In terms of performance, swiftness and class, there has been little to differentiate between Leclerc and Verstappen, though with Leclerc winning the Australian GP after Verstappen having compelled to retire due to a glitch on his car, the Red Bull title defender’s gap in contrast to the Monacan became vast when it comes to championship title. With one-eighth of the season already being completed, three out of twenty-three races, the dazzling dutchman holds a 46-points lead over Verstappen, the maverick Monacan. More importantly, Verstappen and Hamilton never had witnessed a gap of such scale on last season, suggesting a clear edge for Leclerc to seize the title. Unfortunately, Red Bull’s Verstappen had to retire twice this year from second place, suggesting that Verstappen had lost at least 36 points to Leclerc due to Red Bull engineers’ performance.
Standings after Australian GP: Verstappen on back foot
Meanwhile, expressing sheer grief, Verstappen said following the retirement on Sunday, “We are already miles behind.
I don't even want to think about the championship fight at the moment; it is more important to finish races. Of course, today was in general a bad day again. Not really having the pace, I was just managing my tires to bring it to the end.
It looked like an easy P2 anyway and I knew I could not fight Charles, so there was no point in trying to put pressure on him. We didn't even finish the race, so it is pretty frustrating and unacceptable”. Here is the standing after Australian GP (Courtesy: F1 Official Website) Driver’s championship standings after Australian GP: 1.
Charles Leclerc Ferrari 71, 2. George Russell (Mercedes) 37, 3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 33, 4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 30, 5. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 28, 6.
Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 25, 7. Esteban Ocon Alpine 20, 8. Lando Norris McLaren 16, 9. Kevin Magnussen Haas 12, 10. Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 12, 11.
Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren 8, 12. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) 6, 13. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri) 4, 14. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) 2, 15. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) 1, 16.
Alex Albon (Williams) 1, Australian GP Results: 1. Charles Leclerc Ferrari 26, 2. Sergio Perez Red Bull 18, 3. George Russell Mercedes 15, 4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 12, 5.
Lando Norris McLaren 10, 6. Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 8, 7. Esteban Ocon Alpine 6, 8. Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 4, 9. Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri 2, 10.
Alex Albon Williams 1, 11. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo), 12. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), 13. Mick Schumacher (Haas), 14. Kevin Magnussen (Haas), 15.
Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri), 16. Nicholas Latifi (Williams), 17. Fernando Alonso (Alpine), DNF Max Verstappen (Red Bull), DNF Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), DNF Carlos Sainz (Ferrari),