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‘The best things in life are free’ – or are they?

Television, television, television….

Money, money, money…

Those two linked topics topped the bill when a group of team chiefs and major component suppliers met the media at Albert Park on Friday.

‘The world is changing’, was the keynote, and Formula 1 must change with it to ensure ongoing financial health.

The Formula 1 panel revealed concerns that the sport is facing a major challenge to sustain its levels of financial success as we move from traditional television viewing habits to younger, more flexible multi-platform media audiences.

Brad Hodge dominates Mazda6 Celebrity Challenge with a start to finish win

Brad Hodge maintained his qualifying form with a decisive and calm victory, leading a determined group of celebrity racers at the 2013 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix today.

Hodge capitalised on mistakes made by Sir Chris Hoy and Jonathan LaPaglia, helping him edge away on the second lap and take the exciting race by an impressive 11.3 seconds.

Richards from go-to-whoa

Victorian Steve Richards has joined his legendary father Jim on the Porsche Carrera Cup winners’ list at Albert Park with an all-the-way victory at Albert Park this afternoon, as the support class program at the 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix continues to provide some hotly contested competition.

Richards got the better of polesitter Nick Percat from the start, and then successfully kept the shutters up for the remainder of the eight-lapper, despite some very close attention from Craig Baird at first, before Percat took up the cause.

McLaren: ‘Disappointing and tough”, admits Whitmarsh

One year ago McLaren Mercedes almost swept the boards at Albert Park: pole position, front row lock-out, first and third in the race, fastest race lap.

They also ended 2012 on a high when Jenson Button book-ended his season by winning in Brazil as he had in Melbourne.

So what are they doing outside the top 10 in the opening sessions of practice for the first race of 2013?

Fans race to Albert Park for F1 action

Another beautiful Melbourne day greeted an estimated 70,300 fans who came to watch the stars of Formula One take to the Albert Park circuit for the first time this season.

Hometown heroes Mark Webber and Daniel Ricciardo kicked-off practice alongside World Champions Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel ended up setting the pace ahead of his teammate Mark Webber as they showed their rivals a clean set of wings.

Second Practice: Vettel fastest, Hamilton halted, McLaren missing

Sebastian Vettel again topped free practice for Red Bull Renault as the second 90-minute session ended in a flurry of activity involving some of the biggest names in the field.

Vettel used Pirelli’s Supersoft (red) tyres, making their first appearance at Albert Park, to set a session-best time of 1:25.908 just over halfway through, paring 1.3 seconds off the time that put the World Champion top in the day’s opening free practice.

Coulthard’s perfect outing continues

Fabian Coulthard’s flawless MSS Security-backed V8 Supercars Challenge campaign at the 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix has continued, with the Holden driver winning the second 12-lap race this afternoon to add to his success earlier today.

The only driver who proved to be of minor nuisance value for Coulthard was fellow-Holden driver Craig Lowndes, but the New Zealander dispensed with him on lap nine, and was then unchallenged to the finish.

First Practice

Everyone has been saying not much has changed in Formula 1® for the start of 2013 – and Sebastian Vettel underlined that fact by taking top spot in the first free practice session of the season at a sunny Albert Park.

The man who has been the sport’s #1 for the last three seasons went to the top two-thirds of the way through the 90-minute session with a lap in 1 minute 27.211 seconds for Red Bull Renault.

Coulthard walks tall in opening Albert Park encounter

New Zealander Fabian Coulthard has lifted a millstone from his neck with a maiden V8 Supercar victory in today’s opening hitout in the MSS Security-backed V8 Supercars Challenge at the 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.

With only one podium to show for all his V8 Supercar toil over the last four years, Coulthard’s breakout victory in his Holden Commodore VF at Albert Park was decisive.

He completed the 11-lap race 1.7467 seconds ahead of team-mate Jason Bright, with the fast-finishing Will Davison (Ford Falcon FG) claiming the last spot on the podium.

Shannons Historic Demonstration

Great names all – including Paddins

He has the face of a boxer, the lilt of a Celt and the heart of an historic racing man.

He’s Paddins Dowling, and that exotic-sounding name sits well in the history of the beautiful Maserati 4CL which he is driving in the Shannons Historic Demonstration and Parade this weekend.

The stunning-looking car is actually the first of the 17 4CL’s built in Bologna just before the Second World War. “1564 – it’s the first-ever, the prototype they made for Luigi Villoresi and Felice Trossi to race,” says Paddins proudly.


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