F1 arrives at Melbourne (pictures)

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Mark Webber's been playing on the beach

The F1 drivers have been kept busy since they arrived in Melbourne: playing football, poker training, and building F1 cars out of sand.

Here’s a selection of pictures showing what some of the drivers and teams have been up to in Australia. Those ones of Nick Heidfeld at Melbourne zoo are just begging for a comedy caption…

Images (C) Toyota F1 World, Brawn GP, Getty Images, Force India F1 Team, BMW ag, Renault / LAT

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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45 comments on “F1 arrives at Melbourne (pictures)”

  1. great photos, i just bought a RBR shirt – so hopefully they can get some more points and a win somewhere this year :D

  2. “The Brawn GP team walk the Melbourne track”

    Reservoir Dogs, much?

  3. Hah, Nick Heidfeld looks like a 12-year-old boy with a beard. He’s a small Chuck Norris.

  4. can i just say…

    Nice skater :)

  5. I’m pretty sure the FIA will want words with Webber, those barge boards look a tad on the big side, clearly its giving him an unfair advantage in sand castle building.

  6. That sand F1 was built with a shovel that goes against the spirit of the rules!

    1. Red Bull insiders claim they were sandbagging!

    1. ’tis a pleasure Keith. It’s not very often that I spot breaking news early.

    2. That shores up much of their future concerns about funding- very good to hear, let’s see what they can do in ’09!

  7. OK, this is one of the problems with F1’s marketing – they basically all look like nerds that have been put into totally awkward situations rife with bad taste – what’s with the casino picture of Fisi, Kubica and Glock smiling awkwardly behind Al Capone and his slow-witted sidekick!?!?!?!? And Sutil with the skaters? Please! I can smell the cheesy all the way here in Montreal. And then there’s Webber and Vettel modeling your grandpa’s leisure clothes on the beach. Sheesh!!!

    What F1 needs is some good kick-ass attitude, at least on some of its drivers – it’s a competitive sport full giant egos – it’s not a Disney movie!

    Then again, I never can really fathom sport fans – I guess this is what sells.

    1. You’ll notice Kimi isn’t in any of those, he’s a proper old school racer – he’ll probably be up half the night saturday boozing it up :D

  8. Look at the size of the diffuser on that sand car…that’s got to be illegal!

  9. Williams 4ever
    26th March 2009, 15:23

    Are all these “Corporate PR Events” or any of these part of FOTA initiative to give “General Public” access to the Drivers :-?

    1. The autograph thing the Toyota drivers were at might be one of the new FOTA initiatives.

  10. @ Maciek
    I agree with you on that!
    Racing drivers in the US are brave, tough men, who are there to fight. Unforunately, in Europe the marketing people don’t get it, and promote F1 drivers as girly boyband members of some kind.
    That’s quite embarrassing.

    1. Racing drivers in the US are brave, tough men, who are there to fight. Unforunately, in Europe the marketing people don’t get it, and promote F1 drivers as girly boyband members of some kind.

      Never thought of it that way before, but you’re dead right!

    2. I also agree- no doubt many of the F1 drivers are just as tough and gritty, but the domination of the corporate image when it comes to fan outreach deprives them of the chance to interact in the same capacity as the NASCAR guys.

  11. http://uzar.files.wordpress.com/2007/04/sandcastle.jpg

    Latest pics confirm the Red Bull offering this year failed FIA sanctioned crash tests.

    1. Excellent!

  12. StrFerrari4Ever
    26th March 2009, 15:54

    haha very good stuff surprising to see the Brawn Gp car hasnt gt any sponsors on it at the moment just a thought and yes the drivers need a more masculine image

  13. Nick looks like he is in an ABBA tribute band

  14. Jarno Trulli training? looks like Glock to me.

    1. Indeed – fixed.

  15. An official report released by the FIA confirms Red Bull were sandbagging throughout the testing.

    Ah it’s nice to see the F1 drivers get up to something for a change rather than driving.

    1. I’m afraid Sush narrowly beat you to that one!

  16. Eduardo Colombi
    26th March 2009, 17:12

    mclaren should run with the sand car don’t you think?

    just kidding

  17. Sorry for being out of subject, but because the time is closing can anyone post any link for live practice, outside uk

    1. See here: Watching, listening to and following F1 live online

      But you won’t find anything until the sessions are live.

      If you want to post some off-topic remember you can always use the forum:


    2. Thanks keith

  18. should be able to spot Jenson with the new helmet. I hope the virgin design is class. the old Honda design (earth dreams) was horrible.

  19. I like the zoo photos- we don’t have any of those animals up here, so it’s quite funny to see in any capacity.

    The idea I really like is seieng the Aussie rules football guys teaming up with the F1 dudes- when F1 eventually returns here to the U.S., I would love to see some of the teams and drivers team up with the NFL or NBA outlets on a promotional gig.

  20. I’M BACK!!!…took a bit of a break from F1 over the winter,had to practice my guitar sometime.
    Great pics but,I have to agree with the comments of race drivers being tough(they are modern day gladiators after all)….more “Reservoir Dog” type pics would be good….that was for you ajokay,spot on observation.

    I am fired up and ready for this new season to begin,should be a interesting with all the changes.I wiil be pulling for my BMW boys first of all and hope to see Brawn GP and Jense on lots of podiums.

    It is good to be back and see familiar names and read your witty comments……and a big hello to Keith!

    1. Welcome back Wesley – you going to join us for the live blogs tonight?

    2. Wesley- one of the biggest F1 fans here in the U.S. of A- Welcome back bud!!!

  21. Modern day gladiators??

  22. The pictures of the BMW boys at the beach (wall) look like they were taken at about 7:00pm – the time the race is due to finish if there’s disruptions.

    p.s. I’m not joking. That’s what it was like last night in Melbourne.

    1. They do seem to have cut it very fine. We’ll get an impression tonight as the last practice session finishes at 6pm, which will be the halfway point in the race (assuming it runs to two hours).

    2. It looked light enough from here at the end of the session, but two problems emerged.

      The first was lighting. Lewis Hamilton complained that he couldn’t see, which is not good. Even if everyone else could see what they were doing, it only takes one person who can’t to trigger an inopportune crash.

      The second problem was temperature. It dropped five degrees during the first hour of second practise, and towards the end dropped further. This took the tyres right out of their operating temperature (particularly the soft ones), so we could see more people making mistakes as a result.

  23. Do you reckon we can expect to see teams running During much more of free practices this year to make up for a lack of testing, or will they run as much as they did last year, enough to find a decent setup but without putting too many unnecessary miles on the engines?

  24. I imagine the Red Bull press team looking through a list of potential activities for Mark Webber and crossing them off:

    “Zoo? No, one of the animals might attack him?”
    “Skating? No, he’ll break the other leg…”
    “He can’t hurt himself with sand, surely?”

  25. its nice to see slicks back not sure of the rear wing tho…..

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