Finally, Formula One is back for another season and it’s shaping up to be a terrific year of high-speed entertainment! First up is Australia, the familiar setting of Albert Park in Melbourne.
Sebastian Vettel was victorious here last year, benefitting from a Mercedes strategy error that allowed the German to exit the pit lane ahead of Lewis Hamilton. It was a nightmare race for Haas, who were running fourth and fifth before pit stop errors forced both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen into retirement. Kimi Raikkonen completed the podium in third place.
It’s so tough to predict, but it looks like Ferrari could well have the fastest car right now, ahead of Mercedes and Red Bull. However, it would not be a surprise to see Mercedes turn up and dominate qualifying and the race. The midfield looks harder to call, with Renault, Haas, Alfa Romeo, Racing Point and McLaren all looking to battle it out to be the best of the rest.
One story worth looking out for is Daniel Ricciardo at his new Renault team, as he prepares for a first season without Red Bull since 2013.
The opening race is very tough to predict but I think Ferrari will have the marginally faster car and Sebastian Vettel will come home to take the first win of the season, just as he did in 2018. Don’t be shocked to see Mercedes pull it out of the bag though, especially in qualifying. Max Verstappen has a chance of getting in and around the podium places, but we think he will just miss out.
1. Sebastian Vettel
2. Lewis Hamilton
3. Charles Leclerc
4. Max Verstappen
5. Valtteri Bottas