F1 with Inga Stracke

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Inga with Michael Schumacher

Inga Stracke is a multi-talented Formula 1 journalist with over 20 years experience as an F1 insider in TV, radio and written media.

Inga will get us the latest on F1 all throughout the 2017 season.

Follow Inga on Twitter @ingastrackef1

 

 

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March 23, 2017
Melbourne Australia
 

AUS

Hi and “g’dday”, as they say in Australia!

I just love the new Formula One-season kick-off in Melbourne’s Albert Park. It’s been a long time since the last race in
Abu Dhabi in November, but now Formula One is back and ready to start into the new season! The first Grand Prix of the year is somehow almost like ‘back-to school’: you haven’t seen each other for a long time, there are a lot of things to tell and even more to hide, and there are some new faces. Even if the flight is awfully long, everybody is looking forward to Melbourne!

Sergio on the beachTeams and drivers started the season in style, whilst Force India drivers Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon went to Brighton Beach to play Volleyball with Olympian Champ, Tamsin Hinchley.

Scuderia Toro Rosso hosted a Casio EDIFICE Time Trial between their two drivers Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat at the St Kilda Surf Life Saving Club. Carlos and Daniil tested their paddle boarding skills against the clock.

Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen got to enjoy a little bit of downtime, messing about boatsin boats on Melbourne’s Yarra River at the Richmond Rowing Club, in the company of professional dinghy racers Scott Jenke and Jeremy Newman.

This is high-speed racing in crash helmets – so naturally Daniel and Max were eager to get out on the water and give it a go.

grosjeanHaas F1 Team driver, Romain Grosjean met two-time Paralympic tennis gold medalist and Grand Slam champion, Dylan Alcott for a hit at Melbourne Park, the home of the Australian Open.

The weather in Melbourne at this time of the year is usually lovely, with summer temperatures in the mid 80s which makes the season’s opener quite pleasant for everybody.
Top speeds are as high as 307.574 km/h (192.238 mph). The race distance of 58 laps sums up to a total of 307.574 kilometres (192.233 miles).

Since parts of the track are a normal road the rest of the year the concrete can be dusty and slippery and drivers usually complain about a significant lack of grip on the first practice days. As there are many support races going on during the Grand Prix-weekend, rubber starts to build up quickly.

Sightseeing/ entertainment:
When the Grand Prix used to be in Adelaide, the whole city practically “lived” Formula One. In Melbourne people seem to have grown to like the event more and more by the years. GP-parties and balls are happening all week.
Trendy Chapel Street in South Yarra is basically one big party all week long, if you want a little more exclusivity, there are various clubs upstairs in the casino building, like the “Club 23″. Those who prefer elusive dinners and like to try something new are also at the right place in Melbourne:
Kangaroo-Steak and Alligator-Burger are only two of many dishes that can be highly recommended.
Much nicer however it is to see the animals in a “Habitat”. They are similar to wild life parks, but with typical Australian animals such as kangaroos, wombats, alligators, emus, koala bears, and the famous “Tasmanian devils”. One of the most beautiful habitats is located about half an hour east of Melbourne, on Philip Island (motorbike-fans races know that place!). Philip Island’s big attraction is the huge penguin reservation where hundreds of those small “tailcoat birds” leave the water, run across the beach and disappear in the dunes every evening. The experience will be an everlasting memory!

If you have enough time “down under”, you should really drive along the “Great Ocean Road” west of Melbourne; the “Twelve Apostles” (huge “cliff-rocks” in the sea off the steep cliffs) are breath-taking!
The best place for a swimming and diving vacation after the Grand Prix is the Great Barrier Reef. Hamilton Island, Whitehaven Beach and Airlie Beach are just a few fabulous spots to be recommended.