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F1 2013 Australian GP

The slippery and windy Albert Park circuit had qualifying split over two days. The race promises to be just as exciting.

5pm Local time (AEST)

Podium Finish: Fernando Alonso at 2.10 See the Latest Odds

TV: Sky F1 (UK) and NBC (USA)

An absolutely fascinating qualifying session came to a much predictable end with a Red Bull front row lockout. Sebastian Vettel claimed pole in a perfect start to the new season as teammate Mark Webber and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton rounded out the top three.

For only the third time in modern F1 history, qualifying was delayed until Sunday morning Melbourne time as the weather and fading light was simply too dangerous for the F1 cars on Saturday evening.
As the session got going early on race day, it became clear that the damp track would play a massive role in deciding the grid. Q2 was entirely rain affected with all times being set on intermediate tyres. The courage of Valterri Bottas, Jean-Eric Vergne and Sergio Perez in going for slicks didn't pay of as all three were dumped from Q3 proceedings.
Perez quite strangely opted for the super soft compound while teammate Jenson Button stayed on intermediates. For Button, though, it was a fruitless effort as he managed to only secure 10th on the very last lap of Q3. It's a poor result for McLaren who have much to do if they wish to achieve the bare minimum double points finish.
Lotus will be pleased with the position they are on having occupied the 4th row of the grid. Raikkonen and Grosjean are certainly two to look out for especially considering the Lotus' nature of being easy on tyres, something that is bound to come in useful of a dry race takes place.
 
Ferrari to will be happy, but Fernando Alonso will not. This now the third occasion in a row he has been out-qualified by Felipe Massa, who continues his good form from the back-end of 2012. They also promise really good race pace. 
The surprise has been Meredes dominant showing in the wet, where Nico Rosberg has been untouchable. Only the dry running right at the death allowed the Red Bulls to sneak ahead of the much improved Mercedes outfit. Hamilton ultimately took the upper hand as he managed to secure third on the grid while Rosberg will have to be disappointed with sixth.
But as most predicted, Red Bull stole the show with Vettel taking pole despite having a lap in hand. Given the good race pace of the RB9 it's difficult to see anything or anyone getting in the way of a Red Bull victory, except for Mother Nature. The rain still looms ominously over the Albert Park circuit and know one quite knows just when it might fall.
But should it come or not, I have faith on only one man to defy whatever the weather may throw down on Sunday afternoon. My tip is Fernando Alonso to stand on the podium of the Australian GP

 

F1 2013 Australian GP

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Robert's Pick: Fernando Alonso to finish on the podium.

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