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F1 2022, Australian Grand Prix, session times, preview, practice, Daniel Ricciardo, news, Albert Park track changes: Ultimate guide

After three long years, the Australian Grand Prix is finally back this week with F1 cars returning to Albert Park from Friday (1pm AEDT).

Plenty has changed — both in F1 and for the world in general — since the last edition was held in 2019.

A year later, the Australian Grand Prix became the country’s first sporting event cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which also prevented racing in Melbourne in 2021.

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Pandemic aside, the F1 landscape looks drastically different to what it did in 2019, too.

Since the last race in Melbourne, a team other than Mercedes finally won the driver’s championship, new races in Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been held, others such as Imola and the Netherlands have returned, while more new races in Miami and Las Vegas have been announced.

A major reimagining of cars and wholesale technical changes have also been introduced, while Albert Park itself has undergone changes.

Then there’s the whirlwind journey of Australia’s own Daniel Ricciardo, who made his debut for Renault at the last Melbourne GP.

Since then, he has completed two seasons at Renault, and jumped ship again to McLaren where he raced for another year, claiming his first Grand Prix win since 2018.

Needless to say, F1 and this part of the world have plenty to catch up on.

Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s Australian Grand Prix, including session times, track changes and past winners.

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HOW TO WATCH

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SESSION TIMES (all times AEDT)

Friday April 8

Practice 1 — 1pm – 2pm

Practice 2 — 4pm – 5pm

Saturday April 9

Practice 3 — 1pm – 2pm

Qualifying — 4pm – 5pm

Sunday April 10

Race — 3pm

WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME?

We have to go back more than three years since there was racing on the streets of Melbourne.

That year, Valtteri Bottas jumped Lewis Hamilton at the start to lead the race heading into Turn 1 — and he didn’t look back from there, going on to win comfortably.

It was also Daniel Ricciardo’s first race after leaving Red Bull at the end of 2018. The Renault debut proved to be a horror show, however, as Ricciardo lost his front wing on the grass of the main straight at the start of the race, and went on to retire on Lap 31.

Lewis Hamilton finished second to make it a Mercedes one-two, and Max Verstappen completed the podium for Red Bull.

Valtteri Bottas won the last Australian Grand Prix, way back in 2019.
Valtteri Bottas won the last Australian Grand Prix, way back in 2019.Source: News Corp Australia

PAST WINNERS

2019 — Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes

2018 — Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

2017 — Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari

2016 — Nico Rosberg, Mercedes

2015 — Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

2014 — Nico Rosberg, Mercedes

2013 — Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus-Renault

2012 — Jenson Button, McLaren

2011 — Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull

2010 — Jenson Button, McLaren

2009 — Jenson Button, Brawn

2008 — Lewis Hamilton, McLaren

2007 — Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari

2006 — Fernando Alonso, Renault

2005 — Giancarlo, Fisichella, Renault

2004 — Michael Schumacher, Ferrari

2003 — David Coulthard, McLaren

2002 — Michael Schumacher, Ferrari

2001 — Michael Schumacher, Ferrari

2000 — Michael Schumacher Ferrari

1999 — Eddie Irvine, Ferrari

1998 — Mikka Hakkinen, McLaren

1997 — David Coulthard, McLaren

1996 — Damon Hill, Williams

TRACK CHANGES

The Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit will look like never before for this year’s event.

The biggest and most obvious change is the removal of the chicane at Turns 9 and 10. Instead, it’s now a flat-out run from Turn 6 all the way to the sweeping Turns 11 and 12.

Other changes have been made in an attempt to improve racing at a track that has traditionally seen few overtakes each year.

Turns 1, 3, 6, 11 and 13 have all been widened to create better passing opportunities and facilitate wheel-to-wheel combat.

Meanwhile, the entire track has been resurfaced for the first time since it was laid in 1995 for the first Grand Prix in Melbourne.

Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief executive Andrew Westacott said the changes would improve racing around Albert Park.

“Lap times will be four to five seconds quicker than they were in the old spec cars with the old track configuration,” Westacott said.

“You want to reward aggressive driving and penalise poor driving and we think that the changes we have made are going to achieve this.

“I think it is going to be the most spectacular racing we have seen for decades.”

Track upgrades to the Albert Park F1 circuit and the removal of the chicane at Turns 9 and 10.Source: Supplied

2022 STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Charles Leclerc (MON) 45

2. Carlos Sainz (ESP) 33

3. Max Verstappen (NED) 25

4. George Russell (GBR) 22

5. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) 16

6. Esteban Ocon (FRA) 14

7. Sergio Pérez (MEX) 12

8. Kevin Magnussen (DEN) 12

9. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) 8

10. Lando Norris (GBR) 6

11. Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) 4

12. Pierre Gasly (FRA) 4

13. Fernando Alonso (ESP) 2

14. Zhou Guanyu (CHN) 1

15. Mick Schumacher (GER) 0

16. Lance Stroll (CAN) 0

17. Nico Hülkenberg (GER) 0

18. Alex Albon (THA) 0

19. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) 0

20. Nicholas Latifi (CAN)

Constructors

1. Ferrari 78

2. Mercedes 38

3. Red Bull 37

4. Alpine-Renault 16

5. Haas-Ferrari 12

6. Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 9

7. AlphaTauri-Red Bull 8

8. McLaren-Mercedes 6

9. Aston Martin-Mercedes 0

10. Williams-Mercedes 0



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