F1 Australian Grand Prix predictions: Alonso can go ahead | Sports News



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Spanish Alpine rider Fernando Alonso takes part in qualifying


Free F1 tips, best bets and analysis for Formula 1’s Australian Grand Prix from Albert Park, Melbourne on Sunday.

where to watch

Sky Sports F1, 6am Sunday

Best bets

Fernando Alonso cracks top six
1pt 5-2 general

Notified on Wednesday

Charles Leclerc winner of the race
1pt 13-8

Race previews

Charles Leclerc achieved two pole positions in three races as Ferrari continued their impressive start to the season in Melbourne.

The world championship leader is the equal favorite to win the Australian Grand Prix and is certainly sustainable at that price, while those who took advice from Racing Post Sport midweek to kick the Monegasque driver to 13 -8 are in a strong position.

Defending champion Max Verstappen lines up alongside Leclerc, but he hasn’t been comfortable with the handling of his Red Bull this weekend.

Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez was unable to follow up his maiden pole position secured in Saudi Arabia last time out, but the Mexican has kept pace with the Dutchman all weekend.

After a two-week break from the first race, we’ve seen evidence that teams are starting to develop their cars.

McLaren struggled in both Middle East races but appeared to have made significant progress with Lando Norris qualifying a stunning fourth place. Daniel Ricciardo, racing in front of his home crowd for the first time in three years, will also feel in better shape as he lines up seventh.

Mercedes McLaren drivers sandwich Lewis Hamilton and George Russell on the grid, as the dominant team of recent years continues to struggle.

The two Spanish F1 drivers, Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz, started out of position in ninth and tenth.

Alonso felt capable of fighting for pole as Alpine clearly took a step forward from the last race. However, at the start of Q3, he suffered a hydraulic failure while completing a lightning-fast lap.

With that kind of pace he should have a good chance of beating McLarens and Mercedes in the race and backing the two-time world champion to a top-six finish should provide some entertainment.

Qualifying was interrupted while Alonso’s car was collected, which had the effect of ruining Sainz’s session.

The Ferrari driver needs to start taking some points off his teammate Leclerc if he wants to stay in the title chase.

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