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Albert Park, Australia, Sunday 2nd April 2023: Round 3 of the season, Australian Grand Prix took place at Albert Park. Max Verstappen of Oracle Red Bull Racing, supported by Honda as a Team Partner, won the race, with Sergio Perez finishing fifth place.
The race was turned on its head with a red flag on lap nine with Dutchman Verstappen for the lead on lap 12 as Mexican Pérez moved into the points on lap 23, Verstappen building up a big lead before a red flag with just a few laps left led to chaos.
Multiple cars went off at the ensuing restart leading to a final safety car finish where Verstappen took the chequered flag, while Pérez banked points and the fastest lap to lie 15 points behind in the title race.
Scuderia AlphaTauri driver, Yuki Tsunoda finished 10th, Nyck De Vries was unable to complete the race and finished 15th
Oracle Red Bull Racing
MAX VERSTAPPEN - 1st
"My start today wasn't amazing and then on lap 1 I was very careful as there was a lot on the line, I had a lot to lose and a lot to win. But after that restart, we had good pace and a decent gap for the majority of the race. Perhaps we didn't need all of those red flags today, it was frustrating, but everyone was safe and we won which is the most important thing. It's my first win in Australia which feels really good, it's also been a while for the Team so it means a lot to us all, especially as Checo also had a good recovery drive today. It's been a chaotic day but it's great to see that the fans had a great time despite the long wait!"
SERGIO PEREZ - 5th
"Generally, it was a good result today. Yesterday, I obviously lost a bit of confidence with the car, but we made a lot of changes overnight so that helped heading into the race. I had a really good restart the first time, I jumped three or four places but then it was a bit of a mess with the DRS train. I was frustrated later in the race because I couldn't advance any further, but it was so difficult to get through the field with tyre deg low and everyone going on to the hard tyres quickly. Maybe if I'd been a bit more aggressive earlier on, I could've finished higher, but I'm happy we finished P5 and even managed to secure the fastest lap. Overall, this race gives us confidence heading to Baku in a few weeks and we look forward to the challenge that it brings."
CHRISTIAN HORNER - CEO and Team Principal
"It was a complicated race made up of three parts. The first start didn't go our way but in the restart Max was able to hold position, battle Lewis for the lead and really control the race from there. While the marshals are always acting in the interest of safety, and driver safety is paramount, the restart at the end of the race was a little frustrating. Thankfully, it didn't cost us anything, we had great pace with the car and Max was on great form. For Max to claim the victory was testament to his driving, but equally, credit must go to the Team both here and at home, all of whom worked together to deliver a great race. Checo also drove phenomenally well, bringing home the fastest lap and securing P5 in the end. It was a great recovery, from the back of the grid, in the pits, on a track where it is very difficult to overtake. All in all we are very happy with our performance and thrilled to bring home a win on our 350th race at a track we haven't won at in 10 years."
YUKI TSUNODA - 10th
"I have mixed feelings about today. We scored our first point of the season which is good, but to be honest, given our pace I didn't expect to score any today. Considering how much we were struggling before the red flag, with warming up and getting the hard compound tyres in the optimum window, we should take this result and be happy with P10 as we maximised our performance. It's a shame we lost P5 because, going into Turn 1, I managed to overtake several cars. On the positive side we scored a point, so we will continue to work hard to score more in the coming races."
NYCK DE VRIES - DNF
"Sadly, the racing incident with Logan meant the end of the race for us. We were struggling very much out there today but we did well at the beginning on the hard compound. Unfortunately, when the red flag came out, everyone who started on the mediums got a free pitstop to switch to the hard. I also damaged the front wing during the race, so I ended up with understeer and graining on the tyres. The midfield is still very tight, so we will continue to work and push, to be able to move up the ladder."
JODY EGGINTON - Technical Director
"It was a very difficult race for us. Both drivers pushed hard to extract all they could from the package, but we couldn't manage to get the cars moving forward as required. The pace of the car was not there on all compounds, and we struggled for straight-line speed, as such, we weren't able to attack nor hold position in some phases of the race. We leave Melbourne with a lot of data to go through and a lot of work ahead of us in order to be best prepared for Baku."
For more information, please visit https://honda.racing/f1/post/f1-2023-rd03-race