Australian Grand Prix 2023 predictions and race preview
Our predictions and race preview ahead of the Australian Grand Prix 2023.
The Australian Grand Prix goes ahead with plenty of intrigue swirling around the paddock following the opening two results of the 2023 season.
Red Bull have stolen the show so far as Max Verstappen cruised to victory in Bahrain, before Sergio Perez ruled the roost in Saudi Arabia.
However, the former's response to the latter's triumph has raised eyebrows and got tongues wagging over the state of affairs at the reigning constructor champions. More on that below...
Elsewhere, Fernando Alonso's back-to-back third-place finishes have put Aston Martin in the ascendency as they seek to become the best of the rest.
Ferrari and Mercedes are lagging behind right now but as the season progresses, you can expect each of them to claw their way closer to the top pack – can they show signs of life here?
RadioTimes.com brings you our predictions and storylines to watch ahead of the Australian Grand Prix.
Australian Grand Prix 2023 preview
1. Red Bull tensions?
"I'm not happy. In general the whole feeling in the team, everyone is happy – but personally I'm not happy because I'm not here to be second." The words of Max Verstappen following the last race. Many fans were quick to point out a lack of grace shown to race winner Sergio Perez.
Fans were also quick to note the total lack of celebration, even a smile, from Jos Verstappen, Max's dad, as Perez leaped from his car to celebrate with Red Bull engineers. Jos went on to say: "“[Perez] doesn't get the chance that often, I think. He sees that too and then goes for it.”
Perez was also reportedly angry that Verstappen pushed harder to snatch the fastest lap point at the end of the race.
These tensions have emerged previously. Another big result from Perez could see yet more internal tensions spill over.
2. Aston Martin consistency?
Alonso is not just here to make up the numbers – he is here to stay. Aston Martin enjoyed another strong showing at the weekend and fans will be keen to see Alonso riding high once more.
We could probably include this heading for the next five Grands Prix or more, but one of the most intriguing battles of this season will be for second place in the constructor's championship and third place for the driver's title.
Alonso and Aston Martin are firmly in the hunt for both accolades, and another clean run would see them establish their position as bona fide contenders.
3. The heir to the Aussie throne?
Daniel Ricciardo is the beloved son of home fans in Melbourne but his disappearance from the grid in 2023 has left a void to be filled.
Aussie youngster Oscar Piastri recorded his first finish in Formula 1 in Saudi Arabia and while he came in 15th, he still pipped teammate Lando Norris to the position.
McLaren have suffered an awful start to the campaign, but if there was ever a time for one of their drivers to step up, punch above their weight and sneak a confidence-boosting point or two, it's Piastri and it's this weekend.
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Australian Grand Prix 2023 prediction
Once again, it's just so difficult to see beyond Max Verstappen for victory in every race right now.
Sergio Perez absolutely deserved his victory in the Middle East and should rightly be celebrated by Red Bull, the engineers and all staff associated with the team, but it's hard to claim he is quick enough to fend off Verstappen in a straight shoot-out.
Give Verstappen a healthy car, a clean track and a lack of catastrophic accidents and he wins the race. Right now, it's just that simple. Music to Christian Horner's ears.
RadioTimes.com Australian GP predicted winner: Max Verstappen