MELBOURNE, Australia – Charles Leclerc has completed an impressive weekend at his Ferrari after turning his pole position into a massive victory at the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Leclerc extended his lead in the drivers’ championship as he claimed his second win of the season after winning the season-opening race in Bahrain.
Leclerc was able to keep Red Bull opponent Max Verstappen at bay in the opening and put him in good mid-race to pull away for a decisive 20.524-second victory under safety vehicle conditions.
Sergio Perez overtook a slow start to take second place with George Russell of Mercedes, who finished his first podium of the season, and Lewis Hamilton.
McLaren pair Orlando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo are fifth and sixth respectively.
World champion Verstappen endured another disappointing race when his hopes were dashed by a mechanical failure while running in the second 39 laps of the 58-lap race.
But Worstapen never challenged Lecler, whose Ferrari was apparently the fastest car in race conditions in Melbourne.
The driver’s championship leader, who pitched at Lap 22, confirmed that a final-lap swelled when posting the fastest lap of 1 minute, 20.260 seconds.
“The car was incredible today. Really. What a race. What a day,” Leclerc said.
His teammate Carlos Senz, who finished on the podium in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, had less luck on a test weekend.
Starting him from the ninth due to a problem in the qualifying round, he started slowly and fell further behind on the field and then lost control in the second lap, ending his race.