The Australian Grand Prix was subjected to some early red flags after a hard-fought opening eight laps of the Formula 1 race. The race start saw an elbows-out approach from the Mercedes drivers to put George Russell into the lead ahead of Lewis Hamilton, with Max Verstappen dropping to third. Further back, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc tagged the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll and spun out into the gravel trap on the exit of Turn 4, bringing out the first Safety Car. After the first restart, drivers had been racing for only a couple of laps before Williams’ Alex Albon spun out midway through Turn 6 and crashed into the barrier. Albon was unscathed, but the Safety Car was deployed once again, and the red flags soon waved to enable the marshals to clear up the gravel which was thrown onto the track. Follow live updates from the Australian GP here .

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