?? THE 2018 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX
Round 1. 23rd-25th March.
977th F1 Grand Prix | 83rd Australian Grand Prix | 23rd Grand Prix at Albert Park
2017 POLESITTER: LEWIS HAMILTON | 2017 WINNER: SEBASTIAN VETTEL
Stats and Facts
- From 22 runnings of the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne, the winner of the race has gone on to win that year’s championship on thirteen occasions.
- Red Bull start the season on a streak of 37 points scoring races – the longest streak the team has ever had.
- Lewis Hamilton has taken pole here every year since the start of the hybrid era. He has six poles here in total, the most of any driver.
- Look out for Haas and Romain Grosjean. He scored a sixth place finish for the team here on their début in 2016, and recorded the team’s best qualifying result, also sixth, here in 2017.
- The last driver to take back-to-back wins at this track was Jenson Button in 2009 and 2010, driving for two different teams.
- Of the current grid, three drivers have two wins at Albert Park – Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. Fernando Alonso has also won here, in 2006.
- An Australian driver has never finished on the podium in their home Grand Prix. Daniel Ricciardo did in 2014, but was later disqualified.
- If Sebastian Vettel finishes on the podium, it will be his 100th podium appearance.
- If Kimi Raikkonen or Valtteri Bottas wins the race it’ll be the 50th win for a Finnish driver in Formula One.
- A different driver has won the Australian Grand Prix in each of the past three seasons. The longest streak of different winners at this track is seven seasons, where a different driver won each race between 2003 and 2009.
- Mercedes could draw equal with McLaren’s tally of four wins at Albert Park this weekend. Ferrari have the most victories at this track though, with seven.
?? Local Heroes
Expect lots of media attention on Daniel Ricciardo as Red Bull begin their attack on the 2018 championship at the Perth-born driver’s home track. His best result here was the runner-up place on his Red Bull début in 2014 – though it was taken away from him just a few hours later due to a technical infringement. Last year’s Australian Grand Prix was a nightmare for Ricciardo, as he crashed out in Qualifying and was forced to retire from the race with engine problems.
There’s also likely to be a keen eye on Brendon Hartley this weekend, from nearby New Zealand. How will Toro Rosso get on in their first race weekend with Honda power?
Press Conference Schedules
The Drivers’ Press Conference will take place on Thursday 22nd March at 3pm local time. The drivers appearing in front of the media will be:
|Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)|
|Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)|
|Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)|
The Team Principals’ Press Conference will take place before Free Practice 2 at 2pm local time. Appearing in front of the media will be:
|Maurizio Arrivabene (Ferrari)|
|Christian Horner (Red Bull)|
|Toto Wolff (Mercedes)|
Each weekend a former Formula One driver, or a driver from another prominent series of motorsport, joins the stewards to help judge any incidents from a drivers’ perspective. The Driver Steward for the 2018 Australian Grand Prix is Emanuele Pirro.
The weather forecast for the week ahead at the Albert Park track currently looks like this:
Fastest Ever Lap
The fastest ever lap of the circuit was set by Lewis Hamilton in 2017. Will it be beaten over the 2018 Australian Grand Prix weekend?
Pirelli will supply Soft, Supersoft, and Ultrasoft tyres for the Australian Grand Prix.
Each driver’s choice of tyres is as follows:
2017 Fastest Lap in each Session
The table below shows the fastest lap set in each session of the 2017 Australian Grand Prix weekend:
|Free Practice 1||1:24.220 (Lewis Hamilton)|
|Free Practice 2||1:23.620 (Lewis Hamilton)|
|Free Practice 3||1;23.380 (Sebastian Vettel)|
|Qualifying||1:22.188 (Lewis Hamilton)|
|Grand Prix||1:26.538 (Kimi Raikkonen)|