Grand Prix 2018 Australian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

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.
Wasnt sure where to put this but heres as good as anywhere. Listening to fighting talk on 5 live this morning, which i like & listened for last 5 years, if dont know it. its part serious part comedy sporting panel show about the last 7 days where 4 people compete for points. & they had light hearted question as a regular say it was the nicest panel in shows history. So show your nasty side. 1 of them made 2 quotes
"this is a sport that has killed its self from within"
"Sold whatever soul it had for the biggest amount of cash it could find"

You can listen to full clip (29.05 - 29.45)
BBC Radio 5 live - Fighting Talk, Kate Richardson-Walsh, Jim White, Charles Dagnall, Elis James

But you know what as much as i wanted to defend the sport, reply going oi this & this etc. I thought considering some of racing in 2017, the 2018 aussie gp & shocking tv decision for 2019, with great disappointment i struggled to disagree with him. Because what he was saying was true :disappointed:
Haha, I always listen to it, when I go running. Great show.

Last week Murray asked his guests if they will watch the F1 race to which everyone on the panel replied with: "No." LOL
They make it so difficult. I don’t have Sky. Last year I tried to buy Now TV for the weekend package on race weekends that weren’t on terrestrial...and it was appalling! Kept buffering . The sound and picture weren’t synced and it was dropping further and further behind real time. It wasn’t worth watching. I’d be happy to pay a reasonable price for the weekends it’s not on normal TV but it’s not possible. Streaming is the only option ( or a pub, or a friend with Sky)
I’m massively committed to F1, but this situations must put off millions with a passing interest......who could become committed future F1 followers.
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