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

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
1938 Peter Whitehead ERA Bathurst
1939 Alan Tomlinson MG Lobethal
1947 Bill Murray MG Bathurst
1948 Frank Pratt BMW Point Cook
1949 John Crouch Delahaye Leyburn
1950 Doug Whiteford Ford Nuriootpa
1951 Warwick Pratley GRS-Ford Narrogin
1952 Doug Whiteford Talbot-Lago Bathurst
1953 Doug Whiteford Talbot-Lago Albert Park
1954 Lex Davison HWM-Jaguar Southport
1955 Jack Brabham Cooper-Bristol Port Wakefield
1956 Stirling Moss Maserati Albert Park
1957 Lex Davison/Bill Patterson Ferrari Caversham
1958 Lex Davison Ferrari Bathurst
1959 Stan Jones Maserati Longford
1960 Alex Mildren Cooper-Maserati Lowood
1961 Lex Davison Cooper-Climax Mallala
1962 Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax Caversham
1963 Jack Brabham Brabham-Climax Warwick Farm
1964 Jack Brabham Brabham-Climax Sandown
1965 Bruce McLaren Cooper-Climax Longford
1966 Graham Hill BRM Lakeside
1967 Jackie Stewart BRM Warwick Farm
1968 Jim Clark Lotus-Cosworth Sandown
1969 Chris Amon Ferrari Lakeside
1970 Frank Matich McLaren-Repco/Holden Warwick Farm
1971 Frank Matich Matich-Repco/Holden Warwick Farm
1972 Graham McRae Leda-Chevrolet Sandown
1973 Graham McRae McRae-Chevrolet Sandown
1974 Max Stewart Lola-Chevrolet Oran Park
1975 Max Stewart Lola-Chevrolet Surfers Paradise
1976 John Goss Match-Repco/Holden Sandown
1977 Warwick Brown Lola-Chevrolet Oran Park
1978 Graham McRae McRae-Chevrolet Sandown
1979 Johnnie Walker Lola-Chevrolet Wanneroo
1980 Alan Jones Williams-Cosworth Calder
1981 Roberto Moreno Ralt-Ford Calder
1982 Alain Prost Ralt-Ford Calder
1983 Roberto Moreno Ralt-Ford Calder
1984 Roberto Moreno Ralt-Ford Calder
1985 Keke Rosberg Williams-Honda Adelaide
1986 Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Adelaide
1987 Gerhard Berger Ferrari Adelaide
1988 Alain Prost McLaren-Honda Adelaide
1989 Thierry Boutsen Williams-Honda Adelaide
1990 Nelson Piquet Bennetton-Ford Adelaide
1991 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda Adelaide
1992 Gerhard Berger McLaren-Honda Adelaide
1993 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Ford Adelaide
1994 Nigel Mansell Williams-Renault Adelaide
1995 Damon Hill Williams-Renault Adelaide
1996 Damon Hill Williams-Renault Adelaide
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


Australian Grand Prix Predictions & Tips