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Charles Leclerc wins the Australian Grand Prix, widens F1 lead

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By Newsvot News - - 5 Mins Read

For the first time since 2019, Formula One returns to Melbourne for round three of the championship, attracting a record crowd.

The Albert Park track has undergone a $20 million renovation in order to promote exciting racing clashes.

Overtaking opportunities abound on the new-look track

Since the last Grand Prix, the Albert Park circuit has been rebuilt, with a focus on creating a track that encourages overtaking.

For the first time since 2019, Formula One returns to Melbourne for round three of the championship. The Albert Park track has undergone a $20 million renovation in order to promote exciting racing clashes. The Clark chicane, which used to be between turns nine and ten, has been removed from the circuit.

Before proceeding around the back of the race, drivers would accelerate into the sweeping turn 8 and stop hard for the chicane. Drivers will be able to put their foot to the floor along the lake before navigating the fast left-right chicane (now turns nine and 10) and then into the back straight as a result of the chicane's elimination.

In addition, five curves have been enlarged, allowing for more overtaking. Turn six, which is now 7.5 meters wider than it was three years ago, is the most significant of these.

"I think they'll make a major difference," said world champion Max Verstappen, "particularly in turn six, where the most substantial alteration has occurred."

"There should be more opportunities for overtaking now as well, which is always a good thing."

For the first time since the grand prix was staged in Melbourne in 1996, the circuit has been resurfaced.

The Australian Grand Prix sets a new DRS zone record.

The racecourse will have four DRS zones for the first time in F1 history.

The drag reduction system (DRS) allows a motorist to open their rear wing to accelerate. DRS can only be used if the car in front of you is within a second of you and you are in a defined zone.

Each of the first two races of the season used three DRS zones, but the Australian Grand Prix will include four.

Following the smart use of DRS zones by Verstappen and Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc in the first two races of the season, four zones should produce tactical racing on Sunday.

Since the first race in 1996, the Albert Park circuit has remained virtually unchanged. The circuit, however, had become unfit for purpose due to changes to the cars. In 1996, F1 cars were much smaller, therefore there was still plenty of room for passing on the right track.

However, as cars grew in size, the number of passing possibilities shrank. Because of the complexities of an F1 car's aerodynamics, which create turbulent air for behind cars, drivers were unable to approach close enough to a rival to try an overtake.

The bigger corners and removal of the Clark chicane are intended to address these issues and provide more spectacle for fans.

"I believe modifying some of these apexes, providing a little bit more of a broader apex, allowing more room to make a diving overtake or even just changing your line to get out of the foul air, I think that would help," Daniel Ricciardo said in an Australian Grand Prix Corporation interview.

Charles Leclerc triumphs over Max Verstappen, who is unable to complete the race.

With his victory in the Australian Grand Prix, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc has already won two out of three races and grabbed an early lead in the title.

Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth and sixth for McLaren, respectively, in their best race of the year. After a rough start in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, this is Ricciardo's first point of the season. Ricciardo expressed his satisfaction with sixth place and the team's growth.

He told Sky Sports F1, "I'm satisfied enough. It's by far the finest result of the season."

With his second retirement in the first three races of the season, Max Verstappen's world title defense has taken another punch. Verstappen informed Sky Sports F1 in the United Kingdom that he is no longer considering defending his title.

"We're already miles behind, so I'm not even thinking about the championship race right now; I think finishing races is more important," he stated.