Ferrari's Carlos Sainz won the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday in a triumphant return two weeks after appendicitis surgery as Red Bull's world champion Max Verstappen suffered his first retirement in two years.

Japan's Yuki Tsunoda, meanwhile, had his best drive of the season and finished eighth to give him some momentum heading into his home race at Suzuka Circuit in two weeks' time.

Sainz, the only non-Red Bull driver to win a race last season, held off teammate Charles Leclerc before a final-lap crash by Mercedes driver George Russell triggered a virtual safety car and eased the Spaniard's path to victory.