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Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix Recap

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Saying that the Australian Grand Prix this year was interesting would be an extreme understatement. 

If you are anything like me, you have developed an unhealthy obsession with the sport, Formula 1. I think it is one of the most intriguing sports with some of the most endearing characters within it. So, it is safe to say, I was pretty excited for this season of F1. 

However, this stopped when I realized Redbull’s Max Verstappen would seemingly win every race. I, like many F1 fans, started to get bored. Part of me didn’t want to stay up until midnight to watch fancy cars take 71 laps around and around. But, from how the weekend began, I knew I might not have been disappointed. 

The excitement started at FP1, or Free Practice 1. Williams Racing has Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant as their drivers this year. Last year in Australia, Alex crashed at Turn 6. Guess what I am about to say next…. This year, Alex was completing FP1 and crashed at Turn 6. I wish I was kidding. He slid across the track and hit the walls, causing red flags to be brought out. Safe to say, my jaw dropped. But, the shock did not end there. 

Normally, if someone crashes during a practice, they will just not compete. This seems like the most sound solution, right? Well, according to Williams, wrong. They gave Alex Albon Logan Sargeant’s car. You heard that right. Logan was not able to race and it wasn’t his fault. This ROCKED the F1 world. I, for one, was speechless. As an F1 fan, I never thought I would witness something like this. 

“Hardest moment I can remember of my career”

Logan Sargeant

Basically, Williams did this because they believed Alex would place higher than Logan would, therefore getting more points for the team towards a World Championship. Spoiler Alert: Alex Albon did not get points this race. 

That was definitely the most exciting thing to happen before the actual race. So now, let’s get into it. 

For some background, the Australian Grand Prix is held at Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne, Australia. It is the home race for McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Visa Cash App RB’s Daniel Ricciardo. There are 71 laps a driver must complete, with 16 turns and 2 DRS Detection zones within the track. Drivers have gone on record to say it is not the easiest track to complete. 

Here’s where we get into the fun stuff. I dreadfully sat up on my couch at 12 a.m. ready to see Max Verstappen once again take a huge lead and make it a boring race. He got pole position at qualifying the day before, meaning that he would be starting at the first place of the race. Even though I assumed the outcome would be the same as usual, I decided to watch the whole thing. I especially wanted to watch it since it was Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz’s return after 2 weeks since getting his appendix taken out. I simply could not believe he was already back on the grid. 

The race started with Max at first and Carlos up there too. Behind them was Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, McLaren’s Lando Norris, and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. I was interested to see how everyone behind Max would place. 

Then we were “lights out and away we go” as they say in F1. Shockingly, Max was first. I was about ready to say “You know what, I’m just going to go to sleep.” But, suddenly on lap 3… Carlos overtook Max. I jolted up, jaw dropped, ready to see what was going to happen next. Then, the most unbelievable thing happened. Max’s car started to smoke. So, Max Verstappen was out of the race after 3 laps. I. Was. Jaw. Dropped. I could not believe my eyes. Now, we had a race. 

Carlos, 2 weeks post-op, was in the lead. I felt proud as if he were my child. I could not believe this man, sans appendix, was leading the grid at this race. Close behind him was Lando Norris. The time between the cars was cutting down and down and I thought Lando had a chance at overtaking him. But, Carlos continued to dominate and keep his lead. 

On Lap 17, we saw our second malfunction. This was coming from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton’s car. He quickly went into the pit lane and was out of the race. And that was it. Two of the grid’s best drivers were out of the race. 

Carlos kept his lead and his teammate, Charles Leclerc caught up to him and was in 2nd. Lando jumped down to 3rd but kept his speed up. Down to the last lap, it seemed like all the excitement was done. That was until Mercedes’ George Russell crashed going into Turn 6 on the 71st lap and was out of the race. The crash was terrifying as George was frantically calling for a red flag in the middle of the track. Thankfully, he was okay and got out of the car safely. 

Finally, Carlos passed the finish line straight to victory with his teammate right behind him and Lando in 3rd for a 1-2 Ferrari and McLaren podium. A dream podium for myself if I say so. 

All in all, it was a very eventful weekend and race. I am excited for the next Grand Prix to see how Carlos does post-podium and how Max responds to being taken out of the race pretty early. It’ll be hard to top the excitement of Australia. 

Franki is a sophomore at UCF majoring in Journalism with a minor in Sports Business Management! When not writing, she can be seen listening to Gracie Abrams, Taylor Swift, or Harry Styles, watching a hockey game, reading a Jane Austen novel, or spending time at a Disney Park!