Australian Grand Prix Fri 24- Sun 26 March
Formula One finally returns to our lives after a long time of absence. Winter break is over, pre-season tests have completed and the race weeks/weekends are back to our screens, heart, and mind.
The season premiere will occur in Australia, Melbourne, which hosts the opening Grand Prix of each year, excluding the 2006 and 2010 seasons.
The Australian driver Lex Davison and the German driver Michael Schumacher are the two drivers who are sharing the record of the most wins in the Australian Grand Prix, both have won the race four times. While McLaren is the most successful constructor as they have won twelve times in Australia.
The teams had to adjust the 2017 car and form them according to the new regulations which included changes on the tyres, front and rear wings, suspension and in the weight of the cars. You can read my previous article about the 2017 new regulations.
Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit
Circuit Length: 5.303 km
Race Distance: 307.574 km
Lap Record: 1:24.125 – Michael Schumacher (2004)
The track is familiar to the drivers, there are two DRS zones, the first one is at the start/finishing straight and the second one is between the second and the third turn.
Last season in Australia, Lewis Hamilton took the pole position, which was the fiftieth of his career, but Nico Rosberg was the driver who took the first chequered flag of the season. The German finished ahead of his team-mate and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Romain Grosjean finished sixth and scored Haas’ first points in their Formula One debut race. Daniil Kvyat didn’t start the race due to electrical issues, on lap 22 Kimi Raikkonen forced to stop and retire the race as fire was coming from his airbox. A massive collision between Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierez deployed the safety car for a couple of laps, but a few moments later all the cars returned to the pitlane as the race was under red flag. Alonso ran into Gutierez’s back while he was running with almost 300 km/h and lifted into the air, he crashed onto the barrier and started to roll over and finally landed upside down at turn three. Alonso walked away with minor injuries.
Hopefully, on Sunday, we will not see any similar accidents, as the safety of the drivers is the most important factor. A clear race, full of battles and overtakes is all that we need.
Melbourne will give us a small taste of which team is ahead and which made the best adjustments. Will Ferrari be able to challenge Mercedes and return to victories?
Do not miss PitCrew’s live coverage on Sunday, starts 30 minutes before lights out!
Victor Archakis – @FP_Passion