A record third day crowd of 111,000 at the Qantas Australian Grand Prix saw Ferrari's reigning world champion driver Michael Schumacher take pole position for tomorrow's opening race of the FIA Formula One World Championship.

Alongside Schumacher on the grid will be team-mate Rubens Barrichello, forming the first all-Ferrari front row in the history of the Australian Grand Prix as a world championship event. Schumacher's pole position was his first in the six years that the event has been held in Melbourne, and indeed his first pole in eleven starts in Australia.

The German triple world champion and Brazilian Barrichello finished first and second in last year's Australian Grand Prix in what was the start of Ferrari's best season in more than two decades.

It is now perfectly poised for a repeat on Sunday afternoon, with another big crowd and continued beautiful weather expected.
The Victorian Regional Office of the Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a sunny day for the race, with a top temperature of 27 degrees Celsius.

Today's crowd took the attendance over the first three days of this year's Australian Grand Prix to 241,000 - 5,800 more than the first three days last year. Last year's Sunday crowd was 124,300 and Australian Grand Prix Corporation chief executive John Harnden said he was hopeful of matching - and perhaps topping - that figure in view of the quality of the track action and the weather forecast.

"Everything has been going very well up to this point and, with the Ferraris on the front row and the weather looking so good, we now just look forward to a great final day," Mr Harnden said.


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