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Australian GP 2010 Race Day: What to Look Forward

jesh rajContributor IMarch 27, 2010

After a boring Bahrain, F1 is going down under to the Sporting capital of Australia, Melbourne Albert Park.

Everyone is hoping to see a better race than we had in Bahrain, and let's hope it will be a good one.

Tomorrow, Race Day is the first of the double header week with the race in Melbourne and next week at Sepang for the Malaysian GP.

Albert Park is a notoriously bumpy track and is always very green on Friday before it rubbers in.

Grip levels are usually quite low anyway, so the set-up priority focuses on drivability to generate maximum driver confidence. It is also very hard on brakes, and there have been disc failures in the past.

It has always been the most entertaining atmosphere on and off the racing track. This time it is going to be even better as Oz driver Webber has one of the fastest cars on the track.

Red Bull continued to impress as both of their drivers will start from the front row of the grid tomorrow.

Vettel is in pole position with the fastest time of the weekend on his first runs in Q3, with 1m 23.919s followed by the local lad, Webber, who was 0.116 seconds behind Vettel.

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Fernando Alonso will start third ahead of McLaren’s Jenson Button with Felipe Massa in fifth.

Nico Rosberg once again out-qualified his teammate and seven-time Formula 1 champion Mercedes' Michael Schumacher; they will start sixth and seventh, respectively.

But the surprise was from Lewis Hamilton who did not make it to Q3; looks like he has not yet overcome last night's incident.  

Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull will hope to clinch the podium tomorrow after they failed to convert what seemed to be a guaranteed win at Bahrain.

Webber will hope to break his jinx at Melbourne hoping for his maiden podium finish. It is interesting to note that Vettel has never finished the race at Albert Park; even last year he collided with Kubica in the dying moments of the race.

But this time, though, he is starting in front of the grid and if he can survive the first few laps and take a significant lead, still he needs to finish it.

There will be no surprise who the crowd will be cheering tomorrow; this is Mark Webber’s best chance of getting a podium on his home soil.

Certainly, he has the car to do it, but it's not going to be easy, as he will have former champion Fernando Alonso chasing him behind the wheels of the Might Red Machine.

Alonso, who had already won the season opener in Bahrain courtesy of the mechanical problem in Vettel’s car, would hope to extend his lead in the points table. 

If Alonso can tip Webber in the first lap, then Webber will never find a way past him and Webber has done it before. So the initial laps would be crucial for both drivers. 

Jenson Button who won the race last year would love to repeat it again but this time he doesn’t have the car to beat the Red Bulls and the Ferraris. In fact, he will be having a Ferrari behind his back.

Then come the two Mercedes; at the moment they don’t have the cat to match the front two, but they definitely have the drivers.

Nico looks promising this season and Michael is looking better than the previous race but still have a long way to his best.

He is not the Michael I know at the moment but never count him out; he is the best in the business.

Behind the Top 4 will be Renault, Force India, and Williams. Kubica is one of my favorite drivers; he is one who pushes the car to its limits. He is always going to be a threat no matter what car he is driving.

Rubens is an equally good driver. I think this season he will be particularly happy, as he is the main driver for Williams after spending years as second fiddle at Ferrari and Brawn. Sutil will hope to do better this time around than what he did at Bahrain.

All the new teams (Virgin, Lotus, and HRT) will have an uphill battle tomorrow. The only goal for those teams will be to bring home both their cars at the end of the race.

The difference between the cars at the front and at the back are sobering. This shows how hard it is to be at the front. All these new teams must be patient and follow the track of Force India.

The selection of tyre wear will be important. Since there is no refueling this season, I don’t think there will be more pit stop dramas compared to the season before.

But still, the selection of tyres is trickier than it looks. The weather forecast has suggested that there could be a rain tomorrow, which will make things interesting.

The race will be segmented into four. With Ferrari and Red Bull battling out for the top positions, the McLaren and Mercedes will fight for the fourth and fifth while the middle team like Renault, Williams, force India will try to finish in the Top 10.

As I said, new teams will try to finish the race. Let us hope we have a better race than Bahrain, with more overtaking and more dramas. My favorite to win the race is Vettel just edging Alonso.  

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