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FACTS AND STATS: Ricciardo's first ever Q1 exit in Melbourne spoils the Australian's homecoming

Virtual Statman

Sean Kelly
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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: 18th placed qualifier Daniel Ricciardo of Australia and Visa Cash

Max Verstappen grabbed his third straight pole position in 2024 with an incredibly quick lap of the Albert Park Circuit, but the day so nearly went Ferrari’s way.

Carlos Sainz bounced back from his surgery in impressive fashion to take second on the grid, after topping both Q1 and Q2. Close but no cigar for the Spaniard, who was the pick of the Ferrari duo.

Here are some of the best facts and stats from qualifying in Melbourne…

  • Verstappen’s 1:15.915 in Q3 is the first 250km/h average lap in Albert Park history as he grabs his fourth consecutive pole

  • The Dutchman is on pole by 0.270s, with the next 0.250s covering four cars. He is unbeaten in his last 18 starts from pole – a record streak

READ MORE: Verstappen surges to pole position for the Australian Grand Prix ahead of Sainz and Perez

  • Sainz starts second, with Verstappen sharing the front row with a Ferrari for the sixth straight race

  • The Spaniard has never started in the top four at Albert Park

  • The driver in second place led the opening lap last year in the form of George Russell

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and

Verstappen shares the front row with a Ferrari yet again

  • Sergio Perez grabbed third, having only started in the top eight once before in Melbourne when he was third in 2022

  • The Mexican has consecutive top three starts for the first time since Azerbaijan and Miami, nearly one year ago

  • Lando Norris was fourth for McLaren’s best start of the year

  • Charles Leclerc’s P5 ends a seven-race streak of front row starts, the longest of his career

READ MORE: McLaren’s Zak Brown signs new long-term contract as CEO through to 2030

  • Oscar Piastri starts sixth, ten places higher than last year at his home race

  • Russell starts seventh, the same place he started in Jeddah as there is no Mercedes in the top six here for the first time since 2011

  • Yuki Tsunoda wound up eighth, after making it into his first ever top 10 shootout in Australia as he achieved back to back Q3 appearances – something he didn’t manage in 2023

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 23: Lando Norris of Great Britain driving the (4) McLaren MCL38

Norris grabbed McLaren's best qualifying of the year

  • Lance Stroll was ninth, to out-qualify Fernando Alonso for only the fourth time since the start of 2023

  • Alonso’s P10 is his lowest start since Mexico City, six races ago

  • Lewis Hamilton was out in Q2 in Australia for the first time since 2010, as he was out-qualified by Russell for the fifth consecutive race

  • Valtteri Bottas’ P13 is the best starting position of the year for Kick Sauber, as he made Q2 for the first time in 2024

READ MORE: Vowles insists he still ‘believes’ in Sargeant as he reveals American’s reaction after handing car to Albon

  • Nico Hulkenberg qualified 16th, having reached Q3 in Bahrain and Q2 in Jeddah

  • Pierre Gasly’s P17 is his best qualifying of the year

  • Daniel Ricciardo was 18th after his lap time was deleted, having never previously bene knocked out in Q1 in Australia

  • Zhou Guanyu was the slowest qualifier for the second straight race

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