F1 Paddock Sign

F1 Paddock Art
F1 Paddock Art Photo by Michael Shaw

It’s Wednesday in Albert Park, Melbourne, and the day before the four-day Australian Grand Prix begins. There is still a lot left to do, but for the Formula One crowd, it’s not to worry as they aren’t on track until Friday. In the meantime, they’re putting on the finishing touches here and there, and getting ready for Thursday scrutineering.

The FIA Official Track Inspection has been done, many of the V8 teams are out walking the track when the track is cold, and watching DAVID COULTHARD drive the Minardi F1 two-seater car. The weather was warm and muggy.

Minardi Two SeaterDavid Coulthard[/caption]

The Medical Car had a bit of an engine problem – a piston through the Mercedes engine. It was the first mechanical in twelve years for the German marque. It came in on the back of a flat bed truck. FIA comes prepared with backup cars for both the Medical Car and Safety Car.

Jenson Button
Jenson Button Photo by Ron Searle
While all the drama was ongoing at the parklands street circuit, off in the Docklands JENSON BUTTON/VODAFONE McLaren Mercedes was expounding the philosophy that it’s better to instill good habits early on to youths 12 and older, before they learn bad habits regarding distracted driving, road rage, speeding, etc. CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motor Sports) has a grant from the FIA’s Action for Road Safety program to reduce worldwide road tolls.

The idea is to be proactive and promote easy driver education throughout Australia, working with the youngsters pre-licence. Button said “You can never do enough. The earlier the driving skills are passed on, the better. If it’s instilled early on, it’s something you can hang onto for the rest of your life. We don’t want anymore needless deaths on the road.”

Unattributed photographs by Lynne Huntting