2024 Australian GP Qualifying: Max On Poll As Ferrari Fade

Max Verstappen, the reigning world champion, secured his third consecutive pole position in 2024 during qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix.


By Ben Bush
Updated on March 24, 2024

Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Qualifying 2024 Australian Grand Prix
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, Qualifying On Pole – 2024 Australian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen successfully defended against Carlos Sainz’s strong comeback, preserving his flawless start to the season during qualifying at the 2024 Australian Grand Prix.

However, it was another day of frustration for Lewis Hamilton, who did not advance to Q3 in his Mercedes, resulting in an 11th-place start for Sunday’s race. This marks his lowest starting position at Melbourne in 14 years.

Formula One History Recommends

Verstappen secured his third consecutive pole position of the season, but not without a challenge from Ferrari’s Sainz, who made a notable return only two weeks after undergoing appendix surgery that sidelined him for the 2024 Saudi Arabian GP.

Sergio Perez, initially securing third in the second Red Bull, was demoted to sixth by the stewards in Melbourne for obstructing Haas’s Nico Hulkenberg during Q1, promoting McLaren’s Lando Norris to third on the grid.

Sainz led the initial two rounds of qualifying, with Ferrari also showing strength in Q2 with Charles Leclerc. However, Verstappen showed new pace in his RB20, delivering two laps in the final Q3 session that solidified his pole position.

Verstappen clinched pole with a time of 1:15.915, outpacing Sainz by 0.270 seconds.

Fifth-place Leclerc, who withdrew from his final Q3 run, and Australia’s Oscar Piastri, initially the sixth-fastest in the other McLaren, each moved up due to Perez’s penalty.

For the first time since the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix last October, Charles Leclerc will not qualify on the front row. Instead, he will opt to return to the pits rather than finish his final lap after a minor error at Turn Three. He acknowledged that the SF-24 was challenging to handle. Leclerc noted that a “very aggressive” adjustment to the front wing for his last Q3 effort did not improve the situation.

Australian GP Qualifying Results

2024 Australian Grand Prix, 23 March 2024

11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:16.8191:16.3871:15.91521
255Carlos SainzFerrari1:16.7311:16.1891:16.18518
311Sergio Perez*Red 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 Albon**Williams 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
*Despite finishing third, Perez’s penalty will relegate him to sixth.

**Logan Sargeant will no longer feature in the race weekend, with Alexander Albon using his chassis after he suffered a crash in FP1, damaging his own car beyond repair.

Seen in:

About The Author

Chief Editor

Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

Latest Reads