All you need to know ahead of next weekend’s 2024 Australian Grand Prix Formula 1 Event at Albert Park in Melbourne

by Sports Benches

The 2024 Australian Grand Prix Formula 1 Round is not far away beginning next Friday at the streets of Albert Park in Melbourne. It will be the third race of a long 24 event calendar with 3 x reigning champion Max Verstappen who is outstanding so far with back-to-back pole and race wins in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia for Red Bull-Honda RBPT. So this is the man to beat as he’s also the defending winner here, having done so for the first time last year on what has been a caution filled race that led into a late finish around 5.30pm local time. Don’t forget we could see another talented youngster again in Britain’s Oliver Bearman who filled in well for the ill Carlos Sainz last time round (Saudi Arabia) for Ferrari where he finished 7th. What’s even better that we will have two Aussie drivers on the grid again for the first time since 2013 where high-flying youngster Oscar Piastri and the experienced Daniel Ricciardo will be flying the flag for McLaren-Mercedes and Visa CashApp RB-Honda RBPT respectively. There hasn’t been a home winner since Alan Jones back in 1980 during his Championship-winning season for Williams as it’s unlikely we will see Piastri end that long-running drought at this stage but you never know.

But wait there’s more, Alpine’s Test/Reverse driver Jack Doohan and his legendary motorcycle grand prix dad Mick will also be stopping by at the same time where they will do a bit of their own fun event together with Jack driving a Benetton B200 and Mick riding a Honda RCV213 production bike around the track. While it’s a bummer that Jack won’t be given a chance for next Friday’s free practice sessions since he chose not to race anything this year after two good seasons in Formula 2, we will get to see more of him throughout this year – mainly during the European leg races. Considering Alpine’s disastrous start of 2024, hope Jack can be given a chance and get to be on race days if things don’t work out by the middle of the year. But again, it’s a difficult sport to get into considering you would need lots of financial support in order to get your foot into the door out of a 20-car competition. So Alpine should correct the mistake they did with Piastri two years ago regarding the contract dispute/next season’s driver line-up and have Doohan replacing Esteban Ocon if he goes to Mercedes or even Pierre Gasly earlier than expected who is sitting last right now in the drivers’ standings behind American Logan Sargeant from Williams.

And lastly, the broadcast details on where you can tune in if you’re unable to watch the race in-person. Fox Sports with its streaming platform Kayo has the exclusive rights to every round of the season from practice, qualifying, some sprint races and the all-important race days Live and on-demand. They will simulcast the Sky Sports feed all along and if you want to keep up to date with Formula 1 as the season goes on, look out for free-to-view highlights clips sometime on a Monday after each Grand Prix. Also, as part of the current anti-siphoning rule required to have the annual Aus GP event on free-to-air by the Government, Network 10 will be back onboard for this event for the 20th year and the 22nd year covering this sport if you count 2020-21 being COVID related years when the sport was unable to race here at the time. They will once again have their studio coverage as well as their own commentary since 10 had to share the rights with Fox back in 2015 where they will air all three days of the Australian GP event live. This is the second year out of five under the current updated Formula 1 broadcast deal here where 10 & Fox Sports/Kayo are not going anywhere right now with the next rights cycle coming up from 2028.

All in all, it’s going to be an amazing event with the Supercars, Formula 2 and 3 also on show amongst other categories in the lead up towards the main 56-lap race next Sunday afternoon at 3pm AEDT.

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