A new season, new owners, new cars, a new driver and a whole new era of F1 is starting this weekend at the 2017 Australian GP.
Records will likely be broken throughout the season as the new cars are far faster than in 2016 and more aggressive looking than ever. Only one driver, Lance Stroll, is making his debut in Australia, Stoffel Vandoorne is taking part in his debut season but did a one-off race last year when Alonso was out following his crash in the previous race.
Throughout testing Stroll gained what I believe to be an unfair reputation for crashing, given that he’s only 18 and the fact the cars are so much quicker and harder to drive than before, surely it’s expected. If there were more drivers making their debut I’m sure most of those would have done the same thing.
So, Australia? This weekend will make the 33rd Australian GP and the 22nd at Albert Park, the track is 5.303km long with 16 corners and 46 gear changes. The race will be 58 laps long giving a total distance of 307.575km. Nine races in Melbourne (42.86%) have been won from pole position and 13 (61.90%) from the front row of the grid.
Mercedes have won the last three Australian GPs, but if they’ll win it again this weekend? Not a clue! Both Mercedes and Ferrari have looked fast, Red Bull will likely be up there as well, so the winner will probably be driving one of those three cars… Full of insightful information me!
As it stands Valtteri Bottas holds the record for the most points scored without a win and the most points without a pole position, I expect that will change very early on in 2017, handing both stats over to Sergio Perez.
The Silly Stats
So who would win in a race around Albert Park? A Tasmanian devil, a kangaroo or a koala?
The kangaroo would win with a 10:36.360 lap, the Tasmanian devil shortly behind with a time of 13:15.450 and then the koala would be well behind with 31:49.080, slower than a sloth.