For those with just a passing knowledge, the 2016 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix might appear to be all about champagne, fast cars and beautiful people. Well, that IS a pretty good summary of what it’s about, to be fair...
As long as you understand those principles, you’re basically fine—but if you’re thinking of heading along and want a bit more background knowledge, we’re here to help! Here’s a dummy’s guide to everything F1® you don’t know about, just in case anyone tries to engage you in conversation while you’re sipping wine and looking amazing.
What IS important is to have a team to support, and to be able to throw around a few key phrases to make yourself sound knowledgeable. The pick of the teams this season are likely to be these three:
These guys romped it last year, so if you are the kind of person who likes to hitch your cart to a winning bandwagon, here’s who you should be supporting. Buy a cool Mercedes cap and lap up the glory. Sound like a devoted fan by referring to the cars as the ‘Silver Arrows’.
A phrase to throw out there: ‘I really think the W07 chassis and its 106C power unit are the perfect way to upgrade on last year’s car without messing with a winning formula too much, amirite?’
They may not have won the championship for a few years, but Ferrari is still by far the most popular team in the world. The Prancing Horse (yep, you can use that) represents everything glamourous and sexy about the sport. Of course they do, they’re Italian. And we all know red goes faster, yeah?
A phrase you can throw out there: ‘Mmm, like the new pushrod suspension and shortened nosecone. Baby, we’re going to FLY this year.’
Red Bull Racing
If you’re a little bit hip, a little bit edgy and think red, yellow and dark blue look lovely together, then Red Bull might be your team. These are the (relatively) new kids on the block who have thrown tradition out the window to genuinely challenge the old hierarchy.
A phrase you can throw out there: ‘Look darling, Adrian Newey's chassis is THE best in Formula 1®, I just hope we can sort out those power issues this season.’
Some fans prefer to support particular drivers (who are the rock stars of the racing world). Here’s some key info on some of the fastest dudes:
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
To be honest, if you’re an Aussie you really should be supporting the local boy. Even neutrals love our Dan. F1® drivers tend to be quite prickly characters, but Ricciardo comes across as the friendliest bloke you’ll ever meet. He also boasts the biggest smile in world sports. Oh, and he’s a bloody good car driver too.
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
This slick Brit won the title last year and is gunning to win again this year , albeit against much more heated competition. Yeah, he’s got the giant ego, and tends to throw his toys out of the pram when things don’t go his way, but he’s also a naturally brilliant driver. More importantly, he’s been romantically linked with Kendall Jenner and Rihanna, and was previously in a long-term relationship with Nicole from the Pussycat Dolls.
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)
Speaking of egos, German driver Sebastian Vettel is quite the character. He’s still very young for an F1® driver but has already claimed four world championships, which means he gets away with some pretty bratty behaviour. He could one day be recognised as the best of all time, though, so there’s that.
That’s your (superficial) knowledge sorted. Now, to the important business of having a good time.
Get closer to all the F1® drivers like never before. No other race in the world gives you access to racing heroes like the Melbourne Walk. All fans have access to the drivers and teams as they take the walk to the Formula 1® Paddock each day. Grab a selfie with Daniel Ricciardo or an autograph from Lewis Hamilton.
This should be your hub for good times at the 2016 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix. Cleverly tapping into the laneway culture, M-Lane, located in the Action Zone, will feature street art, food trucks, pop-up restaurants, from Melbourne’s top chefs, bars and DJs spinning tracks. Yep, we’ll be spending a lot of our time right there.
There are a whole bunch of stages around the circuit, so cruise around and sample the acts before settling down for a listen. Massive headline acts include Sneaky Sound System at the Legends Lane stage on Friday, Rogue Traders performing on Saturday after qualifying, and Aussie legends Spiderbait rocking out on Sunday.
The Renault Torque bar is a chilled out oasis smack bang in the middle of the action on Pit Straight which will feature DJs all day before morphing into the official Alumbra after party by night on Sunday. After party tunes will be provided by American RnB megastar Mario. Yes we know you’re singing his smash hit, “you should let me love you” right now.
Fast cars are better with a drink in hand
F1® is so, so chic, darling, so if you get the urge to sip on premium wines or spirits all afternoon, we fully understand. The go-to places for that kind of malarkey are the Petaluma Wine Bar at M-Lane, where you can find Petaluma’s best drops, and the Diageo Distillatorium in Legends Lane, which features a private Bundaberg Rum tasting den.
So now that you have the low down on everything F1®, grab your mates and head over to the Grand Prix for a seriously awesome weekend. Grab your tickets here. F1® Park After Dark tickets start from $25* on Thursday and Friday from 4-8pm.
M-Lane will be at the 2016 Formula 1® Rolex Australian Grand Prix, Albert Park from 17-20 March, 2016. For bookings and more information visit www.grandprix.com.au. *terms and conditions apply
Photo credit: Provided
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