Date:Thursday March 24 2011
Two-time former World champion Fernando Alonso believes that a new era in Formula One will begin in Australia this weekend.
With a few regulations changes and a new tyre manufacturer for 2011, the emphasis has been to improve the event for the spectators at the track and the world wide Television audiences.
While all the teams have completed hundreds of miles of testing with their new cars (a part from Hispania of course), one of the buzz words for this weekend will be 'unpredictable'.
How the cars will perform against each other is always an intriguing aspect of the sport at this time of the year, but this pre-season is different to any other.
While all the teams and drivers know how the new rear wing works in principle, in reality, no-one knows how it will work as an overtaking aid when it comes to the race.
The re-introduction of KERS, some teams devices are better than others, some teams have struggled with reliability, what will happen when race day finally arrives?
The tyres, deliberately built not to last to force teams into two, three or even four stops, bringing tyre strategy back to Formula One.
'for sure there is a new way of doing the races in terms of strategy, so a new Formula 1 starts here in Melbourne in terms of strategy that we need to learn from here to keep for the coming races,' Alonso said at Thursday press conference.
Alonso now believes that the added variables to an F1 race for the 2011 season will mean that there will be less emphasis on qualifying, as the events on the track during the race will be less predictable.
'We need to be focused and concentrated on the strategy because it can play a big part of the race result. And maybe on the other hand qualifying on Saturday has less value as on Sunday there will be more factors on track.
'The number of laps [that the new tyres can run] is impossible to predict right now, but I think there is not a big problem as it is the same tyres for everyone, After tomorrow's practice we will understand a bit better how the strategy will work on Sunday, I don't have a particular worry for that.
'It is a new tyre compared to last year, a new way of approaching the weekend and the strategy. It is something we have been practising all winter, hopefully okay and hopefully more fun for the spectators.'
Ferrari and Red Bull go into the opening weekend of the 2011 Formula One World Championships as the heavy favourites following their winter testing programme.
A late development from Mercedes suggests that they could well be in the mix on Sunday, while McLaren hope that their as yet untested upgrade will also improve their car to compete.
The wait is nearly over.
Date:Thursday March 24 2011
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Renault make breakthrough with Lotus (Tuesday February 11 2014)
Mercedes play down early advantage (Monday February 10 2014)
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GP2's Russian Time team principal dies (Thursday February 6 2014)
Ferrari announce testing trio (Wednesday February 5 2014)
F1 team principals are a thing of the past (Tuesday February 4 2014)
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2013 F1 Driver Standings (Tuesday February 4 2014)
2013 F1 Constructor Standings (Tuesday February 4 2014)
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Schumacher 'in the process' of coming out of coma (Friday January 31 2014)
Boullier named McLaren Racing Director (Thursday January 30 2014)
McLaren duo killed (Thursday January 30 2014)
Video: Red Bull stutter in Jerez (Wednesday January 29 2014)
Video: F1 teams reveal 2014 challengers (Tuesday January 28 2014)
Video: 'Year of change' for Mclaren (Tuesday January 28 2014)
Alonso and Kimi target the title (Monday January 27 2014)
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Boullier to leave Lotus for McLaren? (Friday January 24 2014)
Paul Di Resta makes Mercedes switch (Friday January 24 2014)
Pic & van der Garde in the cold (Thursday January 23 2014)
Caterham announce Kobayashi & Ericsson (Wednesday January 22 2014)
NASCAR boss makes F1 move (Tuesday January 21 2014)
Schumacher remains in coma (Monday January 20 2014)
Ron Dennis back in control at McLaren (Friday January 17 2014)
Pirelli confirmed until 2016 (Friday January 17 2014)
Ecclestone steps down (Thursday January 16 2014)
Lotus deal with Quantum dead (Thursday January 16 2014)
Ecclestone in the news in Germany (Thursday January 16 2014)
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Changes afoot at Williams (Tuesday January 14 2014)
John Button dies (Monday January 13 2014)
Video: Tribute to Ayrton Senna (Monday January 13 2014)
Chilton holds on to Marussia seat (Monday January 13 2014)
The numbers game (Monday January 13 2014)
Kobayashi to return to F1? (Friday January 10 2014)
Schumacher travelling speed of 'good skier' (Thursday January 9 2014)
Sutil looking forward to Sauber challenge (Wednesday January 8 2014)
Lotus to miss first F1 test (Tuesday January 7 2014)
Fans hold vigil for Schumacher (Monday January 6 2014)
Schumacher remains critical but stable (Thursday January 2 2014)
Schumacher's condition shows 'slight improvement' (Tuesday December 31 2013)
Schumacher remains in coma overnight (Monday December 30 2013)
Schumacher in critical condition (Sunday December 29 2013)
Ferrari calls for F1 team summit (Friday December 27 2013)
Alonso makes his number selection (Thursday December 26 2013)
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Merry Christmas from Vital F1 (Wednesday December 25 2013)
Video: An F1 steering wheel - the driver's view (Tuesday December 24 2013)
Sauber confirm Gutierrez for 2014 (Tuesday December 24 2013)
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Video: Ricciardo wows 100 thousand in Sri Lanka (Sunday December 22 2013)
Video: Teenager Kvyat looking for easy adjustment (Saturday December 21 2013)
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Rosberg suffers 320km/h tyre blow out (Friday December 20 2013)
Hulkenberg was offered Force India return in March (Thursday December 19 2013)
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Massa bids final farewell to Ferrari (Wednesday December 18 2013)
F1 Video: Caterham passes 2014 crash test (Tuesday December 17 2013)
Button looking forward to hilarious test (Tuesday December 17 2013)
Sauber switch for Sutil (Monday December 16 2013)
Perez backing for double points plan (Saturday December 14 2013)
FIA approve F1 strategy group proposals (Friday December 13 2013)
Perez makes move to Force India (Thursday December 12 2013)
Spot on F1 grid available (Thursday December 12 2013)
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