Australian Grand Prix F1 Predictions & Tips

Leigh Copson:
Albert Park, Melbourne (Photo by JOE CASTRO/AAP/PA Images).

The 2020 Formula 1 campaign gets underway in Melbourne with the Australian Grand Prix taking place on Sunday, March 15, and has been looking ahead to the season-opening race Down Under.

Australian Grand Prix Predictions & Tips

The 2020 Formula 1 season gets underway this week with the traditional curtain-raiser in Melbourne and once again there will be a target on the back of defending world champion Lewis Hamilton who, along with Mercedes, have dominated this sport in recent years. Last season Hamilton ran away with Drivers’ championship, winning it with three races to go for the second season running, but will it be more of the same in 2020 or can Ferrari or Red Bull finally close the gap?

From what we have seen during winter testing, it is going to be more of the same. Red Bull showed plenty of signs of promise in Barcelona, but it was Mercedes who set the standard at the Circuit de Catalunya and that new dual-axis steering system of theirs, which allows the driver to narrow the alignment of the front wheels for more speed on the straights, has certainly got the rest of the field looking on with envy. They have the best car and the best driver, so it would be a sizeable surprise of they do not retain the Constructors’ Championship and Hamilton does not become a seven-time world champion, moving level with the legendary Michael Schumacher.

The question is, will Hamilton and Mercedes make a flying start? Mercedes did occupy top spot on the podium here 12 months ago, but it was Valtteri Bottas who took the chequered flag as he finished over 20 seconds ahead of Hamilton. It marked the fourth straight season in which the British ace failed to win the Australian Grand Prix, and it would not be unfair to say that Albert Park may be one of his least happy hunting grounds.

Hamilton has dominated F1 in recent years, but his last victory Down Under came back in 2015 and prior to that he had only won this race once, back in 2008. He has repeatedly shone in qualifying though, claiming pole position in each of the last six years, so he has shown that he can master this track over one lap. This could be the year in which he finally masters it for the duration of entire race to win Down Under for only the third time in his career, so backing him to claim pole position and the race win has to be my first selection for the new season.

Australian Grand Prix UK Time: What Time Will Race Start?

The 2020 Formula 1 season gets underway in traditional fashion with the Australian Grand Prix taking place in Melbourne. Practice gets underway on Friday, March 13 with two sessions at 01:00 GMT and 06:30 GMT respectively, with the final practice session being held at 03:00 GMT on Saturday, March 14. The serious stuff begins at 06:00 GMT on Saturday morning with qualifying for the race, and the race itself is scheduled to get underway at 05:10 GMT on Sunday, March 15.

Australian Grand Prix: Circuit Guide

The Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit has been hosting the Australian Grand Prix since 1996. A street circuit that surrounds Albert Park Lake, one lap is just over three miles long and it is considered one of the least-challenging circuits on the calendar due to is fast and undemanding corners. However, there are also very few straights on this track so chances to overtake are limited. It has been a popular track for drivers from the United Kingdom and Germany since returning to the F1 schedule.

A British driver has taken the chequered flag on nine occasions, with a German driver also winning nine times, and the most successful driver in the circuit’s history is Michael Schumacher who has won four instalments of this famous race. In terms of active drivers, Sebastian Vettel leads the way with three successes, having followed up his win in 2011 with back-to-back victories in 2017 and 2018.

Location: Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne, Australia
Number Of Laps: 58
Lap Length: 3.296 miles
Lap Record: Michael Schumacher, 1 minute 24.125 seconds (2004).

Australian Grand Prix: What Happened Last Season

Ferrari’s dominance of the season-opening race, the Australian Grand Prix was brought to an end in 2019 as Valtteri Bottas made a flying start to the season, finishing well clear of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to become the first driver to win a bonus point for the fastest lap since for 60 years! Hamilton, who went on to be crowned world champion, had to settle for second place as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen ensured there would be no Ferrari driver on the podium.

2019 Results: 1 Valtteri Bottas, 2 Lewis Hamilton, 3 Max Verstappen.

Australian Grand Prix: Winners

1928Arthur WaiteAustinPhillip Island
1929Arthur TerdichBugattiPhillip Island
1930Bill ThompsonBugattiPhillip Island
1931Carl JunkerBugattiPhillip Island
1932Bill ThompsonBugattiPhillip Island
1933Bill ThompsonRileyPhillip Island
1934Bob Lea-WrightSingerPhillip Island
1935Les MurphyMGPhillip Island
1937Les MurphyMGVictor Harbor
1938Peter WhiteheadERABathurst
1939Alan TomlinsonMGLobethal
1947Bill MurrayMGBathurst
1948Frank PrattBMWPoint Cook
1949John CrouchDelahayeLeyburn
1950Doug WhitefordFordNuriootpa
1951Warwick PratleyGRS-FordNarrogin
1952Doug WhitefordTalbot-LagoBathurst
1953Doug WhitefordTalbot-LagoAlbert Park
1954Lex DavisonHWM-JaguarSouthport
1955Jack BrabhamCooper-BristolPort Wakefield
1956Stirling MossMaseratiAlbert Park
1957Lex Davison/Bill PattersonFerrariCaversham
1958Lex DavisonFerrariBathurst
1959Stan JonesMaseratiLongford
1960Alex MildrenCooper-MaseratiLowood
1961Lex DavisonCooper-ClimaxMallala
1962Bruce McLarenCooper-ClimaxCaversham
1963Jack BrabhamBrabham-ClimaxWarwick Farm
1964Jack BrabhamBrabham-ClimaxSandown
1965Bruce McLarenCooper-ClimaxLongford
1966Graham HillBRMLakeside
1967Jackie StewartBRMWarwick Farm
1968Jim ClarkLotus-CosworthSandown
1969Chris AmonFerrariLakeside
1970Frank MatichMcLaren-Repco/HoldenWarwick Farm
1971Frank MatichMatich-Repco/HoldenWarwick Farm
1972Graham McRaeLeda-ChevroletSandown
1973Graham McRaeMcRae-ChevroletSandown
1974Max StewartLola-ChevroletOran Park
1975Max StewartLola-ChevroletSurfers Paradise
1976John GossMatch-Repco/HoldenSandown
1977Warwick BrownLola-ChevroletOran Park
1978Graham McRaeMcRae-ChevroletSandown
1979Johnnie WalkerLola-ChevroletWanneroo
1980Alan JonesWilliams-CosworthCalder
1981Roberto MorenoRalt-FordCalder
1982Alain ProstRalt-FordCalder
1983Roberto MorenoRalt-FordCalder
1984Roberto MorenoRalt-FordCalder
1985Keke RosbergWilliams-HondaAdelaide
1986Alain ProstMcLaren-TAGAdelaide
1987Gerhard BergerFerrariAdelaide
1988Alain ProstMcLaren-HondaAdelaide
1989Thierry BoutsenWilliams-HondaAdelaide
1990Nelson PiquetBennetton-FordAdelaide
1991Ayrton SennaMcLaren-HondaAdelaide
1992Gerhard BergerMcLaren-HondaAdelaide
1993Ayrton SennaMcLaren-FordAdelaide
1994Nigel MansellWilliams-RenaultAdelaide
1995Damon HillWilliams-RenaultAdelaide
1996Damon HillWilliams-RenaultAdelaide
1997David CoulthardMcLaren-MercedesAlbert Park
1998Mika HakkinenMcLaren-MercedesAlbert Park
1999Eddie IrvineFerrariAlbert Park
2000Michael SchumacherFerrariAlbert Park
2001Michael SchumacherFerrariAlbert Park
2002Michael SchumacherFerrariAlbert Park
2003David CoulthardMcLaren-MercedesAlbert Park
2004Michael SchumacherFerrariAlbert Park
2005Giancarlo FisichellaRenaultAlbert Park
2006Fernando AlonsoRenaultAlbert Park
2007Kimi RaikkonenFerrariAlbert Park
2008Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-MercedesAlbert Park
2009Jenson ButtonBrawn-MercedesAlbert Park
2010Jenson ButtonMcLaren-MercedesAlbert Park
2011Sebastian VettelRed Bull-RenaultAlbert Park
2012Jenson ButtonMcLaren-MercedesAlbert Park
2013Kimi RaikkonenLotus-RenaultAlbert Park
2014Nico RosbergMercedesAlbert Park
2015Lewis HamiltonMercedesAlbert Park
2016Nico RosbergMercedesAlbert Park
2017Sebastian VettelFerrariAlbert Park
2018Sebastian VettelFerrariAlbert Park
2019Valtteri BottasMercedesAlbert Park


Australian Grand Prix Predictions & Tips