Chaos and drama in Formula 1

Several athletes raged over the ending, which became a farce. Then suddenly new pictures appeared.

After today's chaotic race, pictures emerged showing that Max Verstappen's car was far ahead during a restart two laps before the end. If he stood outside the permitted area, he risked receiving a time penalty of five seconds and thereby losing the victory.

Fernando Alonso first received a five-second penalty at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix two weeks ago, after placing the car incorrectly on the starting line. That penalty was later withdrawn.

No complaint was ever filed about Verstappen's maneuver. There should be sensors in the ground that detect whether the car is too far ahead, and these were not switched off. The front tires of the car were not over the line either.

- I was on the line. If you read the rules, you can't cross the line, says Verstappen himself.

Red flag

With two laps to go of the Australian Grand Prix, there was a sudden red flag (full stop for all athletes) after Kevin Magnussen lost one tire and several car parts ended up on the road.

By then, world number one Max Verstappen had been in full control throughout the race, and led by a solid eight seconds down to Lewis Hamilton, who was second.

Now the 58-lap race was suddenly to be decided with a two-lap sprint.

- What the hell - how can that be a red flag? said Verstappen to his own team, clearly displeased.

Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne:

  1. Max Verstappen, Netherlands (Red Bull),
  2. Lewis Hamilton, Great Britain (Mercedes) 0.179 sec. behind,
  3. Fernando Alonso, Spain (Aston Martin) 0.769,
  4. Lance Stroll, Canada (Aston Martin) 3.082,
  5. Sergio Perez, Mexico (Red Bull) 3.320,
  6. Lando Norris, Great Britain (McLaren) 3.701.

WC drivers (3 out of 23 races):

  1. Verstappen 69,
  2. Perez 54,
  3. Alonso 45,
  4. Hamilton 38,
  5. Carlos Sainz, Spain (Ferrari) 20,
  6. Stroll 20.

WC team:

  1. Red Bull 123,
  2. Aston Martin 65,
  3. Mercedes 56,
  4. Ferrari 26,
  5. McLaren 12,
  6. Alpine 8.

The next WC round is the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on 30 April. There will also be a sprint race on 29 April.


More drama

Among other things, there were reports that there were tire remnants over a large area. There may also be carbon parts on the asphalt after such incidents. The race was stopped for just under 20 minutes.

When it started again, there was more drama and a red flag once again, after several cars spun out. Fernando Alonso (who was third) collided with Carlos Sainz (who received a five-second penalty), while Lance Stroll did the same to Pierre Gasly.

- It is unacceptable. They have to wait until the race is over and discuss it with me, Sainz raged over the radio after the penalty.

- It is the biggest mistake I have experienced in many years, Sainz said after the race.

The Spaniard calls it "shameful".

Alonso raged

There was a lot of car debris on the track, which meant that the race was further postponed for around 20 minutes.

- How the hell can you run a red flag, Alonso said over the team radio, referring to the fact that it happened in the first half.

In the end, it was decided that the race would end behind a safety car, which means that the order before the chaotic start remained (Alonso in third place, among others).

- It was difficult to understand what happened, said a more satisfied Alonso after the race.

There are many who ask themselves why the organizer did not do this before there was a red flag in the first half.

Verstappen thus won the race in Melbourne ahead of Hamilton and Alonso. It was Verstappen's first victory on the track.

- I had a lot to lose and they had a lot to win. There was a bit of chaos, but we avoided it, said Verstappen after the race.

- The first can be decided, but I don't understand the second, said Verstappen about the red flags that were used during the race.

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