The first Grand Prix of the 2016 season is quickly approaching and so it is time to have a look at what to look for at the Australian Grand Prix, if you prefer the videos I make there is also a video format.
Perhaps the most obvious thing to watch for at the first race weekend is the new qualifying. Australia will be the first race to use the qualifying so it will be interesting to see how the drivers and the teams cope with the shake up. Specifically look for less practice laps during the first qualifying session, drivers will pretty much have to go out and drive like they mean it if they want to survive Q1.
Two drivers you’ll need to watch are Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. After the end of the last season there could be a change in domination as Rosberg seemed to have an advantage in the last few races of 2015. It will be interesting to see if that advantage stayed with him over the winter. He’ll be hungry for that world title this year and Australia will be his first chance to prove he can do it. Hamilton will be eager to get another world title under his belt so he will probably come out fighting in Australia. It may be that qualifying decides the fate of these two drivers.
Out of all the teams on track this year I’d say the one to watch at Melbourne will be Ferrari. Ferrari proved their worth at testing in Barcelona and with the developments from the winter break they will hopefully be real contenders for the championship. If Ferrari can get ahead in the constructors championship at Melbourne then that will stand them in good stead for the next few races.
A team we’re hoping can show it’s improvement at Melbourne is McLaren, this is the teams first chance since last year to prove that the switch to Honda power was worth it. If we have a race like 2014 where McLaren capitalised on crashes and mistakes then we could see them well near the top. I doubt they’ll emulate 2014 though with a double podium finish.
One last driver to watch is Kevin Magnussen, he’s been out of the sport for a year and he’s keen to prove McLaren shouldn’t have let him go. He was entered for the 2015 Australian Grand Prix as a reserve driver but never made it to the grid after a failure in the car, a stark contrast to his second place finish in 2014. Magnussen is good at this track so if there’s a driver to watch lower down the pack it’s him.