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The Power to Excite

A look ahead to the Australian Grand Prix from within the Melbourne paddock through the eyes of Lynne Huntting
'THE POWER OF 1' is the slogan, and this year's Rolex Australian Grand Prix is touting 'The Power to Excite, to Amaze, and to Thrill'.

It's the first Formula One race of the 2013 season, and is cause for more than the usual celebration in Melbourne's Albert Park. This year marks the sixtieth anniversary of the first Australian Grand Prix run in Albert Park in 1953. and, CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motor Sports), the FIA ASN for Australia, is celebrating its sixtieth birthday.

And further - this is the twenty-ninth consecutive Australian Grand Prix of the so-called 'modern era'.

Rolex, which is now the Official Timekeeper and the Official Timepiece for Formula One, is also the title sponsor for this year's AGP. Works out well all around given that Australia's colours are green and gold, same as Rolex.

Things are on schedule at Albert Park. According to Bill Gibson, of Gibson Freight, all the F1 team containers were in place by Monday afternoon, after being trucked in from nearby Avalon Airport.

This year there were six 747's. The plane carrying the FOM TV gear arrived last Tuesday, and the other five arrived Sunday. Additionally, Gibson trucked in five 40-foot long trailers Monday afternoon, filled with Pirelli tyres.

Each trailer carried 700 tyres, for a total of 3500 for the weekend. Not sure yet how many are wets - which surely will be needed on Saturday for the 80 per cent chance of rain.

This week has started out hot - mid-nineties all day and into the night. The temperatures are forecast to start dropping on Thursday and continue downward through Sunday. As the locals say, 'If you don't like the weather, wait five minutes'.

Preparations are ongoing everywhere, and the F1 pit lane is off-limits, categorised as a 'Construction Zone'.

The F1 swipe gates are already being installed - the earliest I remember. The F1 paddock and hospitality area is nearly complete. Things seem to be on schedule.

by Lynne Huntting

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