Formula 1

2024 Australian Grand Prix – Circuit Information, Weekend Predictions and Timings

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Credit: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Formula 1 heads to Melbourne for Round three of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship this weekend, as Max Verstappen aims for his third win of the season.

Racing returns to Albert Park for the 2024 Australian Grand Prix, this weekend and it will be Verstappen that everyone is aiming to beat. The Dutchman has picked up where he left off in 2023, and has secured both pole positions and both race wins so far this season. Including 2023, he’s on a nine-race win streak.

Despite that, the main storylines for Oracle Red Bull Racing have been their off-track political drama. The latest reports suggest that a Red Bull employee has filed a complaint to the FIA regarding the Christian Horner incident. The Horner drama has led to reported arguments within Red Bull, with tensions high between senior figures such as Helmut Marko and Jos Verstappen and the team principal. 

The drama hasn’t affected the performance of Verstappen or Sergio Pérez though, and it looks like that won’t be the case this weekend either as Red Bull enter the weekend as strong favourites.

Carlos Sainz Jr. could return to F1 action this weekend after missing the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to needing surgery for appendicitis. He returned to the paddock in Jeddah following the surgery and watched Ollie Bearman score points on his Scuderia Ferrari debut.

Photo by Simon Galloway / LAT Images

Sainz had a strong opening race in Bahrain, and will be hoping for another strong display if he is to return this weekend. The Spaniard is without a race seat for 2025 with Lewis Hamilton joining Ferrari next season, and he’ll be hoping to impress to earn a drive next year and beyond.

Oscar Piastri will lineup for his second Australian GP, and after scoring points in the opening two rounds, he’ll be hoping for a good result at his home race. It’s been a completely different start to the season for fellow Aussie, Daniel Ricciardo. The Honey Badger has been outqualified by his teammate at both races so far this season, and will be wanting to put together a better result in his home race.

Circuit Info:

Albert Park is a street track, with most of it being used as public roads when F1 isn’t in town and the circuit is very popular amongst fans of the sport, and locals. Overtaking is usually not a common occurrence at Albert Park, but in recent times major layout changes have increased the quality of racing and allowed for more passes.

The 2022 changes saw the chicane removed at turns nine and ten to allow for a fourth DRS zone. Changes were also made to several corners, making them wider.

TheCheckeredFlag Predictions:

Predicting who wins a race has become easy in the last few years, due to the brilliance of Verstappen and Red Bull and this weekend expect no different. The action behind Red Bull will be interesting though, Ferrari seem clear in second but Mercedes, Aston Martin and McLaren will all fancy spoiling their party and getting their first podium finishes of the season.

Alpine will also be hoping to make some improvements after a horrid start to the campaign, as will Visa Cash App RB.

Top Ten Predictions:

  1. Max Verstappen
  2. Sergio Perez
  3. Charles Leclerc
  4. Carlos Sainz
  5. Lewis Hamilton
  6. Lando Norris
  7. Oscar Piastri
  8. George Russell
  9. Fernando Alonso
  10. Daniel Ricciardo

We predict Verstappen to win, once again ahead of his team-mate and Leclerc. We think Sainz’s return to the grid will see him secure a fourth place finish ahead of Hamilton and Norris, while we have predicted that both Aussies will score points, with Piastri in seventh and Ricciardo in tenth.

Photo by Mark Sutton / LAT Images

Timings – British (Track Time):

Friday 22nd March:

FP1: 01:30 – 02:30 (12:30 – 13:30)

FP2: 05:00 – 06:00 (16:00 – 17:00)

Saturday 23rd March:

FP3: 01:30 – 02:30 (12:30 – 13:30)

Qualifying: 05:00 – 06:00 (16:00 – 17:00)

Sunday 24th March:

Race: 04:00 (15:00)

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