After rain and bad light forced the delay of qualifying at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix, the field is finally set for the epic race to take place Saturday night.
Sebastian Vettel will start from pole position ahead of Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton, after finishing the qualifying session Saturday afternoon with a blistering lap of 1:27.407. The pole position was Vettel's 50th career pole position—an incredible achievement for a man only 25 years old.
Read on for the full lineup and need-to-know details surrounding the 2013 Australian Grand Prix, as well as the TV schedule, race information and more.
Date: Sunday, March 17, 2013
Start time: 2 a.m. ET (5 p.m. local time)
Venue: Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:27.407|
|2||Mark Webber||Red Bull||1:27.827|
|9||Paul di Resta||Force India||1:29.305|
Full starting lineup can be seen via GrandPrix.com.au
According to Motorsport Talk, NBC Sports Network will show full coverage of the Australian Grand Prix, with coverage starting at 1:30 a.m. ET.
F1 Extra will then air on the network following the conclusion of the race around 4 a.m. ET, whilst a replay of the race will be shown at 1 p.m. ET.
Full Race Information and Schedule
Following qualifying, several events will take place prior to the start of the Grand Prix race itself, according to Grand Prix.com.au.
|9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET||Paddock Club Pit Lane Walk|
|11 p.m. ET||
Drivers Meeting (if necessary)
|11:40 p.m. to 12:10 a.m. ET||Paddock Club Pit Lane Walk|
|12:15 a.m. ET||Drivers' Photograph|
|12:30 a.m. to 12:40 a.m. ET||Formula One Drivers Parade|
|1 a.m. ET||Medical Inspection|
|1:10 a.m. to 1:20 a.m. ET||Track Inspection|
|1:30 a.m. ET||Pit Lane Open|
|1:50 a.m. to 1:52 a.m. ET||Formula One National Anthem|
|2 a.m. to 4 a.m. ET||Formula One Australian Grand Prix|
Three Storylines to Watch
1. How will the rain factor into the race?
With rain already affecting the Grand Prix significantly (forcing split-qualifying sessions), the biggest question will be as to how it factors into the race itself.
Teams will likely all start with wet tires, but with Melbourne notorious for rapidly changing weather patterns, they'll also need to keep a firm eye on the weather to make sure that they won't be caught out by having slower tires than the rest of the field at any given point.
2. Can Nico Rosberg continue his flying form?
Through the various practice sessions, and again in qualifying, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has been the man to catch, and it seems he'll continue to do so the same in the big race.
Rosberg posted blistering times throughout to finish in sixth, and he'll certainly be a very big threat to the top drivers in Melbourne Saturday night.
3. How will local hero Mark Webber fare?
Australian driver Mark Webber has typically performed well at his home Grand Prix throughout the years, and all eyes will be on him to do so again in 2013.
The Red Bull driver finished second through qualifying, and with the home crowd behind him, he will definitely be a driver to keep an eye on in this one.
Who's your pick for the 2013 Australian Open Grand Prix?