The complete Australian Grand Prix review

The complete Australian Grand Prix review

The 2011 season got off to an intriguing start in Australia with plenty of intrigue but a familar face on the top step of the podium. AUTOSPORT provides the definitive guide to how the race unfolded

PRACTICE

Practice one

Looking back on it now the signs were always there. Red Bull first and second fastest with a comfortable cushion to the next fastest car – Fernando Alonso's Ferrari. But it was Mark Webber that was quickest, some 0.327s faster than the world champion Sebastian Vettel.

The two RB7s looked easily the most comfortable machines on the green Albert Park layout, which seemed fairly resistant to rubbering in – a feature of Pirelli's new tyres. Behind the Red Bulls, things were less predictable. Alonso and Nico Rosberg's Mercedes were next up, followed by Rubens Barrichello's Williams. Then a somewhat surprising development... in the days between the final test and arriving in Melbourne McLaren had fixed the troublesome MP4-26. Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton were suddenly in the mix.

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