Albon lost control of his Williams on Lap 7 and spun off into the Turn 7 tyre barriers, before ending up sideways across the track. 

Why have Mercedes & Red Bull dominated F1 so much?

The red flag was flown on Lap 9 which according to the FIA was due to "the amount of gravel and debris on the track that needs clearing". 

George Russell is the big loser of the suspension, having pitted from the lead when the Safety Car was initially called for the incident. 

As a result, Russell has dropped down to seventh, with Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton now in the lead from Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

"Sorry George that has screwed it, but let's make the most out of this," Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told Russell.

The red flag period will enable all the drivers yet to pit to make a free pit stop. 

Fernando Alonso will start from third ahead of Aston Martin teammate Lance Stroll and Alpine's Pierre Gasly. 

Nico Hulkenberg, Russell, Yuki Tsunoda, and the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri complete the rest of the top-10 order under the red flag. 

It was a sign of things to come - there would be further red flags in Melbourne until Max Verstappen won a confusing end to the race.