mayo

Mercedes tell Hamilton to “not fall for” using up his tyres under pressure from Alonso.

The Aston is almost within DRS range...

Only just joining us?

07:09 , Marc Mayo

It’s been a busy Australian Grand Prix...

Russell got Verstappen off the line before Hamilton joined him for a Mercedes one-two.

Leclerc was bumped into the gravel for an early safety car before Russell pitted under a second safety car for Albon’s crash.

Yet, a red flag wrecked his win hopes before he retired himself after the restart, Verstappen quickly getting Hamilton for the lead.

Lap 29/58

07:05 , Marc Mayo

Gasly and Stroll are still keeping Sainz keen, the Ferrari unable to break DRS while running fourth. He’ll still fancy a run at Alonso.

Lap 27/58

07:04 , Marc Mayo

Over an hour after we began, we’re still not quite at the halfway mark in Melbourne.

Verstappen has the fastest lap and a seven-second lead on Hamilton.

Alonso is back to 2.5 seconds behind the Brit, with a 1.8-second lead on Sainz.

Gasly, Stroll, Hulkenberg and Norris are all running in the points ahead of Perez and Ocon is now tenth after jumping Piastri and Tsunoda.

Lap 25/58

07:00 , Marc Mayo

Sainz sends a punchy move down the inside of Gasly to take fourth! Sweetly done by the Ferrari.

Lap 23/58

06:58 , Marc Mayo

That Red Bull DRS is, frankly, ridiculous.

First it’s Piastri left in Perez’s dust down the back straight into Turn 9 and, on the next lap, he gets Tsunoda with a carbon-copy move for ninth place.

That’s the same spot Verstappen got Hamilton earlier.

Lap 22/58

06:56 , Marc Mayo

Alonso drops back to two seconds behind Hamilton, that’s a battle that will no doubt return later on in the race.

Stroll and Sainz are all over the back of Gasly in the race for fourth.

Further back, Perez is surging through the field and takes 11th with a swift move on Ocon.

Lap 20/58

06:53 , Marc Mayo

“I don’t know if these tyres are going to make it to the end,” warns Hamilton as Alonso sidles up to his tail.

Under a second between the pair in the battle for second as DRS is switched back on.

Green flag!

06:52 , Marc Mayo

It was not a big bang for Russell as he lost power, allowing Gasly and Sainz through, before the puff of smoke.

Virtual Safety Car

06:50 , Marc Mayo

Russell pulls over at the top of the pit lane and the VSC is summoned as the fire extinguishers are brought out.

Russell out!

06:49 , Marc Mayo

Flames out the back of the Mercedes!

Stewards’ decision on Hamilton

06:48 , Marc Mayo

No further action on Hamilton backing the pack up before the restart, and the stewards are also happy with De Vries bumping Ocon as he was basically the one to come off worse.

Lap 15/58

06:46 , Marc Mayo

Good battles forming further back, mind.

Sainz is into sixth with a slick move past Stroll - the Ferrari was 11th at the restart.

Russell has got Gasly to run fourth and Perez sweeps past Magnussen into 14th.

Lap 14/58

06:44 , Marc Mayo

Hamilton has either begun to manage his tyres or Verstappen has turned on the afterburners to break the tow because there is already a 2.5-second lead for the Dutchman!

Verstappen leads!

06:42 , Marc Mayo

A beautiful move around the outside into Turn 9 with DRS launching the Red Bull through to first place!

Lap 12/58

06:41 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen draws to within half a second of Hamilton and has DRS - plus three seconds on Alonso...

Two bad starts from Verstappen today

06:40 , Marc Mayo

Lap 10/58

06:39 , Marc Mayo

De Vries takes a hit near the back, bouncing off track but carrying on after hitting Ocon.

Russell up to fifth, Gasly fourth with Stroll sixth after dropping two places in that restart.

Race restart!

06:38 , Marc Mayo

Right, let’s do this. Again!

Hamilton gets a good jump, as does Alonso! Verstappen holds onto second though.

06:37 , Marc Mayo

Hamilton is really far back from the safety car as he heads towards the standing-start procedure. Stewards may want to check that.

Almost a pile-up at the back as a result of it all backing up, Zhou and Magnussen having to take evasive action around a blind corner.

Lap 9/58

06:36 , Marc Mayo

The Safety Car leads the pack around the track, Hamilton properly backing up the pack.

“This is more than 10 car lengths - check it,” says Verstappen. He has a point.

Fresh sets of Hard tyres the order of the day

06:34 , Marc Mayo

Basically no more pit stops required in this race...

Nearly time for the restart

06:33 , Marc Mayo

The pack is preparing to leave the pit lane for a second standing start.

Just waking up?

06:29 , Marc Mayo

Here’s the story of the race so far...

It promised to be George Russell’s afternoon in Melbourne when, starting second on the grid, he swooped past pole-sitter Max Verstappen at the start and was quickly followed by Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton.

The Red Bull’s poor start was at least calmed by a first-lap safety car as Charles Leclerc was tagged by Lance Stroll and spun into the gravel.

At the restart, the Mercs looked relatively comfortable under fierce pressure from Verstappen before Alex Albon crashed out, allowing Russell what appeared to be a cheap pit stop on lap eight.

However, that strategy was quickly disrupted by a red flag to clear up the Williams debris - with Russell stuck in seventh as others were allowed a free tyre change.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Restart time confirmed

06:25 , Marc Mayo

We’ll get back underway at 6.33am BST - with a standing start...

Running order

06:24 , Marc Mayo

Hamilton leads the race ahead of Verstappen, before Alonso and Stroll have the Aston Martins in third and fourth.

Gasly running in fifth, from Hulkenberg and Russell.

Tsunoda eighth before the McLarens of Norris and Piastri to complete the top ten.

They were not expecting to be running so high after nine laps!

Red flag

06:22 , Marc Mayo

It shouldn’t be too long a stoppage as the barrier is rebuilt and the gravel on track is cleared up.

Nightmare for Russell

06:20 , Marc Mayo

Everyone can change tyres during the red flag stoppage and that means Russell, who pitted from the lead to drop down to seventh, has lost out massively.

He’s now seventh with Sainz also stopping from fourth, now back in 11th.

How Albon crashed out

06:19 , Marc Mayo

Red flag

06:18 , Marc Mayo

The race will be paused while the Williams wreckage is cleaned up.

Safety car

06:16 , Marc Mayo

“I’m fine,” says Albon on team radio after dropping it at Turn 8.

Russell pits, Hamilton and Verstappen stay out...

Albon crashes!

06:15 , Marc Mayo

The Williams hits the barrier from sixth... and another safety car is out!

Lap 6/58

06:14 , Marc Mayo

Verstappen clocks the fastest lap but his DRS will be limited with Hamilton also getting the boost on Russell.

Lap 5/58

06:13 , Marc Mayo

No DRS yet as Verstappen sticks within a second of the Mercedes, with Hamilton also keeping within half a second of Russell.

Sainz 1.5 back in fourth.

Green flag!

06:10 , Marc Mayo

Russell cruises off into the distance as Verstappen lingers on the back of Hamilton.

Safety car coming in

06:09 , Marc Mayo

Lap 2/58

06:08 , Marc Mayo

So... Russell from Hamilton from Verstappen!

Sainz, Alonso and Albon complete the top six.

Into the pits

06:07 , Marc Mayo

Ocon, Perez, Zhou and Sargeant all pit as the safety car comes out.

Stewards will look at Stroll tagging Lecleric to send the Ferrari into the gravel.

Safety car

06:06 , Marc Mayo

Leclerc is OUT!

 (AP)
(AP)

MERCEDES ONE-TWO!

06:05 , Marc Mayo

What a start as Hamilton forces his way past Verstappen!

06:05 , Marc Mayo

LECLERC SPINS OFF!

F1 Australian Grand Prix: LIGHTS OUT!

06:04 , Marc Mayo

Hopefully no issues lining up on the grid with wider boxes for each driver this week...

Verstappen forms up just as the final cars turn onto the start-finish straight.

Away we go and Russelll TAKES THE LEAD!

Those start tyres in full

06:02 , Marc Mayo

F1 Australian Grand Prix countdown

06:01 , Marc Mayo

Medium tyres for the frontrunners, Gasly in ninth goes with the Soft.

Back in the pit lane, Perez opts for Hard tyres to start on for a long first stint.

Click here to read the full blog on The Evening Standard's website