Australian Grand Prix Preview

Story posted April 1, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Logan Groeneveld-Meijer

Formula 1 is making its annual trip to Australasia.

The paddock descends upon Melbourne this week for the Australian Grand Prix, round three of the 2023 season.
A staple on the calendar since 1996, the event takes place around former streets in the city’s Albert Park and is contested over 58 laps around the 14-corner circuit.

Speeds can be expected to be fast, especially considering recent resurfacing, per F1.

Charles Leclerc took the checkered flag last year, dominating a race that saw a rare retirement from Max Verstappen.
Only Ferrari and Mercedes drivers have won in Melbourne since 2014. The former could be in contention again this week but will have to bounce back from an underwhelming race in Saudi Arabia to do so.

Mercedes also figures to be in the mix, but this year’s Silver Arrows squad is hardly comparable to the dominant force that was its 2019 counterpart.

Still, its drivers nearly cracked the podium two weeks ago, finishing fourth and fifth, showing some worthy pace to capitalize should Ferrari encounter problems.

Red Bull's winless streak in this race dates all the way back to 2011. However, this weekend is probably the team’s best chance to break that streak, flying high after two straight 1-2 finishes.

Sergio Perez’s win in Jeddah showed Verstappen is still vulnerable to mechanical trouble, but the latter should still be the favorite, considering his second-place effort from 15th on the grid.

Also in Saudi Arabia, Fernando Alonso dispelled any notions Aston Martin’s newfound success was a fluke, as he finished a firm third despite an early time penalty.

Although his teammate Lance Stroll didn’t finish that race, the green team’s pace appears nearly unquestionable now. If it can prove one more time in Melbourne it belongs at the front, it is firmly in the discussion for a top-two in the constructor championship.

Although the midfield is still puzzling, it was Alpine that shined two weeks ago, with its driver duo of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly finishing eighth and ninth, respectively.

Always an underdog contender, the French team can’t be counted out to make a sneaky run at the top-five in Australia and elsewhere.

Some teams enter the weekend still searching for answers.

McLaren followed a lackluster season opener with another unremarkable result, with neither of its drivers finishing higher than 15th.

However, rookie Oscar Piastri should be extra motivated this week, as the Melbourne native will race in front of the adoring crowd he once was part of.

With such an added incentive to perform this week, McLaren will be desperate to get the spark it so badly needs, at a track it scored 18 points on last year.

Logan Groeneveld-Meijer is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email