Max Verstappen can have fierce competition from Charles Leclerc this year. It might resemble the 2022 season a bit. The Ferrari driver looked pretty good early in the season. He won two of the first three races in 2022. But somewhere down the line, he lost his grip, and then it was the domination of the Dutch racer all the way. Clearly, Red Bull has the fastest car in the grid even in 2024. It might not change next year as well. For instance, the Austrian outfit dominated the period between 2010 and 2013. However, since 2014, Mercedes had become the new powerhouse in the sport. For eight years in a row, the German team enjoyed an unprecedented level of hegemony.

The turbo-hybrid era belonged to Mercedes. Similarly, Red Bull started winning titles again in 2022. It was the time when the new cost cap era started. Perhaps the whole cost cap era will see Red Bull winning every title until regulation changes in 2026. Albeit, in the latest Australian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen could not be the fastest in the first two practice sessions. In FP1, McLaren’s Lando Norris was the fastest. Later, in FP2, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was faster than the current triple-time champion.


What Happened To Max Verstappen In The Practice Sessions Of The Latest Australian GP?

Max Verstappen Red Bull
Max Verstappen Red Bull Source: PlanetF1

The Ferrari racer was 0.381s faster than the reigning world champion. Moreover, Max Verstappen went on to damage his floor in the first practice. It was far from a straightforward day for the Dutch racer. Currently, the triple-time champion leads the 2024 season as he is 15 points ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez. In the first two races of this ongoing season, Red Bull had a couple of one-two finishes. Even in Jeddah, Max did not have a great time in the practice sessions. But eventually, he got the pole position and won the race on the final day. The Dutch racer always shows his best when it really matters. On the other hand, Ferrari will be glad to see Carlos Sainz Jr finishing at P3.

The Spaniard just came from a successful surgery. But due to that surgery he missed the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. There was another big moment during the practice sessions in Melbourne when Alex Albon had a big crash in FP1. Albon went off in the high-speed first sector. Eventually, he hit a couple of walls. According to Ted Kravitz of Sky Sports F1, Albon damaged the chassis in FP1. That chassis is the survival cell like a tub around which the front and rear suspensions can go onto. Moreover, the engine and nose cone can also go onto that chassis. Anyway, Albon missed the second practice session. Now, the Williams team has only one car for the rest of the weekend as they don’t have a spare chassis. 

Can Leclerc Challenge Max For The 2024 Title?

Charles Leclerc Lewis Hamilton Max Verstappen Helmut Marko
Charles Leclerc Lewis Hamilton Max Verstappen Helmut Marko Source: grand prix 247

It is still a long way to go before another team and driver challenges the domination of Max Verstappen and Red Bull. The Dutch racer started the 2024 season again in a dominating fashion. But to challenge him, the Monacesque racer will have to beat Max on the final day of the race. Then, he will get closer to challenge Verstappen for the title.

But the Ferrari racer started the Australian Grand Prix well with an impressive practice session. Moreover, Leclerc will have a bigger challenge next year to prove himself as the dominant racer in Ferrari. After all, Lewis Hamilton is joining the Maranello in 2025. New teammates, Hamilton and Leclerc can become new F1 rivals soon after the next season starts.

Stay tuned with for more such updates about your favorite F1 team.