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Lando Norris leads first free practice amid Albon's Crash at Australian Grand Prix

Posted : 22 March 2024

During the first free practice session at the Australian Grand Prix, Lando Norris showcased McLaren's potential by securing the top spot on the timesheets. His impressive flying lap of one minute and 18.564 seconds, achieved on soft tires midway through the session, set a competitive benchmark. Despite a late surge from Max Verstappen of Red Bull, who trailed by a mere 0.018 seconds, Norris managed to maintain his lead.


However, the session was marred by a disruptive incident involving Alex Albon of Williams. Albon's crash at turn six brought out the red flag, halting proceedings for the last 20 minutes. This unfortunate incident mirrored his mishap from the previous year's race, highlighting the treacherous nature of the Albert Park circuit.


With debris littering the track following Albon's accident, safety concerns were paramount. Fortunately, Albon emerged unscathed and promptly issued an apology over the team radio. Meanwhile, other drivers encountered their own challenges, with both Mercedes drivers, George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, struggling for traction and control. Russell experienced steering rack issues and later locked up at turn 10, while Hamilton endured multiple skids, resulting in floor damage to his car.


Despite the disruptions, notable performances emerged from the session. George Russell secured third place for Mercedes, followed closely by Charles Leclerc of Ferrari. Additionally, Carlos Sainz made a commendable return to the track for Ferrari after recovering from appendicitis surgery. As the teams prepared for the second free practice later in the day, it was evident that the Australian Grand Prix weekend promised more intense competition and challenges for the drivers and teams alike.


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