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Racing into the unknown: Albert Park’s annual challenge

F1’s top drivers admitted on Thursday that they are racing into the unknown at this weekend’s Rolex Australian Grand Prix.

Led by defending drivers’ World Champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull, the top men said that they have little idea of how the new extra-soft Pirelli tyres will perform when run in warm, or hot conditions, for the first time.

After weeks of European winter testing in low temperatures, they agreed that the new compounds of rubber did not last long – and may cause unpredictable problems before and during Sunday’s 58-lap race.

Lyons imperious in qualifying

British driver Michael Lyons has claimed the first bragging rights in the Total Oil International Sports Car Challenge at Albert Park.

Lyons, a regular Melbourne visitor, powered to an emphatic pole position in his thumping 8.8-litre March 717.

With the sports cars making their debut at Albert Park, today’s sessions were a huge learning curve for all the drivers, and it was Lyons who showed the field a clean pair of heels with a best lap of 1:55.3907.

Mark Webber: Just get out to Melbourne and get on with the racing

Their home Grand Prix is a mixed blessing for Australia’s Formula One favourites Daniel Ricciardo and Mark Webber. Yes, it’s great to see family, friends… and the sun; but demands on their time are extraordinary so race weekend comes as a relief.

When you are approaching your 200th Grand Prix, starting your 12th World Championship season and the senior man on the 22-driver grid, you might be forgiven for taking a broad, relaxed view of life in the Formula One paddock.

Not if you’re Mark Webber.

Gates are open and the action has begun!

Despite the cool change in weather, the action is heating up on day one of the 2013 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix.

Celebrating “Heritage Day” which commemorates 60 years since the first Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in 1953, the Australian Grand Prix Corporation has opened the gates to hoards of general admission patrons.

The patrons who are streaming into experience the thrill and excitement of the Australian Grand Prix have enjoyed the unmistakable sounds of the first cars to roar around the iconic street circuit.

Sir Jack and AJ: Two Bronzed Australians

Sixty years after the Australian Grand Prix was first staged at Albert Park, the two men who did most to place Australia firmly on the world motor racing map will be honoured at a unique ceremony before the 2013 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix on Sunday 17 March.

Bronze busts of Sir Jack Brabham AO OBE, Formula One World Champion in 1959, 1960 and 1966, and Alan Jones MBE, who became Australia’s second Formula One World Champion in 1980, will be unveiled in a special ceremony at the Albert Park circuit at 2 pm on race day.

Formula One fever revs up Shepparton

Less than a week before the spotlight is on Melbourne for the 2013 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix, the Swisse F1 Two-Seater revved up residents of Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley by putting on an exhilarating display along High St and at the Shepparton Showgrounds.

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation in conjunction with Greater Shepparton City Council coordinated the activities, with V8 Supercars driver Cam McConville the trusted man behind the wheel of the Swisse F1 Two-Seater.


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