Verstappen Wins in Wild Finish to F1 Australian Grand Prix

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of Netherlands leads during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne, Sunday, April 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)(Asanka Brendon Ratnayake / Associated Press)
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of Netherlands leads during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne, Sunday, April 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)(Asanka Brendon Ratnayake / Associated Press)
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Verstappen Wins in Wild Finish to F1 Australian Grand Prix

Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of Netherlands leads during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne, Sunday, April 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)(Asanka Brendon Ratnayake / Associated Press)
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of Netherlands leads during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne, Sunday, April 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)(Asanka Brendon Ratnayake / Associated Press)

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen has claimed his first Australian Grand Prix in remarkable circumstances in a chaotic Formula 1 race filled with drama from the green light to the checkered flag.

Although Red Bull’s first triumph in Melbourne since 2011 was expected, the carnage that unfolded in the latter stages of the race at Albert Park made it an extremely hard-fought triumph.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who drove superbly in his Mercedes, finished second, while Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso filled third spot on the podium.

“That is a really good weekend for us. I am happy with that,” Verstappen said to his team on radio.

Verstappen had appeared to be coasting to victory with an eight-second lead when debris from Kevin Magnussen’s Haas forced the second of three red flags issued in the race with three laps remaining, The Associated Press reported.

On the restart, Verstappen was able to hold Hamilton to the first turn as bedlam unfolded behind his RB19, sparking a massive reshuffle of the finishing order in the 58-lap race.

Alonso, who had challenged Hamilton for second position throughout much of the race, was hit by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz on the first corner of the restart. Sainz, whose Ferrari showed good speed throughout the race, was issued with a five-second penalty which relegated him to 12th.

Williams driver Logan Sargeant also drove into the back of Nyck DeVries and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly also crashed.

Earlier, Ferrari’s defending champion Charles LeClerc exited after crashing on the opening lap, while the Mercedes of one-time leader George Russell caught fire on Lap 18.

Australian Oscar Piastri claimed his first championship points when finishing eighth in his McLaren.



Crystal Palace Signs Morocco Defender Chadi Riad to 5-Year Contract 

Chadi Riad of Morocco celebrates after scoring the 0-2 goal during the FIFA World Cup 2026 CAF qualifiers soccer match between Morocco and Congo, in Agadir, Morocco, 11 June 2024. (EPA)
Chadi Riad of Morocco celebrates after scoring the 0-2 goal during the FIFA World Cup 2026 CAF qualifiers soccer match between Morocco and Congo, in Agadir, Morocco, 11 June 2024. (EPA)
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Crystal Palace Signs Morocco Defender Chadi Riad to 5-Year Contract 

Chadi Riad of Morocco celebrates after scoring the 0-2 goal during the FIFA World Cup 2026 CAF qualifiers soccer match between Morocco and Congo, in Agadir, Morocco, 11 June 2024. (EPA)
Chadi Riad of Morocco celebrates after scoring the 0-2 goal during the FIFA World Cup 2026 CAF qualifiers soccer match between Morocco and Congo, in Agadir, Morocco, 11 June 2024. (EPA)

Crystal Palace signed 20-year-old Chadi Riad to a five-year contract on Friday following the Morocco defender's impressive season with Real Betis.

The center-back made 30 appearances last season for the Seville club, on loan from Barcelona. He is the Premier League club's first summer arrival.

“The club has high-level players who are young and I have come here to follow their same trajectory, to grow as they have grown,” Riad, who turns 21 on Monday, said in the team's announcement.

Born in Spain, Riad made his Morocco debut in January and scored his first international goal against Republic of Congo this week.

The signing protects Palace in case center-back Marc Guehi leaves for a bigger club. Guehi is currently in the England squad at the European Championship.

Financial details of the transfer were not disclosed.