Everything you need to know about the 2023 Australian F1 GP
The 2023 Formula 1 season continues with its third round, the 2023 Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne's Albert Park. The event will precede a long break until the fourth round of the championship, with 28 days between the Australian round and the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
|Table of Contents|
|Red Bull to focus on 3rd 1-2?|
|Ferrari won last year|
|2023 Australian GP Facts & Figures|
|Albert Park Track info|
|2023 Australian GP - Tyres|
|2023 Australian GP - Weather Forecast|
|Who will be on the 2023 Australian GP Podium?|
Red Bull to focus on 3rd 1-2?
It will be a chance for struggling teams like Ferrari (Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz) and Mercedes (Lewis Hamilton and George Russell) to go into that 4 weeks break on a high and possibly prepare their cars in a much better way for the rest of the Formula 1 World Championship season.
Red Bull, on its side, will look to start a Formula 1 season with three consecutive 1-2s, which was last done by Mercedes in 2019 and by Williams in 1992. Max Verstappen and Sergio Pérez won the first two GPs of the season, respectively, and the Dutchman leads the World Drivers' Championship with one point over the Mexican due to recording the Fastest Lap at the end of the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Aston Martin (Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll) will look to continue its unprecedented run of podiums, with two consecutive places preceding the team's arrival in Australia. Can Aston Martin remain as the second-best during the Australian round? It seems likely, but Mercedes might be edging a little closer after a decent run in the previous race.
Ferrari won last year
The event was won by Ferrari's Charles Leclerc last year, followed by Red Bull's Sergio Pérez and George Russell (on his first podium with Mercedes). Although Ferrari was dominant at Albert Park in 2022, it could be a difficult outing for the team in the upcoming event, as Ferrari hasn't had a good start to the current campaign (currently fourth in the World Constructors' Championship).
Things haven't looked great behind the Top 4, with Alpine (Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon) 'leading' the midfield group with eight points, already 18 points behind the Top 4. Sixth in the WCC is Alfa Romeo (Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu) with four points scored by Bottas' eighth place in the opening round.
Haas (Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg) and Williams (Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant) are seventh and eighth in the WCC, respectively, with just one point scored. AlphaTauri (Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck De Vries) and McLaren (Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri) are currently scoreless, but with AT ranking higher due to two 11th places from Tsunoda in the first two races.
McLaren's Piastri will be making his debut in the Australian Grand Prix in the same city he was born on 6 April 2001.
2023 Australian GP Facts & Figures
The 37th Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne will be celebrated on Sunday.
The Australian Grand Prix entered the Formula 1 circus in 1985. It was held at the Adelaide Street Circuit, in Adelaide from 1985 to 1995. Adelaide was the last race of the year each time and it was the place of many historical F1 moments. Nigel Mansell losing the 1986 World Drivers’ Championship due to tyre failure was a big one. However, Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill colliding in the 1994 title-deciding race will always be in the minds of any F1 fan.
In 1996, the race venue was changed to Melbourne and the Albert Park Circuit and it has been the inaugural GP of 22 of the last 28 seasons. The most successful driver in Australia is Michael Schumacher, who won four times between 2000 and 2004.
Regarding Pole Positions, Sir Lewis Hamilton has eight to his name, including every Pole Position from 2014 to 2019.
Among the current drivers, Valtteri Bottas won in Melbourne in 2019 and Charles Leclerc won the most recent race in Australia in 2022, for Ferrari.
McLaren is the team with the most wins in Australia since 1985 with 11. Ferrari has won 13 times at Australia, but three of those victories came before Australia joined the World Championship.
Since the switch to Melbourne, Ferrari leads the teams with eight victories. On the engine side, Mercedes engines have 11 wins at Albert Park with three teams —Mercedes (4), McLaren (6), and Brawn GP (1).
Albert Park Track info
The circuit was the subject of some criticism in recent years due to the difficulty it presents for overtaking. A street circuit, Albert Park is not a traditional urban track since it has some real overtaking spots which have not been explored in recent years. However, the current layout proves to be a little better in that regard, based on some indications seen in the 2022 race.
The circuit length is 5.279 km and it has 14 corners (it previously had 16). There were angle changes to several corners and others were eliminated before the 2022 race. Turn 1 is now 2.5 meters wider on the right-hand side. Turn 3 was also widened by four meters to the right, Turn 6 was also widened by more than seven meters and will see a huge increase in speed. Moreover, the T9-T10 chicane that preceded the straight that put cars into the extremely fast T11-T12 chicane has been eliminated and proved a good overtaking spot last year.
Now, there is a flat-out section from Turn 6 that will go through T7, T8, and into the now T9-T10 chicane. What is now Turn 11 (previously T13) was also reprofiled to increase overtaking chances heading into the 2022 event.
The record during a race around the old Albert Park Circuit(5.303 km) was set by Michael Schumacher in 2004. The German put the Fastest Lap of 1:24.125 min behind the wheel of his Ferrari F2004 with an average speed of 226,934 km/h.
The current records are obviously from the 2022 Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc's Pole Position time of 1:17.868 min being the fastest in Qualifying, and the Lap Record from a race was 1:20.260 min lap, also by Leclerc in the Ferrari F1-75.
2023 Australian Grand Prix - Tyres
The dry tyres for the 2023 Australian Grand Prix will be the C2 as P Zero White hard, C3 as P Zero Yellow Medium, and C5 as P Zero Red soft.
Pirelli explained their choice to go with this option with a statement from the brand's Motorsport Director, Mario Isola:
“More options for the race thanks to the compound choices in Melbourne”
“We’ve made the same tyre choice as we did back in 2019 for the Australian Grand Prix. Following a two-year absence from the calendar due to the Covid pandemic, we went for a gap in the nominated compounds last year: selecting the C2, C3 and then the softest C5 compound. That race was a one-stopper won by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, with all the teams using the hard and the medium tyre, while the soft was just used for qualifying.
This weekend, the teams will have the C2, C3, and C4 at their disposal, which means that they have more options for the race in terms of strategy: on paper at least. We’re expecting a high degree of track evolution throughout the weekend, as is normally the case in Melbourne, while the energy demands on the tyres are about average for the season. It’s a flowing track with corners that are faster following last year’s modifications, which benefit overtaking as well as the overall spectacle.”
The minimum starting pressures for the tyres will be 23.0 PSI (front) and 21.0 PSI (rear).
2023 Australian Grand Prix Weather Forecast
Friday, March 31st - FP1 & FP2
Conditions: Cloudy and breezy with a couple of showers
Max. temperature: 18°C
Chance of rain: 70%
Saturday, April 1st - FP3 & Qualifying
Conditions: Cloudy, breezy and cool
Max. temperature: 15°C
Chance of rain: 20%
Sunday, April 2nd - Race
Conditions: Partly sunny
Maxi. temperature: 18°C
Chance of rain: 10%
Who will be on the 2023 Australian Grand Prix Podium?
It is extremely likely that Red Bull and Aston Martin will be in the podium places after Sunday's race, with Aston Martin's chances surely increasing with Lance Stroll expected to be clearly better from his injuries and looking for a big result.
However, things aren't always as clear in Australia and there could be some surprising pace from teams like Mercedes and Ferrari. Despite its dismal start to the 2022 F1 campaign, Mercedes managed to have a decent pace during the 2022 race at Albert Park and could have a similar outing in 2023.
On the other hand, after a bad weekend for his side of the garage with a failure in Qualifying, Max Verstappen should be expected to win Sunday's event and probably in a dominant fashion without any mechanical issues or driving errors.
Our podium prediction for the 2023 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix is: 1. Max Verstappen, 2. Sergio Pérez, 3. Lewis Hamilton.
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