Schumacher in favourite to win shock

Michael Schumacher is the favourite to win the Australian Grand Prix and 2003 championship, according to a study by Swinburne University's Sports Statistics Unit

Schumacher in favourite to win shock

The unsurprising prediction comes after the unit of the Melbourne-based University conducted over 20,000 simulations of the 2003 race, which represented over 1.16 million laps of the Albert Park circuit. The unit has successfully predicted the results of last year's Australian GP and the last two Australian Motorcycle GPs.

The results of the study show the five-time world champion as having a 41% chance of victory in Melbourne. Rubens Barrichello is the second favourite to win the race, with a 16.6% chance. Third and fourth favourites are Juan Pablo Montoya and David Coulthard respectively.

The study also provides encouraging news for Australian Mark Webber heading into his home race. He is given a 34.9% chance of scoring points on his debut for Jaguar, with a 7.5% chance of finishing on the podium. Webber is also given the 11th best chance of winning the race.

Schumacher is, according to the study, the overwhelming favourite to win the world championship next season. A glimmer of hope for his rivals comes from the fact that the statistical predictions made by the unit are based on historical data, and therefore cannot take account of any improvements by drivers or teams over the off-season.

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