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FACTS AND STATS: Three champs on top in first-ever race to feature three red flags

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Sean Kelly
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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull

It was drama all the way at Melbourne’s Albert Park on Sunday, as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen held his nerve to secure his first win on Australian soil, bringing him level with Ayrton Senna’s podium total in the process. But there were plenty of other fascinating figures to arise from Down Under…

  • Today’s Grand Prix was the first F1 race in history to feature three red flags.

  • The last time a race finished under the Safety Car was at Monza in Italy in 2022.

  • Verstappen had never previously won in Melbourne.

RACE REPORT: Verstappen takes first-ever Australian GP win amid huge drama in Melbourne

  • Red Bull's only previous Melbourne victory was in 2011 with Sebastian Vettel.

  • It’s the first time Red Bull have won the first three races of an F1 season.

  • Verstappen’s 80th career podium finish ties him with Ayrton Senna's total.

  • Verstappen and Hamilton have now finished one-two (in either order) 34 times, more than any other driver pairing in history.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Lance Stroll of Canada driving the (18) Aston Martin AMR23

Lance Stroll helped ensure an excellent day for the Aston Martin team

  • Hamilton – second today – had not completed a lap in the top four in the opening two races of the year.

  • Hamilton made his first Mercedes start in Melbourne 10 years ago.

  • Fernando Alonso took a third consecutive podium finish for the first time since 2013.

  • The last time three world champions finished on the podium together was Hungary 2018 (Hamilton/Vettel/Raikkonen).

  • Today’s podium trio of Verstappen, Hamilton and Alonso boast 11 world titles between them.

DRIVER OF THE DAY: Perez gets your vote after pit lane-to-P5 charge in Melbourne

  • With Lance Stroll following team mate Alonso home, there were two Aston Martins in the top-four for the first time in the history of the marque.

  • With Lando Norris in P6 and team mate Oscar Piastri P8, McLaren scored points for the first time in 2023.

  • Those were the first points of Piastri’s F1 career and he scored them on home soil.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Yuki Tsunoda of Japan and Scuderia AlphaTauri waves to the crowd on the drivers parade prior to the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit on April 02, 2023 Australia. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Yuki Tsunoda finally got his name on the 2023 scoreboard

  • Nico Hulkenberg’s seventh place for Haas was the team’s best result since Austria last year.

  • Hulkenberg has now finished seventh in five of his last six starts in Australia.

  • At Alfa Romeo, Zhou Guanyu in P9 scored his first points since Monza last year, the most recent race to finish behind the Safety Car prior to today.

  • In P10 for AlphaTauri, Yuki Tsunoda finally scored after finishing one place outside the points at the previous three races.

  • Carlos Sainz crossed the line fourth, but ended up in P12 after a five-second penalty for his collision with Alonso dropped him down the order.

  • Team mate Charles Leclerc went out on Lap 1 for the fifth time in his F1 career.

READ MORE: 'It's the worst start to the season ever' says Ferrari's Leclerc as he laments Lap 1 DNF in Australia

  • George Russell’s DNF was his first mechanical retirement as a Mercedes driver, and only his second retirement for the team for any reason.

  • Williams’ Alex Albon ran in sixth place before his early accident. He only completed one lap in the top six in the entire 2022 season.

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