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RACE START: Russell and Hamilton pass Verstappen at the start of the 2023 Australian Grand Prix as Leclerc spins out

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The start of the 2023 Australian Grand Prix was full of drama as pole-sitter Max Verstappen lost out to the Mercedes pair before Charles Leclerc was tapped into a spin at Turn 3, ending his race early.

The Safety Car was deployed on Lap 1 at Albert Park when Ferrari driver Leclerc turned in and caught the left-front wheel of Lance Stroll's Aston Martin, which sent the 2022 Australian GP winner into a spin and ended his race almost instantly.

LIVE COVERAGE: Follow all the action from the 2023 Australian Grand Prix

That was after poleman Verstappen was pincered by the Mercedes, losing out to George Russell into Turn 1, where a snap of oversteer saw him compromised and led to Lewis Hamilton passing the championship leader into Turn 3.

A number of drivers then took the chance to pit during that Safety Car before the 2023 Australian Grand Prix got back under way...

Watch the start in the video player above.

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