Australian GP preview

It’s nearly upon us. Even with all the winter testing and new regulations excitement, it’s felt like a long time since Felipe Massa took the chequered flag in Brazil last year.

So we arrive at Melbourne for the opening round not a moment too soon. In the previous eleven seasons, eight drivers who have won this race went on to claim the World Championship crown that year – this is an incredibly important venue for drivers and teams alike to make statements of intent.

Being the first race of the season, drivers arrive in Melbourne eager to get down to business – Brawn’s Jenson Button got out there last Saturday – and we’re eager to see who’s actually where. The hours to Saturday’s qualifying will slowly tick by.

Melbourne has hosted the opening round since 1996, when Martin Brundle – now part of the BBC Sport commentary team – christened the track with a huge crash on lap one. Local Oz fans still call Turn 3 ‘Brundle Corner’ to this day.

Lewis Hamilton would have been hoping to steer clear of such drama and repeat his great start to the season that he had here last year – when he put his McLaren MP4-23 on pole ahead of BMW’s Robert Kubica – but with McLaren’s testing revealing problems with downforce, even Hamilton himself has exclaimed they’ll be lucky just to get one point.

It’s Brawn that have grabbed all the pre-season headlines in the last few weeks, and Jenson’s said he can’t wait to just get on with it. (It’s been a long time since he’s had so much press interest building up to a race.)

And now that Brawn et al have been cleared to race this weekend, he’s got to be in for a shot at the win. (It’s been a long time since anyone’s written that about him.)

Now all we have to do is to wait for 6am on Saturday for it all to begin. Personally, I’m not going to sleep all that well tomorrow night.

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i just saw practice 2, and what was with the Brawns running the numbers 22 and 23? I thought they were supposed to run with 20 and 21? and no one was running 18 and 19…answers please!

and it looks like the “special diffuser” cars took the first 3 spots in practice 2…i can already hear the Ferrari, Renault, and Red Bull lawyers’ pens filling out more protests…

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Kimi 1st, Jenson 2nd, the rest doesn’t matter THAT much. Although I’d love to see Rosberg or vettel 3rd..

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Practice: Regardless of whether this was Mclarens’s true pace, Heikki was faster (much faster in practice 1) than Lewis – I hope this reflects the fact that Heikki has the right car now and can prove that he’s every bit as fast as Lewis :P

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Marcus,
that’s an interesting one. My guess is that the numbers are based on the previous years preformance and since Brawn weren’t there last year the get the last two numbers, but why didn’t Force India move up, had they already paid for the stickers!\

There is no number 13, I hadn’t noticed before – bunch of girls!

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The reason Force India didn’t move up numbers was because they had already produced all their promotional material and signage under the assumption they would be running 20/21 being the last placed team last year.

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It appears that this year will be different then the past couple. The younger drivers appear to be in a more level playing field. Go Fernando!!!!

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Lewis will win and the rest…
well , you see 4 yourself!!

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H, i was just confused because there was an official post on formula1.com saying that the Brawns would run with 20 and 21. I guess that will take effect later in the season now, i assume.

and hopefully next year they’ll be running with 3 and 4 or something like that :)

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Ross Brawn in the club! Take Choco Buttons to the top!!

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“take choco buttons to the top” !?! … ew, sounds like something Alan Carr would do.

In prison.

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Up early to watch the 1st GP? 7am? I’m in Canada. Every Euro venue GP is live at 7/8am. Australia’s live here at 2am. Worth every Tim Horton’s coffee! Can’t wait!

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