Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix

Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix


Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix

Formula 1



James and Erica Packer make rare appearance together at Grand Prix - 30th March 2009
(Credit: Herald Sun)

James Packer and his glamorous wife Erica made their first public appearance together for six months at the Grand Prix yesterday among a bevy of celebrities.

In their first few steps to resuming a normal, out-in-the-open life, the couple - sans seven-month-old baby Indigo - chatted briefly to Aussie F1 ace Mark Webber before heading upstairs to the exclusive VIP Paddock Club Suites from where they viewed the race, with Sir Richard Branson, Dannii Minogue and Grant Hackett also among the audience.

Erica, in a green leather jacket and black pants, wore a strangely similar black fedora to the one she donned when last photographed with her husband - at a Victor Chang charity event last September.

Packer has maintained a low public profile since the global financial meltdown slashed his personal fortune in half to a reported $1.54 billion.

Meanwhile, his missus was in court last month giving evidence against accused stalker Teresa Jagla, saying she was too scared to leave the house with her baby.

The Packers snuck in to Melbourne in January during the Australian Open but were more than happy to be seen yesterday.

Meanwhile spin king Shane Warne found himself an ideal viewing point from the Vodafone Pit lane suite, while Oscar-winning director George Miller, acting Prime Minister Julia Gilliard, actor Eric Bana and wife Rebecca, and Grant Denyer also turned out to watch the race.



Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari
2 Felipe MASSA (BRA)

BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber
4 Robert KUBICA (POL)

ING Renault F1 Team Renault
5 Fernando ALONSO (ESP)
6 Nelson PIQUET (BRA)

AT&T Williams Williams Toyota

Red Bull Racing Red Bull Renault
10 Mark WEBBER (AUS)

Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota
11 Jarno TRULLI (ITA)
12 Timo GLOCK (GER)

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR Ferrari
14 Sébastien BOURDAIS (FRA)
15 Sebastian VETTEL (GER)

Honda Racing F1 Team Honda
16 Jenson BUTTON (GBR)

Super Aguri F1 Team
18 Takuma SATO (JPN)
19 Anthony DAVIDSON (GBR)

Force India Formula One Team
20 Adrian SUTIL (GER) Force India Formula One Team Force India
21 Giancarlo FISICHELLA (ITA)

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren Mercedes



GP to stay in Melbourne, by Mark Russell - 3rd February 2008
(Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald)


AUSTRALIAN Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker dismisses claims the event was doomed in Melbourne.

Mr Walker, the chairman of Fairfax Media, publisher of The Herald, said the event was just as important to Melbourne as the Australian Open or the Melbourne Cup.

He denied claims that formula one chief Bernie Ecclestone wanted to quit Melbourne and shift the race to India, Russia or Korea. Mr Ecclestone reportedly said he wanted to chase better money, sponsorship and television audiences, and did not think the Victorian Government was doing enough to support the event.

When told about Mr Ecclestone's comments, Mr Walker said: "Does he? I think this is Bernie being Bernie, quite frankly."

The Grand Prix Corporation annual report, tabled in State Parliament in November last year, showed losses were getting heavier.

Government money to prop up the event rose from $10.6 million in 2003, to $34.6 million last financial year.


Australia likely to lose F1 Grand Prix: report - 3rd February 2008
(Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald)


Australia looks likely to lose its Formula One Grand Prix.

The prestigious motor race has been held in Australia for 25 years, but current host Melbourne faces losing the event to India, Russia or Korea.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone says Melbourne's contract for the race, due to be held at the Albert Park circuit in March, has little chance of being renewed beyond 2010, reports say.

"Maybe we don't want to be in Australia," he said.

"Our costs are very high in Australia and we get a lot less money. It's bloody bad for us.

"We've got quite a few places on the list which would like to have Formula One and as it seems your guy (Victorian Premier John Brumby) down there doesn't want Formula One, we can make him happy and make the other people happy."

Mr Brumby has previously raised doubts about the race, which has been steadily losing money - more than $120 million since the city lured the event from Adelaide in 1996.

Mr Ecclestone, who has not yet discussed the future of the race with Australian Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker, said manufacturers and sponsors supported a move.

He said there would be strict conditions if Melbourne did succeed in retaining the race, the News Ltd report said.

"In Melbourne, if we were to continue to be there, we would have to have a night race," he said.

He also ruled out any other Australian state hosting the race.




Miss World Australia Sabrina Houssami, was today announced as Ambassador for the 2007 FORMULA 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix. Sabrina will use her profile as the reigning Miss World Australia to provide an added touch of glamour, beauty and sophistication to the country's premier sporting event. more


Miss World Australia to be face of Grand Prix
Thursday, 1 February 2007
Miss World Australia Sabrina Houssami, was today announced as Ambassador for the 2007 FORMULA 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix.

Sabrina will use her profile as the reigning Miss World Australia to provide an added touch of glamour, beauty and sophistication to the country's premier sporting event.

Her duties will ensure the stunning Sabrina is a regular fixture trackside at Albert Park from 15 – 18 March.

Visitors to this year's Grand Prix can expect to see Sabrina in the paddock, down on pit lane and over at Traction – the exclusive dance party at the GP featuring Sneaky Sound System.

"As a big fan of motor sport and particularly Formulas One, I'm thrilled to have been chosen as this year's Grand Prix Ambassador," said Sabrina.

"With Melbourne resuming its place as the first race of the year, all eyes will be on Albert Park to see just who is going to step up and fill the void left by Michael Schumacher's departure from racing."

Australian fans will be the first to see some significant changes with several of the big names having switched teams. Alonso driving for McLaren, Raikkonen in the Ferrari red and our very own Mark Webber taking to the wheel at Red Bull Racing will set the stage for the most exciting season-opener in recent times.

A whole new generation of drivers on the brink of greatness will form the perfect support cast, with the world's first Polish F1 driver, Robert Kubica, securing a drive at BMW Sauber and the young Finn, Heikki Kovalainen, joining Renault.

Besides a stellar line-up of elite motor racing, a host of other offerings will keep patrons entertained throughout the day.

Traction – the hot new party zone which made its debut last year – is set to return. Traction broke new ground in 2006 by offering event goers a completely new way to experience the Grand Prix. The massive 'party under the palms' is aimed at 25 – 35 year olds and features a selection of the country's coolest bands, together with the crop of Australia's most revered DJs.

Headlining the entertainment line-up at Traction is Sneaky Sound System, currently enjoying huge chart success with the delectable Pictures and the infectious I Love It, both receiving massive radio airplay.

"I'll definitely be checking out Traction," said Sabrina. "The idea of throwing an outdoor dance party with Formula One racing as the backdrop sounds awesome."

A ticket to Traction is inclusive of entrance, entertainment as well as a food and beverage package.

Since being awarded second runner-up in the 2006 Miss World competition in Warsaw, Poland in September, Sabrina has been busy fulfilling her 'Beauty with a Purpose' obligations.

This important aspect of the Miss World pageant has raised a staggering $400 million since it was created 25 years ago.

Sabrina has just returned from East Timor where she spent a week with Father Chris Riley's 'Youth off the Streets' working in an orphanage run by local nuns.

A resident of Sydney, Sabrina has put her university education on hold while riding the crest of her Miss World and Grand Prix roles.

Her interests include rock climbing abseiling, bungee jumping and looking after her beautiful German Shepherd dog named Devious.

Her proudest moment was when she was accepted as a member of the prestigious Mensa, reserved for those with IQ scores in the top two per cent of the population.

2007 FORMULA 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix takes place at Albert Park from 15 – 18 March

Profile - Australian Grand Prix (Credit: Wikipedia)

The Australian Grand Prix is a Formula One race held that is part of the annual Formula One championship season. It is currently held at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Albert Park, and prior to that, was held at the Adelaide Street Circuit in Adelaide. The event was held annually since 1928 before it became part of the Formula One championship in 1985.

During it's Adelaide days, the Australian Grand Prix was the final round of the Championship, replacing the Portuguese Grand Prix in that respect. As the final round of the season, the Grand Prix hosted a handful of memorable Grand Prix, most notably the 1986 and 1994 event which saw those respective titles decided. The Grand Prix then moved to Melbourne from the 1996 event and, excluding the 2006 race, has hosted the first round of the championship.

In terms of Grand Prix victories, Michael Schumacher and McLaren are the most successful driver and team respectively.



Australian Grands Prix, which were not part of the World Championship but did feature F1-style open-wheeler racing vehicles, were held at various circuits around Australia for many years. A notable venue in the 1950s was a road circuit at Albert Park in Melbourne, for many years. They sometimes attracted the world's top drivers of the era, who competed against (and were challenged by) local entrants. The last such race was held in 1984.

Australia became part of the F1 world championship in 1985 with the last race of the season held on the street circuit in Adelaide. The circuit, whilst not as ridiculously tight as Monaco , was notoriously tough on drivers and gearboxes. The Adelaide Street Circuit, which held its last race in 1995, has often been stated as being one of, if not, the greatest street circuits in the world. Whenever the teams came to Adelaide they enjoyed the party atmosphere.

In 1993 prominent Melbourne businessman Mr Ron Walker AC CBE, current Chairman of the Australian Grand Prix began working with the then Kennett government to make Melbourne the host of the event. After the government of Jeff Kennett spent an undisclosed (but speculated to be quite large) amount, it was announced in late 1993 (days after a South Australian election) that the race would be shifted to a rebuilt Albert Park street circuit in Melbourne . The race moved to Melbourne in 1996. The decision to hold the race there was controversial. A series of protests were organised by the "Save Albert Park" group, who claimed that the race turned a public park into a private playground for much of the year. Additionally, they claimed that the race cost a great deal of money that would be better spent, if it was to be spent on motor racing, on a permanent circuit elsewhere. Finally, they said that the claimed economic benefits of the race were false or exaggerated. The race organisers and the government claimed that the economic benefits to the state outweighed the costs, and that the park's public amenities have been improved considerably by the works carried out for the race.

The idea of a permanent racing circuit has never really been addressed, but there is much speculation that the real reason for a street circuit is to provide a distinctive backdrop for television - a permanent race circuit would be unidentifiable and, from the perspective of the Formula One organisers, may as well be held in Europe at much lesser cost and inconvenience to them. In any case, a substantial number of people do embrace (and attend) the race at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit.

There are rumours that Adelaide may host a Formula One race again when Melbourne's contract comes up for review. The Adelaide usually turned a profit, something which Melbourne has yet to achieve.

After many years as a support act, the Australian Supercar championship put in a bid to have a higher priority for the 2007 race, with the possibility of being given pit garage space and thus making it a point scoring round for the Supercars. This choice was turned down by the FIA which lead to the V8 Supercars chosing to end their role as support race, leaving a gap in the support races for the Grand Prix. Many V8 fans see it as causing a serious indent on the turn out while the FIA and Grand Prix Teams make no notice of it.

Notable Australian Grands Prix
Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet in a Williams- Honda and Alain Prost, in a comparatively underpowered McLaren, were competing for the drivers' title. Mansell needed only third to guarantee the title, whilst Prost and Piquet needed to win and for Mansell to finish lower than third to take the title. Whilst comfortably in the top three with a few laps to go, Mansell's Williams suffered a spectacular mechanical failure, with a rear tyre puncture at very high speed near the end of the main straight creating a huge shower of sparks as the floor of the vehicle dragged along the bitumen surface. Mansell fought to control the violently veering car and steered it to a safe stop. Prost took the lead, as Mansell's teammate Piquet had pitted as a pre-cautionary measure, and won the race and the championship. Prost himself came incredibly close to failure, as his vehicle coasted to a halt on his warm-down lap, out of fuel.
Following his win at the Japanese Grand Prix, Damon Hill was now one point behind championship leader Michael Schumacher. Nigel Mansell was on pole but a poor start resulted in the two championship rivals Hill and Schumacher battling for the lead. But on lap 36, Schumacher went off the track, a result of oversteer, and this allowed Hill to catch up with Schumacher and the Brit took the inside line for the next corner. But the German turned on Hill's Williams, whether it was on purpose or accidently is unknown, which sent the Benetton on two wheels and into the tyre barrier, Schumacher retiring on the spot. Hill came out of the incident with a broken wishbone on his front-left suspension and the Brit pitted and retired from the race, handing the title to Schumacher. The sister Williams of Nigel Mansell went onto win the race, becoming the oldest Grand Prix winner in the sport's history.
The 2001 race saw Michael Schumacher take pole position and win the race and three drivers, Fernando Alonso; Kimi Räikkönen and Juan Pablo Montoya, all made their Formula One debuts during this race. The race, however, was struck by tragedy in when a flying tyre from a crash between Williams' Ralf Schumacher and BAR's Jacques Villeneuve flew through a gap in the barrier fence and killed a volunteer track marshal, Graham Beveridge, he was 52 years old.
The 2002 event saw the best performance by an Australian driver when Mark Webber, in the perennially uncompetitive Minardi, took advantage of the misfortune of other competitors to finish an unlikely fifth, holding off a fast-closing Mika Salo in a much faster Toyota. He and the Australian-born team owner Paul Stoddart became instant national celebrities well beyond the motor racing world, the minor placing receiving far more attention in Australia than Michael Schumacher's win.
Traditionally, Melbourne hosted the opening round of the championship. In 2006, Melbourne hosted the 3rd round because it was hosting the Commonwealth Games when it would normally host the Grand Prix. Spain's Fernando Alonso won the event from third on the grid. (Credit: Wikipedia)



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18th March 2007 - Ferrari wins Australian Grand Prix


Sabrina Houssami

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