Australian GP preview: Bernie Collins and Anthony Davidson assess whether or not 2024 race can repeat final 12 months’s drama | F1 Information


After Albert Park delivered essentially the most chaotic race of the 2023 season, Bernie Collins and Anthony Davidson clarify how the Australian Grand Prix may very well be set to shake up Formulation 1 as soon as extra.

Purple Bull have made a dominant begin to the season with Max Verstappen starting his quest for a fourth successive drivers’ title by main one-twos from team-mate Sergio Perez in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Solely Ferrari have up to now appeared able to making use of the slightest little bit of strain to Purple Bull, with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc taking a podium every within the opening two races.

Nonetheless, after a weekend off to replicate and overview their opening performances, the likes of Mercedes and McLaren will arrive down underneath with hopes of taking vital steps ahead at an Albert Park Circuit that has key variations to Jeddah regardless of being one other high-speed structure.

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Fernando Alonso is tagged by Carlos Sainz which causes an extended line of accidents on the second race restart and brings out yet one more purple flag!

“I am actually trying ahead to the race, I actually am,” Davidson instructed the Sky Sports activities F1 Podcast.

“I feel we have had a little bit of a snapshot of various automobiles’ and drivers’ performances round two fairly totally different circuits in Bahrain and Jeddah, however now we have come to Melbourne, a parkland circuit which could be very excessive pace, a bit increased pace really than Jeddah and places the automobile barely into a distinct window even than that of Jeddah.

“So a distinct floor as effectively which produces fairly a little bit of grip, a bit extra of a front-limited circuit, so a lot of totally different nuances to the observe in Melbourne that I feel may actually shake up the order.

“Significantly relating to stuff like downforce ranges that we noticed how a lot of a distinction it was from Bahrain to Jeddah, after which Melbourne sits barely increased pace, so requires somewhat little bit of a distinction from the downforce as soon as once more, and hopefully you may see a bit extra of a shake-up within the order due to that.”

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Highlights of the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park Circuit.

C5 tyre to supply qualifying thriller

Forward of the motion getting underneath approach on Friday, Sky Sports activities F1’s technique knowledgeable Bernie Collins has analysed among the key concerns for groups and drivers in Melbourne…

The truth that Albert Park is successfully a road circuit means there are big positive factors to be made by drivers because the floor improves all through every session.

As we return to the standard F1 weekend format, Saturday’s qualifying is more likely to throw up loads of leisure with observe evolution set to maintain a lot of the discipline on their toes all through.

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Alex Albon crashed out of the 2023 Australian GP to trigger a primary purple flag.

Additionally including unpredictability, significantly for qualifying, is Pirelli’s resolution to allocate the softest potential assortment of tyres.

That signifies that the C5 tyre, the softest out there compound that was hardly ever utilized in pre-season testing, is ready for use for the primary time in aggressive motion.

Whereas groups could have time to check the tyre out throughout the three observe periods, observe evolution and the potential for altering situations in Melbourne are possible to make sure there will not be wherever close to as a lot information tyre-wise as there was going into the opening two 2024 qualifying periods.

Softer tyres to alter technique outlook?

Whereas it is going to influence qualifying, Pirelli’s resolution to deliver its softest compounds is extra about making an attempt to create increased ranges of tyre degradation throughout Sunday’s race.

On this technology of design rules, the observe has not supplied a lot of a problem on this space. In final 12 months’s race, nearly all of the sector confirmed they had been able to operating the entire race on one set of laborious tyres.

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Kevin Magnussen clipped the wall and misplaced a tyre to deliver out the second purple flag of final 12 months’s race.

This 12 months, the laborious choice will probably be a softer C3 versus the C2 it was then, which is more likely to no less than make sure the necessary one cease is required, and cannot be taken as early within the race as we have seen within the final couple of years.

It stays to be seen whether or not the change will probably be sufficient to make a two-stopper a aggressive choice, whereas there may be in fact the likelihood that security automobile or purple flag interruptions may change issues utterly.

Quicker structure to create extra drama?

After a stuttering and failed try in 2022, a fourth DRS zone was efficiently added to an up to date Albert Park structure final 12 months.

The modifications to the observe and additional DRS zone had been meant to create higher racing at a circuit the place overtaking has proved difficult up to now.

Whereas the modifications undoubtedly improved the product, Albert Park stays a observe place race the place a major tempo benefit is required to drag off a go.

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Try all of the funniest Formulation 1 moments from the 2023 Australian GP.

What did occur to boost final 12 months’s contest was the incidence of three separate incidents that resulted in purple flags.

Whereas crashes for Alex Albon and Kevin Magnussen cannot be straight attributed to the extra DRS zone, the observe is as quicker than ever earlier than and clearly one the place drivers should keep full focus always.

The ultimate purple flag, which got here on the standing restart following the previous stoppage, adopted an multi-car collision that may stay on the minds of a number of drivers after they line up on the grid on Sunday.

It is going to be fascinating to see whether or not final 12 months’s chaos was one thing of a freak, or whether or not it is a observe that may proceed to supply up main drama.

Sky Sports activities F1’s stay Australian GP schedule

Australian Grand Prix schedule page

Thursday March 21

  • 10.30am: Drivers’ press convention
  • 9.45pm: F3 Apply
  • 10.55pm: F2 Apply

Friday March 22

  • 1am: Australian GP Apply One (session begins at 1.30am)
  • 2.55am: F3 Qualifying
  • 4.45am: Australian GP Apply Two (session begins at 5am)
  • 6.25am: F2 Qualifying
  • 7.15am: The F1 Present
  • 8.30am: Australian GP Apply One highlights
  • 10am: Australian GP observe Two highlights

Saturday March 23

  • 0.10am: F3 Dash
  • 1.10am: Australian GP Apply Three (session begins at 1.30am)
  • 3.10am: F2 Dash
  • 4.15am: Australian GP Qualifying build-up
  • 5am: Australian GP Qualifying
  • 7am: Ted’s Qualifying Pocket book
  • 7.30am: Australian GP Qualifying highlights
  • 8.30am: Australian GP Qualifying replay (Sky Showcase)
  • 10.30am: Australian GP Qualifying replay
  • 10pm: F3 Characteristic Race

Sunday March 24

  • 0.30am: F2 Characteristic Race
  • 3am: Australian GP build-up: Grand Prix Sunday
  • 6am: Australian GP response: Chequered flag
  • 7am: Ted’s Pocket book
  • 7.30am: Australian GP highlights
  • 8.30am: Australian GP build-up: Grand Prix Sunday replay
  • 9.30am: Australian GP race replay
  • 10am: Australian GP highlights (Sky Showcase)
  • 11.30am: Australian GP response: Chequered flag replay

Formulation 1’s greatest ever season continues with the Australian Grand Prix this weekend, with Sunday’s race stay on Sky Sports activities F1 at 4am. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership – just £21 a month for 12 months. No contract, cancel anytime

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