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EVENT COUNTDOWN

ALBERT PARK

12-15 MARCH 2015

F1 Practice 1: Button leads McLaren 1-2

Jenson Button led a McLaren 1-2 in opening practice for the Qantas Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on Friday afternoon.

The 2009 world champion, winner in Melbourne in 2009 and 2010, produced a searing late run in the final 10 minutes of the 90-minute session to top the timesheets with a lap of 1min 27.560secs.

Button’s teammate Lewis Hamilton was second, 0.245secs behind his compatriot, while Michael Schumacher led for a significant portion of the session before finishing third for Mercedes, six-tenths of a second slower than Button.

Winterbottom wins V8 opener

Mark Winterbottom has won the first of four races in the MSS Security V8 Supercar Challenge at the 2012 Formula 1 QANTAS Australian Grand Prix.

The Ford Performance Racing driver took out the 11-lap qualifying race, which featured a unique format, with the bottom three cars at the end of each lap between Laps 3 and 8 eliminated from the field.

Baird strikes first blow in Carrera Cup

Battle-hardened New Zealander Craig Baird has led all the way to win the opening Carrera Cup race at the 2012 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park.

Despite being stalked most of the journey by polesitter Jonny Reid, Baird didn’t hit the panic button once as he completed the 10-lapper with 0.6268 seconds to spare, while current championship leader Alex Davison finished in a strong third position.

Baird has now won three Carrera Cup races in a row at Albert Park, after also tasting success in the last two events of 2011.

Wishing and hoping

Call it a sign of the times.

World champion Sebastian Vettel struggled to push through a media throng for a hit and giggle on St Kilda beach; 24 hours later, the man who inspired the Red Bull driver’s assault on the Formula One record books drew a crowd in single figures.

Looking every inch the man who ruled the sport imperiously in the early 2000s, Michael Schumacher chatted to media in the Albert Park paddock on the eve of his 18th full Formula One season.

Whincup stars in V8 qualifying

Jamie Whincup will start the first race of the MSS Security V8 Supercar Challenge at the 2012 Formula 1 QANTAS Australian Grand Prix from pole position, after a dominant performance in qualifying.

The TeamVodafone driver was in fine form on Thursday, topping the opening practice session and finishing second in Practice 2, before turning in a qualifying masterclass to end the opening day of action at Albert Park.

Will Senna Turn Williams Around?

After contesting more than 600 Grands Prix in 39 seasons, the Williams team enter their 40th year of Formula One this weekend knowing many close observers are whispering behind their backs.

Last year produced a return of five points. ‘Disaster’ became an overworked word when the Didcot-based, quintessentially English racers were mentioned.

Pay drivers, a chronic decline, their worst season in modern times in 2011 and, perhaps most of all, the withdrawal from front-line duty by team founders Frank Williams and Patrick Head have signalled the end of an era.

Michael Schumacher Lends Support to Women of Australian Motor Sport

Seven-time Formula One World Champion Michael Schumacher has today helped to launch a new scholarship to help advance the careers of women in motor sport.

The new scholarship offers a lucky young female racer the opportunity to undertake a comprehensive program designed to assist with career development in all aspects of being a top competitor in motor sport.

McMahon casts a spell in Group A&C Touring Cars

The slick combination of Carey McMahon and his Nissan Skyline have thrown down the gauntlet to their opposition for this weekend’s Group A&C Touring Car Revival races at the 2012 Formula 1 Qantas Australian Grand Prix.

McMahon was peerless in this afternoon’s 20-minute qualifying session, claiming pole position with nearly three seconds to spare over second-placed David Holc (Holden Commodore Walkinshaw).

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