Grand Prix 2013 Australian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Finally F1 is back! After three months without racing, waiting for car launches and testing, the first race of the 2013 Formula One season at Melbourne is just around the corner.

A quick look on what has changed compared to last year:

HRT are not on the grid anymore.

- Lewis Hamilton replaces Michael Schumacher at Mercedes.
- Sergio Perez replaces Lewis Hamilton at McLaren.
- Sauber start this season with a completely new line-up as Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez replace Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi.
- Adrian Sutil replaces Nico Hülkenberg at Force India.
- Valtteri Bottas is Williams’ new driver, replacing Bruno Senna.
- At Caterham Vitaly Petrov and Heikki Kovalainen are being replaced by Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde.
- Marussia bring on Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton in favor of Timo Glock and Charles Pic.

For the complete line-ups please check this brilliant overview from teabagyokel

- The German Grand Prix is being held at the Nürburgring instead of Hockenheim.
- There won't be a race in Valencia this year, as the Spanish Grand Prix will alternate between Barcelona and Valencia from now on, starting with Barcelona.

Pre-season testing suggests that (as almost always) it is almost impossible to predict which teams will be at the very front of the grid. Red Bull look as strong as ever. Ferrari look significantly better than at this stage last year. McLaren seem to be struggling a bit. Mercedes appear to have made some progress over the last weeks and might be able to surprise us all. Lotus look like they could be fighting at the top this year as well.

In the midfield battle it seems that Williams and Sauber could have the upper hand over Toro Rosso and Force India, who have waited a very very long time to announce their second driver, Adrian Sutil.

Caterham and Marussia will probably be at the back end of the grid again. It seems very unlikely that any of them is going to be able to fight for points consistently. What is interesting though is, since HRT aren’t on the grid anymore, there will now be six drivers eliminated in Q1, which means, that apart from the Caterham and Marussia guys, there will now be two drivers of other teams out of qualifying after the first part of it.

How will Lewis Hamilton do for Mercedes? Is Mercedes’ completely new structured team going to improve? Is Sebastian Vettel going to pave his way for a fourth consecutive championship? How will Sergio Perez settle in at McLaren? Is Jenson Button going to win for the fourth time in Melbourne? Will Ferrari be able to win races from the outset?

Many questions! At least some of them will be answered in two weeks’ time at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne!
Let’s get it on!!
Yes thanks for that. As I said it was just a polite request. Date and time with the GP thread raises more awareness of the even but that's my opinion. Maybe the suggestion thread is a better place for this.
Time is relative based on location, which is why the countdown timer is better as it is absolute.

Anyway, I can finally say I'm looking forward to the season :D

I wasn't a few weeks ago as there was so much to do with regards to updating the site, developing the FF1 add-on, etc, but that has mostly been done now so I'm looking forward to seeing how the teams compare at the first race of the season.

Sooo very early. :coffee:

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Bugger, it will all be over by the time I get home from holiday and then take me days to find the time to catch up (flying home Sunday 17th). Someone just tell me if it is worth the bother without any spoilers please?
I will be anyway as have no access and purposefully turn of data roaming on my phone, just don't want to spend the next week spending my evenings trying to catch up on the sessions if there is no point and it is a run away victory by Red Bull again with no-one else coming close :p
OK, I will define my criteria, would someone just tell me after the race whether a) I should take the time to watch the recording as it is a good race and exciting or b) was like watching paint dry, or worse a compilation of all the processions from the European GP over the last 3 or 4 years? :p
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