It’s been a busy off-season in the Formula 1, highlighted by Aussie Daniel Ricciardo moving from team Red Bull over to Renault for the 2019 season. He’ll have a great chance to impress immediately in his home race, the Australian Grand Prix, this weekend in Melbourne.
We preview the first race of the Formula 1 season and give our betting tips below!
Sebastian Vettel will be looking to complete a hat-trick of Australian Grand Prix victories this season and win his fourth overall trophy, after having won back in 2011 as well as the 2017-18 double. Vettel will have a new teammate at Scuderia Ferrari this season in Monégasque youngster Charles Leclerc, after Kimi Raikkonen relocated to Alfa Romeo Racing.
Interestingly, Australia hasn’t been a very productive breeding ground for British superstar Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton has won just twice in Melbourne, his second lowest tally of any track where he has raced more than 10 times. He has, however, finished on the podium eight times in Melbourne, which is level for the most podium finishes at one track in his career. Hamilton and Finish driver Vallteri Bottas will be teammates for the third consecutive season in 2019.
Max Verstappen will take over the number one driver posiaion at team Red Bull this season after Daniel Ricciardo’s departure and he’ll be joined by Frenchman Pierre Gasly. Verstappen has never finished better than fifth place in four tries at Albert Park, but should get all of the opportunity from his team this season.
The last of the contenders this year will be the Renault F1 Team, who acquired the prized signature of Aussie Daniel Ricciardo this season for a massive salary. Along with German teammate Nico Hulkenberg, Ricciardo will be hoping to earn Team Renault their first ever win/podium since returning to F1 in 2016.
Previous Australian Grand Prix Results:
2018 Vettel (Ferrari), Hamilton (Mercedes), Raikkonen (Ferrari)
2017 Vettel (Ferrari), Hamilton (Mercedes), Bottas (Mercedes)
2016 Rosberg (Mercedes), Hamilton (Mercedes), Vettel (Ferrari)
2015 Hamilton (Mercedes), Rosberg (Mercedes), Vettel (Ferrari)
2014 Rosberg (Mercedes), Magnussen (McLaren), Button (McLaren)
2013 Raikkonen (Lotus), Alonso (Ferrari), Vettel (Red Bull)
The Australian Grand Prix course is a street style course that presents a different challenge from most of the smoother, traditional racetracks on the F1 circuit. Ban to back reigning champion Sebastian Vettel wouldn’t have it any other way, however.
“The circuit itself is very unusual and you have to get attuned to the track: you have to remember the lines precisely and it’s not always easy to spot the breaking point and, on top of that, the track surface is usually bumpy. But we drivers like it and if we were asked if we wanted it resurfaced, we would probably say no, because that’s what makes it unique. I’ve got great memories of this track.”
Tough to look past Vettel’s record in Australia and he is great value at $2.75 to win. Vettel has won in Australia the last two seasons in a row and apart from a forced retirement in 2014, has finished on the podium of the Australian Grand Prix every season since 2011. Should be tough to beat.
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