MERCEDES GP PETRONAS F1 Australian Grand Prix Preview
The second race of the 2010 Formula One season will take place in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday 28 March at Albert Park
by Chris Danielson | 22 March 2010
The second race of the 2010 Formula One season will take place in Melbourne, Australia on Sunday 28 March. Albert Park, a street circuit which uses the public roads surrounding the man-made Albert Park lake just south of Melbourne city centre, hosts the Australian Grand Prix which is always one of the most atmospheric races on the calendar.
“The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne has always been a successful race for me. I have been in the points for my last three races and had my first podium finish there in 2008 when I finished third. Melbourne is a great city so I really enjoy visiting and the Albert Park street circuit is exciting. It’s quite a challenging track as the public roads are always dirty to begin with and there are a lot of bumps to negotiate. With the change in the time of the race last year, the low sun was one of the most difficult things due to the late afternoon start.”
“Australia has always been one of the highlights on the Formula One calendar and this has never changed for me in all my years of competing. As in previous times, I arrived on the continent quite early and have spent some nice days training, adapting and relaxing in order to be fit and rested for the race weekend. I have a lot of good memories from Melbourne and most of the time, we saw interesting races there. I am very happy with the outcome of the season opener in Bahrain. Sixth position was good for me, especially considering how few times I have driven an F1 car since my retirement. I am sure that Melbourne will help me to get into the rhythm even more and I am looking forward to it.”
“The team did a good job in Bahrain but we accept that we were not competitive enough and that we have work to do to close the gap to the leaders. I was very pleased with the performance of Nico and Michael and the way that they worked together to provide clear and consistent feedback to develop the car over the weekend. Whilst our car is fundamentally strong, we have a development plan in place for the next few races which should bring the required performance improvements to compete at the front. Looking ahead to the next two races, the Australian Grand Prix is always a popular race with the teams and the fans so we hope to see a more exciting race at Albert Park next weekend. We then head to Malaysia for the home race of our title partner PETRONAS. With an exciting programme of activities scheduled at the PETRONAS Pit Pulse fan zone in Kuala Lumpur, it will be a busy and enjoyable fortnight for the team.”
“The forthcoming Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park is the first of two races within eight days. The layout of the traditional race track in Melbourne, which will host its 15th Formula One World Championship race since 1996, is quite different to Bahrain where the season-opener took place.
“I expect quite a challenging race for us. The base of our car is good and the team is working hard and focused to achieve the next development steps. It will take some time to close the gap but we will definitely close it sooner rather than later. Our spirit is first-class and the whole team is looking forward to the race weekend in Melbourne.”