2023 F1 Australian GP: Race Predictions
Max Verstappen will start the 2023 F1 Australian GP on pole position with George Russell alongside him in the front row. The Red Bull driver overcame what appeared to be tricky conditions to bag the benchmark time.
While rain has been a recurring theme this weekend, the race is expected to stay dry for the most part. If that is the case, what can we expect from the race? Who will win? Who will get on the podium? Will there be any surprise results? Let's find out as we share our predictions for the 2023 F1 Australian GP.
#1 A repeat of Bahrain, Max Verstappen wins the 2023 F1 Australian GP
As discussed in our FP3 key learning piece, we knew the weekend could peak during qualifying in terms of excitement, intensity, and competition. Red Bull had struggled to pull a gap over the rest of the field over a lap. The kind of 1-second advantage that had become the norm for Red Bull this season in Jeddah just wasn't there at Albert Park.
There are similarities between what happened in Bahrain this season and now in the 2023 F1 Australian GP. Red Bull struggled to hook things up in Bahrain as well and narrowly secured pole position. Even in Albert Park, it's been a similar story. And just like Bahrain, once Max Verstappen assumes the lead of the 2023 F1 Australian GP, he won't look back. The car is fundamentally much better than anything else on the grid and while the single-lap pace can be tough to extract, the race pace is still there.
Unless we see Max suffer from a bad start and get swamped by other cars, it might be tough to compete with him in free air.
#2 Sergio Perez finishes outside the top 5
Sergio Perez will be starting the race at the back of the grid and with that, his aspirations for a podium finish are over. Albert Park is not a track conducive enough to pull off overtakes with ease. in fact, in many ways, it is the opposite of Jeddah as the straights in Australia are arguably not long enough to get alongside.
With the kind of pace advantage that Red Bull tends to enjoy, Perez should make his way through the field, but a top 5 result might be a step too far.
#3 Fernando Alonso finishes on the podium
Alonso might have lit a fire under Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes with his comments about the Briton before the race. The Spaniard will start the race in P4 with Lewis alongside him. For F1 purists, this is the battle worth keeping an eye on. More importantly, Alonso, with that straight-line speed deficit of the Aston, cannot afford to get stuck behind the Mercedes, because an on-track overtake is highly unlikely.
It will need a different level of racing IQ and guile from Alonso to get the best of the Mercedes driver and continue his podium streak. Well, we're backing Alonso to get that done at the 2023 F1 Australian GP,
#4 The race could be a bit processional
Up until qualifying, the 2023 F1 Australian GP race weekend has been fun and action-packed. We might see this change for the worse in the race. The track is not conducive to wheel-to-wheel action and we saw that last season as well. The newly added 4th DRS zone could help a little but it won't make a drastic change in the results either.
Overall, the race might prove to be less exciting because cars will be forced to follow each other lap in lap out and rely heavily on the strategy to make something happen.
#5 Points for Alex Albon
Alex Albon will be starting the race inside the top 10 and if the WIlliams driver is able to keep his nose clean at the start, points will be on the table for sure. The car is a rocketship in S2 and just like last season, where Albon showed how that Williams is just not a car that you can pass easily on the straight, the situation is similar this season as well.
The Williams driver has been brilliant so far this weekend and points in the 2023 F1 Australian GP will be a just reward for him at the end of the day.