Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly clash as multiple cars retire in chaotic Aus GP finish

Sam Cooper
The cars move off the starting grid. Melbourne, Australia. April 2023.

The cars move off the starting grid. Melbourne, Australia. April 2023.

Chaos erupted in the final stages of the Australian Grand Prix as multiple drivers crashed out within a few corners of the restart.

The dramatic race in Melbourne had some final action in store when a Kevin Magnussen crash caused the second red flag of the day to be waved, setting up a final two-lap shootout.

But while the focus was on a potential battle for victory between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, the drama was further back with a total of five drivers involved in crashes.

The first of those was Fernando Alonso who was tagged by his compatriot Carlos Sainz but the Aston Martin driver was able to make it back to the pits.

The Alpine drivers were not so lucky though with Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon crashing into one another, sending them both out.

Logan Sargeant ended both his and Nyck de Vries’ race as the American locked up and crashed into the back of the AlphaTauri.

After the dramatic scenes, the drivers and teams awaited in the pits to discover what the FIA ruling would be with some confusion as to what order the cars will lined up should the race restart.

Eventually, the FIA decided the order would return to what it was at the restart, minus the cars that had crashed out, as the pack had not completed a sector of racing before the red flag was thrown.

This meant it was good news for Alonso, who kept his third consecutive podium place, and also hometown hero Oscar Piastri who finished in the points for the first time in his F1 career.

More to come