The start of another thrilling year in Formula 1 is upon us, as the action for the 2023 season gets underway with the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, March 5. However, one of the standout races in the opening month of the campaign remains the Australian Grand Prix, in Melbourne, which returned after a three-year absence in 2022.
Once again, Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne will host the event, just as it has since 1996. You can find out everything you need to know about the race before this year’s edition here.
Albert Park Circuit Information
The Albert Park Circuit became the 22nd different venue used to host the Australian Grand Prix when it took over hosting responsibilities from Adelaide in 1996. Since then, the race has played host to some of the most compelling battles in F1, including last year when Charles Leclerc stormed to a second victory in three races from Sergio Perez.
The circuit covers a total length of 5.303km, with drivers completing 58 laps to make up the race distance of 307.574km. Drivers will need to navigate 14 corners in total over the course of a lap, with two DRS detection zones available in the second and third sectors to help with overtaking. The current lap record for the circuit is held by Michael Schumacher, who completed a lap in a time of 1:24.125 in 2004.
Most Successful Drivers
The race has been won by some of the most successful drivers throughout its history. However, few have been as successful as Michael Schumacher in the Formula 1 era. The German landed four victories in successive years between 2000 and 2004, making him only the second driver to win the race on four separate occasions.
The only other driver to achieve that feat is Lex Davison, who won four teams in the pre-F1 era. Davison achieved victories away from the current home of the Australian Grand Prix, with the Aussie’s victories being recorded at Southport, Caversham, Bathurst, and Mallala. The most successful current driver at the Australian Grand Prix is Lewis Hamilton, who claimed victories in 2008 and 2015.
What’s New For 2023?
Formula 1 looks bigger and better for 2023, as the schedule consists of 23 races this term. That adds in the inclusion of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, and the return of the Qatar Grand Prix. There will be a fresh feel to the pit lane, as a number of new additions will be representing new teams. Pierre Gasly will be joining Estaban Ocon at Alpine following Fernando Alonso’s move to Aston Martin, with Nyck de Vries taking the seat at AlphaTauri left behind by Gasly. Nico Hulkenberg makes his official return to F1 with Haas, joining Kevin Magnussen.
Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo’s departure from McLaren doesn’t mean that there won’t be a hometown hero for the Aussies to cheer for, as compatriot Oscar Piastri will make his first Grand Prix start with his new team in Melbourne. Logan Sargeant will be another rookie making his mark in F1 over the early weeks, as he joins Alexander Albon at Williams.
Which Teams Will Be Competing For Glory in Melbourne?
The 2023 season looks set to be another three-way battle for the Constructors’ Championship, as Mercedes look to regain the title that they lost to Red Bull in 2022. Mercedes has impressed at the Albert Park Circuit, winning four of the previous seven editions of the race. However, each of the three that they haven’t recorded victories has been won by Ferrari.
The Italian giant started last season in title-challenging form, and that saw Leclerc finish over 20 seconds clear of Sergio Perez. However, Red Bull will be hoping for better in Australia this year, as they haven’t landed a victory in the race since the 2011 season. Based on promotions available at the Australian casinos online, excitement levels are already high for the Australian Grand Prix in early April.
Who will win the Australian Grand Prix?
It promises to be another thrilling season of Formula 1 action, and the battle for the Drivers’ Championship looks to set the tone for the season. Max Verstappen will be the defending champion, but he is yet to record a victory in Melbourne, while Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will be looking to get off to a perfect start.
However, it could be about the resurrection of Mercedes in the early months, as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell look to get involved in the title scrap after a strong end to the 2022 season.