In Formula 1, with each season incorporating at least some form of major or minor rule changes, one thing has been constant, that is revelation of a few dark horses at the opening round of the season. With both teams and drivers trying to get to grips with the new machinery, the opening rounds usually play witness to eventful races with several unexpected results coming out of it. Be it teams or drivers, the opening round has always thrown surprises, which makes this round one of the most pivotal events in the calendar.
Here, we will be looking at those 5 possible dark horses who could provide a major shock to the viewers at this year’s Australian Grand Prix. But, before that, in order to get acquainted with similar events in the years gone by, let’s have a stroll down memory lane in F1 history.
Looking back in recent past, we can easily take the example of McLaren drivers Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button, getting that elusive podium after what was an average pre-season testing, another such account that can be referred to is that of Vitaly Petrov, who in 2011 managed to get Renault on the podium, which at that time was essentially a mid-field team.
A decade earlier in 2002, Mark Webber came out of nowhere in an inferior Minardi to finish in an astonishing 5th place in what was a chaotic race. Moving further back in F1 folklore, one of the most vivid of such memories is the jaw dropping battle for the lead between Ayrton Senna and the then unknown Jean Alesi in 1990 at Phoenix, U.S.A. Alesi in an inferior Tyrell produced some spectacular maneuvers, outclassing the champ himself. Although at the end, he finally had to yield to Senna and lose by a few seconds, but fans still fondly remember that moment as one of the greatest surprises ever.