2006 Australian Grand Prix - Race 3/18

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2006 Australian Grand Prix - Race 3/18

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2005 Australian Grand Prix
Grid and Results



2005 Australian Grand Prix Grid

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2005 Australian Grand Prix Results

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2005 Australian Grand Prix Lap Chart

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Current Standings

2006 Drivers Championship.
Code:
[b]Pos	Driver			Nationality	Team			Points[/b]
1	Fernando Alonso		Spanish		Renault			18	
=3	Michael Schumacher	German		Ferrari			11	
=3	Jenson Button		British		Honda			11	
4	Giancarlo Fisichella	Italian		Renault			10	
5	Juan Pablo Montoya	Colombian	McLaren-Mercedes	9	
6	Kimi Räikkönen		Finnish		McLaren-Mercedes	6	
7	Felipe Massa		Brazilian	Ferrari			4	
8	Mark Webber		Australian	Williams-Cosworth	3	
=10	Jacques Villeneuve	Canadian	Sauber-BMW		2	
=10	Nico Rosberg		German		Williams-Cosworth	2	
=12	Ralf Schumacher		German		Toyota			1	
=12	Christian Klien		Austrian	RBR-Ferrari		1

Click here for a more in depth view of the Drivers Championship

2006 Constructors Championship.
Code:
[b]Pos	Constructor 		Points[/b]
1	Renault 		28 	
=3	Ferrari 		15 	
=3	McLaren-Mercedes 	15 	
4	Honda 			11 	
5	Williams-Cosworth 	5 	
6	Sauber-BMW 		2 	
=8	Toyota 			1 	
=8	RBR-Ferrari 		1

Click here for a more in depth view of the Constructors Championship
 
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Australian GP on ITV

Live qualifying:
Saturday 1 April
0330-0530
ITV1

Qualifying re-run:
Saturday 1 April
1340-1545
ITV1

Live race:
Sunday 2 April
0400-0700
ITV1

Race re-run:
Sunday 2 April
1305-1530
ITV1

Highlights:
Monday 3 April
0015-0115
ITV1

Highlights:
Tuesday 4 April
0205-0305
ITV4
 
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Australia GP Preview: Bridgestone

After two thrilling races in Bahrain and Malaysia from which several Bridgestone runners have come away with points, Bridgestone Motorsport now heads down under to Melbourne for next weekend's Australian Grand Prix. Placed third on the calendar this year due to the Commonwealth Games taking place in Australia's "Garden City", Melbourne's stop-and-go circuit is still expected to provide plenty of thrills and excitement. Bridgestone is expecting its teams to keep building on the progress they have made so far this season using their new style tyres which have been developed specifically for the 2006 regulations which now include a return to tyre changes and a new qualifying format. Michael Schumacher currently lies second in the drivers' standings with eleven points while fellow Bridgestone runner Felipe Massa has four points, local hero Mark Webber three points, Nico Rosberg two points and Ralf Schumacher one point. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro is second in the constructors' standings.

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Motorsport: "Traditionally the first race on the calendar, the Australian Grand Prix is a favourite of the F1 community and we are looking forward to returning to Melbourne, albeit later in the year than normal. Australia is an important market for Bridgestone and we are hoping to give our guests and supporters some exciting racing and good results. We are pleased that WilliamsF1 driver Mark Webber will be launching the FIA-Bridgestone Think Before You Drive campaign in Melbourne on Wednesday 29 March. As a popular role model, we hope that Mark's support for this safety campaign will help people hear about and understand the importance of the campaign's key messages: checking the tread depth and pressure of tyres, wearing a seatbelt, using a child seat and checking head rests."

Tyres for Australia

The 2006 tyre regulations permit each driver seven sets of dry tyres, four sets of wet weather tyres and three sets of extreme wet weather tyres. Combined with the increased number of teams running with Bridgestone in 2006, approximately 1,200 Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres are being sent from the Technical Centre in Kodaira City, Tokyo, to Australia's Albert Park Circuit.

Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone Motorsport Technical Manager: "We arrive in Australia several weeks later than normal and one of the main considerations therefore is the weather. Melbourne's climate is traditionally unstable at GP time but we do expect cooler conditions than normal. We have been pleased with the way our new range of tyres for 2006 has been providing consistently good performances in the opening races and so the majority of the Bridgestone shod teams have chosen a combination of previously raced and new tyre specifications for the Australian Grand Prix. We anticipate that the medium to soft compound range of these tyres will be competitive in the expected cool conditions and on the relatively smooth track surface. We also expect our tyres will cope well with the graining that often occurs while running on the Albert Park track. So far this season we have had two exciting races in which several Bridgestone runners have picked up points so we are looking for a strong performance in Melbourne."
 
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Australia GP Preview: Michelin

Formula One teams complete the first leg of their 18-race season this weekend at Albert Park, Melbourne – the third race of the campaign and the last before the sport returns to its traditional European heartland.

This will be the 22nd Australian Grand Prix and the 11th in Melbourne. The first 11 took place in Adelaide, between 1985 and 1995, when the race established a foothold as the sport's annual finale. In 1996, the switch to Albert Park – where the circuit roads are used by everyday traffic for 51 weeks per year – coincided with a new slot as the opening race of the campaign. That role was only relinquished this season because of a clash with the recent Commonwealth Games, which also took place in the city.

Albert Park was the venue for Michelin's F1 return in 2001, after a 17-year sabbatical, and the company has scored two victories here since. David Coulthard (McLaren Mercedes) headed a Bibendum 1-2-3 in 2003 and Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault) won last season's corresponding fixture.

Michelin is unbeaten in the sport so far this year, in the wake of impressive victories in Bahrain and Malaysia, and this weekend the company will be chasing its 96th F1 world championship success as it edges ever closer to its landmark centenary.

Nick Shorrock, Formula One director, Michelin: "After our uccesses in the heat of Bahrain and the intense humidity of Malaysia, we anticipate very different circumstances at Albert Park. That holds no worries, though – as we proved last year, we are accustomed to mastering a wide range of conditions.

"The Melbourne race is slightly later in the year than usual. It will be autumn in Australia and track temperatures should be the coolest we have come across so far this season. Together with our partners we have, as usual, worked hard to develop suitable products – we will be using slightly softer compounds than we did for the previous two races, in order to generate optimum temperatures and minimise the risk of graining at a track that subjects tyres to significant lateral loads. In total, we will have eight dry-weather options available for our six partner teams."

Christian Horner, sporting director, Red Bull Racing: "Red Bull Racing has achieved an awful lot since making its Formula One debut in Australia little more than 12 months ago. When we arrived in Melbourne last year, I don't think anybody could have envisaged what lay ahead.

"Since then we have established our credibility as a serious racing team and Michelin has done a superb job for us. In 2005 its tyres were clearly the class of the field and this year, in the face of heightened competition, it is once again in very good shape. I'm very happy with the service we receive."
 
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Australia GP Preview: Toyota

After the punishing double-header to kick off the 2006 season, the Formula 1 world now travels to the other side of the world for round three. For the last decade the Australian Grand Prix has held the honour of opening the calendar but a clash with this month's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne led to this change of schedule. The later start means that the teams can expect slightly cooler weather than usual as the Australian autumn draws in. Panasonic Toyota Racing's drivers Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli will nevertheless hope to continue the learning process that the team has been involved in since its difficult start to the year. Rest assured that Toyota will push to build on its points finish in Malaysia.

After his point in Malaysia, Ralf Schumacher is looking forward to the streets of Melbourne's Albert Park.

Ralf Schumacher: "After Malaysia I returned to Europe for testing as we look to improve on our start to the year. Heating up the tyres has been a problem for us, so Australia will show us how far we've come. It is not usually particularly warm there and this race is taking place later than usual in their autumn. Because it is a street circuit, the track surface at Melbourne's Albert Park track tends to be dirty, so it could be hard to find grip, especially in the first lap of qualifying. But I do like the circuit – it is one of the most beautiful street circuits there is and also among the safest. The city itself is also one of my favourites on the calendar, so it all combines to make the Australian Grand Prix an exciting event. A difficult weekend awaits but I hope we can continue to push hard and use the data that we have collected so far this year to help pushing up the grid."

Jarno Trulli is prepared for testing times as Toyota works to solve its problems in the early part of 2006.

Jarno Trulli: "Melbourne is a fantastic venue for F1 and the atmosphere is always great. I normally arrive early to put in some training outdoors but this year both Ralf and I returned to Europe last week to test the TF106 at Paul Ricard. I enjoy driving at Albert Park, especially the quick chicane at Turns 11 and 12. The track can be quite bumpy and you need a lot of grip and traction, particularly in the slow corners like Jones, Clark, Ascari and Prost. Given our problems with warming up our tyres in Bahrain the cool weather could be difficult for us but we will use the weekend to understand more about how to make improvements to how our car works with our tyres. There is no question about the motivation of the whole team to get back to the level where we can race at the front of the grid."

Toyota hopes to build on its Malaysia form even with the lower temperatures expected in Australia.

Mike Gascoyne – Technical Director Chassis: "The Malaysian Grand Prix was a big improvement on Bahrain because we were able to get more heat into our tyres. We suffered in Malaysia because of Ralf's engine change and set-up issues with Jarno but now that we have our season back on track we've got to look to have a competitive weekend. Melbourne is a street circuit, so the track will evolve during the weekend. Obviously we will have cooler conditions in Australia so we have to keep a very close eye on getting the tyre to work. But I am sure we now have a better idea of how to do that so I hope we will be able to cope with that particular situation. Our car is gentle on the tyres so we need to push so we are working at the softer end of the range compared to other Bridgestone partners. Then we can look to maintain our upward momentum."
 
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Australia GP Preview: Honda

The Honda Racing F1 Team heads to Australia this weekend for round three of the FIA Formula One World Championship. Traditionally the host of the first Grand Prix of the season, this year's Melbourne race was delayed from its usual opening weekend as the city enjoyed playing host to a very successful Commonwealth Games.

After a solid start to the 2006 season, with a fourth and a third position putting Jenson Button joint second in the Drivers' Championship, everyone at the team is looking forward to another successful weekend at the Albert Park street circuit in Melbourne.

The team returned to the test track last week with a three-day test at the Vallelunga circuit in Italy. Rubens Barrichello, Anthony Davidson and James Rossiter had a successful test, despite rain, and put some new developments on the RA106 race car through their paces in preparation for the Australian Grand Prix and the upcoming European season.

Rubens Barrichello: I really enjoy the Australian Grand Prix and it is certainly one of my favourite races on the calendar. The Australian people are so relaxed, always helpful and smiling, it reminds me of Brazil really. Melbourne is a fantastic place to be based but what I like most about the weekend is the race track with its great combination of corners. Despite the weather, we achieved some good work at the Vallelunga test last week and I was encouraged by the new ideas that we tested. So I'm really looking forward to getting to Melbourne, our car seems to be strong in all areas at the moment, and I think we should enjoy the weekend."

Jenson Button: "Australia is a race that I always enjoy and having had a couple of races already this season, I think Melbourne is going to be even more special as we understand already who is quick and who isn't. Usually we don't know who is going to be competitive when Melbourne is the first race of the season. It's a beautiful city and I always enjoy travelling there very much. I'll be spending some time in Sydney before the race as well, working on my training and fitness but also taking some time to relax. The Albert Park street circuit is great for drivers but also for the fans as they can get that much closer to the action. We'll be hoping to build on the podium finish in Malaysia and using some of the developments from the test last week, I'm sure that we will have another strong race."

Gil de Ferran: "Melbourne should be quite a different weekend from the first two races, not only is it a temporary circuit but the climate is expected to be somewhat cooler. Although we have been quite competitive so far, our focus is on continued improvements and hopefully the work put in over the last few weeks will pay dividends. Last but not least, the Australian Grand Prix remains one of the favourite stops in the whole Championship, the mixture between the town, fans and on-track action makes for an unforgettable experience."

Shuhei Nakamoto, Management Board Member - Honda Racing F1 Team, Engineering Director - Honda Racing Development: "Melbourne will be a new challenge after the heat and humidity of the first two races. On the engine side we have a number of improvements in the pipeline, which we will be introducing over the next few races."
 
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Australia GP Preview: McLaren

Team McLaren Mercedes travels to Melbourne this week for the 2006 Australian Grand Prix. The race, which is being held at the Albert Park track for the 11th time, has moved from its traditional position as season opener to the third race of the year as Melbourne was hosting the 2006 Commonwealth Games for two weeks in early March.

Following the Malaysian Grand Prix eight days ago, the MP4-21 race cars were prepared for the Australian race in Sepang by the race team before being freighted to Melbourne late on Monday 20th March. The freight was not delivered to the Albert Park circuit until Monday 27th March due to the Commonwealth Games. Some members of the team also travelled straight to Melbourne, with others returning to the McLaren Technology Centre in between the two races. Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya spent a few days in Switzerland and Langkawi respectively before joining the team in Australia on Monday 27th March.

Last week saw the test team return to track duties in Paul Ricard in France, with Pedro de la Rosa running a new chassis of MP4-21 and Gary Paffett at the wheel of the interim MP4-20. Pedro continued the on-going development process for MP4-21, whilst Gary worked specifically on the Michelin tyre programme for Australia and San Marino.

Kimi Raikkonen: "After the first two races, I am really hoping to have a trouble free weekend in Australia, as the car feels good and I think that we can get some good results with it. I am aiming to get a solid points finish at this race to take back to Europe. Albert Park is a high downforce track and it has pretty low grip, this is because the surface is always dusty as it is old roads that are not used anymore. But this tends to clean up quickly during Friday running and then the track surface is fairly smooth. There are some hard braking zones and sharp bends, which can be tough on the brakes and tyres, such as into turn three, and demand good traction to be fast out of the corners. The Australian race is one of the favourites I think with most people in the sport, and there is always such an enthusiastic atmosphere in Melbourne for the event."

Juan Pablo Montoya: "It wasn't an ideal weekend for me in Malaysia, but at least I finished fifth and fourth in the last two races. I am now looking forward to racing in Melbourne and hopefully challenging for a podium position. Albert Park is quite a flowing circuit, with long, sweeping bends and quick corners, so it is fun to drive and you can really build up a good rhythm. There are some places on the track where you can pass, primarily the right hander of turn one at the end of the main straight, where your speed drops from over 300km/h to around 130km/h, and also as you flow on through the curve of turn two that immediately follows. Another chance is through the left flick of 11, which is taken quite quickly at just over 210km/h in fourth."

Martin Whitmarsh: "Following the Malaysian Grand Prix our test team returned to the track last week, completing four intensive days at Paul Ricard and covering over 3280km as we look to push forward with the performance potential we have in the car. The work completed in France has helped us to further improve the MP4-21 package. We are racing in Melbourne a month later than usual and as a result we will be further into the Australian Autumn, so we expect to see cooler ambients than normal at the event, and also than those seen at the opening two rounds of the Championship, as a consequence there will be less impact placed on the cars and the personnel from the heat."

Norbert Haug: "The Grand Prix in Melbourne will always be a special one for us. Here we celebrated our first Formula One victory together with McLaren in March 1997 and I will always remember it with great pleasure. For the engines, the track is even more challenging than the circuits in Bahrain and Malaysia. More than 70 percent of a lap time at Albert Park will be run under full throttle; this means almost three quarters of a lap. However, the climatic conditions in the Australian autumn are not as extreme as previously experienced in Malaysia. In the first two Grands Prix Juan Pablo’s engine completed 1,162 kilometres in extreme conditions without problems. Unfortunately Kimi was pushed out in Malaysia on the opening lap as a result of a blameless collision. During the preparation for Melbourne at Paul Ricard last week, our test team with Pedro de la Rosa at the wheel of the new chassis no. 4 completed a total of 1,837 kilometres on three consecutive days with one engine. On average this was more than two Grands Prix distances per day that the technical package worked reliably. Particularly for Kimi I hope for a race without handicaps before or after the start which he unfortunately didn’t have in the first two races without his own fault."
 
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Stoddart: difficult being out of F1

Former Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has admitted that being out of Formula One has been harder for him than expected.

The Australian, who has had a difficult time after selling his team to Red Bull following the multi-million pound losses built-up on his new OzJet airline, is expected to make a return to the F1 paddock in Melbourne this weekend.

Speaking to The Age newspaper, Stoddart said that it had not been easy turning his back on the sport - and has said he is looking at any opportunity that would allow him to make a return.

"I miss it, and I miss it badly," he said. "I would like to think that all kinds of opportunities could be there, if not in '06 or '07 but in '08.

"It's been very hard already. I had my phone switched off for the first GP trying not find out the result in Bahrain."

Stoddart's final months in F1 were dominated by friction with FIA president Max Mosley, as the battle for the sport's future and survival by the independent teams was played out in a public war of words.

And although the F1 manufacturer breakaway threat appears to be receding, Stoddart is still critical of Mosley's approach to F1.

"I am kind of sad to see that the politics are worse than they have everbeen at any time," Stoddart said. "I had hoped we would get to a point where we would see a new Concorde Agreement signed and unity between the independents and the manufacturers and Bernie Ecclestone and the banks but sadly at this time, we have Mad Max (Mosley) back in charge."
 
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'Webber challenge' makes return

Williams star Mark Webber has succeeded in getting his end-of-season charity challenge trek through Tasmania back on this year, following the inaugural event in 2003.

After initially feeling that the timing was not right to restage the event after the success of the first run, the Australian has now put together a three-year deal with the southern Australian island's government for the 'Mark Webber Pure Tasmania Challenge'.

The event, which comprises of trekking, cycling and kayaking over 600 kilometres of the most difficult terrain in Tasmania, aims to raise money for charities TLC for Kids and Cancer Plus. The event takes place from November 5 - 10.

"The idea for this came about in 2001 when I did a challenge over in the UK to raise money for cancer," said Webber during the launch of the event in Melbourne on Tuesday. "That was a 1600 km cycle ride from Scotland to the bottom part of the UK.

"My grandfather lost his battle with cancer pretty harshly and I remember that pretty well. I have also seen a lot of youngsters who have also not been very fortunate.

"That is where it all came from. I didn't want to just sign another piece of memorabilia, and I wanted something that was both a challenge for myself and something that other people would respect. It is why I have decided to put the whole challenge together and the support has been superb."

Webber has ramped up his charity efforts considerably. He has already decided to donate the profits from his merchandise sales to charity this year, as well as creating the Mark Webber Challenge Foundation to help co-ordinate his charity work during the year.

Corporate teams will be able to join Webber's challenge. Further details can be found on www.markwebberchallenge.com.

Nice one. :D
 
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Packing, Midland Style!

So, Midland F1 fly off to some exotic location to race Grand Prix cars around a circuit. You see the end result on TV every other weekend but had you thought about how much planning and effort goes into moving the team from track to track?

Courtesy of the official site, we've a glimpse into the organisation of moving 25 tonnes of equipment around the globe.

When planning its season, every Grand Prix team has to pay special attention to the 'flyaway' races that form the backbone of the season. These events get their nickname because the cars and equipment travel by air, while the transporters and motor-homes that ordinarily fill the paddocks in Europe stay at home.

There are three blocks of flyaway's during the season. At the moment, we're in the middle of the Bahrain-Malaysia-Australia leg, which will be followed in June/July by a much more straightforward Canada-USA trip, and then at the end of the year by China-Japan-Brazil.

Of the three, the first is undoubtedly the toughest, logistically and otherwise. That's because at the start of the year there's always a race to complete three new cars, while new pit equipment and spare parts have to be readied as well. There are also new packing cases. By the third and final trip of the year, everything is usually a lot more relaxed.

The movement of freight is organised by Formula One Management, and every team has a basic free allocation that it can take advantage of. In essence, that compromises two rolling chassis, plus a specified weight for any other gear. Since the latter figure is never enough to cover everything, each team then adds whatever it needs to that subsidised allowance, and pays the additional costs.

Obviously, it's extremely expensive to send something on a marathon round trip such as the current one, and every team is acutely aware that every extra kilo carried on that trip will cost a specified amount. Nevertheless, some teams are quite happy to send bottles of mineral water all around the globe at huge expense!

In contrast, MF1 Racing puts a premium on efficient packing and taking only the essentials. Every penny saved on freight can, of course, be put to better use developing the car.

The person responsible for making sure everything gets to where it has to be is Hadley Donaldson, who joined the team some four and a half years ago.

"The first trip is definitely the toughest one," he says. "It's the start of the year, and we have new equipment and new boxes. This year, we've increased our number of pallets [on the FOM aircraft] from seven to eight, so we're actually taking more than we did last year - a total of 25 tonnes.

To that, we have to add the Toyota freight, which is about 3-3.5 tonnes. It works out to be more financially viable for us to take two rolling chassis, and then the third car is put in a box, and gets built up when we arrive at the circuit."

If you have trouble packing your suitcase for your summer holiday, imagine what it's like for an F1 team with 25 tonnes of gear to fit...

To save costs, the team also sends a lot of non-essential gear, such as paddock equipment, by sea. Race organisers actually rent out things like tables and chairs - usually at huge expense - but MF1 packs three complete sets, along with items such consumables and cables. One container was sent to Bahrain, one to Malaysia, and one to Melbourne. Because they go by sea,
it's a very economical method of moving things around.

The main freight has to be ready to go more than a week before the first race.

"The freight for Bahrain left on the Saturday morning [March 04] of the previous weekend. We use a forklift to put the eight pallets onto a truck, which then takes it all to Stansted. Meanwhile, we take the two cars there in our own transporter," says Donaldson.

The crew unpacked everything at the Sakhir circuit at the start of race week, and then packed everything up again on the Sunday night after the race. On Monday, everything was picked up from the pit garage and whisked off to Malaysia by FOM. It was then duly delivered to the Sepang pits the next day, and the unpacking process began once more.

So it goes on. On Sunday night in Malaysia, the team packed up again, and on Monday, the cars and pallets were collected for the trip to Australia. The problem this time is the Commonwealth Games, which, up until very recently, made use of Albert Park. So the cars and equipment of all 11 teams remained in storage, awaiting the handover of the circuit to the F1 organisers. The teams should get have access to it all on Tuesday March 26 - less than 3 days before the first practice session.

Everything will then be packed up for the fourth and final time by the Monday after the race, and will finally get back to the MF1 factory at Silverstone late on Wednesday April 5. Phew!

Of course, Donaldson's worst nightmare is that somewhere along the way, equipment might be lost or damaged, but the system works well, so problems like that are rare.

"The cars are handled with kid gloves, but boxes do get forklifts driven into them! That can be annoying, especially because ours are brand new. We get them made specially by a company in Norwich, and they're designed to go in the pallets. It's like a big jigsaw.

"The biggest problem is forgetting something at the factory, which does happen occasionally! If it's something big and bulky, it can turn into a bit of a drama to get it shipped out."

The team also relies on bits and pieces going back and forth in hand luggage with staff - usually management and engineers - who travel home between the flyaway aces. After Bahrain, items such as suspension parts went back for routine inspection at the factory, and were then taken out to Malaysia. More bits went back after Sepang, and were then carried out to Melbourne. There
are also brand new parts that had to be taken out to the second and third races by hand. It all travels in huge suitcases, and it can be a costly business as inevitably, the airlines force the guys to pay huge fees for excess baggage. After Malaysia, entire gearboxes were also shipped back via DHL.

The funny thing is that while some of the car parts go home to the factory between races, most of the race team members have to stay on the road for the entire three-race duration.

"The hardest thing is the double-headers," muses Donaldson. "Flyaways are quite hard anyway, but then when you do back-to-back races, like Bahrain and Malaysia, there's so little time. It's quite relentless. Also, on this current trip we're away for four and a half weeks, which doesn't go down too well at home!"
 
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Flibster said:
And once again...

The magnificent Google earth files...

He he, least I could do mate.

Anyhoo got a new one for this round - a circuit flyover.

1) Download the .kmz

2) Open it in Google Earth - it should appear in the temporary places section of the Places pane.

3) Click the wee arrow at the right to expand the contents of the kmz

4) Select the Albert Park folder immediately under the kmz entry

5) Hit the play button at the bottom right of the Places pane


There is only one problem though - due to copyright issues you'll need to hum "The Chain" yourself as the flyover plays ;)


As usual - if it doesn't work gimme a yell and I'll see what I can do.
 
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And the winner is... the 2005 US GP?

The 2005 United States Grand Prix is, quite rightly, looked upon by many as one of the true low points in Formula One's history.

A political situation, masquerading as concern for safety, saw just six cars participate in an event that made Formula One - and its fans - the laughing stock of the sporting world.

Having lined up on the grid, and completed the parade lap, 14 drivers, representing seven teams, returned to their garages, to let Ferrari, Jordan and Midland 'battle it out'.

TV viewers and fans at the track watched in disbelief as the six drivers contested one of the strangest events in sporting history. Once again, Formula One found its way on to the front pages of newspapers and the TV news, for all the wrong reasons.

Subsequently, tyre manufacturer, Michelin, agreed to reimburse race fans who attended the event, whilst also promising to provide free tickets for this year's race.

Though the event is looked on as one of the true low points in F1 history, a debacle that should be airbrushed from the record books, it appears that the 2005 United States Grand Prix could be in line for a prestigious award.

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has revealed that the 2005 US Grand Prix is one of four events nominated for an award.

The other nominations for the Sport Award are The Ashes: England v Australia (Sunset & Vine/Channel 4), the Champions League Final: AC Milan v Liverpool (Granada Sport/ITV1) and the Open Golf Championship - final round of Jack Nicklaus (BBC Sport/BBC2).

This year's BAFTA ceremony will be held on Sunday 7 May 2006 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.


W...........T...........F...........
 
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CVC completes F1 purchase

CVC has announced that Alpha Prema UK Limited (Alpha Prema) has now completed its acquisition of the Formula One Group.

Alpha Prema is the newly incorporated company through which funds managed or advised by CVC Capital Partners Group (CVC) are making their investment in Formula One.

Donald Mackenzie, from CVC, commented: "We are pleased that we have now completed our investment in Formula One, and look forward to working with Bernie Ecclestone and his team to further develop and grow the business."

The news comes on the same day as the GPMA revealed that BMW Sauber, Honda Racing F1, McLaren Mercedes, Renault and Toyota, had submitted their entry forms for the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship.
 
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