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Red flag chaos creates confusion and drama in Australian Grand Prix



Red flag chaos creates confusion and drama in Australian Grand Prix

The Australian Grand Prix saw a dramatic finish as Max Verstappen secured his third victory of the 2023 Formula 1 season for Red Bull. However, the win came in unusual circumstances with a third red flag during the race, multiple collisions, and confusion regarding the restart order.

Max Verstappen secured his third victory of the 2023 Formula 1 season for Red Bull, but it came about in unusual circumstances due to a confusing finale caused by a third red flag during the Australian Grand Prix. Earlier in the race, Alex Albon’s Williams crashed heavily, resulting in an early stoppage. After the race resumed, Verstappen was able to overcome Mercedes’ initial 1-2 formation and dominate the remainder of the event with relative ease.

As the race approached its conclusion, the red flag was triggered for the second time after Kevin Magnussen’s Haas collided and crashed on the exit of Turn 2.

However, several drivers were taken aback by the decision to halt the race due to the amount of debris on the track. Following the restart, the grid was arranged for a two-lap sprint to the finish line, but it quickly turned into a chaotic and destructive scene. Carlos Sainz collided with Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin, which was occupying the third position, causing it to spin and block the path of the oncoming cars.

As a result of the collision between Sainz and Alonso, chaos ensued on the track. At the exit of Turn 2, Esteban Ocon’s Alpine and Pierre Gasly’s car collided, causing them to hit the wall. Lance Stroll managed to avoid the accident but ended up in the gravel at Turn 3, while Sergio Perez had a close call as he slid over the gravel. Meanwhile, at the back of the grid, Logan Sargeant and Nyck de Vries had their own separate collision.

The race was suspended once again following the multiple collisions, which created uncertainty regarding whether the race would be declared over or if another restart would be attempted. There was also uncertainty about which order would be used for the restart, whether it would be the order prior to the crashes or after.

After deliberations, the FIA decided to reset the order to what it had been before the chaotic restart, minus the cars that were now out due to the collisions. The drivers would then follow a single lap behind the safety car before a rolling restart that was relatively unnecessary, as the chequered flag would be displayed soon after.


Prior to the chaotic end, the race had showcased the dominant performance of Max Verstappen and the Red Bull team, further demonstrating their superiority in the 2023 Formula 1 season.

At the start of the race, Mercedes secured the top two spots, with George Russell taking the lead and Lewis Hamilton overtaking Max Verstappen into Turn 3. Hamilton was concerned that his car might have sustained damage during the maneuver, while Verstappen complained that Hamilton had forced him off the track.

The leading trio of Russell, Hamilton, and Verstappen were closely grouped together until Alex Albon lost control of his car while approaching Turn 7. During the safety car period that followed, Russell pitted for fresh tyres. However, his strategy backfired when a red flag was subsequently issued due to the amount of gravel on the track. This allowed all other drivers to make a free tyre change while the race was suspended.

After the race resumed, Russell restarted from seventh position and quickly climbed back up to fourth place, indicating a promising day ahead. However, his race was cut short due to a fiery failure. Meanwhile, Hamilton initially held off Verstappen but the Red Bull driver soon overtook him in the DRS zone, taking the lead and building a substantial advantage. Verstappen’s lead was so significant that he was able to afford a 4-second loss towards the end of the race, caused by a trip over the grass at the penultimate corner.

Fernando Alonso kept the pressure on Hamilton for the second position until the strange ending of the race. The decision to reset the order worked in favor of the Aston Martin team as their cars had fallen out of the points due to the chaos on the track. However, with the restart, they managed to secure third and fourth places, with Lance Stroll gaining from Carlos Sainz being given a 5-second time penalty for colliding with Alonso. As a result of the penalty, Sainz, who had been fourth on the road, dropped to the 12th and last position due to the tight bunching behind the safety car.

Before the penalty, Carlos Sainz had made an impressive charge from 11th place, having pitted at the same time as Russell. He had joined the battle for the podium, and Pierre Gasly’s promising performance for Alpine had kept him in the mix, even after Sainz had made a brilliant move to overtake him. However, the multiple collisions towards the end of the race wiped out both Alpine cars, depriving them of a potential double points finish.

Ferrari was also unable to score any points, as Charles Leclerc had collided with Stroll during the original race start and was forced to retire, leaving the team with zero points for the event.


Sergio Perez managed to secure fifth place, despite starting from the pit lane. McLaren had a promising day, finishing with a double points finish as Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri secured the seventh and ninth positions respectively, with Nico Hulkenberg’s Haas sandwiched between them in eighth.

Zhou Guanyu and Yuki Tsunoda completed the list of point scorers for the race, although the decision to reset the restart order was a setback for Nico Hulkenberg and Yuki Tsunoda, who had emerged from the crashes in fourth and fifth positions respectively. Hulkenberg’s eventful day came to a close after he broke down following the chequered flag, adding to the surreal nature of the afternoon.

Race results for the 2023 Australian Grand Prix in Formula 1.

1Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull58 Laps
2Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes+0.179s
3Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin+0.769s
4Lance StrollCANAston Martin+3.082s
5Sergio PerezMEXRed Bull+3.220s
6Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren+3.701s
7Nico HulkenbergGERHaas+4.939s
8Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren+5.382s
9Zhou GuanyuCHNAlfa Romeo+5.713s
10Yuki TsunodaJPNAlphaTauri+6.052s
11Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo+6.513s
12Carlos SainzESPFerrari+6.584s
13Pierre GaslyFRAAlpine+2 Laps
14Esteban OconFRAAlpine+2 Laps
15Nyck de VriesNEDAlphaTauri+2 Laps
16Logan SargeantUSAWilliams+2 Laps
17Kevin MagnussenDENHaasDNF
18George RussellGBRMercedesDNF
19Alex AlbonTHAWilliamsDNF
20Charles LeclercMONFerrariDNF

2023 F1 World Drivers’ Championship

1Max VerstappenNEDRed BulL269
2Sergio PerezMEXRed BulL154
3Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin045
4Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes038
5Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari020
6Lance StrollCANAston Martin020
7George RussellGBRMercedes018
8Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren 08
9Charles LeclercMONFerrari06
10Nico HulkenbergGERHaas F1 Team06
11Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo04
12Pierre GaslyFRAAlpine04
13Esteban OconFRAAlpine04
14Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren04
15Zhou GuanyuCHNAlfa Romeo02
16Alex AlbonTHAWilliams01
17Kevin MagnussenDENHaas01
18Yuki TsunodaJPNAlphaTauri01
19Logan SargeantUSAWilliams00
20Nyck de VriesNEDAlphaTauri00

2023 F1 World Constructors’ Championship

1Oracle Red Bull3120
2Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant065
3Mercedes-AMG 056
4Scuderia Ferrari026
5McLaren F1 012
6BWT Alpine F1 08
7MoneyGram Haas F1 07
8Alfa Romeo F106

Red flag chaos creates confusion and drama in Australian Grand Prix F1 2023 Red flag chaos creates confusion and drama in Australian Grand Prix F1 2023 Red flag chaos creates confusion and drama in Australian Grand Prix F1 2023 Red flag chaos creates confusion and drama in Australian Grand Prix F1 2023