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1 F1 Australia Race Preview

1 F1 Australia Race Preview

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Published by AutoweekUSA
Formula One race preview FIA Australia
Formula One race preview FIA Australia

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Published by: AutoweekUSA on Mar 12, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Race Preview 
 15-17 MARCH 2013
Once again Melbourne extends its welcometo Formula One as Albert Park prepares tohost the Australian Grand Prix
the openingrace of the 2013 FIA Formula One WorldChampionship. Sixteen weeks after storm-lashed Interlagos and the drama-ladenclimax of the 2012 season, the teamsreassemble for what is widely expected tobe an incredibly close year of racing.Stability in the technical regulations leads toa great deal of carryover from 2012 and,several notable exceptions aside, optimisingexisting designs has been the primary focusin the development of 2013 cars.While the machinery has a familiar look, thesame cannot be said for the driver line-up.
Four of 2012’s field have switched teams in
the off-season and five rookies will bemaking their F1 race debut in this weekend. Albert Park is not the easiest place to makea good impression. Running on public roadsthrough the park, the temporary circuit has areputation for being slippery with severallarge bumps known to destabilise carsunder braking. Gravel traps wait for theunwary and the unlucky
but being a streetcircuit there are also plenty of walls. Addedto the limited and hazardous nature of overtaking opportunities at Albert Park, it
Lap record
(Michael Schumacher,Ferrari, 2004)
Start line/finish line offset
Total number of race laps
Total race distance
Pitlane speed limits
60km/h in practice;100km/h in qualifying and race
Kerbs on the exit of turns 14 and16, which had subsided prior to last
year’s race, have been repaired.
► Shade cloth will be used again,
installed behind the debris fence inthe section of track between turnstwo and three.
means the safety car is often busy at the Australian Grand Prix. Another variable to factor in are the newtyres on offer from Pirelli. Reports fromwinter testing suggest teams are not yet fullyon terms with the revised compounds,raising the possibility of early races this year seeing shorter stints (and thus morefrequent pitstops) than was usual in 2012. As ever, winter testing did not provide anyreliable evidence of a pecking order but didgreatly add to the stock of speculation.Consensus points to a very tight battleahead but without any hard evidence, thisweekend will provide the first real indicationof how the 2013 FIA Formula One WorldChampionship will unfold.
Australian GP Fast Facts 
This will be the 29th F1 WorldChampionship running of the Australian Grand Prix. It is the18th consecutive year of the racebeing run at Albert Park, 16 of which have opened the FormulaOne season.
► In 1996, when the race moved
to Albert Park, it produced theoddity of Australia hosting back-to-back grands prix, the closingrace of 1995 having taken placeat Adelaide.
► Albert Pa
rk is a temporarycircuit with parts of the track usedby general road traffic for themajority of the year. As such, itfeatures unusually high grip-evolution (and thus fallinglaptimes) over the course of the
weekend, as the track ‘rubbers
in’.► In com
mon with Abu Dhabi,the Australian Grand Prix has alocal start time of 5pm. Unlike theevent at Yas Island, this racefinishes in daylight
but the lowangle of the sun and thelengthening shadows have beenknown to make the latter stagesof the race difficult for drivers.
Another perennial problem intree-lined Albert Park is leavesand twigs being sucked into car radiators.
► Of the current grid, Jenson
Button is the standout performer,having won three times in the lastfour years. It leaves him onevictory short of equalling Michael
Schumacher’s F1
-era record.Schumacher won the race in
2000, ’01, ’02, ’04.► On 11 occasions from 17
starts, the winning driver at AlbertPark has gone on to lift the
Drivers’ Championship trophy at
the end of the season.
► The race winner has started on
pole eight times at Albert Park.The lowest starter to win wasEddie Irvine, who started 11th for Ferrari in 1999.
► Four drivers start this race for 
new teams, having moved duringthe off-season. Lewis Hamiltonhas moved from McLaren toMercedes; Sergio Pérez fromSauber to McLaren; NicoHülkenberg from Force India toSauber and Charles Pic fromMarussia to Caterham. Also, Adrian Sutil is beginning hissecond stint with Force India.
Five rookies will contest the Australian Grand Prix: EstebanGutiérrez (Sauber); Valtteri Bottas(Williams); Giedo van der Garde(Caterham); Max Chilton andJules Bianchi (Marussia).
► Reigning GP2 Champion
Davide Valsecchi is not amongthe rookie intake. He instead hassigned as a test driver for Lotus in2013. The only other GP2champion to not move directly intoan F1 race seat was 2008 winner Giorgio Pantano
who raced inF1 before going to GP2.
► Giedo van der Garde ends a
barren spell for Dutchrepresentation in Formula One.The
Netherlands hasn’t had a
driver in the Championship sinceChristijan Albers raced for Spyker for the first half of the 2007season.
► The demise of HRT returns F1
to a 22-car grid for the first timesince the opening rounds of 2008.During that season the withdrawalof Super Aguri after four roundsreduced it to 20. It expanded to 24in 2010.

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