F1 Destinations

Recap of the F1 Season Launch Event in Melbourne

Here is a list of teams and drivers that attended the first ever F1 Season Launch Event in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria in Australia. The drivers were introduced in the order the teams finished in 2018, and it is worth noting the names attached as well as the change of team names.

  • Rokit Williams including Robert Kubica and George Russell
  • Toro Rosso Honda including Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon
  • Alfa Romeo Racing including Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi
  • Sport Pesa Racing Point Racing including Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez
  • McLaren including Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris
  • Rich Energy Haas including Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen
  • Renault including Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg
  • Red Bull Racing including Pierre Gasly and Max Verstappen
  • Scuderia Ferrari including Sebastian Vettel and Charles LeClerc
  • Mercedes-AMG Petronas including Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas

A wonderful standout here is the renewal of Robert Kubica’s F1 career, after the Polish born driver suffered some critical injuries in a rally car crash. The now 34-year-old is the first Polish driver to drive in F1 and the first to have a win, in this case in 2008.

Robert Kubica Williams Racing

His co-driver is British-born George Russell. Like so many F1 drivers, he is a former kart racer, and in 2018 won the Formula 2 championship. He also raced in Formula Renault and Formula 3.

Also notable is the return of Daniil Kvyat to the Red Bull fold, after being moved aside for the 2018 season. The Russian-born driver spent 2018 as a development driver for Scuderia Ferrari, before the Red Bull management resigned him for this year’s season. He replaces Kiwi driver Brendon Hartley.

Daniil Kvyat to the Toro Rosso Red Bull Racing

He’ll be partnered by new driver Alexander Albon. Of Thai and British heritage, Albon has a Formula 3 and GP3 program background, plus has racing in the blood thanks to his father, Nigel. He raced in the British Touring Car Championship, BTCC, and Porsche Carrera Cup.

Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing

This weekend will also see the return, and in a full time capacity this time, of Antonio Giovinazzi. The 25yo Italian has raced as a replacement driver in F1, but not in a full time role. Antonio was in Melbourne with Sauber in 2017, and raced in China as well, filling in for an injured Pascal Wehrlein.

Melbourne itself has hosted the Australian leg of the Formula 1 races since 1996, and is currently under contract to hold a round until 2023.

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David Conole

Dave Conole is the former long-term circuit commentator for Sydney Motorsport Park, has worked trackside at the Australian F1 Grand Prix in Melbourne and is self-employed as an automotive content producer.

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