Formula 1: Third pole in 2024 for Verstappen

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 23: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Albert Park Circuit on March 23, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202403230160 // Usage for editorial use only //

Qualifying for the Australian Grand Prix has concluded this afternoon for the third round of the 2024 Formula 1 World Championship as polesitter Max Verstappen will lead from Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez as they prepare for the second Saturday race of the season. Sergio Perez, however, received a post-qualifying penalty of 3 places which drops his starting position to 6th as stewards noted Perez for impeding on a Q1 flying lap from the Haas of Nico Hulkenberg.  This penalty will now promote Lando Norris, Charles LeClerc, and Oscar Piasti to 3rd, 4th, and 5th places.

HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the best of the action from qualifying in Australia as Verstappen grabs pole

Q1 Results:

Several drivers had their time at the top of the time sheets during the first round of qualifying, but it was Carlos Sainz who ultimately led the way. As the track began to speed up, and lap times fell, Ferrari and Red Bull were clear front runners, although a cheeky lap by the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso put him on top for a moment before Sainz ultimately topped his time with a 1.16:731s lap. Alex Albon had a moment early in the session as he nearly lost his Williams in the final corner, but was able to recover in time to not damage anything. This led to a scramble for the team as the lap time was deleted for exceeding track limits and Albon was forced into another run as the time ran out in the session. With fresh tires he was able to put down the 6th best time and removed himself from elimination.

Daniel Ricciardo though, was not as fortunate as the local hero found himself in 11th as the session expired, only to have his lap deleted due to track limits violations, demoting his RB to 18th on the grid. Nico Hulkenberg, normally a fixture in Q2, found himself affected by Sergio Perez during his flying lap and was relegated to 16th. Perez was later penalized for the action.

Drivers out in Q1:

  • 16th: Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)
  • 17th: Pierre Gasly (Alpine)
  • 18th: Daniel Ricciardo (RB)
  • 19th: Zhou Guanyu (Kick Sauber)
  • 20th: N/A

Q2 Results:

A busy session saw several drivers opting to run fresh sets of soft compound tires as Sainz and Verstappen traded the top spot on the timesheets. Once again though, Sainz managed to keep his Ferrari ahead of Verstappen as qualifying ace LeClerc was in third.

However, the shock of Q2 came in the form of Lewis Hamilton failing to make the cut, putting the 7-time world champion 11th on the grid for Sunday’s race. A flurry of lap times at the end of the session saw the RB of Yuki Tsunoda surge forward to 8th on the grid, demoting Hamilton in the process as his teammate pushed through to Q1

Drivers out in Q2:

  • 11th: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  • 12th: Alex Albon (Williams)
  • 13th: Valtteri Bottas (Kick Sauber)
  • 14th: Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
  • 15th: Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

Q3 Results:

As in Q2, teams opted for mixed tire strategies as Ferrari, Red Bull, and McLaren all challenged for the top places on the grid. Sainz continued to lead the way from Verstappen, but in the final moments the Dutchman laid down a blistering 1.15:915s lap to best Sainz by almost three-tenths of a second for his third pole in 2024. The Spaniard would stay in 2nd place as Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez would finish third. Lando Norris bested Oscar Piastri for 4th and 6th on the grid as the McLaren duo were split by Charles LeClerec – who abandoned his final attempt – as they slot in ahead of George Russell, Yuki Tsunoda, and the Aston pair of Alonso and Stroll.

With qualifying complete, the grid is set for the first street race of 2024. Ctach all the action live at 15:00 circuit time on Sunday, March 24o. Free Practice Reports, Qualifying results, and the full weekend schedule is below.





DateSessionTime (Local Circuit)
Mar. 22ndPractice 112:30 – 13:30
Practice 216:00 – 17:00
Mar. 23rdPractice 312:30 – 13:30
Qualifying16:00 – 17:00
Mar. 24thRace15:00

Qualifying Results:

11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:16.8191:16.3871:15.91521
255Carlos SainzFERRARI1:16.7311:16.1891:16.18518
311Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:16.8051:16.6311:16.27422
44Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:17.4301:16.7501:16.31519
516Charles LeclercFERRARI1:16.9841:16.3041:16.43520
681Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:17.3691:16.6011:16.57218
763George RussellMERCEDES1:17.0621:16.9011:16.72423
822Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT1:17.3561:16.7911:16.78818
918Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:17.3761:16.7801:17.07223
1014Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:16.9911:16.7101:17.55221
1144Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:17.4991:16.96015
1223Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:17.1301:17.16715
1377Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:17.5431:17.34015
1420Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:17.7091:17.42713
1531Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:17.6171:17.69721
1627Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:17.9768
1710Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:17.98211
183Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT1:18.0856
1924Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:18.1889