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[f1]Australian Grand Prix @ Albert Park


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The Australian Grand Prix makes a relaxed and popular start to the season on a track in Melbourne's Albert Park.

The circuit often produces a good race, despite a certain lack of overtaking opportunities, but is not particularly challenging for the drivers.

Rather than being locked in motorhomes, drivers and team personnel often sit on garden furniture behind the garages, helping create an informal atmosphere.

And cosmopolitan Melbourne provides a wealth of other entertainment.

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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Date: 6 March

Length: 3.295 miles

Rating (out of 10): 6

Rules Updates

FIA Rules & Regulations Sporting Regulations?

2005 season changes?

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A number of changes to both the Sporting and Technical Regulations have been made by the FIA for the 2005 Formula One season.

Qualifying

The 2005 race weekend will feature one qualifying session on Saturday afternoon and another on Sunday morning.

The first session will run from 1300 to 1400 on Saturday and will, as in 2004, be single lap qualifying, with the cars going out in the reverse order of their finishing positions at the previous race.

The second session, from 1000 to 1100 on Sunday, will also use the single lap format, with the cars going out in the reverse order of the qualifying on Saturday (i.e. the fastest car on Saturday runs last on Sunday).

The cars will run on Saturday with unrestricted fuel. They will then go into parc ferme after this qualifying session and for the Sunday qualifying session they will run with race fuel, having been allowed to refuel before the second qualifying session. They will not be allowed to refuel again before the race starts.

The times of the two sessions will be aggregated to determine the grid, with the shortest aggregate time in pole position.

Tyres

Drivers will have access to far fewer tyres in 2005 and will have to make a single set last through both qualifying sessions and the entire race. A tyre can only be changed during this time if it is punctured or damaged.

On Fridays, drivers will be able to test two different dry tyre compounds. Ahead of Saturday practice they must choose one of these for the remainder of the weekend. They will then be allocated three sets of this compound ? one will be used in practice, one in qualifying and the race, and one kept in reserve in case of punctures or accident damage.

These changes will require harder compounds than in 2004 and will force drivers to drive with tyre preservation in mind. The knock-on effects will be slower lap times and much-revised race strategies.

Drivers will also have access to wet and extreme-weather tyres. These can only be used when the track is declared wet by the race director.

Engines

In 2004 engines had to last one race weekend. From 2005 they must last two ? equivalent to a distance of around 1,500 kilometres (close to 1000 miles). If a driver requires an engine change ahead of qualifying, he will drop ten places on the grid for that race. If an engine is changed between the start of qualifying and the race the driver will be put to the back of the grid.

In both instances the driver concerned must use his new engine for the remainder of that meeting and the entire following grand prix weekend. If a driver fails to finish a race, he may start the next meeting with a new engine without penalty.

With even greater reliability required from the engines, these changes are likely to cut rev limits and power outputs, hence reducing car performance.

Aerodynamics

Aerodynamic regulations have been dramatically revised in a bid to reduce downforce and hence cut performance. The key changes are a higher nose and front wing section, a changed rear diffuser profile, and the bringing forward of the rear wing structure.

Initial estimates suggest that the changes could cut downforce by as much as 25 percent over 2004. Designers are likely to claw much of this back as their 2005 machines evolve, but slower laps times and trickier-handling cars would seem inevitable.?

[/qUpdateate Qualifying Session 1

[attachmentid=11Updateate Qualifying Session Final Result

[attachmentid=11I will Update with qual times and resultslts

That time of Year again, new teams, new rules and all to go for. Im putting my backing behind Button, though Montoya in the McLaren is gonna be something to watch out for. Though Schumy will be stong as ever Im sure. I just hope the 2004 car is gonna die :p him :p

Race Results

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Race Report

Fisichella victorious for Renault

Italian secures popular second career win

Giancarlo Fisichella always knew that this would be his make-or-break season. The Italian veteran has spent years in the middle and back of the grid, working his way up to a drive with Renault. But in spite of his P1 grid position, he could barely have dreamed of taking such a spectacular victory in his maiden drive for his new team, giving them and Michelin the perfect start to the 2005 season.

With Fernando Alonso speeding through from 13th on the grid to third it was indeed a great day for the blue team, but Ferrari did not go away altogether empty-handed as Rubens Barrichello took a strong second place.

Fisichella leaped into the lead at the start from Jarno Trulli, but behind them David Coulthard created a fabulous opportunity for Red Bull by diving down inside Mark Webber to snatch third place. Further back Jacques Villeneuve was slow away and was passed on the outside by Nick Heidfeld, and later in Turn Three by Christian Klien.

At the end of the lap Fisichella had a 1.4s lead over Trulli, with Coulthard leading Webber, Heidfeld, Klien, Montoya, Barrichello, Villeneuve, Alonso, Button, Ralf Schumacher, Massa, Sato, Michael Schumacher, Raikkonen (who had stalled at the original start and taken the restart from the pit lane), Karthikeyan, Monteiro, Friesacher and Albers.

For the next 16 laps that was the order, though on lap seven Alonso had jumped by Villeneuve only to be repassed immediately when he ran wide. It was difficult to know whether this was because everyone was biding their time, conserving their tyres, or because they genuinely could not overtake round Albert Park. But it is probably safe to assume that neither Schumacher nor Raikkonen would happily have run for so long in 15th and 16th places!

As Fisichella pulled away from Trulli, Coulthard contained Webber and Heidfeld held off Klien, Montoya and Barrichello. Then there was a gap as Villeneuve bottled up Alonso, with Button some way back, ahead of Ralf, and Massa, on a single-stop strategy, holding off Sato, Schumacher and Raikkonen.

Trulli and Heidfeld were the first to refuel, on lap 18, followed by Webber and Klien on lap 20, Coulthard and Button on 21, Villeneuve on 22, and then Fisichella and Montoya on 23. Barrichello assumed the lead at this point, before stopping on lap 25, and because of the gap between them Schumacher was able to stop that same lap without risk of congestion in the Ferrari pit.

Up front Fisichella was having no problem maintaining his lead, but Barrichello?s long run had helped him into the fight for podium contention, chasing along behind the Coulthard/Webber battle and ahead of Montoya. Further back, Alonso had finally got rid of Villeneuve and was on a charge, but Schumacher was completely unable to do anything once Raikkonen had passed him during their stops and seemed detuned.

The next round of stops started with Trulli on lap 36, and saw Alonso lead for a time when Fisichella pitted on lap 42. By this time Raikkonen was losing ground after his right-hand barge board bent back and caused his Mercedes engine to overheat; during his lap 39 stop the offending aerodynamic aid was removed. On lap 40 Klien got a new nose, having tapped the back of Friesacher?s Minardi while lapping it on lap 16.

As Alonso led Fisichella in a Renault 1-2 on lap 43 the first major drama occurred. Schumacher had brought his Ferrari into the pits the previous lap, and rejoined just ahead of Heidfeld. As they pounded down to Turn Three the younger German pulled up on the inside of the Ferrari, only for Schumacher to move over on him and put him on to the grass. As they arrived at the corner Heidfeld was unable to brake properly and they touched. The Williams was an immediate retirement, and Schumacher trailed slowly to the pits to retire. It was a disastrous start to his world championship defence.

With the new tyre regulations it was expected that the last section of the race would come alive, as drivers who had nursed their tyres really began to push. After the stops Barrichello had moved up to second place ahead of Alonso, with Coulthard and Webber now fighting for fourth. This was when Barrichello really got the hammer down, reducing Fisichella?s lead from 12.4s on lap 47 to 5.5s by lap 54. At the same time the Brazilian had Alonso doing something similar to him. But when it mattered, Fisichella had everything under complete control and was finally able to confirm his true talent with a superb victory.

?Brazil 2003 was my first,? he said afterwards, ?but this is the best day of my racing life. The car was fantastic and so were the tyres, and I am so pleased to deliver this result for Renault.?

Behind the top three Coulthard held on for a brilliant fourth for Red Bull, whose cup was filled as Klien brought the sister RB01 home seventh, holding off Raikkonen by just over half a second. Between them, Webber equalled his previous best result, with Minardi here in 2002, and Montoya scored McLaren points with sixth.

Massa just failed to catch a disappointed Trulli for ninth at the end, while Button and Sato were very unhappy with 11th and 14th places respectively for BAR. Ralf Schumacher got going after some mechanical problems hampered his Toyota early on, making up ground to finish 12th, Villeneuve was 13th and Narain Karthikeyan was the best of the rookies in 15th place after a solid drive for Jordan. Team mate Tiago Monteiro had one spin on his way to 16th, and after Albers? retirement on lap 17, Friesacher was the final finisher in 17th, for Minardi.

Up and down the pit lane there was universal pleasure for Fisichella, who has for so long been underrated, and his victory got the 2005 championship off to a great start

Well Done Fisichella Good Race !

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Edited by ~clean
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the wait is finally over!!! :D 1 more day until the gp. hopefully webber gets some podium finishes this season. but i have no doubt that schumacher will win easily once again.

just hope the 2004 car is gonna die on him

even that wont stop him :p

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Well the First Quali session is on atm and they have the realy stupid system they had last year in place. They realy should go back to the 1 hour session.

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Fisischella's got pole position, i reckon he has a good chance of maybe clinching it. But i hope this season it will be Button's turn to prove something.

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Mclaren looks like they are on form this season- with the best line up of drivers on the grid :yes: shame for m.shumi- had to go out with the worst weather conditions

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Narain 9th :woot: .... tomorrow morning i am gonna catch it at 4 30AM... guess they have 2nd qualifying tomorrow morning and they are gonna take the mean of both the qualifying for the start-up line ... must be cool ...

HOPE IT RAINS TOMORROW TOOOO

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Yes, i am backing my country man Narain (He lives in the same state as I do).

But it will be difficult with a jordan, anyway GO NARAIN!

I would like Kimi or joan pablo to dominate this year's races...

Go Narain, Go Mclaren!

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schumacher still has his old 2k4 car but heck, he's gonna kick ass as usual ;)

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Its the 2004 chassie but with all the huge aerodynamic changes and a more reliable engine thats gonna have to last 2 races.

I realy think there should be a rule that says you should start with the car you are gonna race throughout the season. Make them finish the car before the season start.

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^ I dont think, they can make a car so reliable to last for 19 races.

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I think they could. Engines and gearboxes would have to be re-built as they couldnt last more that a few races. But most of the car could be made to last. Would help bring down costs, Though Bernie would have to stop bringing in stupid new rules like 20% less downforce .. thats just asking for a crash now.

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they use a different engine each race. after each race the engine is taken out and shipped out for inspection straight away

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They now have to use the same engine for 2 race weekends. So this is a better move for reliablility, though some performace will be lost as their not gonna be pushing there engines as much this season.

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^ Thats beacuse to

1. Cut costs

2. Improve safety as cars will have to be reliable to run atleast two races and speed will also be reduced.

Cant wait, less than 8 hrs. for the qualifing to start!

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2. Improve safety as cars will have to be reliable to run atleast two races and speed will also be reduced.

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Yeah and then to further safety they reduce the downforce by 20% and give the cars less grip.

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If the weather holds for 2nd qualy on Sunday the grid will look pretty much as it does now. A few changes of position here and there but nothing substantial

However, during the race, with the new rules on one set of tyres - the racing will seperate the men from the boys. I reckon Fisi is in with a chance of a podium, maybe not 1st but a podium position.

I hope Schumi and Rubens get up there on the podium as well - me being Tifosi - I want all races to be a 1-2 for the Scuderia.

My thoughts on the season as a whole are obviously a comfortable romp to the championships (driver and constructor) for Ferrari. With BAR/McLaren/Renault fighting tooth and nail for 2nd-3rd-4th. And I have a feeling Red Bull will pull off some suprising races and finish the championship 5th. Sorry to all the Williams fans out there, but they are gonna be in the lower half of the pecking order.

As for the Minardi debacle, they should run as per 2005 rules like anyone else, rules is rules. FIA should lay down the law and stop any team, whether Minardi or Ferrari, from breaking rules for whatever reason. Minardi say it was financial. Well sorry Paul, if you cannot afford to go racing in the elite formula, mayhaps you should consider rally cars.

I will be staying up tonight to watch it live. Anyone else in the UK doing that, I bet there are a fair few of us.

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^ yes, it would be a nail biting finish, Mclaren, BAR, Renault in for a close battle.

Any quick thoughts as who would win?

I back kimi or joan pablo, although i was Narain to win :)

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: woot : cant wait only 30 more mins to go for the 2nd qualifying to start.

Weather : Party Sunny & Dry.

Bet : Brighton Tyre

Team : Renault

Person i am looking forward : Trulli and Button

NARAIN hope u finish the race thats all i need.My bet 14th Place for teh rookie

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I don't bother watching F1 any more, apart from the start and maybe first few laps. After this, it usually gets boring. I much prefer Touring Cars when it comes to motor sport.

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Well Schumy is near the back of the grid. So this should be good to watch.

Well done to Fisichella for holding onto Poll. Buttons 9th so fingers crossed for a good start for him. The whole top ten look close so should be a decent start.

Roll on race time.

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