Formula 1

F1: Australian GP Preview

Credit: Mercedes-Benz archive

The wait is over! After nearly four months Formula 1 is back, once again starting at the Australian GP in Melbourne.

The Australian Grand Prix became a fixture on the Formula One calendar in 1985 and has been a feature ever since. The race was first held in Adelaide, but since 1996 it has been held at Albert Park in Melbourne.

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The 5.3km street circuit has held its slot as the season opener (bar 2006 and 2010) and whilst the tight and twisty nature should limit overtaking opportunities, this is a Grand Prix that always provides a lot of action.

After testing it appeared as though Ferrari may have stolen the march on their rivals but Mercedes will be looking to ensure they can stay on their tail right from the off.

The midfield battle looks extremely tight between Haas, Racing Point, Renault and Alfa Romeo and it will be interesting to see which of these teams can make a step forward before the season starts.

For Williams, the first race will all be about saving face and trying to get as close as possible to the midfield teams. This won’t be that easy with testing times suggesting the Grove based team are quite away behind the rest of the field.

The stats

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Most Driver Victories: Michael Schumacher- 4, Jenson Button- 3, Sebastien Vettel- 3

(NB: these are based on races only won at Melbourne)

Most Team Victories: Ferrari- 8, McLaren- 6, Mercedes- 3

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Memorable race

In 2002 Ralf Schumacher had a spectacular crash with pole sitter Rubens Barrichello at turn one on the opening lap which saw 11 of the 22 cars retiring. Michael Schumacher won the race with debutant Mark Webber finishing 5th in the struggling Minardi.

The Australian Grand Prix kicks off on Friday with Free Practice. Keep up to date on all the latest news with Overtake Motorsport.


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