Formula One preview: A lap of the Australian Grand Prix
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Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will start this year’s Australian Grand Prix on pole position after outqualifying his title rival Max Verstappen by nearly three-tenths of a second during Saturday’s qualifying session. The Monegasque driver will be hoping to make it two wins out of three in the early stages of this season when the racing begins on Sunday.
What time is the Australian Grand Prix?
The Australian Grand Prix will get underway at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit on Sunday.
The race is scheduled to begin at 4pm local time (6am GMT).
F1 has dropped three DRS zones around the circuit to ensure that overtaking levels can match the entertaining start to the new campaign.
How can I watch it?
The race will be shown live on Sky Sports Main Event and F1, with coverage on the latter beginning at 4.30am.
Sky Sports subscribers can also tune in via the Sky Go app.
Alternatively, if you don’t hold a Sky Sports subscription, Channel 4 will be airing full free-to-air race highlights at 3.05pm.
How will the grid line up?
Charles Leclerc will lead from pole position – his second of the season after repeating the trick at the curtain opener in Bahrain.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will start in second position just ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez.
Elsewhere, Mercedes have continued their difficult start to the season with both of their drivers – Lewis Hamilton and George Russell – being out-qualified by McLaren’s Lando Norris, who sits in fourth.
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Leclerc’s teammate, Carlos Sainz Jr, could surprisingly only manage ninth place after being caught out by the red flags that were brought out for Fernando Alonso, in the second crash of qualifying.
Alonso’s car veered off in the final sector of Q3 just as it looked as though he was about to register his fastest lap of the session.
Earlier in qualifying, there was a bizarre coming together as Nicholas Latifi and Lance Stroll crashed heavily in Q1.
Both drivers have come out and blamed each other for the incident which saw them fighting for position while both on slow laps.
Speaking after qualifying, Leclerc revealed that while he was delighted to secure pole position as he had struggled to find consistency all weekend in Melbourne.
He told Sky Sports: “Overall, I’m very happy because it’s a track where I’ve always struggled in the past and I’ve struggled this weekend.
“You probably couldn’t see from outside because we were quite fast, but I was struggling quite a lot with mistakes, being inconsistent and I really worked on that to try to put a good lap together in Q3.
“I knew it was just all about putting it together and I managed to do it in Q3, so I’m very happy.
“It’s more the nature of the corners like Turn one and Turn six where the turning phase is very sharp and fast, and I struggled with my driving style in those corners, struggling to be very precise.”
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