Australian Grand Prix
TRACK: Albert Park (3.295 miles, 9 turn, road course )DISTANCE: 58 Laps – (191.071 MILES)
WEATHER: SUN 0% CHANCE, Sunny and 64
Can Vettel Get 3rd Win In 4 Years?
Sebastian Vettel is aimed to put the last couple of disappointing seasons behind him. In 2017 and 2018, the German won the season opening Australian Grand Prix. Neither season did it wind up with him winning the championship. While he came home second in the final standings in each, it wasn’t as close as it sounds.
Over the last three years, Vettel has won 11 times, two of which being in this very race, but he also has finished off the podium in 27 of those races too including three straight finishes of fifth or worse to close out 2019.
Now, can he go back to Albert Park this weekend and earn his third victory in the last four years?
Nobody has won three straight races in Australia since Michael Schumacher did it in 2000, 2001 and 2002, so we can’t blame him for last year’s fourth place effort. In fact, he’s the only one to be able to do it in general. If Vettel can win this year though, he will join Schumacher and Lex Davison as the only three drivers to have won this event four times.
Sunday could be historic for Vettel.
Hamilton Eyeing 6th Straight Top 2
Hamilton may only have two career wins in Australia (2008, 2015) but it’s not like he hasn’t been close though. He’s finished runner-up in each of the last four years to go along with his win in 2015. That’s five straight top two finishes. Can he make it six on Sunday?
Will 1 Of The Big 3 Win?
It’s been 139 races since someone other than Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull won an F1 race. In fact, the last time it happened was in Australia in 2013. Kimi Raikkonen took his Lotus to victory lane that year. That’s the last time someone not of the “Big 3” in nature won an F1 event. In the last 139 races, it’s been all dominated by those top teams.
Will that change on Sunday? Odds are, no.
Since 2014, Mercedes has won 89 of the last 121 races run. Ferrari and Red Bull have won 17 and 15 times a piece respectively. No one else has tasted victory.
Is Red Bull Racing The New No. 2?
Red Bull Racing may have finished third in the constructors standings last year, but they look the part to surpass Ferrari as the second best team for 2020. With a second year with Honda power, RBR showed that they gained strength as the season went on a year ago.
Now, can they rival Ferrari for second in the constructors title?
Max Verstappen closed out 2019 with three straight podium finishes. Other than Belgium, Japan (DNF’s) and an eighth place run in Italy, his No. 33 Aston Martin Honda was found inside of the top five in literally every other race. Now, it’s time to turn more top five’s into podiums.
He finished third in the drivers standings last year and this will be a key year to claim a top two. He finished third in the Australian Grand Prix in 2019 and should contend for a win in 2020.
His teammate Alex Albon really came on strong in his RBR debut mid season. Albon, had 10 top 10 finishes in his last 11 starts to the year including nine of which being in the top six. His No. 23 Honda should be a factor this weekend too.
Ricciardo Looking For 1st Hometown Podium With New Team
Ricciardo, is the hometown hero in Australia. But, he hasn’t performed the best in front of his home fans. In eight career starts, he’s yet to finish on the podium. His best result is fourth (2016, 2018). That was with Red Bull, one of those top teams. For the second straight year, he’s with a new team in Renault who hasn’t won a race in a long time.
Can he at least grab a top five on Sunday?