Oz practice

Who’d a thunk it? We’d grown used to the cars and drivers that would top leaders boards in F1 over the last few seasons, but today’s practice times have bucked all that.

Williams’ Nico Rosberg ends the second practice session in Melbourne, Australia at the top of the time sheets, followed by the most experienced F1 driver ever, Rubens Barrichello, in the Brawn.

In third is Toyota’s Jarno Trulli, with Red Bull’s Mark Webber fourth, followed by Britain’s Jenson Button in the other Brawn.

So that’s the top five, with no mention of a Ferrari or McLaren.

In fact, you have to look all the way down to 10th and 11th to see Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen respectively in the red cars, but what of the McLarens? Heikki Kovalainen in 17th leads teammate, and reigning world champion, Lewis Hamilton in 18th.

Ouch.

Looking at McLaren’s poor times, Ron Dennis must be sitting at home furiously raking his desktop sandpit.

Unless of course he knows something that we don’t, but I honestly think they’re in real trouble for this weekend, although we’ll have to wait until qualifying tomorrow to find out what the true pace of their’s and everyone elses cars are.

I could bang on about how the teams that are running controversial rear diffusers are all at the top of times – split only by Red Bull – or how Nelson Piquet has again pitched his Renault into the gravel, but I think I’ll leave this and other chat up to you.

Welcome back to Formula 1. It’s been a long wait, but well worth it as we’re in for a cracking season.

UPDATE: Take a look as Massa’s big moment from practice today. Impressively held.

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