After the lengthy winter break, a brand new season of the Formulation 1 World Championship is lastly upon us. As typical, the primary race on the calendar is the Australian Grand Prix, which runs this weekend on the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, a road circuit within the neighborhood of Melbourne’s Albert Park.
The cease is likely one of the hottest on the F1 calendar, and there’s all the time a way of pleasure and anticipation as we study which groups have the tempo and that are struggling. This 12 months additionally sees plenty of new drivers at lots of the groups, which makes this primary race in Australia all of the extra attention-grabbing. And do not forget there’s additionally the brand new aero guidelines, which ought to end in extra overtaking.
Judging from the efficiency displayed throughout pre-season testing in Spain, it seems like we’ll be handled with one other season of shut competitors between high groups Mercedes-AMG and Ferrari. Crimson Bull Racing may additionally pull a shock. The truth is, the crew was second quickest throughout Friday’s follow, with drivers Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly outpaced by solely Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas within the second session.
The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit contains a 16-turn format that stretches three.three miles and contains a mixture of quick straights and second- and third-gear chicanes, and requires medium to excessive downforce and good traction. Being a road circuit, there ought to be a big rise in grip ranges all through the weekend because the rubber goes down. A 1-stop technique was the successful selection final 12 months and never surprisingly was utilized by the vast majority of drivers.
There’s been a shakeup in tire classification this season. Any further, compound firmness will likely be graded between C1 and C5, with C1 being the toughest. Three compounds will likely be provided for every race, with white markings denoting the toughest, yellow the medium, and crimson the softest. For the Australian race, tire provider Pirelli has nominated the C2, C3 and C4 compounds. We should always level out that the firmness ranges will fluctuate between races, so a C2 compound in Australia will not vital be the identical used elsewhere.
Climate generally is a blended bag, serving to to make Melbourne one of many extra unpredictable races of the 12 months. Wonderful circumstances are forecast for Saturday’s qualifying and whereas some mild proper may present up on Sunday, it ought to be cleared out earlier than the beginning of the race within the afternoon. Final 12 months’s winner in Australia was Sebastian Vettel driving for Ferrari.