Formula 1 Australia: Leclerc in front, Vettel is watching

Formula 1 table leader Charles Leclerc underlines his strong form with the best time in training before the Australian Grand Prix. In Friday practice, the Ferrari driver set the fastest lap of 1:18.978 minutes. World champion Max Verstappen finished second in the Red Bull, 0.245 seconds behind, ahead of the second Ferrari with Carlos Sainz.

As in Saudi Arabia, Ferrari made the time with more downforce in the corners, while Red Bull has an advantage at top speed.

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Mercedes can currently only watch the duel between the Scuderia and the energy drink team from afar. Record world champion Lewis Hamilton was only 13th. Teammate George Russell was eleventh. A new rear wing, which was actually announced for Melbourne, is only coming to the car at the next race in Imola. Hamilton confirms: “We don’t have any upgrades here.”

Vettel could only watch the second practice session.

For Sebastian Vettel, the comeback after surviving the corona infection did not go as desired. Already in the first free practice he had to park his Aston Martin-Mercedes with engine problems.

“Of course I would have liked to drive more,” says the German, who had to reach for the fire extinguisher beforehand. “Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get the car ready in time for the second practice session. The engine should be fine but the plan is to change it.”

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However, Vettel is threatened with trouble because he drove a scooter across the track back to the pit lane. That is forbidden – especially with a helmet that the Hessian only wore loosely on his head. The German shrugs his shoulders when asked: “Somebody gave me the scooter and I’m off. I didn’t ride fast, I’m faster on my bike.” Nevertheless, the race commissioners fined him 5,000 euros.

Mick Schumacher also returned to his Haas after his accident in qualifying for the Saudi Arabian GP in Melbourne. But the “white Ferrari” is not running yet. Schumacher was only 18th, eight tenths of a second slower than teammate Kevin Magnussen in 16th. “We have balance problems,” explains team manager Günther Steiner.

Before the third round of the season this Sunday (7:00 a.m. CEST / Sky), Leclerc (45 points) leads ahead of Sainz (33) and Verstappen (25)

2. Free practice result

1. Charles Leclerc (Monaco) – Ferrari 1:18.978 mins
2. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) – Red Bull +0.245s
3. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) – Ferrari +0.398
4. Fernando Alonso (Spain) – Alpine +0.559
5. Sergio Perez (Mexico) – Red Bull +0.680
6. Esteban Ocon (France) – Alpine +0.864
7. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) – Alfa Romeo +1.077
8. Lando Norris (Great Britain) – McLaren +1.122
9. Pierre Gasly (France) – Alpha Tauri +1.164
10. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) – McLaren +1.225
11. George Russell (Great Britain) – Mercedes +1.234
12. Yuki Tsunoda (Japan) – Alpha Tauri +1.446
13. Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) – Mercedes +1.543
14. Lance Stroll (Canada) – Aston Martin +1.633
15. Zhou Guanyu (China) – Alfa Romeo +2.085
16. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) – Haas +2.213
17.Alexander Albon (Thailand)-Williams +2.934
18. Mick Schumacher (Gland/Switzerland) – Haas +2.996
19. Nicholas Latifi (Canada) – Williams +3,329
20. Sebastian Vettel (Heppenheim) – Aston Martin – (1st lap)

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In 2022, Formula 1 will run on Sky. Last year, the broadcaster introduced a new TV channel especially for the premier class: Sky Formula 1. Here there is motorsport 24 hours a day. All practice sessions, all qualifying sessions, all races are always live and without commercial breaks. In addition, Sky also broadcasts the support races Formula 2, Formula 3 and the Porsche Supercup. The program also includes historic races and special programs.

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