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The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Nothing Can Slow Down F1 Driver Carlos Sainz

AP Photo / Brendon Ratnayake

Carlos Sainz of Ferrari ended Red Bull’s series of victories in Formula 1 (F1) by securing first place at the Australian Grand Prix. This marked a remarkable comeback to the track for Sainz, who, just two weeks prior, underwent surgery for appendicitis, sidelining him from the previous F1 race in Saudi Arabia.

Sainz took an early lead, overcoming Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the second lap. Verstappen, who had been on a dominant streak of winning nine consecutive races, was the favorite for the event. However, he faced disaster when he suffered mechanical failure in his rear right brake. This caused temperatures within the car to rise and eventually catch fire. Verstappen pulled over to the side of the track and was unable to finish the race. 

An incredibly dangerous situation unfolded in the final lap when Mercedes driver George Russell suffered a high-speed crash that left him and his flipped car vulnerable in the center of the track. Russell could be heard frantically calling for a red flag on his team radio. Luckily, the medical car escorted him to safety, leaving him uninjured. The incident involved Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin, who was penalized for his part in the mishap, resulting in a downgrade from sixth to eighth place and costing him three points in the drivers championship.

Despite the drama surrounding him, Carlos Sainz remained steadfast in first place, finishing the race about 2.3 seconds ahead of the second-place driver, Charles Leclerc, also racing under Ferrari. This marks an impressive 1-2 finish for Ferrari. Leclerc spoke to RN365 about the race’s results.

“It’s extremely important,” Leclerc said. “It’s been a long time since we have had the genuine pace to have Red Bull […] I wouldn’t say under control, because we don’t know what was the real pace of Max [Verstappen].” 

After a tumultuous end to last year’s season, this finish indicates good things to come for Scuderia Ferrari and proves Sainz’s pedigree as one of the premier drivers on the grid.

Despite his impressive performance, Sainz is yet to receive a seat from an F1 team for next year, as his contract with Ferrari is set to expire. Another driver, Lewis Hamilton, is set to occupy his seat. Coincidentally, Hamilton also suffered a mechanical failure during the race and was forced to retire early, adding to a troublesome start to his season. 

Following his recent successes, there have been growing rumors that Sainz is set to join Verstappen at Red Bull in 2025. Other potential candidates who would take the second seat at Red Bull next year have had underwhelming recent performances, and Sainz’s victory is a massive boost for his chances. 

The Spaniard’s dominance in Melbourne is only more impressive when considering his appendectomy operation, which took place just two weeks before the race. ESPN reported that Sainz underwent an extensive recovery regimen following surgery, which included several daily hyperbaric chamber sessions, an Indiba machine to heal the wounds and centering every aspect of his day on preparing for the race. Despite extreme abdominal pain, he managed to board his plane to Australia nine days before the race to begin practicing for the event. 

This victory not only marked Sainz’s triumphant return but also intensified the championship battle, drawing the points gap among the leaders closer. Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio Pérez, finished fifth, while Yuki Tsunoda of Red Bull’s junior team secured eighth place, continuing his impressive performance.

Formula One enthusiasts have every reason to be excited for the Japanese Grand Prix on April 7, with Verstappen still positioned as the overwhelming favorite.

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