Alpine drop post of the year contender after ‘double overtake on Verstappen’

Jamie Woodhouse
Max Verstappen's Red Bull smoking behind Ferrari's Carlos Sainz in Australia.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, behind Carlos Sainz, Ferrari.

It may be time to close the entries already for social media post of the year thanks to Alpine’s reaction to a tough day at the office for Max Verstappen at the Australian Grand Prix.

Initially, it seemed like it would be business as usual in Formula 1’s ground effect era for Verstappen. He claimed pole position at Albert Park, got off the line well to keep the lead and that is usually followed by him disappearing up the road. However, that was not the case this time around.

Alpine loving their Max Verstappen ‘double overtake’

Sainz kept the pressure on Verstappen and after a slide for the Red Bull driver through Turn 7 on the second lap, Sainz took his opportunity to sweep through into the lead by Turn 9. It soon became clear that Verstappen was nursing a major issue though, as smoke began to emerge from his right rear brake, causing him to soon slow.

That saw the remaining 17 drivers come flying past the three-time World Champion, including the Alpines. The French outfit has had little to shout about so far in F1 2024, but this disappointment turned into an epic post. “DOUBLE OVERTAKE ON VERSTAPPEN,” the team posted on their X account.

So, Alpine may have won the internet, but sadly they were a long way off winning the race in Australia, Pierre Gasly crossing the line P13 and Esteban Ocon P16 as their search for a first point of the season goes on.

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Verstappen meanwhile was looking to keep his demeanour upbeat when he spoke to media in Melbourne, saying that the challenge to put things right next time out in Japan “excites” him in a way after a very rare setback.

His retirement from the 2024 Australian GP came two years after his last DNF at this same event.

“It excites me, in a way, because I would like to win,” said Verstappen on his mission to return to winning ways in Japan.

“Of course, we had a lot of good races in a row, a lot of good reliability and I knew that the day would come that you end up having a retirement and, unfortunately, that day was today.

“We just had already a very good run of two years, right? I mean, that’s already quite impressive. But of course, you never like to see it happen. But it’s more important now that we understand why it happened.”

Verstappen remains top of the Drivers’ Championship, though Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc has reduced Verstappen’s lead to four points, having claimed P2 in Australia while team-mate Sainz took the win.

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