Formula 1

2024 Australian Grand Prix – TCF Driver of the Weekend

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Photo: Peter Fox/Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

A dramatic race saw Carlos Sainz Jr. victory at the Australian Grand Prix, with his Scuderia Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc joining him on the podium in second place. Max Verstappen’s early retirement opened the door for a Scuderia Ferrari one-two, with the Dutchman not finishing a race for the first time since the 2022 Australian Grand Prix.

During this piece, we will take a look at the top three performers from an action packed few days down under, with TheCheckeredFlag Drivers of the Weekend podium. The top performer will take our Driver of the Weekend award.

3rd – Nico Hülkenberg

Nico Hülkenberg enjoyed a fantastic race in Australia, securing a second consecutive points finish for MoneyGram Haas F1 Team. The German driver started sixteenth on the grid after a difficult qualifying on Friday but took advantage of multiple factors in the race, including a VSC and multiple retirements, to come up the order and end up in ninth. 

His performance combined with Kevin Magnussen’s tenth place mean Haas gain three points, and move up to seventh in the Constructors’ Championship, ahead of most of their midfield rivals. 

2nd – Yuki Tsunoda

There’s been lots of pressure on Yuki Tsunoda to perform in 2024. After out-performing Nyck de Vries in the first half of 2024, the Dutchman lost his seat and was replaced by vastly experienced eight-time grand prix winner, Daniel Ricciardo and many expected Tsunoda to be dominated by the Australian.

The first three races of the season have been a different story though. The Japanese driver scored Visa CashApp RB’s first points of the season, finishing in seventh and on Saturday made it the Qualifying H2H 3-0 to himself over Ricciardo. His performances this season in comparison to his teammate are a credit to his ability, but his drive on Sunday was impressive and provided big points for the team.

TheCheckeredFlag Driver of the Weekend – Carlos Sainz

Who else could it’ve been? Carlos Sainz drove a marvellous race to finish ahead of everyone else and end up on the top step of the podium. The Spaniard missed out on racing at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to needing emergency surgery after falling ill with appendicitis, but less than two weeks later, he returned to Formula 1 to be crowned a winner for a third time. 

It was yet another impressive performance from a driver that is without a drive with 2025, and after his start to the season, there’ll be plenty of team principals considering Sainz as a potential candidate next year.

Credit: Sam Bagnall / LAT Images
Albert ParkCarlos Sainz Jr.
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