Full race weekend schedule in UK time:

Friday April 8 

4am-5am - Practice 1 

7am-8am - Practice 2

Saturday April 9 

4am-5am - Practice 3

7am-8am - Qualifying

Sunday April 10 

6am - F1 Australian Grand Prix

F1 bans jewellery ahead of Australian Grand Prix!

Formula 1 drivers have been served a reminder by the FIA that wearing jewellery during on-track sessions is banned ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix. 

The ruling was included in the Melbourne event notes that was issued by new FIA race director, Niels Wittich, who is alternating the position with Eduardo Freitas during the 2022 F1 season following Michael Masi’s sacking. 

Appendix L, Chapter III, of Article 5 of the governing body’s International Sporting Code states: “The wearing of jewellery in the form of body piercing or metal neck chains is prohibited during the competition and may therefore be checked before the start.”

Rather than it being a fresh clampdown, F1 drivers have simply been reminded by the FIA about the ISC’s jewellery ruling, which has been in place since 2005. 

The ban was introduced as a safety precaution in order to reduce the risk drivers face when they need to escape from a car following a crash.

It is understood that the reminder has come after several drivers have been spotted wearing rings and bracelets when in their cars. 

The ruling will not affect the drivers when they are in and around the paddock and any breach is likely to be met with a fine, rather than any kind of sporting penalty.

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton regularly wears jewellery - including rings, earrings and neck chains - in the paddock over the course of a race weekend as part of his striking fashion statements. 

Hamilton turned heads when he arrived in the Melbourne paddock on Thursday wearing a bold green outfit from luxury London knitwear brand AGR. 

Mercedes upgrades on the way?

Mercedes was expected to introduce its first significant upgrade of the season for F1’s return to Melbourne with the arrival of an all-new rear wing to reduce drag and potentially a newly-designed floor, though it appears to still have the same rear wing it had in Jeddah. 

The update, which may not arrive until Imola or Miami, are aimed at combating its porpoising issues. The phenomenon has been at the heart of the W13’s problems so far in 2022, forcing Mercedes to run a compromised setup in a bid to reduce the bouncing effect.

As a result, drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton had contrasting fortunes at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix last time out as they dealt with an ill-handling car.

The seven-time champion was knocked out in Q1 for the first time since 2017, while Russell qualified sixth albeit behind Alpine’s Esteban Ocon. They went on to finish fifth and 10th respectively in the race. 

With Albert Park’s significant changes for this weekend, the circuit is likely to reward low drag and high speed - something Mercedes has lacked in the opening two grands prix of the year.

Speaking ahead of the weekend, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff said: "At the moment, our track performance is not meeting our own expectations, but everyone at Brackley and Brixworth is focused on understanding the problems and finding the right solutions.