2019 Australian GP and Season Preview

The 2019 F1 season is already upon us and we can’t really think of anything else other than the sheer excitement and buzz in the paddock. The wait for the moment when the lights go off and the race begins in the beautiful Albert Park circuit is going to be over in a few days. The season opener in the Albert Park street circuit is always fun, and unlike other street circuits, this has a flowing rhythm to it with some high speed corners.

With only two teams, Mercedes and Hass, having an unchanged driver lineup things are going to heat up all across the paddock. 5-time world champion Lewis Hamilton will once again work alongside Flying Finn Valtteri Bottas. Charles Leclerc’s move to Ferrari has spiced things up real quick and the monégasqueis already the talk of the Paddock and fans. Ferrari fans have Vettel and Leclerc to cheer for, with the team shaking things up with a lot of changes in the technical management side. Another popular driver amongst fans is Kimi Raikkonen who returns to a team where he started his career with and hopes to have a really good run for the team this year alongside Antonio Giovinazzi.

Daniel Ricciardo’s move to Renault alongside Nico Hulkenberg in the team made way for Pierre Gasly to join Red Bull racing. The young driver lineup of Pierre and Verstappen at Red Bull also makes things exciting. McLaren, on the other hand, are looking to turn things around with a complete revamp of both the drivers and team management. Carlos Sainz and young British rookie Lando Norris have a lot of expectations on their shoulders, with 2-time F1 world champion and fan favorite Alonso making way for Carlos. Lando is not a loner since there are George Russel at Williams and Alex Albion at Toro Rosso to fight out in becoming the best newcomer in F1. At Toro Rosso, Alex has Daniil Kvyat alongside him in the Honda powered cars, which are not alone, since Red Bull are also using the same engine supplier, which is also exciting and we hope to find where they are at Melbourne pretty soon.

Well, we haven’t left out the remarkable comeback of the legend after 8 years, Robert Kubica. We are not sure how things are going to pan out at Williams this year after a tough couple of years for this legendary team. Rich Energy Sponsored Haas with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen have a point to prove after a disastrous opening round last year here in Melbourne. Racing Point F1 with their new rebranding with Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll have their work cut out as well with the pecking order said to be even closer this year. New regulations, new rules, new challenges, and we can’t wait for the season to go green. Last minute rule changes have also come in the form of an extra point awarded each to the driver and constructor that achieve the fastest lap in the race. The catch here is the driver and his car should be classified in the top 10 at the end of the race to get the point and hence, there are 21 extra points each for drivers and teams to fight for. Will this change things around? we have to wait to find out.

Pirelli have also made things simpler this year with more and more fans pushing for it. We can see just 3 types of tyre this year - Soft in Red, Medium in Yellow, and Hard in White. With the F1 testing done and dusted, some are already speculating that this is going to be a Ferrari year at last, but you never know, Mercedes are known for turning things up when it really matters. Let us find out some of the stats and betting probables.

Stats

Single Lap Distance - 5.303 Km.

Race distance - 307.574 Km with 58 laps.

Lap Record - 1.24:125 held by Michael Schumacher 2004

Last year it was Lewis Hamilton who stormed to Pole position but the race was won by Sebastian Vettel under an interesting VSC (Virtual Safety Car) strategy. Lewis Hamilton has a total of 7 pole positions in Albert Park since 2008 and you’d probably bet on him to be on pole.  An 8th pole by Lewis on Sunday will make him equal the most pole positions record in a single GP held by Ayrton Senna and Michale Schumacher. Sebastian has won the Melbourne season opener in the last 2 years in succession. In the current grid, Vettel has 3 wins against his name, with just 2 for Lewis. Another interesting aspect of the Albert Park street circuit is that no Australian has ever won it.

Betting Probables

As expected, the last year championship battle between Sebastian and Lewis is expected to run even this year and betting odds do suggest the same. Sebastian Vettel is expected to win the opening F1 2019 Melbourne GP and make it a hat trick of wins at Albert Park. We have listed the betting top 6 favorites in the list below:

  • Sebastian Vettel
  • Lewis Hamilton
  • Charles Leclerc
  • Max Verstappen
  • Valtteri Bottas
  • Pierre Gasly

The season opener at Albert Park street circuit in Melbourne is going to be completely unpredictable with the host of rule, driver, team and other changes. Fingers crossed, we are in for a serious championship battle all the way to Abu Dhabi!