The last cars are launched, the remaining third drivers announced, testing complete and now the freight has arrived in Australia. So all the window dressing is pretty much done and there is nothing more to do but to wait for the engines to fire up for first practice tomorrow - we are all tipping our ears in the direction of Melbourne and counting down the hours.
That’s exactly what the PUMA-backed Mercedes AMG Petronas driver pairing of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher are doing. Put down your tea and have a look at how they see the first race of the season shaping up….
“Finally, we can stop trying to read the tea-leaves from testing and actually go racing,” says Michael. “Melbourne is a perfect location, and the ideal place to start the season. The city loves Formula One, the fans create a great atmosphere and obviously, as drivers, we feel that too. And because we’ve already got a buzz about what’s to come, it just makes you want to get out there and start driving.
Team-mate Nico agrees that there couldn’t be a better location to start to the season than Melbourne, “I always love the atmosphere in Melbourne; it’s a great city and the fans are fantastic. After all of the hard work, and all of the speculation, it will be really interesting to see where we are on Saturday afternoon after qualifying. Before heading to Australia, I will be in New Zealand for a bike training camp to help me adjust to the time difference and the climate ‘Down Under’.”
But enough about the atmosphere and your cycling camps, gentlemen, what about the main event, we ask? Nico is pretty much to the point and reckons that the prep is all done. “We’ve put a lot of mileage on our F1 W03 car - we are really ready for the first race,” he says. Michael is a little more forthcoming….”During winter testing, we completed lots of miles and built up a really complete set of data, which should put us in a good position for the first race and to develop the car even further in the right direction. We’re ready for the 2012 season to begin…”
Right, back to that cup of tea. Just one sleep for us and Michael & Nico until the action commences……