Fans have waited patiently since the closing ceremonies in Abu Dhabi for more action, but now they are only one week away from the first race of the 2017 Formula 1 season. The Australian Grand Prix has come to be known as the official start of a Formula 1 season as it has been the first race in all but two years since the move to the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit. Both Lex Davison and Michael Schumacher hold the most wins recorded on this track with 4 each. A record that will stay intact for at least a few more years considering no current driver has more than 2 wins here; both Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen have 2 a piece.
Last year, Nico Rosberg found his second victory in Melbourne as he took home a win. That win would later help him in becoming the Driver Champion of 2016. His teammate, Lewis Hamilton, finished second which paved the way for their third consecutive Constructor Championship for Mercedes. A great deal of pressure will fall on Mercedes as new driver Valtteri Bottas will have to prove he was the right choice in replacing Nico Rosberg after declaring his retirement from the sport.
Ferrari showed in pre-season testing that they may have the fastest car going into this season. However, they will have to prevent any major technical difficulties from derailing their plans for 2017. Not only did they drop to third in the Constructor standings because of mechanical problems, but it kept them from winning a single race last season.
Despite this, the favorite going into the Australia Grand Prix next Sunday, will be Australian native Daniel Ricciardo. He just missed the podium with a fourth place finish last year, but that didn’t stop him from setting the fastest lap of the day with 1:28.997. Both he and Max Verstappen continue to chip away at Mercedes legacy, and with a new driver filling in for the previous world champion, this may be Red Bull’s year to win it all.
The Australian Grand Prix sets off the 2017 season Sunday March 26th.