Australian GP Betting

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Since its inaugural running in 1928, the Australian Grand Prix has been conducted 76 times. It is the country’s oldest motor racing competition, and for over a quarter century it has been part of the FIA Formula One World Championship.

Between 1927 and 1935, the Grand Prix events were held on Philip Island, roughly 140 kilometres (87 miles) south-southeast of Melbourne, Victoria. The circuit was composed of the island’s interior roads and Bugatti dominated the competition, especially from 1929 to 1932, when they won every installment.

In the years preceding World War II, the Australian Grand Prix moved several times. Venues included Victor Harbor in 1936, Mount Panorama in 1938 and a circuit just outside the town of Lobethal in 1939. Racing returned to Mount Panorama in 1947 and by 1953 Grand Prix racing cars were thundering around the streets surrounding Albert Park Lake in Melbourne, much like the urban events staged in Europe.

The 1960s saw an influx of top European Formula One teams and drivers, who enjoyed spending the European winters in Australia and New Zealand. Then the Tasman Series and Formula 5000 served in the 1970s as precursors to Formula One Grand Prix racing, which got its start on the streets of Adelaide in 1985. Many drivers have since commented that the Adelaide circuit was one of, if not, the greatest of all street circuits in the world.

Eleven years later, the venue shifted back to Albert Park, where a rebuilt circuit had been under construction since 1993. Spectacular footage of an opening lap crash in the 1996 edition put Melbourne on the map and the Australian Grand Prix has made its home on the city streets there ever since. What’s more, the move was accompanied by a change in schedule, making Australia the first stop each year on the FIA F1 Grand Prix calendar.

The current Albert Park Street Circuit is renowned as a smooth, high-speed test of Formula One teams and drivers. The route stretches out for 5,303 kilometres (3.295 miles), including 16 turns around a central body of water—Albert Lake—and the Grand Prix race is composed of 58 laps, covering a total distance of 307.574 kilometres (191.071 miles).

Among the drivers who have participated since 1985, Germany’s Michael Schumacher leads the pack with four victories, including the hat trick in 2000-02 plus a win in 2004. Trailing him is France’s Alain Proust, who got a win in 1982 before the F1 format was adopted and then claimed victory in 1986 and 1988.

Other drivers with a pair of Formula One World Championship successes in Australia are Austria`s Gerhard Berger (1987, 1992), Brazil`s Ayrton Senna (1991, 1993) and three British champions: Damon Hill (1995, 1996), David Coulthard (1997, 2003) and Jenson Button (2009, 2010).

Among the constructors, McLaren top all others with ten victories between 1986 and 2010. Right behind them are Ferrari with seven wins and Williams with five. Renault bring up the rear with two Australian successes since 1985.

The 77th running of the Australian Grand Prix is scheduled for 18th March 2012. Qantas, the Australian flag carrier, have been the sponsor since 2010, following ING, who backed the race in 2007-09, and Foster’s, the 2002-06 title bearer.

The Victorian Government has indicated that Melbourne will remain the race venue until at least 2015. However, the starting time is being moved back to 5pm in order to make the event more convenient to European television audiences.

Because the Australian Grand Prix comes first on the F1 calendar, ante-post betting for outright winners of the 2012 edition opened at bookmakers as early as mid-December of 2011 with Germany’s Sebastian Vettel as the 11/8 favourite. Once starting positions are known, betting can be expected to focus on whoever wins the pole position.

Other wagering options include Dual Forecasts on the top two finishers as well as Fastest Qualifier, Top Constructor, Top Three Finishers, Points Finishers (top ten finishers), First to Retire, Fastest Official Lap Speed, and more.

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