In Review

2019 F1 Australian GP: Hamilton on pole, race start time, TV guide, betting odds

Mercedes secure a one-two in qualifying for the first race of the season

Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix

  • What: race No.1 on the 2019 F1 calendar 
  • When: 15-17 March 
  • Where: Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia
  • Race start time: 5.10am on Sunday 17 March (UK time) 
  • TV channels: live on Sky Sports F1 and highlights on Channel 4 

Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton will start the first race of the 2019 season on pole position after recording the fastest time in qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix.

Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas secured a one-two for Mercedes with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third and fourth respectively.

Five-time world champion Hamilton told “Everyone was not expecting to see the performance difference we have seen here.

“[On Friday] Ferrari were with us. We were heavy on fuel, and then when we dropped fuel we were on par in terms of performance. Then all of a sudden, they lost some performance this morning, which is not what I was expecting.

“It’s a difficult circuit and it’s dusty, it could be a number of things [why they were slower]. I’m grateful for where our car is and I know Ferrari will be pushing hard and progressing in the coming days.”

Despite finishing third in qualifying Vettel is confident that Ferrari can win the Australian GP on Sunday (5.10am start UK time). Ferrari impressed in pre-season testing and Vettel was last year’s winner in Melbourne.

The German driver said: “Of course, I think we can [win]. You never know what’s happening. Last year we got a bit lucky but the race is over when there’s the chequered flag. I think we have a good car, we have a good race car and we are in good form.

“Obviously Mercedes are the clear favourites after the result today and the pace they have shown so far. But we are here to race. Otherwise it would be quite dull. I think all the people would agree.

“We’ll see what happens tomorrow. Tomorrow is a new day. We’ve done it before, around here especially, so, we’ll see. Our starts are pretty handy, so we’ll go from there.”

F1 Australian GP race guide

  • Circuit: Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Albert Park, Melbourne 
  • First grand prix: 1996 
  • Number of laps: 58 
  • Circuit length: 5.303km 
  • Race distance: 307.574km 
  • Lap record: 1:24.125 by Michael Schumacher in 2004 
  • 2018 podium: 1st Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari); 2nd Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 3rd Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari)
When are the practice sessions?

There are three full practice (FP) sessions in Australia. FP1 takes place at 1am and FP2 takes place at 5am on Friday 15 March. FP3 takes place at 3am on Saturday 16 March. All times UK. 

When is qualifying?

The Australian GP qualifying session starts at 6am on Saturday 16 March. 

What time does the race start?

The 2019 Australian GP begins at 5.10am (UK time) on Sunday 17 March.

Australian GP TV guide

Sky Sports will show live coverage of practice, qualifying and the race. Sky’s coverage from Melbourne will be simulcast on Sky Sports F1 and Sky Sports Main Event. Channel 4 will show highlights of qualifying and the race. All times UK.

F1 fans can also watch the action live on Now TV. Viewers can subscribe to a Sky Sports F1 season ticket via Now TV for all 21 race weekends. A one-off payment costs £195 - the equivalent of £5 per week.

Australian GP on Sky Sports F1   Sunday 17 March
  • 3.30am: Pitlane Live 
  • 4.15am: On The Grid live 
  • 5.10am: Australian Grand Prix live (simulcast on Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Main Event and Sky One) 
  • 7am: Paddock Live 
  • 8am: full race replay 
  • 11.35am: full race replay
Australian GP on Channel 4
  • Saturday 16 March: qualifying highlights at 12pm 
  • Sunday 17 March: race highlights at 2.30pm

Australian GP betting odds

All prices according to Oddschecker (as of 16 March). 

To win in Melbourne 
  • Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 1/2
  • Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari): 11/2 
  • Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes): 6/1
  • Max Verstappen (Red Bull): 12/1 
  • Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): 20/1 


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