Charles Leclerc bookended a dominant week in Australia by easily winning the Australian Grand Prix ahead of Sergio Perez to increase his championship lead to 40 points after three races.

Max Verstappen failed to cross the chequered flag for the second time in three races to fall further behind the Monegasque after sitting in P2 for most of the race.

Driver of The Day Leclerc kept his rival Verstappen at bay through two Safety Cars –the first when team mate Carlos Sainz spun out from P14 on Lap 2, and the second on Lap 23 after Sebastian Vettel’s crash.

The threat dissolved on Lap 39 when Verstappen stopped with his engine on fire, allowing the Ferrari driver to cruise to victory over Perez with fastest lap to boot.

Russell took P3 having pitted during the caution for Vettel’s crash ahead of Lewis Hamilton who lost out on another podium by two seconds.

McLaren were a distant P5 and P6 with Lando Norris a few tenths ahead of home hero Daniel Ricciardo in a solid showing for the team in orange.

Esteban Ocon was eight seconds back in P7.

A penultimate corner lock-up on Lap 54 saw AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly drop from P8 to P9, while Valtteri Bottas gained an extra place to take P8 having started 12th.

Alex Albon scored Williams’ first points of the season, stopping late before claiming P10 to round up the Top 10 of the day.

Ferrari’s lead continues to grow after the Australian Grand Prix in both the Constructor’s Title and the Driver Championships. With Leclerc firmly in control of one, Ferrari may need more from Carlos Sainz to secure both titles as other teams continue to look for answers.

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