The 2018 F1 season will get underway at Albert Park on Sunday the 25th of March.
The 2018 F1 season is almost upon us with the first race of the year set to take place at Albert Park this Sunday. This year looks set to be another cracker.
Australian Grand Prix
Sunday 25 March
To Win Race Outright
Lewis Hamilton 1/1 | Sebastian Vettel 33/10 | Valterri Bottas 7/1 | Max Verstappen 6/1 | Daniel Ricciardo 8/1 | Kimi Raikonnen 30/1
The 5.303 km long track, which encircles the man-made Albert Park Lake, has been a mainstay on the F1 calendar for the past nineteen years. Although only a temporary track, it is considered to be the smoothest of all the road circuits due to the revamp it underwent in 1996. A firm favourite among fans and drivers alike, the Melbourne situated track lacks true straights so the DRS zones, situated along the pit straight and between turns two and three, may be of vital importance during the race.
With the Australian weather service forecasting thundershowers on Saturday, coupled with the close proximity of the barriers to the track, it is likely that the virtual safety car will make its first appearance in qualifying. The weather conditions for race day are perfect with cloudy skies and temperatures in the early-twenties being forecast.
Mercedes have enjoyed dominance at this track for the majority of the past decade but Ferrari put an end to that last year as Sebastian Vettel claimed race honours with Lewis Hamilton having to settle for the runners-up berth. Hamilton’s number 2, Valterri Bottas, rounded out the podium.
Speculator – Fernando Alonso Podium Finish – Yes – 14/1
What better time of the year to have a punt on an outrageous price than the start of the season? He may drive a car that’s about as reliable as a Peugeot 307, but you cannot dispute that Fernando Alonso isn’t a top class driver.
The former Ferrari man has been making a lot of noise about how much he thinks Honda have improved his ride.
While it remains to be seen if Honda have gone full on ‘Xzibit’ and “pimped” the Spaniards ride to the max, I simply cannot help but have a punt on Alonso to end up on the podium, particularly after he set some solid lap times during the testing sessions in Barcelona.
Race Winner – Daniel Ricciardo 8/1
The Red Bull man stated that he’d be carrying a “calculated but fearless approach” into the race weekend, and that’s the sort of comment that makes me fancy a punt on him. The Aussie is an extremely gifted driver but has had to curtail some of the aggression he used to carry in his younger years due to Red Bull’s reliability issues as well as his teammate being something of a retirement specialist.
Red Bull enjoyed a decent time of it during the pre-season testing sessions, and if Ricciardo can get the most out of his updated ride, then he may be able to send the Melbourne crowd into raptures this Sunday.