As a less than convincing set of test sessions drew to a close in sunny snowy rainy sunny Spain, most of the motoring press had Mercedes out in front as the team to beat again this season.The packing cases, cars, freight, PR Stands and all the other guff that makes up the travelling kit of a modern F1 team will by now be well on its way to Australia and in a few short weeks we will find out if the motoring press are correct. One man who won't be taking his place in the stands at Albert Park this year will be Ron Walker, the former Mayor of Melbourne and the Chairman of Grand Prix Australia who was the key figure in establishing the Albert Park and Melbourne as the countries addition to the GP Calender. Ron passed away on the 30 Jan this year. Attendance figures at Albert Park have been on the decline since reaching a peak in 2012. The race day attendance last year dipped below 100'000 for the first time in the tracks history. Does this reflect a growing global apathy with F1 or the lack of Australian interest on the grid since Mark Webber retired? Four drivers will be taking to the grid in Australia for the first time. Two debutants and two who joined mid way through the season last year. Leclerc joins as reigning FIA Formula 2 champion and the 2016 F3 champion but will find himself saddled with possibley the worst car on the grid. Hartley did little to impress in last years Toro Rosso and will be looking to make a stronger impression this season alongside his team mate Pierre Gasly. Gasly, the 2016 GP2 champion settled quickly in to life at Toro Rosso last season and with the works backing of Honda, both drivers will be seeking to maximise their potential. Sergey Sirotkin won the race off to join Williams, replacing the finally departing Massa. A shame for many who wanted to see Kubica take the seat at Grove, Sirotkin will need to do well to shake off the feeling that he's just another rent a drive. His previous single seat results show that on his day he can perform with the best of the younger drivers and the first thing he'll need to do is show a clean pair of heels to Lance Stroll. I remain convinced that despite the money on offer from both drivers backing, Kubica is just one or two driver error DNF's away from stepping up to the race seat while one of the two are 'rested'. I'm not going to waste finger strokes speculating about the performance of the teams on the grid because I think we all know who are going to be the key players in this area and see little to convince me that anything will change too much from last year but we live in hope.