Australian Grand Prix 2019
The Formula One season starts its engines at the Australian Grand Prix. The event has been the F1 curtain raiser in recent years. The race takes place at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit every March. The Melbourne Grand Prix is one of two F1 races held in the southern hemisphere. The other is the Brazilian Grand Prix. The race’s southernly location gives it a unique distinction over the other races on the F1 calendar. The 2019 edition of the race was held on Sunday, March 17th. It featured 20 F1 drivers and 10 teams on the grid. Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas took the win while teammate Lewis Hamilton finished second.
The Australian Grand Prix moved to its current location at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in 1996. The race had previously been held in Adelaide from 1985 to 1995. The circuit is located at Melbourne’s Albert Park, which is a destination for locals and tourists throughout the year. The race is run on a track that can be assembled and disassembled before and after the race. Compared to many of the other racecourses that host F1 grand prix events around the world, the Australian Grand Prix is not run on a fixed racetrack.
In 1985, the race was first held in Adelaide as a part of the F1 season tour. For 11 years, the race took place on the Adelaide Street Circuit. The circuit was known as one of F1’s most challenging courses at the time. Finland’s Keke Rosberg won the first ever Australian Grand Prix driving for Williams-Honda. The race had been a battle between Rosberg and his rival Ayrton Senna. The first ever Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne made headlines around the world. Driver Martin Bundle of Jordan F1 crashed on the first lap of the race when his car was launched airborne. He was okay and re-entered the race in his team’s spare car. Williams driver Damon Hill won the inaugural race in Melbourne.
The Australian Grand Prix is a 16-turn circuit measuring 5.3 kilometres. It is regularly one of F1’s most well-attended races of the season. An estimated 300,000 spectators attend race festivities during the event weekend. Since the race moved to Albert Park, no man has won it more times than Michael Schumacher. The German won the race four times in five years from 2000 to 2004.
The Australian Grand Prix has been the sight of triumphs over the years. Legendary F1 driver Ayrton Senna won his final grand prix at the 1994 event. It was the last time Senna won a race before his death at the San Marino Grand Prix six weeks later. Senna crashed into the concrete retaining wall in San Marino causing massive head injuries.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has won two Australian Grand Prix races during his career. The Englishman took home the titles in 2008 and 2015. Hamilton’s win in 2008 made him the first black person to win the grand prix. A feat that is yet to be duplicated. In 2019, Hamilton achieved an unwanted record, however. The reigning F1 World Champion started the race in pole position but for the fourth straight year finished second.
Ferrari holds the record for the most wins for a constructor. The Italian carmaker has posted 12 career wins with nine of those coming in the race’s F1 World Championship era. Mercedes has won four of the last six titles.
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas won the 2019 edition of the race. His teammate Lewis Hamilton followed up in second place as Mercedes strengthened their grip on F1. Bottas has been Hamilton’s wing man over the last few years. Hamilton has won four of the last five F1 titles. This is the third season in which Bottas and Hamilton have been teammates. Thus far, Mercedes have backed Hamilton as its No. 1 driver.
Bottas finished fifth in F1’s final standings in 2018. He failed to win a race during the year. A win to start the season in Melbourne could see Bottas challenge his teammate for the title this time around. Despite winning the first race of the season, Bottas is leading sportsbooks’ third favourite to win the world championship. Hamilton’s reputation for winning big races has him atop the odds while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel is second. Vettel has failed to mount strong challenges to Hamilton through the last two seasons.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who finished third at the Australian Grand Prix is fourth in odds to win the title. Meanwhile, Vettel’s Ferrari teammate, Charles Leclerc, is fifth.
Top 5 odds to win the F1 World Championship
• Lewis Hamilton - 5/6
• Sebastian Vettel - 3/1
• Valtteri Bottas - 6/1
• Max Verstappen - 9/1
• Charles Leclerc - 12/1
F1 Grand Prix Calendar
The F1 season features 21 grand prix races held all over the world. The season started on Sunday, March 17th in Australia and it will wind up on Sunday, December 1st in Abu Dhabi.
• Australian Grand Prix – 17 March
• Bahrain Grand Prix – 31 March
• Chinese Grand Prix – 14 April
• Azerbaijan Grand Prix – 28 April
• Spanish Grand Prix – 12 May
• Monaco Grand Prix – 26 May
• Canadian Grand Prix – 9 June
• French Grand Prix – 23 June
• Austrian Grand Prix – 30 June
• British Grand Prix – 14 July
• German Grand Prix – 28 July
• Hungarian Grand Prix – 4 August
• Belgian Grand Prix – 1 September
• Italian Grand Prix – 8 September
• Singapore Grand Prix – 22 September
• Russian Grand Prix – 29 September
• Japanese Grand Prix – 13 October
• Mexican Grand Prix – 27 October
• United States Grand Prix – 3 November
• Brazilian Grand Prix – 17 November
• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – 1 December
Where can I watch F1 races this year?
U.K. race fans can watch the F1 season on Sky Sports and on free-to-watch television network TV Channel 4. Sky Sports is the main home for F1 with in-depth coverage all season long. Channel 4 will show just one race this season – the British Grand Prix. However, fans can watch race highlights via Channel 4 every week.
Fans can also witness an F1 event live and in person. F1’s official website has tickets to each of the races this season.
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