A some wise sage once said, “Most history is guessing, and the rest is prejudice.”
If we apply science to the results of the Australian GP when held in Melbourne then Ferrari have won the race a record 13 times – and according to F1 pundit Tom Clarkson, they will do well this coming weekend.
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Science also tells us McLaren have won at Albert Park on 12 occasions, though a points scoring outing this Sunday would no doubt please both Zak Brown and his drivers.
Speaking on the F1 Nation podcast, Tom Clarkson said Ferrari may produce a “surprise” at a circuit where they have historically performed well.
“Yes, it’s hard to look beyond Red Bull,” he said. “But my surprise is actually Ferrari.
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Ferrari car a continuation from 2022
“I think they’ve always been pretty hooked up around Melbourne, whatever the regulations, since we first went there in 1996. They have a good setup there and Leclerc was dominant there last year.
“This year’s car is a continuation of the car that they were using last year, it’s an evolution, and while I’m not saying they’ve got the pace of Red Bull, I think we’re going to see Ferrari take a big step forward.”
There are similarities between the circuit in Jeddah and that of Albert Park which Clarkson believes will play to Ferrari’s advantage.
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Jeddah and Albert Park similar characteristics
“Let’s not forget that Leclerc qualified second in Saudi Arabia, just a tenth and a half of [pole sitter] Sergio Perez,” Clarkson said. “He then got the 10-place penalty which ruined his race.
“But you know if he can put it up there in qualifying, I think he’ll be there or thereabouts.”
Pirelli have brought a slightly different compound range to Australia this season, replacing the softest C5 compound from 2022 with the C4. C3 is the medium sitting behind the hard C2 compound.
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Pirelli compounds will play their part
Ferrari struggled last time out in Jeddah on the hard tyre compound, but this was Pirelli’s C1 compound. LeClerc and Sainz may fair better for the second stint in this weekends race on the softer Pirelli rubber.
Given last years race was for most a one stop, then Ferrari will predictably fit the medium compounds at the start and finish the race on the hards.
However the wildcard this year is the Aston Martin which is tough to bet against beating both the Ferrari’s and Mercedes in both qualifying and on race pace.
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The amount Seb was pushing in sector 3 will never fail to amaze me pic.twitter.com/ZbvHDWKsCP
— Alex (@alextalksracing) March 27, 2023