So, we are just a handful of hours away from the season opener in Melbourne, Australia. The teams and cars have arrived at the paddock, ready for the initial results of over twelve months of preparation, from design to testing.
Albert Park has always been thought of as the opening race for the Formula One championship, with just a brief spell in 2006 when it was held in Bahrain.
The atmosphere in Australia is fantastic, drivers feel very welcome and often say it's one of the best tracks for race day atmosphere. The track itself is a temporary circuit, running around the edges of the Albert Park lake. This can often yield low grip levels.
Turn one is a tight right hander, braking at the correct spot for this corner is essential, or you'll find yourself in one of the many gravel traps surrounding the track. Getting a good exit will allow you to get maximum traction and reach top speed toward the third corner which is an almost 90 degree right bend, followed almost immediately by a sharp left hander.
We have a clean run down to turn 6, 7, and 8 before we reach turn 9/10 - these two turns are critical to reaching top speed before the high speed corners of 11 and 12.
Turn 13 is taken in 3rd at 185k/ph before reaching the almost identical turn 14. Next we have 15 which is a very tight, and slow right hand corner just before the pit entry. 16 is a fast corner linking us to the start/finish line.
Last year, Lewis Hamilton dominated the Australian GP, the F1 Times isn't expecting such an easy ride for the world champion. This year he isn't in a dominant car, or from what we know he isn't, unless McLaren pull something out of the bag. We expect Lewis to qualify in 8th and make up a few places in the race with his 'attacking' driving style.
Raikkonen and Massa. Massa started last year in the worst way possible, a spin in the very first corner put him in last, with Raikkonen doing something similar several laps into the race. The Ferrari duo are looking good though, the possibility of a 1-2? Maybe, but we have some other strong contenders looking to upset the Ferrari camp.
Brawn GP. We have to talk about the sensation that is 'rise-from-the-ashes' Brawn GP. Testing has simply blown us away, they topped the time sheets on almost everyday they tested. Button and Barrichello are looking good for some top 10 finishes.
Qualifying (top 10)
|2||Jenson Button||Brawn GP|
|4||Kimi Raikkonen||Scuderia Ferrari|
|6||Rubens Barrichello||Brawn GP|
|10||Mark Webber||Red Bull|
Race Results (top 10)
|3||Jenson Button||Brawn GP|
|4||Rubens Barrichello||Brawn GP|
Lap with Kimi in 2007
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