c994d02922b4f232d0dcff70499775a7084fa52a Verstappen wins for the first time in F1 Australian Grand Prix after a contentious finish.
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Verstappen wins for the first time in F1 Australian Grand Prix after a contentious finish.


Max Verstappen
 (AP Photo/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)

Max Verstappen wins the Australian Grand Prix in Albert Park for the first time, and Lewis Hamilton finishes second.

A challenging start for Australia. Charles Leclerc, who finished in "pole position" and claimed the victory on this particular track last year, quits today after just the first lap of 58, continuing Ferrari's unlucky streak.

The Ferrari's run came to an end in the gravel when the Monegasque, who had started from seventh on the grid, collided with Canadian Lance Stroll of the Aston Martin at Turn 3.

Good start for Mercedes.

As George Russell's Mercedes takes the lead on the opening lap, Max Verstappen drops from first to third, while Lewis Hamilton goes up to second.

The second DNF at Albert Park is the Thai driver Alex Albon, a Williams driver who had his best qualifying session this weekend with his team before colliding with another car on lap 7. This has an impact on the two drivers who changed tyres before the safety car: the drivers George Russell and the Spaniard Carlos Sainz. Verstappen and Alonso are behind Hamilton as he beams briefly after taking the lead in the race, which had not happened since last year.

The Mexican teammate of the Dutch Red Bull driver, Sergio "Checo" Pérez, who started the race from the pits on lap 24, was already in the points zone in position nine after just 12 circuits.

A downward spiral

A bittersweet weekend for Mercedes as both of its cars qualified in the top three and the field began to spread out, but George Russell was forced to retire on lap 18 owing to mechanical issues with his car.

The race was unexpectedly interesting because of safety cars that reduced the distance time between the cars and red flags that resumed the races.

The race restarted with three circuits remaining after Magnussen's Haas brought out the red flag after making contact with the retaining wall and losing one of its rear tyres. There were further problems in this new start; the Spaniards from Ferrari and Aston Martin collided, and Fernando Alonso left the track; Carlos Sainz was penalised with 5 seconds and is currently in third place behind leader Verstappen and Hamilton.

The race restarts with just one lap remaining after Alpine's Pierre Gasly collides with teammate Esteban Ocon and brings out Australia's third red flag.

Crazy conclusion?

Verstappen leads the race when it resumes on lap 58, followed by Hamilton in second and the Spanish driver Fernando Alonso in third. There is no chance to move on, which completely eliminates the excitement of the conflict we saw in earlier rounds and the held positions. The day's top driver, Checo Pérez, drops to sixth place after scoring significant points.

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