FORM GUIDE: Who’re the favourites for Australia? – System 1

Iciness’s over, high-tail fans, and it’s time to blow off the cobwebs and catch stuck into the 2020 F1 action appropriate. So, earlier than the Australian Mountainous Prix season opener, which drivers are having a look for intention to express the assert Down Below? Right here’s our journey-down of the favourites for Melbourne.

Vying for pole

Right here is a factette that will carry out your brain damage: the last time Lewis Hamilton failed to rating a pole region at Melbourne used to be 2013. It’s miles laborious, resulting from this reality, to search round for previous the eight-time Aussie GP pole-winner – that’s the finest option of poles he’s scored at any circuit ever, by the intention – for P1 honours yet again this Twelve months, especially given Mercedes’ imperious pre-season attempting out manufacture. For the same reason, crew mate Valtteri Bottas must even be thought to be a menace for high slot on the grid.

Ferrari, on the opposite hand, had been suspiciously subdued all the intention thru attempting out, whereas happily drip-feeding detrimental headlines to the press. Nonetheless their SF1000 is thought to fabricate more downforce than its SF90 predecessor – precious at a twisty Albert Park aspect dual carriageway circuit that continuously takes a whereas to rubber in – so if all that Ferrari hand-wringing used to be appropriate bluster, they’d perhaps perhaps also appropriate be the surprise kit.

Charles Leclerc’s by no technique outqualified a crew mate right here in two years, even supposing, so if there may perhaps be a Ferrari pole in the offing, we’d name it for Sebastian Vettel – the last driver to opt a pole region in Australia forward of Hamilton’s six-Twelve months sprint began.

Then there is Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who used to be quickest in two of the last four qualifying lessons of 2019, even if he handiest used to be credited with one pole

ANALYSIS: Why Ferrari may perhaps perhaps perhaps be sooner than they checked out attempting out

Hamilton’s 2019 pole in Melbourne used to be his eighth on the song

In the combine for victory

Fascinated with his pole file in Melbourne, Hamilton’s opt rate right here is certainly moderately downhearted, with appropriate two victories to his name, in 2008 and 2015. Nonetheless again, given how ambitious the Mercs seemed in attempting out you would be very courageous to wager against the reigning champ.

Having talked about that, Hamilton took pole last Twelve months, appropriate for Bottas to shock all americans by seizing the lead from his crew-mate to seal a punchy victory. Can he repeat the trick in 2020 and herald in the break of day of Bottas 3.0, in the Twin Axis Steerage-assisted Mercedes W11?

While Ferrari may perhaps perhaps perhaps also now not possess intention the enviornment alight at attempting out in Barcelona, Vettel must be in the combine given he has won two of the previous three Australian Grands Prix (and three in whole). On top of that, since 2011, he has by no technique executed lower than fourth in Australia, barring his 2014 retirement. Ergo, if the recent Ferrari is certainly half-first rate no matter the whole lot, Vettel may perhaps perhaps perhaps be intention to initiate his season with a bang, which can perhaps perhaps assist effectively alongside with his Ferrari contract negotiations for 2021…

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Vettel shades Hamilton’s opt file in Melbourne

Leclerc and Max Verstappen in the intervening time will be waiting to pounce, may perhaps perhaps perhaps also quiet the engine reliability issues expressed by Mercedes at attempting out reason the Silver Arrows to fail to carry out the develop – even supposing Hamilton’s most up-to-date journey of 33 consecutive facets finishes shows how bullet-proof his automobile used to be last season.

We genuinely had Red Bull marginally earlier than Ferrari after attempting out, even supposing Verstappen has now not continuously had the smoothest scurry in Australia, with 2019 marking his first ever podium appearance at Albert Park – even supposing he executed last season with three top three finishes in a row so is on a scorching sprint of manufacture honest now.

Charles Leclerc, in the intervening time, has by no technique executed bigger than fifth in Australia (albeit that he used to be hobbled by crew orders last Twelve months, on his maiden outing for Ferrari) so the Monegasque is one thing of an unknown amount for Sunday’s high-tail.

READ MORE: Mercedes ready to deploy recent DAS system in Melbourne, says Bottas

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Verstappen may perhaps perhaps perhaps be in quest of some more Australian silverware this Twelve months

Podium outsiders

Who else may perhaps perhaps perhaps also mount a podium challenge?

Red Bull’s other driver Alex Albon has by no technique had a podium in F1 anyplace – and after coming so terminate in Brazil last Twelve months, he would be a surprise (but very welcome) addition to the rostrum in Australia.

We possess to show Sergio Perez right here as effectively. Per their efficiency at attempting out – and the recent automobile’s marked similarities to last Twelve months’s Mercedes – there used to be chatter at Barcelona that Racing Level may perhaps perhaps perhaps even possess the bustle to catch amongst the cease three in the early section of the season. And if there is ever a cheeky podium develop accessible for a midfield driver, Perez is the one who on the total hoovers them up. The Mexican is also on a six-high-tail facets-scoring journey, so may perhaps perhaps perhaps also this weekend uncover him high-tail one better and carry out the rostrum?

READ MORE: Exploring the suspension layouts that will perhaps perhaps also give Mercedes and Red Bull the threshold in 2020

2018 Azerbaijan GP
Sergio Perez is not any stranger to the rostrum

Points attainable

No longer every driver can realistically hope for a opt or even certainly a podium at Albert Park this weekend, but with facets readily accessible for the cease 10 finishers, who may perhaps perhaps perhaps be taking an early lead in the midfield strive against we ask to be much terminate in 2020?

Daniel Ricciardo’s high-tail right here last Twelve months couldn’t possess long previous much worse after he misplaced his front soar within yards of the initiate and used to be later forced to retire the auto. Nonetheless Renault’s quietly impressive bustle at attempting out suggests he may perhaps perhaps perhaps also effectively possess the equipment to express dwelling a tight facets haul this time round – even if his file on dwelling soil is now not much to wail about.

Carlos Sainz is a stable wager too, we reckon. The McLaren MCL35 is on the total there or thereabouts in the midfield strive against this season, whereas forward of his retirement from the 2019 high-tail, Sainz had executed every Australian Mountainous Prix in the facets – a pretty file at a high-tail acknowledged for its excessive attrition rate.

READ MORE: Our writers’ predictions and scorching takes on the 2020 season forward

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Carlos Sainz is surely a appropriate wager for facets this weekend

Now we possess already talked about Sergio Perez, but when Racing Level certainly are as appropriate as anticipated, Lance Stroll may perhaps perhaps perhaps also rob a kind of top 10 slots – even supposing with overtaking fascinating in Australia, he’ll must give a take to on his downhearted qualifying performances of last season, which on the total saw him exit in Q1.

Two-time Australian Mountainous Prix winner Kimi Raikkonen is worth staring at out for too, having long previous effectively on the song ever since his sixth-positioned Sauber debut assist in 2001 – and after finishing a proper P8 last Twelve months for the same crew, now re-branded as Alfa Romeo, even supposing the teams’ efficiency in attempting out wasn’t all that encouraging so Kimi may perhaps perhaps perhaps even possess his work prick out this Twelve months.

In other locations, Haas’ autos possess continuously lapped up Melbourne for some reason, so providing they are able to catch their wheel weapons working effectively (cough), and their automobile looks better at Albert Park than it did in attempting out, the American crew may perhaps perhaps perhaps also initiate the Twelve months with some facets, with a unconditionally bewheeled Kevin Magnussen having executed a fighting sixth last season.

Reckon you may perhaps perhaps perhaps presumably name the weekend better than us? Signal up for F1 Delusion and opt your crew for the 2020 Australian Mountainous Prix.

Romain Grosjean suffered a wheel-associated retirement for the 2nd Twelve months in succession in 2019

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