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Melbourne - A Great Place for a Race 03 Mar 2003

The atmosphere at the start of the race was electric.
Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, 3 March 2002

The 2003 Formula One season gets under way at Melbourne's wonderful Albert Park. The atmosphere at the race is always like the first day back at school. With cars and drivers coming back after the winter break, the mix can be explosive. In 2002 almost half the grid crashed out of the running at the first corner of the first lap. Everybody wants to make a good first impression, and Australia is always one of the most exciting races of the season.

With new rule changes to take into account, qualifying should be massively entertaining with the strong possibility of a topsy-turvy grid lining up to take the start. It will be fascinating to see what effect the ban on refuelling after qualifying has, teams will have to decide whether to trade grid position for a long first stint on a track that - traditionally - works best with a one stop strategy.

Michael Schumacher has won here for the past three years and will be racing an updated version of last season's F2002. With the legendary Ferrari reliability behind him, plus the promise that even more speed has been found during the winter, who would bet against him making it four in a row? Prepare for fireworks!