2012 Australian Grand Prix build-up in pictures

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Anticipation is building ahead of the start of the 2012 Formula 1 season.

The drivers and teams have assembled in Melbourne for the first race of the season where they’re been greeted by some rainy weather.

The build-up so far has seen the usual pre-season activities, press releases and photo shoots. Here’s a selection of pictures from the paddock before the serious business begins tomorrow.

Also today, Heikki Kovalainen has revealed a striking new helmet design

F1 pictures

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Images © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Lotus F1 Team/LAT, Mercedes, Getty Images/Red Bull, Force India/Sutton, Sauber F1 Team, Caterham/LAT, HRT

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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 “2012 Australian Grand Prix build-up in pictures”

  1. God im giddy!, taking the train into Melbourne tomorrow and will be staying two nights and going friday Saturday Sunday.

    Long time reader first time commenter so hi all!

    1. Giddy and lucky! Have fun, you’ll love it, especially the NOISE!

      1. @Keith Kcollantine

        Hey Keith could you make a button up the top so we can look at all pictures in a full size slideshow? I get so tired of right clicking every picture haha


        PS so god damn excited for Practice1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. @mrferret Enjoy! Be sure to come back :)

  2. I always have to wonder if there is a conspiracy against us McLaren fans… pics seem few and far between :(

    1. I think a lot of the pictures Keith posts are distributed by the teams. So, if McLaren don’t make them available then Keith can’t upload them @mcgregski

      1. Aaaaah makes sense. McLaren should stop being so tight then :)

    2. i just want to say that i was next in line behind this guy in the picture for michael’s autograph!!! can’t believe i was oh so close to having my picture with schumi on this website..


      also BTW, that f1 style steering wheel was hand made by this guy. i sat next to him for 6 hours waiting for the merc team! he was telling me about it.

  3. … Has anyone ever actually seen a picture of Kimi smiling? Because I don’t think I have. I kind of imagine that if he did, then it would be like that scene in Terminator 2: Judgement Day where Arnie tries to smile for John Connor, end the end result is very unflattering.

    1. He smiled on top gear! I had to rewind and make sure I wasn’t imagining it. If you haven’t seen the interview it is worth watching – it’s almost like he hates F1.

      1. tom (@iwishiworkedformclaren)
        15th March 2012, 13:30

        he has probably just had an ice cream!

        1. Wow. still with the ice cream thing hah?

      2. I thought it was more like he was trying very hard to be on his best behaviour, not helped by Jeremy Clarkson asking awkward questions ;-)

    2. How about the one at the top of this page?

      1. @estesark – I thought that was Raikkonen baring his teeth. You know, like a warrior thing. To strike fear into the hearts of his opponents.

      1. Wow. It was a joke in response to this picture. No need to take it so personally.

        1. Hmm…I wasn’t taking it personally! I guess I need to remember to always add one of these at the ends of my comments: ;-)

      1. Lol, I forgot all about his NASCAR stint!

    3. I’ve seen him smiling in many different occasions but he seems much happier now though.

    4. Does this mean the joke’s on you?

  4. I’m just too excited to make a proper comment Keith. Ngahahaha!!! FormulaOneisbackthisisfaaaaantastic!!!!

    1. +1 (pressing the like button) :)

  5. @keithcollantine Hey Keith I spotted an error in the caption for Nico Hulkenberg’s picture. Says HRT instead of Force India :) ! Although maybe HRT might like Nico to race for them.

  6. The new season is so close I can almot smell the tyre smoke… bring it on :)

    @keithcollantine Just btw one of the pics has Nico Hulkenburg as an HRT driver…

    1. *almost

  7. Off topic, but worth mentioning, Mercedes new rear wing F-duct is deemed legal, just read it in autosport, now definitely it will be a race against time for other teams to copy this, horner has mentioned that redbull are already working on its own version of it! Hope this concept gives mercedes a boost, to catch up with redbull and mclaren.

  8. That picture in the very top right of the press conference is great. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone look so disinterested in something.

    It wouldn’t be right if he looked like he was enjoying himself!

  9. Looks like they parked the HRT in Brixton overnight

    1. LOL.
      I suspect HRT are trying hard to get both cars ready for the first free practise.

  10. Luigi Carneiro
    15th March 2012, 14:27

    Any reason why the pictures are looking streched and distorted on mobile devices like ipads and iphones?

    1. Some problems are specific to the browser being used. Opera mini for instance has a way of distorting some pages, while the same pages display properly when you use UCbrowser.
      The fact you mentioned the iphone and ipad, doesn’t still leave one with the liberty to assume you use Safari.

      1. Luigi Carneiro
        15th March 2012, 18:19

        Yes. Safari. But it only started to happen a week or so ago. That
        Thanks for your response.

  11. The Webber pic, reminds me of a certain caped super hero.

  12. Love the Force India fan..but the drivers always look so bored in the press conferences!

  13. So it begins…

    Warning: humongous post.

    Amusingly, the only thing (or, rather, person) I can think about at this moment is Massa.

    This is very likely going to be his final season at Ferrari. Ferrari, the team which he, along with Kimi, helped win two constructors’ championships and one drivers’ title when they needed them the most: after Michael’s departure. At least as a driver.

    Ferrari, the team with which he himself nearly won the title, in front of his own fans. The team that once supported him like no other, even when they had last year’s world champion as his teammate. It’s really worth noting that, even if we were to remove any notion of misforte from Hamilton, Massa and Raikkonen in 2008, Massa would’ve still beaten his teammate, something that only DC at his strongest had accomplished before.

    Ferrari, the team that shamed and ridiculed him so much after his seemingly unsuccessful return following that horrendous crash in 2009. Ferrari, the team which took a hard-fought win from him when he needed it the most. Ferrari, the team that may have single-handedly ended his career as a top tier driver and that brought him to the lowest point in his career.

    People might argue that he doesn’t deserve his spot at Ferrari anymore, and considering his form as of late I kind of agree, but the thing is, this year is going to be sheer torture for him. The ultimate test of strength, if you will. Most people would want to see him suffer like this. And think of how much people would respect him if he were to surpass all expectations and match or even beat the drivers named below.

    He has to face Lewis Hamilton, the guy who beat him to the punch in his strongest year yet. A fantastic aggressive driver, one that idolizes Ayrton Senna just as much as the defunct legend’s compatriot. His greatest rival in every respect, both having had their share of good and bad seasons.

    He has to face Kimi Raikkonen, his friend of old. Also a very quick driver. One that is thought by many to be rather cold or uncaring, but who has shown great levels of respect and sympathy towards his former teammate.

    He has to face Michael Schumacher, the most successful driver of all time and the person who almost single-handedly brought Ferrari to greatness. I don’t think words can even begin to describe him and what he has done to Ferrari, to Felipe himself or to the entirety of F1, whether it be good or bad.

    He has to face Sebastian Vettel, Schumacher’s successor and the last world champion to date. A driver who is seemingly in top shape, defeating his teammate (Mark Webber, who is no slouch by any stretch of the imagination) like it was nothing. Also known as the guy who very nearly won Felipe the title in 2008 by passing Hamilton on the 69th lap out of 71.

    He has to face Jenson Button, a cool, calm and collected driver. A driver who stood strong in the face of adversity, matching and even defeating Lewis Hamilton when people thought he would stand no chance against Felipe’s rival. A worthy champion in every respect.

    He has to face Fernando Alonso, “the guy who is faster than him”. An extremely strong and honest driver, both inside and outside the track. One of the greatest reasons for Felipe’s downfall, both intentionally (his extremely successful 2010 and 2011 seasons) and by accident (crashgate, arguably, as it is thought that he had no real role in that scandal).

    He also has to face the likes of Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg, all of which have proven themselves to be great drivers.

    He also has to face his own team, the fans whom he disappointed in these last two seasons, and, above all, his fears.

    Now, more than ever, I want him to win the title, no matter how unlikely it might be, both because of Massa’s recent form and because of the F2012’s apparent lack of pace. It’d probably be the greatest upset in F1 history, and it would be an amazing way to end his career at Ferrari.

    I have 50€ with his name on them. His odds are 123/1. Just think about that for a moment.

    1. we need a like button on f1 fanatic!

      1. I agree. also with a dislike button. :)

    2. Ferrari will just use Massa to hold the other drivers back so Alonso can score good points.
      When a team tells you to destroy someone’s race they also imply that you destroy yours.
      He is in a no win situation.

    3. Interesting use of grammar.

    4. That’s 50€ you’ve thrown away then. Good post though.

  14. Watching F1 at 2 AM here on the east coast of the US definitely screws up a good night’s sleep, but no matter. I am buzzing with anticipation!

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