Will Red Bull dominate at the 2023 Australian GP?

2023 F1 Australian GP: Preview and Predictions

The F1 circus heads to Melbourne for the Australian GP this weekend. The first two races have been a bit revelatory and have given an idea of what we can expect this season. Well, for starters, it does appear that a Red Bull domination is becoming a strong possibility with every passing race.

Max Verstappen won the first race in Bahrain, while his teammate Sergio Perez did the honours in the second in Saudi Arabia (Jeddah). Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso surprisingly claimed the last podium position in both races.


This weekend we head to Melbourne for the 2023 Australian GP. So, what can we expect? What are the key storylines heading into the weekend? Let's find out in our preview and predictions for the third race of the year:

2023 F1 Australian GP: Preview

Key storylines


#1 Tension between Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen?

Much has been written and talked about a potential rivalry emerging between Perez and Verstappen at Red Bull.

The rumour mill kickstarted when Jos Verstappen (in what turned out to be fake news) did not congratulate Sergio Perez in the Parc Ferme. Then it was Perez asserting a need for better communication within the team as he lost the fastest lap to Verstappen.

The race in Australia could prove pivotal. If Perez beats Verstappen again, things could get interesting. However, if Verstappen once again dominates Perez, as he has done in the last two seasons, all the theories would be nipped in the bud.

#2 Can the chasing pack do something?


Red Bull's one-second gap to the second-best team was demoralising for everyone in Jeddah.

Mercedes brought a few bits and bobs in Jeddah and appeared to perform better. Ferrari went backwards in what appears to be a compounded impact of focussing on race pace and conservative power unit modes.

With this being the third race of the season before what would be an uncharacteristic four-week break, it remains to be seen if the chasing pack of frontrunners can bring something to close the gap up front.

#3 What impact could the 4 DRS zones have on the race?

Albert Park might be on its last legs if we go by the kind of on-track action it produced last time around.


To aid that, there has been an introduction of another DRS zone on the track. In an unprecedented move, the track will feature four DRS zones this time. Can that help make the racing a bit better? Only time will tell.

Form Guide

On Form

Aston Martin has established itself as the second-fastest car on the grid. Two podiums in as many races are just the icing on the cake as the team continues to show impressive speed.

Heading to the 2023 Australian GP, the team will hope to continue in the same vein and try to close down the one-second gap to Red Bull.

Out of form

Ferrari continue to be a team that overpromises and underdelivers. The car looked good enough to be the second fastest in Bahrain, but it does appear that the power unit issues have forced the team to turn down the engines in Jeddah.

There's potential in that package, but unless it is harnessed, it's just not worth anything.

2023 F1 Australian GP: Predictions

Who wins the race?

Despite the buzz around Sergio Perez proving to be a possible title contender, it would be foolish to not look at bare facts.

Max Verstappen was the more dominant driver in Jeddah till the driveshaft issues thwarted his progress. At the Australian GP, unless we see reliability striking the reigning champion once again, it's difficult to choose anyone but him as the winner this weekend.

Surprise of the weekend (Team)

Ferrari's surprise dip in form in Jeddah could not only be accounted for by a setup issue. Leclerc trailed Verstappen by two-tenths of a second in Bahrain over a single lap while the gap increased to around six tenths in the race. At Jeddah, the gap was more pronounced even though the contrary was expected from the team.


It does appear that it has to do with the fact that the team ran a more conservative power mode in Jeddah. There appears to be credence to this theory, as Ferrari lost their straight-line speed advantage to Red Bull, something they did last season too. The Italian team might have been sceptical about the life of its power unit and did not want to push it in the very first race.

Having said that, if that scepticism has abated, Ferrari could turn up the power unit in Albert Park. If that happens, they could be the second-fastest car at the Australian GP. Hence, hoping against hope, this is our pick for the weekend as we expect Ferrari to jump back up the pecking order as the second-fastest team on the grid.

Surprise of the weekend (Driver)

Lewis Hamilton's comments after Jeddah where he claimed that he would have been quicker than George Russell if he had the right setup should have pinched the younger driver.

Russell has more than proven his worth at Mercedes as one who can compete and even beat Hamilton time and again.

He's 2-0 in qualifying and 1-1 in races, and put together an impressive weekend in Jeddah. The gap between the two Mercedes drivers in Jeddah seemed genuine, and this weekend at the Australian GP, we're backing Russell to beat Hamilton once again.

Disappointment of the weekend (Team)

AlphaTauri almost scored a point in Jeddah and weren't too far in Bahrain from doing so either. The car appears to be capable of performing much better in races than in qualifying.


However, on a track like Albert Park where overtaking is not going to be easy, it will be difficult to see AlphaTauri make the kind of progress it did in the first two races. Expect a lackluster weekend for AlphaTauri at the Australian GP.

Disappointment of the weekend (Driver)

Heading into the Australian GP, Nyck de Vries is under pressure. The Dutchman has seen his fellow rookies make an immediate impact this season, and both have already impressed. De Vries, meanwhile, has been playing catch-up to Yuki Tsunoda and failing to come to grips with the AlphaTauri.

Much was said about the Dutchman's experience before joining F1 last season, and many touted him to do great things. That hasn't happened, though, and at the Australian GP, expect more of the same as pressure mounts on the Dutch driver.

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