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F1 LIVE: Max Verstappen makes quit threat as Fernando Alonso fires dig at Lewis…

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Max Verstappen has warned that he could walk away from Formula One if the sport’s decision-makers continue to alter the weekend format by scrapping free practice sessions in the not-too-distant future. The Red Bull driver is the overwhelming favourite to win the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday after performing well in all three practice sessions, although Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton will be hoping to upset him over the course of the 58-lap contest.

The build-up to this weekend’s race has been dominated by F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali’s recent claims that free practice sessions should be ditched in an attempt to improve the racing spectacle for fans at the track and those watching on TV around the world.

However, it seems as though any such move would risk angering Verstappen, who has threatened to quit the sport if unnecessary changes are made to the detriment of teams and drivers.

“I’m happy with just the main race,” the Dutchman told Sport TV. “I think that’s way better for the excitement. I naturally, of course, hope that there won’t be too many changes otherwise I won’t be around for too long.”

Verstappen on pole as Mercedes impress
Max Verstappen will start tomorrow’s Australian Grand Prix from pole position thanks to a predictably strong performance against the clock in qualifying.

The Dutchman managed to clock a fastest lap time of 1:16.372, which put him two-tenths clear of second-placed George Russell.

It was also an impressive day for Lewis Hamilton, who will start tomorrow’s race from just behind his Mercedes team-mate in third.
Perez out in Q1
Sergio Perez has been forced out of qualifying after only a few minutes of Q1 after beaching his car in the gravel following a massive lock-up into Turn Three.

It will see the Mexican driver line up at the very back of the grid for tomorrow’s race after a torrid day, which also saw him involved in three incidents during FP3 earlier this morning.

Alonso aims Hamilton dig
Fernando Alonso has never been shy to poke fun at Lewis Hamilton and the Spaniard has delivered once again by issuing a cheeky response to the 38-year-old’s recent comments on Red Bull.

Hamilton said after the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix two weeks ago that he had never seen an F1 car as quick as Red Bull’s current offering but Alonso has since accused his Mercedes rival of having a selective memory.

“[In Saudi Arabia] I finished 20 seconds behind Checo [Perez] and Max [Verstappen],” said Alonso.

“[Hamilton] and [Nico] Rosberg were a minute ahead in 2014 and 2015…He has a short memory. He’s getting old!”

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