Verstappen passed Vettel for fifth, again at the final chicane, which moved him up to fifth, 6.1sec behind Sainz at the start of lap 7. He breezed past Alonso along the Kemmel Straight for fourth place, and advanced on George Russell.
The end of lap 15 saw Verstappen finally dispense of his soft tyres for a set of mediums, and he emerged second, 8.8sec behind Sainz, who had been told to limit his pace due to higher than expected tyre degradation. The Spaniard was was 6.6sec ahead of Perez.
In the final year of its F1 partnership with Sauber, Alfa Romeo has unveiled its 2023 car with extensive modifications, aimed at improving on the performance that saw it finish sixth in last year's constructors' championship
Leclerc started the season with a victory in Bahrain, leading a 1-2 finish with Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz. After Verstappen leveled it with a win in Saudi Arabia, Leclerc breezed to a dominant performance in Australia and Ferrari had reason to finally believe it had returned to the top.
Verstappen took the chequered flag following a fine display after the restart and was crowned champion as Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez was promoted to second after the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc has penalised for gaining an advantage having run off the track at the final corner. 2b1af7f3a8