Grand Prix 2016 Australian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Strewth, Bruce! The Australian Grand Prix is nearly here, ahead of a 2016 season build-up suffering from staggeringly low expectations and the people who are paid handsomely to promote Formula One seemingly trying to kill it with their media comments. So...

Well, the good thing with low expectations is that they can easily be bettered. Although Mercedes may be miles ahead of the field, it is quite possible that Ferrari have closed the gap and actual racing may occur there. The midfield looks rather tighter this year. We have a new team (Haas), Renault are returning and Manor are having a proper go of it!

Add to that a great big unknown with the tyre rules, and a selection of tyres made by each team that will probably look quite daft given that it was made before the new elimination system of qualifying was announced. So tyre strategy and qualification strategy are still rather unknown, which could add some insanity unpredictability.

Melbourne is often a race of high attrition, with the walls too close to the track for those unused to new cars, and unreliability also raising its ugly and seldom seen head. Daniil Kvyat, Valteri Bottas, Kevin Magnussen and Manor will be hoping to actually get to the start this year! Chances of attrition are hit by the exit-stage-left of Pastor Maldonado amid the complete collapse of the economy of Venezuela, but you never know :).

Despite the existance of Stoffel Vandoorne, the debutants are Mercedes' youth product Pascal Wehrlein, Indonesia's first ever F1 [pay-]driver Rio Haryanto and Jolyon "son-of-Jonathon" Palmer. It seems unlikely any will match Kevin Magnussen's 2nd-on-debut in 2014, however (which was, allegedly, the last time Ron Dennis smiled).

The last five Australian Grand Prix have been won by different drivers - Vettel, Button, Raikkonen, Rosberg and Hamilton. I'd be surprised if Raikkonen won it this year and mystified if Button did. Those same drivers (minus Rosberg) have monopolised pole position here since Giancarlo Fisichella stuck his Renault on pole in a rain-storm in 2005.

Sit back, and lets hope there's something to enjoy. There's life in the old dog yet, despite you, Bernie.
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If nothing else what happens internally at Merc this year will be interesting. Not too sure what there is out there for Nico if Lewis beats him 3 years on the trot.
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Please remind me why they have to book their tyres so far in advance.

Well, you knoww how F1 is now a show, and when you go to a show you generally get a programme with the full list of participating acts and what they will each perform...... I guess that's why!

Or it may be just to bore the ****ing pants off us with yet more anally-retentive analysis.
Or, to borrow the phrase of the day, it really is just a complete load of Bollocks!

BTW, not watching - will read result somewhere, sometime later on Sunday
Or it may be to allow Pirelli the lead time to get the correct tyres made and transported. They have always confirmed the tyres well in advance, as I guess it takes a while to make all those tyres and mount them etc.
Oh noooo I've just realised the Grand Prix is on at insane O'clock isn't it. Stupid flippity flippin time zones.

No long-lie this weekend then. :yawn::coffee::yawn::sleeping:

Im Exited for the season like I am every season already told my work colleague last week dont expect me to be 100% on Sunday 20th as by bodyclock will be about out by about 5 hrs being at 4am for Australian gp LOL (because I have to have races wafched before I get to work because I found during the European season we had a secret F1 fan who kept leaving the races I was trying to record/avoid on the tv) but I hope that its not a big anti climax like 2015 was because after 2 manors never got on the track. Valtteri Bottas was unable to start the race due to a back injury suffered during qualifying Kvyat's and Magnussen's cars failed on the way from the pitlane to the starting grid & the 1st corner pile up we had basically had a 13 car race which didnt do it for me, But hopefully this yr we will get a proper battle between the Mercedes & Ferraris

If i was to try to predict a pecking order for Melbourne id go for
Force India
Red Bull
Toro Rosso
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Cynical lot. If the Mercedes pair are 5 seconds down the road on lap 10 then you can all start moaning but I have a feeling Ferrari will be closer this year.
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