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F1 Race Preview: Australian Grand Prix

F1 Race Preview: Australian Grand Prix

Red Bull have secured back-to-back 1-2 victories. Will they continue to dominate Down Under? Ferrari underwhelmed in Saudi Arabia - can they produce a consistent car in Melbourne?

Read on to inform your predictions ahead of the Australian Grand Prix with expert insight from Pinnacle.

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2023 F1 Australian Grand Prix

When: April 2, 2023

Where: Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia

Laps: 58

Distance: 306.124 km

We could see the fastest Australian Grand Prix ever in 2023.

The track underwent significant changes in 2022, including the widening of several turns, and the removal of a chicane to increase straight line speed.

In 2023, an additional Drag Reduction System (DRS) zone will be added between turns six and 11, which should decrease the lap times compared to last year’s times.

Albert Park was resurfaced last year, and the track is one of the smoothest in the championship. With the additional DRS zone, we could see speeds of around 340 kph – the fastest ever in Melbourne.

Saudi Arabian GP: What did we learn?

Oscar Piastri could secure a fairy tale hometown victory, and the young Australian is priced at 92.480* to win the race by backing the field.

The McLaren driver was born in Melbourne. Not only that, he grew up a mere 15 minutes away from Albert Park.

However, no Australian driver has ever managed to win the home race, and that includes Australian racing royalty like Alan Jones, Mark Webber, and Daniel Ricciardo.

Max Verstappen has a terrible record in Australia. The current champion didn’t finish in 2015, and barely cracked the top 10 in 2016. He also didn’t reach the podium until a third place finish in 2019, and failed to finish once again in 2022.

Australia: Who will win?

The battle for one and two has been solely a Red Bull race so far, and there is zero indication this will change just yet.

As exciting as a Sergio Pérez and Max Verstappen fight would be, the statistics don’t lie, and Verstappen is the substantially faster driver. After all, the Dutchman dominated in Saudi Arabia before driveshaft issues hampered the champion.

Aston Martin have impressed. In particular, Fernando Alonso, but the cars have merely followed the last Red Bull car, rather than giving the top team any sort of real push.

That disappointing Ferrari performance in Saudi Arabia could easily be attributed to a poor setup – or conservative strategy. The SF-23 faced engine troubles in Bahrain, and it looked like Ferrari might have pulled back the reins somewhat with the conservative power mode utilized in Saudi Arabia.

Charles Leclerc was only two-tenths of a second behind Verstappen in Race 1 before the engine troubles struck, and it was fully expected that Ferrari would showcase its traditionally superior straight line speed at Bahrain.

Did Ferrari give up their advantage to ensure the car would finish the race? Ferrari might feel confident enough to push the car on one of the less-taxing tracks here in Melbourne, and become a threat once again by turning up that power unit.

Mercedes were on the fringes in Saudi Arabia, and the right set up and the right conditions could see both Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell challenge the podium.

Despite Verstappen’s woeful performances Down Under, there are no indications he won’t be every bit the champion driver that dominated throughout 2022.

It's expected that he will outpace his teammate, and things will likely have to go wrong for Red Bull for either Aston Martin, Ferrari, or Mercedes to really challenge them.

Verstappen to win at 1.390* seems the strongest bet, but backing Fernando Alonso’s consistency wouldn’t be a throwaway at 10.740*.

Are you ready for the drama and extreme speed of the Australian Grand Prix? Sign up to Pinnacle and enhance your experience with Pinnacle's fantastic F1 odds for each race.

*Odds subject to change



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Jennie Gow
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