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Australia 2013 - Race information // Everything you need to know about the Australian Grand Prix

Published by Christine

Formula One is back, and like many good seasons that have come before it, 2013 kicks off in Australia around the leafy green Albert Park. For much of the paddock, it's a change from the ice and snow of the northern hemisphere to the beautiful blue skies of Melbourne, but more than that, it's a chance to prove what they've been working hard on for the last few months. We've seen launches, we've seen testing, now we get to see the results.

Event schedule

Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull return to action to defend their titles, and aim to pick up their fourth in a row. In their path, some familiar names, some in less familiar places, and some new contenders alongside them. Although there is stability in the regulations, Australia often manages to surprise us, and the chaos of the "new term" feeling can produce a fascinating weekend.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
15 MarFridayFree Practice 101:30
GMT +00:00
12:30
GMT +11:00
Free Practice 205:30
GMT +00:00
16:30
GMT +11:00
16 MarSaturdayFree Practice 303:00
GMT +00:00
14:00
GMT +11:00
Qualifying06:00
GMT +00:00
17:00
GMT +11:00
17 MarSundayGrand Prix06:00
GMT +00:00
17:00
GMT +11:00

Support racing for this event includes V8 Supercars, Carrera Cup and Period Sports Cars.

The weather

Although we've seen pictures flooding out of Melbourne of cloudless blue skies and glorious vistas, there is actually some talk of rain - particularly on Saturday. Just what we need in a race we're anticipating enormously already is the idea of a mixed up qualifying.

moderate

Melbourne, Friday

24℃

  • Low 13℃
  • Humidity 53%

Partly cloudy

showers

Melbourne, Saturday

22℃

  • Low 14℃
  • Humidity 62%

Afternoon showers

moderate

Melbourne, Sunday

19℃

  • Low 12℃
  • Humidity 49%

Partly cloudy

Circuit map

Sidepodcast image
DRS Zones
DRS detection13m before Turn 14
DRS activation 1762m before Turn 1
DRS activation 2510m before Turn 3

For the 2013 season, the FIA are concentrating on increasing the DRS zones at each circuit - trying to squeeze in double DRS wherever they can. They've also narrowed down usage in free practice and qualifying, to the specified areas that are now in force throughout the weekend.

Here in Australia, they've opted for the one detection zone with two following activations - the first coming down the home straight, and the second after the first corner.

The circuit

Circuit information
CircuitAlbert Park
LocationMelbourne
CountryAustralia
TimezoneGMT +11:00
Race debut1996
Laps58
Length5.303 km
Distance307.574 km
Line offset0.000 km

The circuit is made up of public roads, used throughout the season until they are sealed off for the race weekend. That gives them a super slippery status at the first try, but the grip gradually improves as the weekend wears on and cars start piling on the laps. The more mileage that is completed, the better the track comes up, and by the start of Sunday’s race, the cars are faced with a grippy, if challenging prospect.

The course is full of twists and turns, with precious few straights to take advantage of, which means that braking balance is a key priority when it comes to setting up the car correctly.

Results for the 2012 Australian Grand Prix
SessionDriverTeamTime
Free Practice 1Jenson ButtonVodafone McLaren Mercedes1:27.560
Free Practice 2Michael SchumacherMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:29.183
Free Practice 3Lewis HamiltonVodafone McLaren Mercedes1:25.681
QualifyingLewis HamiltonVodafone McLaren Mercedes1:24.922
Grand PrixJenson ButtonVodafone McLaren Mercedes1:34:09.565
Fastest lapJenson ButtonVodafone McLaren Mercedes1:29.187

Tyre compounds

Australian Grand Prix tyre selection
Medium and supersoft compounds

Pirelli have revised their tyres from the inside out for 2013 and are hoping to level the playing field at the start of the year, just like they did last time. They'll have to go some to get seven different race winners in the first events, but the tyre suppliers are hopeful. This year, they're tweaking the tyre choices for Melbourne, with the medium and supersoft combination making its first appearance in Australia.

Cold weather conditions during pre-season testing meant that we weren’t able to showcase them to the best of their abilities, but we are expecting a different story in Albert Park, with two to three pit stops per car. The start of any new season is always a very exciting time and from what we have observed during pre-season testing the field seems to be closer than ever.

- Paul Hembery

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
DayLocalAttendeeRepresenting
Thursday15:00Fernando AlonsoFerrari
Lewis HamiltonMercedes
Kimi RäikkönenLotus
Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso
Sebastian VettelRed Bull
Mark WebberRed Bull
Friday18:30Eric BoullierLotus
Jean-Michel JalinierRenault
Paul HemberyPirelli
Toto WolffRenault
Martin WhitmarshMcLaren
SaturdayPost qualifyingThree fastest drivers
SundayPost raceFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process was changed recently to include a former F1 driver to offer added insight. These are the stewards overseeing this weekend's action.

FIA stewards
NamePosition
Paul GutjahrPresident of the FIA Hill Climb Commission, board member and President of Auto Sport Suisse SARL
Vincenzo SpanoPresident of the Sporting Commission of the Automobile and Touring Club of Venezuela.
Danny SullivanFormer Formula One driver, Indy 500 winner and CART champion.

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