Variable weather conditions for first race weekend

2014 Australian Grand Prix weather

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Wet weather played havoc with last year’s Australian Grand Prix, forcing a rare postponement to qualifying. Q2 and Q3 had to be run on Sunday morning before the race.

The teams will be anxious for as much dry running as possible in order to maximise their opportunity to conduct more testing with their new cars. On Friday at least, they should be spared any rain.

The two 90-minute practice sessions should see very warm conditions, with temperatures almost reaching 30C. It will be overcast to begin with but the sun should break through the clouds in time for second practice.

Saturday is looking a bit trickier. The temperatures will remain high but the wind will pick up, reaching up to 45kph, and is likely to bring some showers with it. At present the indication is these will not fall during qualifying, but as that’s still almost two days away that is certainly subject to change.

Race day is expected to bring another change with considerably lower temperatures – only just making it above 20C. This will come as a relief to anyone concerned about cooling problems with the new V6 turbos during the 58-lap race.

Keep an eye on these weather radars for more on the forecast for Melbourne.

There will be regular updates on the track conditions during each session on F1 Fanatic Live and the F1 Fanatic Twitter account.

Location of Albert Park

See the location of every race on the 2014 F1 calendar here:

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    48 comments on “Variable weather conditions for first race weekend”

    1. Uh oh.

      1. I would love it! Every aspect that prolongs the uncertainty of F1 2014 is a bonus! Bring it on!

    2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      13th March 2014, 13:27

      Dear Mr God,

      Please stay your God tears from the Albert Park racetrack, I’d like very much to see where we in the dry before we add yet more chaos…although feel free come Malaysia.

      Kind Regards,


      1. Dear WilliamB,

        I would, but then again watching Sutil not making it out of the first corner is too funny so no cigar.

        Kind Regards,


        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          13th March 2014, 19:21

          It think the popular youth acronym “LMAO” is applicable here…

      2. Amen Brother.

        Frankly though I just don’t want another year where I stay up all night and then they go and cancel Q2 :/

      3. Dear William B,

        Those were tears of joy watching Kimi winning that race. I promise I’ll try not to cry if he does it again.


        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          13th March 2014, 19:22

          …and if he beats Alonso?

    3. If it rains it could be a disaster for F1.

      With reliability not looking good as it is, the rain will just throw another spanner into the works leading to a descent in to farce. Some fans may not come back to watch Malaysia, those that do:

      Malaysia’s humidity will make cooling very difficult indeed. I predict under 10 finishers for Malaysia.

      How many fans will stick around after the first two races?

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        13th March 2014, 14:39

        ^^ Potential overreaction ^^

        1. Oh I’m not talking about us, the hardcore fans. I’m talking about the casual fan that Bernie and the FIA is so obsessed with at the moment.

          We won’t stop watching, but then again, they don’t care about us real fans.

          1. If they’re casual then there’s a good chance they won’t stay around regardless. Or they’ll have missed the first 2 races and have no idea.

          2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            13th March 2014, 19:25

            @ukphillie – If you don’t find the kind of inclement conditions that have served up some of the finest races in F1 history as much of an improvement to F1 then you are such a casual fan that we need not worry. In essence, if you don’t like the thrills and spills of F1 in the wet, then you don’t like F1.

            1. Well said, that.

        2. We’re doomed I tell you, doomed!

      2. If they don’t stick around after two races they clearly (a) had no interest in F1 to begin with and (b) have the attention span of a goldfish.

        Monaco 1996, 3 finishers: Great race we all remember. Valencia 2011, 24 finishers: Average f1 fanatic rating: 3.871. Having all the cars circulating at the end does NOT mean the race was/will be good.

        1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
          13th March 2014, 15:06

          @geemac – A big “+1” to that. Chaos + F1 cars = Exciting!

          1. Yes I agree too. We all remember dramatic retirements or chaotic races rather than ones where nothing really happens. Mind you, China 2011 was great, despite having 23 finishers!

            1. China ’11 was one of the best F1 races of all-time! 10-11 front running cars fighting in a train for the final 20-30 laps. Epic…Good call craig-o!

            2. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
              13th March 2014, 19:28


              China 2011 = (tyre degradation + Lewis Hamilton + overtaking + different strategies) = Exciting!

      3. It could be a blessing for those who have cooling issues, as the engines don’t have to rev to their max and then the radiators are augmented by the cooling effect of water.

    4. Marussia and Caterham first points seems even more likely.

    5. Huge torque, lower downforce, rain. Oh boy.

      1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
        13th March 2014, 15:04

        @austus – I for one am expecting to Gutierrez spin on the out-lap if it’s wet…

        1. This should be a fine lesson in car control :-)

        2. I’m sure you meant Sutil? Gutierrez is actually pretty good in the rain, last year in this track he outqualified Hulkenberg when it was wet but as soon as it dried up it was a different story. Whenever it was wet in qualifying he was much closer to him.

          1. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
            13th March 2014, 19:19

            @mantresx – Really? What race was that? Hulkenberg is one of the grid’s finest in the wet…

            Sutil too might be a nightmare. Expect to see more of the back of the C33 than the front, which at least serves to hide its nose!

          2. Sutil is usually very good in the wet too, or at least that’s what I remember from his early days (I have to admit I haven’t paid much attention to anything he’s done for the last few years)

      2. That’s pretty much why I want rain. Drivers thought that handling in the dry was more difficult, lets see what’s it’s like on a wet track!

        I’m hoping for a dry start with rains that appear partway through the race, or the other way around, starting in the rain (please no safety car rolling start) and having to time the switch to dry tyres correctly.

    6. Huge break for Red Bull, if it rains on Sunday.

      1. Nope, only a postponement or half points will be a break for RBR. Their car is not capable of running for an entire race even in rainy conditions…

        1. You mean their car wasn’t capable of running an entire race distance in the middle of a desert two weeks ago. They will have made progress since then, whether it’s enough no one can be sure yet.

          1. Even Mercedes’ cars broke down in the final days of testing. As mileage started to rise, the amount of breakdowns per completed kilometer dropped. I am convinced that the RBR’s are going to break down during the weekend.

      2. Rain will help cooling immensely, so I am sure it will be a drastic improvement. Enough to finish the race? Perhaps not, but we shall see.

    7. All new electronics and wet, its sounds like trouble to me

      1. Maybe you’re right, these cars have not run in the spray of another car yet so who knows if they’ll be affected.

    8. petebaldwin (@)
      13th March 2014, 15:51

      I’d love it if it works out that in the rain, Red Bull have the best car and Vettel wins by a lap.

      I don’t support Vettel or Red Bull but it’d be hillarious on here afterwards! :D

    9. Redbull could actually win the race on Sunday if it rains, with their insane aerodynamics as seen during Bahrain test

    10. Imagine a rainy weekend causing havoc like Malaysia 2012….. Ending up with a surprise RBR winner provided that car completes some laps and reaches the finish line

    11. Well whatever Bernie wants Bernie gets eh!

    12. What would happen if ALL the cars retired ??

      Last man running, or would we end up with something out of the end of “Talladega Nights” ??

    13. Being a resident of Melbourne, the weather is not something that is predicted well. However, I believe that it will remain mostly dry throughout the weekend, Australia’s trusted Bureau of Meteorology has the most up to date information, but you can check out the forecasts below, and see how they change over the hours, let alone the days.

      Source: Bureau of Meteorology
      Melbourne Forecasts
      Latest Weather Observations – Updated Every 15mins
      Rain Radar

      1. I agree. I’m predicting a dry race.

        The changes in the forecast have been tending towards less chance of rain. A week ago it was going to be an all wet Sunday, then rain at times, then it became afternoon showers, now it is “just a slight chance of an afternoon shower” and that covers the greater Melbourne area.

        But the maximum temp for Sunday hasn’t changed though, still 19°C. It’s going to be a cold race and the prime tyres are going to be difficult to get heat into. That’s where the interest in the race will come from.

    14. Being a resident of Melbourne, the weather is not something that is predicted well.

      It’s hard to predict four seasons in a day.

    15. Only 3 and a half more hours remaining, I have waited so long for months but I can’t wait any more, I can’t sleep, I desperately need to hear some engines, come on practice 1, please start.

    16. the weather for Saturday is mostly cloudy. Isolated showers developing during the morning, then increasing later in the afternoon and tending to rain areas in the east. Isolated thunderstorms from the early afternoon. Winds north to northwesterly 30 to 50 km/h turning cooler westerly 15 to 25 km/h in the late afternoon.
      While Sunday is partly cloudy. Isolated showers, mainly during the afternoon. Winds westerly 20 to 30 km/h turning northwesterly 15 to 20 km/h in the evening.

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