Australian F1 Grand Prix 2022: Odds, Preview and Top Storylines

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IIApril 9, 2022

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco steers his car during the final practice session for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, April 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake)
Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Associated Press

The 2022 Formula 1 season continues this weekend, and the schedule is taking the drivers and teams Down Under. The Australian Grand Prix is set for Sunday at 1 a.m. ET, with the event taking place at the Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit.

Charles Leclerc captured the pole position for the race with a fastest lap time of 1 minute and 17.868 seconds during the qualifying session. His Ferrari will lead the 20-car field to the green flag, marking the first time since 2013 that somebody other than Lewis Hamilton will be starting on pole at this event.

It's been a little more than three years since the most recent Australian Grand Prix, as the race was canceled in both 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Valtteri Bottas is the most recent champion of the event, having won the race in 2019.

This is the third race of the 2022 season. Leclerc opened with a win at the Bahrain Grand Prix, then Max Verstappen won the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix ahead of the Frenchman.

Here are the odds for the Australian Grand Prix, via DraftKings Sportsbook, followed by everything else you need to know heading into the event.


Driver Odds

Charles Leclerc: -130 (bet $130 to win $100)

Max Verstappen: +160 (bet $100 to win $160)

Sergio Perez: +1000

Carlos Sainz: +1800

Lewis Hamilton: +2200

Lando Norris: +3500

George Russell: +10000

Daniel Ricciardo: +10000

Fernando Alonso: +13000

Esteban Ocon: +15000

Valtteri Bottas: +30000

Pierre Gasly: +30000

Yuki Tsunoda: +50000

Kevin Magnussen: +70000

Mick Schumacher: +80000

Lance Stroll: +80000

Guanyu Zhou: +80000

Sebastian Vettel: +80000

Nicholas Latifi: +90000

Alexander Albon: +90000


Preview and Top Storylines

Leclerc is off to a strong start in 2022, as he followed up his victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix with a second-place finish at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. And with the 24-year-old starting on pole in Australia, he enters as the betting favorite to win the race.

The oddsmakers seem to think Leclerc's only competition could be the only other driver to win a race so far this season, Max Verstappen. His Red Bull Racing car will be starting second. Sergio Perez, another Red Bull driver, is starting third.

But if Verstappen, Perez or any other driver is going to win, they'll need to get past Leclerc, who came away pleased with his strong qualifying session.

"It feels great," Leclerc said, per Matt Morlidge of Sky Sports. "We were quite surprised by our pace."

In recent years, F1 drivers have had difficulty passing at Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit. There were plans this year for an extra DRS (drag reduction system) zone, but that was removed Saturday because of safety concerns.

Time will tell whether drivers will find overtaking easier at the circuit, but with one fewer DRS zone than planned, there's a good chance that either Leclerc or Verstappen will win, with both likely staying near the front of the field. 

This could end up being a season-long rivalry.

After winning the pole at each of the previous six iterations of the Australian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton will be starting fifth this year. The 37-year-old has finished third and 10th in the season's first two races in a Mercedes car that has failed to match the pace shown by previous versions.

Hamilton is a two-time winner of the Australian Grand Prix, but his most recent victory came in 2015. Sebastian Vettel has the most career wins at the event among active drivers, having raced to victory at Albert Park in 2011, 2017 and 2018, but he's starting 17th this year.


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