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Aus Preview - Party In The Park

This weekend, Formula One rolls into Albert Park, Australia.
Given the lack of spectacle served up in Bahrain most people in the
sport are wishing for a good race this time out.The new rules that were implemented for the first time at Bahrain didn't deliver what we anticipated, however, we can’t judge things too much yet.Not all races can be epic however much we want them to be.

At Bahrain we saw the majority of the grid just pit once, leaving a long boring mid-race section where not much happened. The race ended up becoming a procession and throughout the week Formula One and the FIA have been receiving
bad press for the rule changes. But to be fair, all this begs this question to
be asked to the doubters, when was the last truly exciting Bahrain GP? And
honestly the answer is there hasn’t really been one.The track itself is the primary issue and isn't made for overtaking. As a result most years are exactly the same as this year's race.

For only the second time in fifteen years, Albert Park is not hosting the
first Grand Prix of the season.Historically Melbourne always gives us a pretty good race to watch. Safety cars are often a feature of the race. In 2008 there were three safety cars which really shook things up and in 2006 there were four safety car
periods. So you can always expect an exciting race.

Albert Park has been one of my favourite tracks since I started watching Formula 1. I don’t know why but it's the fast, tight circuit surrounded in concrete barriers that makes it so great. The drivers need to push the maximum out of their car but any mistake will send them into the barrier. We get a on the edge of your sofa race!

The track itself shares many similarities to the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Canada. Both of the tracks are unique, and they're in a class of their own. Technically street races but they have more room than the likes of Monaco and Singapore. I'd like to call them 'crossover' tracks
The driver still has to be anxious about the solid grey wall just metres away fromhim but these two tracks flow better and have more room to give the driver the speed.It's why we get the accidents and the races which are shaken up constantly.

An interesting fact is that in the last 10 years, the winner of the Australian Grand Prix has gone on to win the World Championship of that year 8 times. But with such a close pack this year I'm sceptical to whether this will hold true this season. Alonso did well last week and both Ferraris looked very fast but I think that Red Bull may just have an advantage at this stage. Especially if Webber is on form, he'll want to get a home win this weekend.

The track is 5.3 kilometres long and is bumpy and very fast, around 225km/h on average. This helps give an exciting race even if there isn't much overtaking.

Who is looking strong coming into this race? It's hard to tell really, in the last 4 years there has been 4 different winners in 4 different teams. So really the winner will be the driver in the strongest car, so don't go expecting any surprises or topsy-turvy grids here. That being said, the smart money will be on Ferrari to continue their early season dominance. But of course McLaren and Red Bull will be on the chase and within the next race or two we should be seeing very close racing.

The secret of a quick lap at Melbourne is relatively high downforce and a good front end. So Ferrari and Red Bull should be looking good but will McLaren have enough downforce to compete for the top step of the podium? One team were seriously overlooked last week in Bahrain - Force India. After scoring their debut points last year, they have carried the late season form into 2010, once again reaching the third qualifying session on merit. If they're able to maintain this kind of form throughout the development race 2010 could be the breakout year for the Silverstone based team.

Personally I am really excited about the race at Albert Park, it should
be infinitely better than the processional race served up Bahrain. I just hope not too many people have switched off because of the poor show. To be honest Bahrain is never a good race but one good thing has come from it, many of the drivers are now giving their own ideas on how to improve the show. So hopefully the ideas may be implemented in the coming seasons.

So remember the date, the 28th of March at 07:00 AM GMT for the second round of the 2010 Formula One World
Championship at Albert Park, Australia. Let's just hope we have a party in the park rather than a gentle stroll this weekend.
Written by Joe Ryland / Edited by Adie Brown of F1Weekender

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