Formula One extraordinaire Max Verstappen has on Sunday morning, April 10, pulled out of the Australian Grand Prix race.
In a surprising turn of events, Verstappen, who had been driving in the second position for the majority of the race, had to retire the car after being asked by his engineer to stop at Turn 2.
The Formula One ace pulled out at the 39th lap, with only 20 more laps needed for him to finish the race.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc took home the crown followed by Red Bull's Sergio Perez, and Mercedes closed out the top four slots with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton respectively.
With the win, Leclerc took home his first-ever Grand Slam victory - pole, win and fastest lap with a timestamp of 1:20.966
Further, George Russell scored his second-ever podium in Formula 1. Speaking after the race, he noted that his team had to capitalize on the moment.
"We gotta be in it to win it and capitalise from others' misfortune, and we'll take it," Russell stated.
Verstappen, who was fresh off an incredible victory at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix held on Sunday, March 27, scored 25 points with Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Junior closing the second and third positions respectively.
This comes as FIA had shut down Verstappen's side-by-side tactic that he had employed in a number of events in order to come out on top.
“In order to avoid the likelihood of accidents before the safety car returns to the pits, from the point at which the lights on the car are turned out drivers must proceed at a pace which involves no erratic acceleration or braking nor any manoeuvre which is likely to endanger other drivers or impede the restart.” FIA's Niels Wittich stated.