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Australian Grand Prix: Race Predictions

Aditya Chaudhuri Aditya Chaudhuri

After two thrilling races in the opening two rounds of Formula One’s latest season, racing returns to Australia after three years.
With the new season bringing new regulations, the opening races have been promising. The new regulations era has so far delivered on its promises, with more wheel-to-wheel racing witnessed in the two races. The new regulations have also brought old favourites Ferrari back to the front of the grid and reshuffled the midfield order.
As we return to Albert Park, it once again promises to be an exciting race, filled with lots of action, drama and, most importantly, strong wheel-to-wheel racing.
Let’s look at the 2022 Australian Grand Prix Predictions.

Clear two up ahead

Following the opening two rounds in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, it is clear that for at least the first few rounds of the new season there will be only two teams fighting for wins. With Mercedes having fallen off the pace horribly, only Red Bull and Ferrari are regular favourites for the win.
Red Bull clearly have the fastest car on the grid, just as they did for the majority of the 2021 season, but this time they are up against a resurgent Ferrari. After taking a stunning win at the season-opener in Bahrain, Ferrari almost made it two out of two, only to be denied the victory in the dying stages of the Jeddah race.
Ferrari had no answer to Red Bull’s straight-line speed, but the Scuderia are still a threat for Red Bull given their massive improvement from the last couple of seasons. With Charles Leclerc showing that he is going to push reigning World Champion Max Verstappen right upto the limit for the Drivers’ trophy, we are set for a thrilling season ahead with two of the finest drivers of the new generation battling each other out.
Ferrari, though, have an invaluable lead in the Constructors’ title, and the fact that both Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have finished both races on the podium just showcases the strength of the Scuderia this season.

Australian Grand Prix Pole Prediction: Leclerc/Verstappen/Sainz

Australian Grand Prix Win Prediction: Leclerc/Verstappen/Sainz

Australian Prix Podium Prediction: Red Bull/Ferrari

A pack of dominoes

13 cars finished the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix and the bottom two had Mercedes power units. Out of the seven that retired or did-not-finish, three had Mercedes power units. It is pretty safe to say that it is not only Mercedes but all their customer teams as well who are suffering from a not-so-strong power unit.
The woes of Mercedes reached rock bottom during qualifying in Jeddah when Lewis Hamilton suffered his first Q1 exit since Brazil 2017. He did manage to claw back and take one point on Sunday, albeit at the cost of multiple retirements from much faster cars than his.
Mercedes have been vocal about their struggles and have stressed on the fact that it won’t be a quick fix and it will take some time before they are back at the front of the grid fighting regularly for wins. The Mercedes struggle has also impacted some of the other strong contenders for the midfield, with McLaren and Aston Martin suffering from the same issue. While McLaren managed to sneak in some points in Jeddah, Aston Martin are yet to get off the mark. Aston Martin, though, will take solace from the fact that their talisman, four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel will return in Melbourne after missing the opening two races due to COVID.
One thing that is for sure is that until the first round of upgrades and updates come along, the Mercedes-powered teams will continue to struggle.

New order in midfield?

While the likes of McLaren and Aston Martin have been struggling, the new season and regulation changes have seen the Ferrari-powered cars get themselves right into the midfield fight. Haas’ comeback kid Kevin Magnussen has scored points in both of the opening races, while Alfa Romeo have shown strong race pace through the two races and have been challenging the likes of Mercedes and AlphaTauri in the midfield.
Valtteri Bottas has slotted in perfectly with his new team, Alfa Romeo, and he is leading the Swiss team’s charge back up the grid. The Finn has shown brilliant race pace in both races, while Kevin Magnussen, who was recruited into the team just days before the season started, has gotten off the mark right away with two back-to-back points finishes.
Given the performances in the opening races, it is clear that the midfield fight for now will include Alfa Romeo and Haas fighting it out with Mercedes and AlphaTauri.

Dark Horse for Podium: Alfa Romeo/AlphaTauri

Australian Grand Prix Prediction
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Aditya Chaudhuri

Aditya Chaudhuri

Hailing from the City of Joy, the things that bring me joy are cricket, a good non-tilt CS:GO session, F1 and movies.

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