There have been very few rule changes from last season: the double DRS system has been outlawed, drivers don’t have unlimited use of the DRS system in free practice and qualifying and the dreaded “platypus” noses are a thing of the past. These are the most notable changes in the rules and regulations for the 2013 season. Pirelli have brought their medium (white) and supersoft (red) compounds to Albert Park. Last year it was the white and yellow (soft) compound tires. The top seven drivers across the line made 2 pit stops so Pirelli have decided to bring the softer and faster compound which will degrade faster which will result in more scheduled stops so expect 3 or more stops this weekend.
With the new DRS laws in place, most circuits will feature 2 DRS zones. Albert Park already has 2 DRS zones so they will remain in the same places (detection point before turn 14, first activation point after turn 16 and second activation point after turn 2. Rain is expected for the Saturday sessions and clear skies predicted for Sunday.
1. F. Alonso
2. J. Button (from Pole)
3. S. Vettel
Predictions at the beginning of the season are always difficult because nobody knows which cars are going to perform and which cars are going to disappoint. I've gone with Alonso because this time last year his car was seriously under performing But this year he’s got a much better machine, according to pre-season testing, so he will have a bit of extra confidence going into the weekend. I've put Button in at 2nd because of his smooth driving style. There is rain expected for qualifying so expect him to qualify well. I've predicted that he will start from pole. He is the best in the wet and once he’s in the front it‘s hard to get past. I haven’t forgotten about world champion Sebastian Vettel. He had the best car at the end of last season so all they would've done is improve and refine an already brilliant car. He will be extremely competitive come Sunday, but I think Alonso will be too good for everyone.
Join our Superbru pool (Zero2turbo) and give your own predictions or just leave us a comment on twitter (Zero2TurboF1). See you on Sunday for my race wrap up. Enjoy the weekend.