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A wet race in prospect? 09 Mar 2003

Local Melbourne wildlife in Albert Park lake.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 7 March 2003

With a temperature of 16 degrees celcius, 88 percent humidity and the forecast of rain showers, even the weather seems to be adding to the complicated factors affecting the teams' tactical thinking for the Australian Grand Prix.

With only two hours remaining before the start of the race the weather remains overcast with strong gusts of wind blowing pasing showers over the Melbourne circuit.

Under the revised qualifying rules, all the cars that set a time yesterday have spent the night in parc ferme and teams have not been permitted to work on them. According to the new procedures this means that cars will have to start the race on the same wheels and tyres they qualified with, and those are in all cases the grooved slicks designed for normal dry conditions.

The wildcard in the pack is Minardi. The team avoided parc ferme on Saturday by failing to set a qualifying time, giving it more time to work on its cars. A further advantage is the free tyre choice that the Italian team also enjoys - plus the chance to run bigger fuel loads.