Max Verstappen taunted by Alpine despite F1 strugglers scoring zero points this season | F1 | Sport

Formula One strugglers Alpine hilariously bragged about a “double overtake” on Max Verstappen during the Australian Open Grand Prix. Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly have failed to score a point for the French team this season but they were able to take some solace in overcoming the sport’s dominant force in Melbourne.

Verstappen seemed likely to complete a third-successive Grand Prix victory after Red Bull registered a clean sweep in the opening two races in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, respectively. Things got off to a good start at the weekend when the Dutchman secured pole position for Sunday’s race.

But that was as positive as it got for Verstappen as smoke began to emerge from his right rear brake. The 26-year-old slowed and his race was soon over after just three laps at Albert Park.

Cars began to lap Verstappen several times, prompting Alpine to make a cheeky social media post about their relative success. “DOUBLE OVERTAKE ON VERSTAPPEN!” the team declared.

Unlike Verstappen, Ocon and Gasly both finished Sunday’s race, placing 16th and 13th respectively. Alpine are still searching for their first point of the 2024 campaign, but were able to see the funny side in their struggles as they raced beyond Verstappen.

Red Bull’s superstar, who is searching for his fourth World Drivers’ Championship title in a row, was surprisingly upbeat despite a frustrating race day. He says that the setback “excites” him to improve in Japan on April 7. Verstappen’s DNF comes two years after his last premature exit from a race at the same venue.

“It excites me, in a way, because I would like to win,” Verstappen said of his performance in Australia.

“Of course, we had a lot of good races in a row, a lot of good reliability and I knew that the day would come that you end up having a retirement and, unfortunately, that day was today.

“We just had already a very good run of two years, right? I mean, that’s already quite impressive. But of course, you never like to see it happen. But it’s more important now that we understand why it happened.”

It was also another disappointing day for Mercedes with neither Lewis Hamilton nor George Russell going the distance. Both drivers, who have concerningly bemoaned the consistency of the W15, are still searching for their first podiums of the season.

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