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15-3-2013 / 17-3-2013 Australia, Albert Park

Tomorrow the new F1 season will start in Melbourne as usual. The cars are still pretty much the same. There have been some changes in the line up though. Four drivers have switched teams (Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hülkenberg, Sergio Perez and Charles Pic) and there are six drivers to either return or start their first season (Guido Van der Garde, Jules Bianchi, Valtteri Bottas, Max Chilton, Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutiérrez).

The track
[Image: Circuit_Albert_Park.png]
Length: 5,3 km/3,3 miles
Lap record: 1:24.125 (M. Schumacher)
First race: 1996
Last race: 2012
First winner: Damon Hill
Last winner: Jenson Button

A lap in a Formula One car
Turn 1 is an incredibly challenging, medium speed corner that catches several drivers out. It comes at the end of the first DRS zone but despite this it is not a prime overtaking spot. You brake just after the 100 metre board and shift down into third gear, then you accelerate as soon as you hit the exit kerb, keeping flat out round turn 2. It is important to gain a good exit, as the second DRS zone begins down the following straight. Turn 3 is the best overtaking place as you brake roughly 100 metres before the apex for the second gear corner. It is reasonably easy to outbrake a competitor and you can use either the inside or outside; turn 4 is a left-hander than comes immediately after so the outside of turn 3 gives the inside for four. Turn five is a flat-out right hander with high g-force, and turns six, seven and eight make up a difficult complex at the back of the circuit. Six has a very challenging braking-zone due to trees' shadows obscuring the view of parts of the track. It is even more difficult in the wet as you are unable to see and puddles that will be sitting on the circuit, making it easy to spin off. Turn seven is similar to turn two; a flat-out left-hander after a tricky right, then turn eight is a long, flat-out right-hander which drivers now take with DRS. Turns 9 and 10 make up a slow chicane, some would say a pointless chicane, that leads onto a short straight. You brake about eighty metres from turn nine and you need good traction to carry as much speed as you can out of ten. Turns 11 and 12 make up a challenging, high-speed, left-right chicane where drivers ride the kerbs, however too much kerb can upset the car's balance. Turn 13 can be used for overtaking but offline it can be quite dirty and slippery. Slipstreaming a car out of 12 can get them alongside another car, then braking late can get you down the inside of the third-gear right-hander. Turn 14 is an exciting right-hander that is taken in fifth-gear and requires a lift off the throttle. Turn 15 is the slowest point on the circuit and is a second-gear left-hander, and it is important to get a good exit from the near-flat-out turn 16 so you gain speed all the way down the pit straight.

F1 Time Table (race local time)
Fri 15 March 2013
Practice 1 12:30 - 14:00
Practice 2 16:30 - 18:00
Sat 16 March 2013
Practice 3 14:00 - 15:00
Qualifying 17:00
Sun 17 March 2013
Race 17:00

F1 Time Table (GMT)
Fri 15 March 2013
Practice 1 01:30 - 03:00
Practice 2 05:30 - 07:00
Sat 16 March 2013
Practice 3 03:00 - 04:00
Qualifying 06:00
Sun 17 March 2013
Race 06:00

Your expectations
What do you expect from the first race of the 2013 F1 season? Can Red Bull continue their dominance, or is their era over? Say what you think below.

In my opinion, we should wait for Qualifying, cause we only can take as results, tests done before this event. Moreover, we saw a lot of time how a team dominate the Friday practices and in qualify and race dissapoint us a lot. Maybe Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren or Lotus? We will see, we have to remember the last season, it was very crazy. Big Grin
Btw, for the people who live in Europe, how many of you will get up early to watch the race? Big Grin

I think we'll have to wait for qualifying too. Pre-season testing doesn't say anything, because obviously, every team is testing their cars, not neccesarily trying to be the fastest. After Qualy we'll see who's quick. I hope it's Massa of course Tongue
And I'll probably wake up early for every race Tongue Have done that for every early race I think Tongue

Vettel got the fastest time on both practice sessions today

Well, this was a weird qualification. Q2 and Q3 will continue tomorrow 11AM local time. Kinda silly IMO. Formula 1 tends towards becoming IndyCar. After a little shower they immediately stop the race, delay the start etc. Like they never would have seen races in the rain before...

Have you seen how many drivers spun out? There's no point in racing when every lap there's a yellow flag. I think they made the right decision, although it's a shame I woke up this early for nothing.

I think, you're both right, when there's rain, you shouldn't immediatley stop the race, but when in every second turn is a wrecked car, you can't do a qualyfing. So I think, that this was heavyyer rain than it seemed to be.

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