On the morning of the 14th, I headed down via the free tram service offered throughout the Grand Prix to Albert Park. The weather looked promising at the beginning of the day, but being Melbourne, we all know the saying.




The day was setup for a lot of practice runs for the V8 Supercars, Carrera Cup, Targa Rally and Vintage and heritage listed cars, so I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to explore what else was on offer for the event and find some good vantage spots for when the racing started.
Many different stalls were setup for vendors and company’s to sell both merchandise and display their Motorsport related products.

Take for example this 2 Piece Carbon Fibre wheel.

Showing your support for your driver/team by wearing the corresponding colors is a must at every sporting event and F1 is no different, luckily if you had forgotten this, any of the following girls would be happy to help you out.




Spectators were even able to get their photos with the Forumla one drivers… while not the real deal, it was still an entertaining idea.

Towards the later afternoon, the “Ultimate Speed Comparison” was being started. This has now been done for a couple of years, whereby a physical comparison is done to show how much faster a V8 Supercar and F1 car are than a road car. Each car does a test lap of Albert park and the times are used as reference to determine how much of a handicap the V8 Supercar and F1 should be given in order to finish on the same pace as the road car.

Now dont for a minute think, they havent made this interesting and just pitted the two against an eco-box, because this is not the case. May I present the 3935kW strong SL63 AMG, a car know for its brutal straight line performance and is no sloth in the corners.
Drivers of each car, also being of top importance, they wanted to make it as “fair” as possible, which meant that the driver who would be racing in Red Bulls RB7 F1 car, needed to know what he was doing and was not just an average Joe Blow. David Coulthard was the pilot for the F1 machine.


Casey Stoner was the designated driver for the current spec Red Bull V8 Supercar.


Throughout the Grand Prix, the cars did many of these speed comparisons to try and get a photo finish for all the 3 cars.

The closest finish happened on the first attempt after the practice, whereby all 3 cars came within 200th of a second of each others finishing times. This is astonishing when you consider the SL63 was sent of a massive 17 Seconds before the Redbull V8 and Redbull F1 another 20 Seconds after that!

Now lets skip ahead to the V8 Supercars, with the recent addition of Nissan and Mercedes, many would say that its added a lot back to the class from all those years ago.



Got Camber? Understandable when you see how these cars lean into some of the corners.

Last minute adjustments before beginning qualifying.

Both the Mercedes sounded like F1s on the upshift, so crisp and direct, just an unbelievable sound when compared to the thunder and crackling of the Holden and Ford.



The results of qualifying saw Fabian Coulthard in car 14 on Pole, Jason Bright, car 8 in 2nd and Shane Van Gisbergen car 97 in third.

Another favorite event for the Grand Prix was the celebrity car challenge. Australian celebrities were put in virtually stock 2012 Mazda 6 2.2 Diesel road cars (with the addition of race seats and a roll cage) and sent out to race against each other. While they had been given intensive race training prior to the event, the concept of racing lines and smooth driving was unknown to many of them. However that made this relatively slow race, every entertaining to watch. After several run offs and damaged panels and Scott McGregor even proudly writing off his 6, Brad Hodge took the lead through each race, getting ahead and staying there.



Feeling the need to stretch my legs, I proceeded once again to walk to grounds and explore the many delights presented to the public. The Porsche, MG and Lotus club of Victoria also made an appearance, show casing their pride and joy and the countless hours of time and money spent on them.



I then stumbled upon the prestige vehicle stand towards the middle of the main straight, where there were many examples I had never before seen with my own eyes.

Such as this Morgan 3 Wheeler…

… or this 2012 Aston Martin Vanquish mmmmm, that CF lip.

But these were all topped by the following and I think youll agree with me. The Ferrari FF.

F1 Qaulifying was just about to start and the grand stands were packed! It was at this point that Melbourne thought we needed a cool down… and brought the rain and wind.



Dropping track temperature and pouring down with rain whereby certain parts of the track were put under water.



This made conditions very hard for the drivers and qualifying was ticking down, but no one was able to set a good lap due to constant changing conditions, inevitably, drivers came off the track, some without the whole car… The rest of qualifying was postponed until the morning.


The following morning saw much clearer conditions and teams were able to use the super soft tires to set their fastest laps.



Vettel being able to capture Pole

Followed by Mark Webber in 2nd

And Hamilton in close 3rd.

The race at Albert Park I would describe as very technical, teams were trying to determine how long the new Pirelli’s they had been provided would last, strategising when pit stops were required. Nevertheless, it was a spectacular event, the shear sound of the F1 engines screaming to 16,000RPM is unforgettable. The loudness matching that of the F/A-18 flying over before the beginning of the race.


Sebastian not having the best of races was able to grab thrid place for the race at Albert Park.

Alonso was able to best him by a full 10 seconds! Showing the young German, hes no push over.

But Kimi was the man of the hour, watching his driver was insane, sparing and maintaining his tires to a very fine limit. It was half way through the race when I noticed he had only pitted once and taken out any unforeseen events, no reason why he shouldnt finish on top.

Thanks to Simon for the following photos.


Ive now got the NA V8 soundtrack playing over and over again in my head, so I cant wait to compare it to next years V6 Turbo setup.

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