The 2020 Formula 1 campaign gets underway in Melbourne with the Australian Grand Prix taking place on Sunday, March 15, and BettingPro.com 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
|1928||Arthur Waite||Austin||Phillip Island|
|1929||Arthur Terdich||Bugatti||Phillip Island|
|1930||Bill Thompson||Bugatti||Phillip Island|
|1931||Carl Junker||Bugatti||Phillip Island|
|1932||Bill Thompson||Bugatti||Phillip Island|
|1933||Bill Thompson||Riley||Phillip Island|
|1934||Bob Lea-Wright||Singer||Phillip Island|
|1935||Les Murphy||MG||Phillip Island|
|1937||Les Murphy||MG||Victor Harbor|
|1948||Frank Pratt||BMW||Point Cook|
|1953||Doug Whiteford||Talbot-Lago||Albert Park|
|1955||Jack Brabham||Cooper-Bristol||Port Wakefield|
|1956||Stirling Moss||Maserati||Albert Park|
|1957||Lex Davison/Bill Patterson||Ferrari||Caversham|
|1963||Jack Brabham||Brabham-Climax||Warwick Farm|
|1967||Jackie Stewart||BRM||Warwick Farm|
|1970||Frank Matich||McLaren-Repco/Holden||Warwick Farm|
|1971||Frank Matich||Matich-Repco/Holden||Warwick Farm|
|1974||Max Stewart||Lola-Chevrolet||Oran Park|
|1975||Max Stewart||Lola-Chevrolet||Surfers Paradise|
|1977||Warwick Brown||Lola-Chevrolet||Oran Park|
|1997||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||Albert Park|
|1998||Mika Hakkinen||McLaren-Mercedes||Albert Park|
|1999||Eddie Irvine||Ferrari||Albert Park|
|2000||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Albert Park|
|2001||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Albert Park|
|2002||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Albert Park|
|2003||David Coulthard||McLaren-Mercedes||Albert Park|
|2004||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Albert Park|
|2005||Giancarlo Fisichella||Renault||Albert Park|
|2006||Fernando Alonso||Renault||Albert Park|
|2007||Kimi Raikkonen||Ferrari||Albert Park|
|2008||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||Albert Park|
|2009||Jenson Button||Brawn-Mercedes||Albert Park|
|2010||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||Albert Park|
|2011||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||Albert Park|
|2012||Jenson Button||McLaren-Mercedes||Albert Park|
|2013||Kimi Raikkonen||Lotus-Renault||Albert Park|
|2014||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||Albert Park|
|2015||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||Albert Park|
|2016||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||Albert Park|
|2017||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||Albert Park|
|2018||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||Albert Park|
|2019||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||Albert Park|