Carlos Sainz takes victory at Australia GP to end Max Verstappen winning streak

Carlos Sainz claimed victory in Australia just two weeks after having his appendix removed (Photo: Getty)

Carlos Sainz claimed a remarkable victory at the Australian Grand Prix as Max Verstappen retired from the race with brake failure.

Just two weeks after undergoing surgery from appendicitis, Sainz lined up on the front row of the grid alongside pole sitter Verstappen with the reigning champion looking equal his own record of 10 wins in a row.

But the Dutchman’s dream went up in smoke – literally – just a few laps in after the right-rear brake on his Red Bull jammed and caught fire, forcing him to retire from a race for the first time since Australia 2022.

From there, it was smooth sailing for the Spaniard who went onto win the third race of his Formula 1 career, leading home a Ferrari 1-2 with Charles Leclerc second and McLaren’s Lando Norris third.

Both Mercedes failed to finish, with Sir Lewis Hamilton suffering a sudden power unit failure early on, while George Russell spectacularly crashed out on the final lap while chasing Fernando Alonso for sixth.

Going into the weekend, Sainz admitted he wasn’t ‘100 per cent’ with Oliver Bearman on standby to replace him again if need be, but after the chequered flag the 29-year-old was completely elated.

‘It was a really good race. I felt really good out there,’ he said.

F1 Grand Prix of Australia

Sainz led home a Ferrari 1-2 (Photo: Getty)

‘Of course a bit stiff and especially physically it wasn’t the easiest but I was lucky I was more or less on my own and I could manage my pace, my tyres, manage everything, and it wasn’t the toughest race of all.

‘But very happy, very proud of the team, and happy to be in a one-two with Charles here. It shows that hard work pays off and life sometimes is crazy.

‘What happened at the beginning of the year, then the podium in Bahrain, then the appendix, the comeback, the win…it’s a rollercoaster. But I loved it and I’m extremely happy.

‘I will recommend all the drivers to take it [appendix] out this winter!’

Coincidently, it was Sainz who ended Verstappen’s record win streak last season, with his victory in Singapore the only non-Red Bull win of 2023.

And this was an important win for the driver who is looking to impress as he’s out of a seat for 2025 after Ferrari signed Hamilton.

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