Australian GP Preview 2024
March 22, 2024

After so much action since pre-season testing, including Red Bull Racing's alleged civil war, Carlos Sainz's appendicitis, and the ongoing driver market rumours in the wake of Lewis Hamilton's Ferrari switch, last weekend's break was a much-needed chance for recovery for all. And we're only two rounds into a season of 24 grands prix!

What to Watch Out for in the 2024 Australian Grand Prix

As seems to be the case in current-day F1, there's as much going on off-track as on it. Red Bull will hope they can enjoy their dominance a little longer after two relatively easy wins. However, the repercussions of the Christian Horner investigation will undoubtedly affect them at some point.

Things have calmed down slightly on that front, with Max Verstappen publicly stating his intention to remain with the team until his contract expires in 2028. That should ease some pressure on the Milton Keynes squad, but news about Adrian Newey meeting with Ferrari suggests they aren't completely clear of the turbulent waters they find themselves in.

Speaking of Ferrari, the Italian squad should welcome back Sainz to the cockpit after his surprise setback in Saudi Arabia. The Spaniard started the season in style by taking a P3 finish before stepping aside for British rookie Ollie Bearman due to an appendicitis diagnosis. With Sainz being a key part of the 2025 driver market, demonstrating that he's worthy of a top seat for next season, as he did in Bahrain, will be something to keep an eye on in Australia.

Australian GP Preview 2024

2024 Australian Grand Prix Pirelli Tyre Choices

It's the softest three Pirelli tyre options for the drivers this weekend. The Italian manufacturer is providing a softer selection than last year, where multiple racers tried to run most of the grand prix distance on a single set after an early red-flag stoppage.

With the C5 being available for racing for the first time in 2024, the teams will seek to learn as much as possible from the quickest tyre in Pirelli's arsenal after limited running until now. The C4 and C3 will join the fun, and with sunny skies expected and no rain forecast, it should be another fully dry weekend without the wets appearing.

Who Could Win the 2024 Australian Grand Prix?

On the off chance you haven't seen a Formula 1 race for the past two years, most races are Verstappen's to lose, with the Dutch driver in unprecedented form. Red Bull boasts two 1-2 finishes from two races, and they'll desperately want to continue that success in the 2024 Australian GP.

Ferrari looks like the closest team to stand in their way, and although Bearman performed admirably on his parachuted-in debut, Sainz returning to partner with Charles Leclerc brings the Scuderia back to full strength. Elsewhere, Mercedes and McLaren look evenly matched, and perhaps the latter's Oscar Piastri could find something extra cheered on by his home crowd.

Nonetheless, Lewis Hamilton has enjoyed eight pole positions and two victories in Australia, with Russell reaching the rostrum on his first trip in Mercedes overalls in 2022. The team know they need to improve their 2024 entry, so seeing if they have closed the gap in the time since the Middle Eastern races will show signs of their trajectory.

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Australian GP Preview 2024

2024 Australian Grand Prix U.K. Start Time

It's back to Sunday races rather than the previous rounds' Saturday starts, but only just. Set your alarm clocks if you want to see live coverage because lights out is at 4 AM for the British audience.

2024 F1 Australian Grand Prix Sky Sports Live Coverage

Qualifying – On air: 4:15 AM, Session start: 5 AM Saturday 23rd March

Race – On air: 3 AM, Session start: 4 AM Sunday 24th March

Full Race Replay: 9:30 AM Sunday 24th March

2024 F1 Australian Grand Prix Channel 4 Coverage

Qualifying – Highlights: 10:15 AM Saturday 23rd March

Race – Highlights: 12:30 PM Sunday 24th March

2024 F1 Australian Grand Prix Weather Forecast

Qualifying/Race – It's not scorching Aussie weather, but sunshine and highs of 21°C on race day will see the Melbourne masses enjoy their time with F1 in town.

Australian GP Preview 2024
Australian GP Preview 2024