Finally, Formula 1 racing returns to Melbourne after a frustratingly long absence that spans back to 2019.
Australian Formula 1 fans will once again have the chance to see all the favourite racers up front and in the flesh. The positives only keep coming with Aussies also set to enjoy the ‘normal’ start time which will see lights out at 15:00 (AEST) on a Sunday afternoon opposed to a 4:00 (AEST) start on Monday morning as it was last time out in Saudi Arabia.
Three years is like a lifetime in the Formula 1, so it is no surprise to see a raft of changes in the drivers heading down under in 2022.
New faces at the 2022 Heineken Australian Grand Prix
The upcoming Heineken Australian Grand Prix 2022 will be the first time Aussie fans will get to see Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda who will be representing AlphaTauri while the only rookie this season, Zhou Guanyu, will also be a new face in the Alfa Romeo car.
There will also be the small matter of a new generation of F1 royalty coming to Albert Park as Michael Schumacher’s son, Mick Schumacher, prepares for his first Australian Grand Prix with Haas.
Same faces, different teams…
We may be seeing many of our favourite drivers once again but the majority of them have switched teams since they last raced in Australia.
Heineken Australian Grand Prix 2019 winner, Valtteri Bottas, will be hoping that he can take out the 2022 edition however this time he will be doing it in new surroundings after departing Mercedes for Alfa Romeo in the off-season. Formula 1 legend, Sebastian Vettel will be back in Melbourne but this time he will be representing Aston Martin opposed to Ferrari. This will be the first chance for supporters to see how Carlos Sainz fares with the Italian constructors down under after he came in for Vettel from McLaren.
Talking about McLaren, well, all the attention will be on them come Sunday as they have a certain Daniel Ricciardo in their ranks. You would be hard to find a fan in the crowd this weekend who would not be cheering on one of their own. Despite always being a fan favourite wherever he goes, this race is extra special for Ricciardo as he gets the chance to impress in his home race.
The 32-year-old has had a shaky start to the 2022 season after finishing 14th in the season opener at Bahrain before being forced to retire in Jeddah just under a fortnight ago.
However, there is no doubt that he will be looking to forward to Melbourne as he looks to soak up all the fans’ love and support.
Spanish F1 fans will have cause for celebration as Fernando Alonso returns down under with Alpine. The two-time World Champion was without a seat when the F1 last came to town in 2019.
Heading towards the top end of the F1 world where there will be two new faces in both the Red Bull and Mercedes camp. George Russell is the new face at Mercedes after the former Williams driver linked up with fellow Englishman, Lewis Hamilton in the off season. The young Brit has had a great start to life at Mercedes – enjoying a fourth and fifth placed finish in his first two races.
Archrivals, Red Bull, recruited experienced Mexican driver, Sergio Perez, at the end of 2020. It has proved to be a prized acquisition with Perez perfectly complimenting Max Verstappen at the top end of the F1 standings.
The Mexican enters the 2022 Heineken Australian Grand Prix in fine form after coming off his first career pole in Saudi Arabia last time out.
What to expect at the 2022 Heineken Australian Grand Prix?
The upcoming AGP is guaranteed to bring you plenty of thrills and spills. The new changes to the racetrack at Albert Park will allow for an even greater fan experience with more overtaking now on the cards as the drivers gear up for one of the fastest tracks on the circuit.
Ferrari’s latest challenge for the Constructors’ championship means that we will now have a three-way race on our hands as the Italians join Red Bull and Mercedes in the tussle for supremacy.
They have had a flying start to the 2022 season as they enjoyed a 1-2 finish in Bahrain before coming in second and third in Saudi.
Mercedes will be looking for improvement after a disappointing start to the campaign by their standards, but they can rest a bit easier knowing that this is one of Hamilton’s favoured tracks.
Formula 1® Heineken® Australian Grand Prix 2022 - Schedule
Friday, 8 April: 12.00pm – 5.30pm AEST on 10 Bold and 10 play – Formula One Practice
Saturday, 9 April: 10.00am – 5.30pm AEST on 10 and 10 play – Formula One Qualifying
Sunday, 10 April: 10.00am – 5.30pm AEST on 10 and 10 play – Formula One Race