It was a beautiful Sunday in the park for the Qantas Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. The crowd was out and about, lots of activities, some planed and some impromptu, and earsplitting aerial displays from the RAAF Roulettes and a FA 18 Hornet Jet. I may never hear again, especially after being at Pit Exit as the F1 cars went out for their observation laps.
The National Anthem was sung nicely, not performed. One of my pet peeves is that celebrity singers feel obligated to make the song their own instead of treating it with the respect it deserves.
I got a ride around the course with the A Team delivering ice and drinks to the volunteer CAMS race marshals and officials, who had been on course since 9am, and wouldn’t leave until 7pm.
I saw lots of people, grandstands and viewing mounds filled with sun-soaking fans.
At 4pm – hour before race time, a Pirelli tire engineer said the track temperature was 88 degrees F/31 C.
The Stewards held several hearings Saturday night. MICHAEL SCHUMACHER/Mercedes AMG Petronas was determined not to have been impeding DANIEL RICCIARDO/Scuderia Toro Rosso in Qualifying – distance between cars was sufficient. PEDRO DE LA ROSA/HRT F1 Team was reprimanded for impeding HEIKKI KOVALAINEN/Caterham F1 Team in Qualifying, as was his HRT teammate, NARAIN KAHERTHIKEYAN for blocking FERNANDO ALONSO/Scuderia Ferrari. Those HRT drivers were not having a good start to the season, as they will sit out the race for being too slow.
PASTOR MALDONADO/Williams F1 Team copped a Practice Two speeding ticket, as did JEAN-ERIC VERGNE/Scuderia Toro Rosso in Practice Three – $400 Euros each.
For awhile mid-morning the clouds gathered over ominously, but blew away. They started appearing again by race time, but were white and fluffy, and then left.