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Lewis lost for words as Max gets ready to race

Lewis Hamilton was left struggling for words on Thursday.

Glancing at the faces around him, the 30-year-old world champion realised he was the oldest driver in the room.

At the first official press conference on the eve of opening practice for this weekend’s race, Hamilton came face to face with a truth he had not anticipated.

‘Hey, so, you were born in 1997?’ he asked 17-year-old Dutch debutant Max Verstappen. ‘That was the year I signed my first contract with McLaren… ‘

Richards on Penrite Oil Heritage pole position

Motor racing's tireless campaigner, Jim Richards, has romped to pole position in the Penrite Oil Heritage Touring Car class at the 2015 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.

After warming to the task in this morning's practice session, Richards really hit his straps in the Nissan Skyline HR31 this afternoon and maintained his place at the top of the timesheets with a best lap of 2:09.5924, over two seconds ahead of Terry Lawlor (2:11.6722) in the Nissan Skyline R32.

Let's get into it, says F1 stars

One clear theme emerged from the first official FIA press conference at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit on Thursday: these guys just want to get out there and go racing.

Facing the world’s media, Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo spoke for the group of six drivers on stage when he said: ‘I’m excited to get the season going.

‘For all of us it’s great to have time off, but testing starts and you get the taste for it again and you just want to go racing,’ Ricciardo added.

Car safe, driver on the mend

Fernando Alonso is alive and well, has exchanged text messages with his team and is absent from this weekend’s Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix strictly on doctors’ orders, his McLaren Honda team-mate Jenson Button said on Thursday.

‘It is important for him to recover properly and get ready to return fully fit when he starts racing again,’ said Button.

The English driver swept aside news reports that the two-time champion Spaniard may have suffered memory loss, or worse, after an alleged electronic malfunction when he crashed in testing in Spain.

When your number's up...

Baseball may be the only sport that’s more stat-saturated than Formula 1. With the numbers in mind, here are some pointers to help you hit a few home runs this weekend.

The first crucial moment is qualifying on Saturday: at some circuits, starting from pole is almost a guarantee of adding the race win on Sunday.

In Melbourne, eight of the 19 races to date have been won by the man who took pole.

The first was Mika Hakkinen for McLaren in 1998, the most recent was Sebastian Vettel in 2011 with Red Bull.

Nico rides the Rosberg express

As the Formula One roadshow rolled into town, no mode of transport was spared when the winner of last year’s Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg, climbed aboard an iconic Melbourne tram to show off this year’s trophy right outside the famous Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit today.

Romain Grosjean meets the world’s fastest horse, Lankan Rupee

One half of the Lotus F1 Team, Frenchman Romain Grosjean, came face-to-face with champion thoroughbred and the world’s number one sprinter, Lankan Rupee, in the stables of the famous Caulfield Racecourse today.

Grosjean also met the trainer of the champion gelding, Mick Price, as well as multiple Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver.

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