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Formula One 2019 Season: Australian GP TV Guide, Live Stream Info and Odds

Less than four months after Lewis Hamilton clinched a fifth world title, the engines are revving up for a new Formula One season.

The 2019 campaign begins in Melbourne, Australia, this weekend. With a flurry of rule changes aimed at making the sport more entertaining, a number of new drivers and updated regulations there’s plenty to analyze ahead of the first Grand Prix of the year.

Here’s everything you need to know about this weekend.

When and where is the race?

Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit hosts the opening round of the championship, continuing a tradition that has seen it stage the first Grand Prix of the season every year since 1996 except for 2006 and 2010.

The race is scheduled to start at 4:10 p.m. local time (1:10 a.m. ET) on Sunday, March 17. Lewis Hamilton will start on pole-position in an all-Mercedes front row flanked by teammate Valtteri Bottas, while Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel finished third in qualifying just ahead of Max Verstappen

TV info

ESPN will show live coverage of the 2019 Formula One season in the U.S this year. Sunday’s race will be broadcast on ESPN from 1 a.m. ET, with a re-air at 6:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2 and one at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS.

The race will also be available on ESPN+ and via WatchESPN.com, while Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV and PlayStation Vue will all offer a live stream.

What’s new this season?

Drivers, to begin with. Kimi Raikkonen’s second spell at Ferrari ended after five seasons, with the Finn moving to Sauber. The team itself was renamed Alfa Romeo, as the Italian brand returns as constructor for the first time since 1985.

Ferrari replaced Raikkonen with Charles Leclerc, who left Sauber after just one season. Two-time World Drivers’ Champion Fernando Alonso left Formula One and was replaced at McLaren by Carlos Sainz Jr., while Daniel Ricciardo’s five-year spell with Red Bull came to an end as he moved to Renault.

Pierre Gasly, who raced for Red Bull’s sister team, Toro Rosso, last season replaced the Australian. Meanwhile, Robert Kubica returned to the sport with Williams eight years since suffering life-threatening injuries in a rally accident and Force India has been renamed Racing Point.

The cars' rear and front wings have been reshaped in a bid to improve overtaking and, for the first time since 1959, the driver who sets the fastest lap in the race will receive a bonus point. The extra point, however, will only count if the driver finishes in the top 10.

What do the bookmakers say?

Unsurprisingly, Lewis Hamilton is a +135 favorite to retain the title this season, according to OddsShark. The Briton has won five world titles, four of which have come in the last five seasons.

Already tied with Juan Manuel Fangio as the second-most successful driver in Formula One history in terms of world championships won, Hamilton could become only the fourth driver in history to win three consecutive titles if he topped the standings this season.

Sebastian Vettel, the last man to achieve the feat, will again be the Mercedes driver’s main rival. The German is a +175 favorite to win a fifth world title, followed by teammate Charles Leclerc at +450.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is next at +900, ahead of Hamilton’s teammates Valtteri Bottas and of fellow Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly, whose odds stand at +2,500 and +4,000 respectively.

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP, Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Mercedes GP and Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari after qualifying for the F1 Grand Prix of Australia at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on March 16, in Melbourne, Australia. Charles Coates/Getty Images

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