Australian Grand Prix: Who’s Going to Claim the First Victory?

The Formula One Season is about to get started! Australian Grand Prix taking place in Melbourne this weekend will kick off the gruelling run that the best racers will have to endure to claim the prestigious title. Lewis Hamilton is the back-to-back defending Driver’s Champion, and his team Mercedes – defending Constructors’ Champion. Can we expect a repeat performance?

According to the UK-licensed bookie TonyBet, Hamilton is likely to start the championship with a win: his odds are the best at 1.80. However, he hasn‘t let his past success go to his head and has told BBC Sports that he expects a real challenge from Ferrari. “They are arriving on a low but will deliver high.” said the reigning champion.

The racer is eager to get out there despite having already won two titles in a row and he’s not any less keen to win than he was before. Having Mercedes as his team definitely helps – it’s a solid, well-tested, and reliable setup for him that has been proven to work. He’s not the only one who’s going to be behind Mercedes wheel and keeping focus for 21 races straight is certainly an ample task.

Nico Rosberg is the second in line with his odds being 3.10 according to the TonyBet bookies’ calculations. Just like the favourite to win, he has a contract with Mercedes – the only difference is that it’s going to expire at the end of the year. This puts Rosberg under pretty motivating circumstances to say the least as he can’t quite lose to Hamilton for the third time in a row. It’s not only him that Rosberg has to look out for and the pressure to succeed is going to be massive.

Even though Ferrari is not regarded as favourably as Mercedes, everybody is waiting for them to show what they’ve got. They are eager to claim a spot at the very top, and have been preparing patiently for doing exactly that – but of course, there are 21 circuits to account for. The Australian Grand Prix is going to be where Ferrari may start making good on their goals despite their troubles with reliability.

Sebestian Vettel is the driver who is the most likely to succeed in the Ferrari squad. The TonyBet bookies has his chances to win at 6.00, and his performance at the upcoming race will tell us whether these odds are modest or pretty generous. While Vettel himself is definitely more than a capable racer, his gear has to hold up too. If it does, it will make the Formula 1 infinitely more entertaining as Vettel will likely duel it out with Hamilton.

The Australian Grand Prix is just the first tiny bit of the season. Even if there’s a racer who blows everyone out of the water, he’ll have twenty more competitions where he’ll have to prove his worth. When endurance is as important as it is here, the best that we can expect for is two racers competing closely – and with the teams looking as strong as they do this year, we may very well get exactly that!

IF you missed tuning into the pre-Australian Grand Prix episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, here’s your chance to tune in to ‘F1, Back In Business?‘.

Kunal Shah is an FIA-accredited Formula 1 journalist who has been reporting on Formula 1 for nearly two decades. He worked with the Force India Formula 1 Team for 6 seasons in Marketing, Sponsorship and Commercial roles. As a former single-seater racer, he was responsible for Force India's grassroots talent program, One from a Billion Hunt. Presently, he co-writes a regular Formula 1 column for Firstpost, speaks on Inside Line F1 Podcast & Pits to Podium and produces broadcast/OTT content for NENT Group (Viasport & Viaplay).

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