FORMULA 1 – ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX 2016
March 20, Albert’s Park Melbourne, 16:00
Formula 1 fans all around the world have been passionately waiting for this race. This weekend sunny Melbourne’s Albert Park hosts its 21th world championship race. Interesting fact for all Formula 1 fans; within those 20 races Albert Park hosted, 19 of them were season openers, and this week we will witness another one of those.
The first Grand Prix ever presented in “the land down under” was in 1985. First 11 races were held in Adelaide, after that the event was moved to Melbourne’s amazing looking Albert Park in 1996, part of the race using closed off public roads and it will hold its 21th in this venue. The race in Melbourne is extremely popular within drivers and fans due to its great atmosphere and vivid surroundings.
A lot of attention will be focused on 26 years old Dan Ricciardo who is hoping to define all odds and become the first Aussie winner on home soil in this season-opening 2016 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix. Racing for Red Bull, they will also hope for a good result by their racer to help them put last year’s season behind. But looking at pre season testing he will be little to no match for Mercedes and Ferrari, who have shown they are a class above all the others.
Teams Red Bull Racing, Williams and Force India are all unchanged like Mercedes and Ferrari. Renault on the other hand has a new line up of Dane Kevin Magnussen and British rookie Jolyon Palmer (son of former F1 racer Jonathan Palmer). Torro Rosso with a young duo Max Verstappen, who has finished at 12th position last season and Carlos Sainz( finishing at 15th position), have shown great performances last year and are switching engines for this season from Renault to Ferrari. McLaren-Honda have a terrible season to forget and the frustration surely is affecting Fernando Alonso and 2009 champion Jenson Button.
Going into this race, Lewis Hamilton is a sure favourite for chasing his 3rd title in a row. He has had an excellent last season and will try to repeat it this year. But there are some sceptics regarding that. Some may say he has lost the motivation, seeing the life style of Hamilton, who has partied a bit too much in last season after he secured his 2nd title, and his mental state might not be as expected. Nico Rosberg , Hamilton’s team mate thinks otherwise and said Lewis Hamilton’s focus is not affected.
It’s nothing surprising for Lewis Hamilton to party all day, just to sit in a race car the next day and win, but he is 31 now and there is a question, how much more time can he handle living like that. The party lifestyle started after he secured last season title and it seemed as it has not stopped yet. Instead of going to Australia for the season-opener, Lewis Hamilton rather began his week in New Zealand. There he has had some problems in casino and escaped police after posting a video of riding Harley Davidson and filming it. You can make a name for yourself as a “champion”, but if you do not act like one, the rather unprofessional life style will catch up to you and your performance will suffer. He did state he can go and switch off and on between races without harming his performance, we shall see if he can stand behind his words.
On the other hand, Lewis Hamilton’s team mate Nico Rosberg has been more focused on business and comes out as a more serious racer going into this race compared to Hamilton. He has been keeping low profile and will surely want to keep up what he has been doing last season, winning races and claiming pole positions.
I believe Nico Rosberg has a better chance of winning this one, solely due to his dedication, compared to Hamilton’s who can be described a bit unprofessional for a racer he is, or better yet a racing name he has made for himself. Formula 1 has seen a lot of racers who had similar life style to Hamilton’s but he surely is one of the top examples regarding that.
I will go against most people opinion and suggest to back Nico Rosberg to win. With odds of 3.5 it has a great value and quite frankly Nico is capable to win this one.
Being a big race I decided to add another prediction. Odds on Sebastian Vettel finishing in the top 3 is 1/2 and it won’t be the first time he would end in top 3 in Melbourne. Of course the odds are not really high but it’s a solid bet on a former world champion who has had great winter testing. Also Ferrari has set 4 best times in winter testing, so it’s safe to say Vettel has a car that appears to be in a good shape.
Prediction 1: Nico Rosberg to win
Odds: 3.50 Various Bookmakers
Prediction 2: Sebastian Vettel to finish in top 3
Odds: 1.55 Various Bookmakers