It’s 2011 at last – a brand spanking new year and I feel most exhilarated. Yes, I know it’s almost April, but you’ve already had Nic’s hello back in February, so you can’t be too picky, lucky reader.
With DNC News keeping you up to date over the break, providing those famous cutting-edge updates that we’re so celebrated for, the impending F1 season really needs no further introduction. However, there are a few vital things we should probably discuss, some of them of a rather serious nature:
[INSERT INTRODUCTION HERE - Ed.]
And to think that she almost left them under his bed! Phew! Well, that just about clears me out. What a season it’s going to be, eh? So let’s get going.
Today heralds the first qualifying session of 2011, and I return to Albert Park for approximately the 16th time in approximately 16 years. It hasn’t changed all that much, to be honest. A bit more litter here and there. Slightly fewer hot-pants. The food is the same – quite literally the same in some kiosks. And as usual, in between dodging hipsters, I’ll be keeping you up-to-date with all the proper moustache action, trackside. From the side of the track. Where the cars go round. In the same race series thing that once had Alain Prost in it. YES!
Rock and roll.
12.03am: Not at the track. Still at home. Because it’s night time. Nevertheless, better stay awake because qualifying is a mere 17 hours away. Jack Brabham and Alan Jones will be there in the morning, apparently. I don’t fancy their chances though (I think they’re a bit past it if you want my honest opinion).
10.15am: Public transport is sparsely populated this morning. I guess Australia’s Mark Webber™ just doesn’t have the same pull that Wolfgang Von Trips used to have. Actually, this is a complete lie. I have never seen Albert Park so packed. If an Australian is doing well in any international sport, the whole country will turn up to egg them on – though right now this is largely just a convenient way to avoid mentioning the cricket World Cup.
Melbourne’s efficient train service provides locals and tourists alike with a free music feed which exclusively plays a selection of Fleetwood Mac’s most popular hits, non-stop, 24/7. It is good for morale.
11.06am: Ain’t no-one here but me, Ben, George Harrison and a suitcase of McSars Double Sars sarsaparilla. which hasn’t at all been filled and professionally re-capped with some of Melbourne’s finest microbrew.
11.46am: Embarrassing ticketing issues have plagued the Grand Prix organisation this year. Even triple World Champion Ayrton Senna had to queue with the public to get in.
“I continuously go further and further learning about my own limitations, my body limitation, psychological limitations. It’s a way of life for me,” the Brazilian told DNC News when quizzed about the ticket collection process.
12.35pm: The historic F5000s were good. Very good. Massive air intakes. That’s what a proper F1 should look like.
12.37pm: But then we had to endure David “Buzz” McCoulthard and a certain young F1 driver from Perth being beaten by dull V8 drivers in an energy drink sponsored Renault Megane jaunt. What next? C-grade TV “stars” driving even more rubbish Lexus machines, perhaps? Well, yes, as it happens. I’m off to drink more “sarsaparilla” …
12.58pm: Okay, the celebritard Lexi have AUTOMATIC transmission. I have lost all faith in humanity.
2.26pm: The chaps have been out for a little bit now and I have but one observation: that the Mercedes gearbox is the sexiest sound I’ve heard since Hope Sandoval last opened her mouth to whisper something inane about a blue light. What HAVE they done with it? It’s an unbelievable sounding automobile. It’s no Austin Gypsy, Nic. Twelvety points.
Alongside the moustachioed Finn, Keke Rosberg [German, surely? - Ed.], Herr Richard Von Dastardly has in his evil hands by far the best sounding machine of 2011. Muttley is concealed in the airbox just behind the driver’s head.
3.05pm: Bieber doing what he does. Whatever. There’s something distinctly lacking here. Ah, that’s it: soul.
3.30pm: Having a wander around the paddock. Everywhere you look, there’s a Holden Commodore hoon machine road car on display that looks no different whatsoever from anything you’ll see on a Friday night in the Templestowe McDonald’s car park. How is this an “exhibit”, exactly?
For the first time in Formula One history, it appears that tobacco sales have now been completely banned from the circuit. In their place – here for the first time this year – have come countless betting stalls, pimped by girls barely old enough to legally put on a wager themselves. So gambling is now apparently okay. And it’s still fine to drink yourself to death.
5.09pm: Qualifying is on. It’s very pretty. But the whole place feels wrong.
5.46pm: Down to the final ten. Textbook. It’s so boring I’m thinking I must be in the late ’90s.
Junior World Champion Bieber whizzes off into the distance, en route to the first pole of the year. I see no tangible reason why this won’t happen again and again for the rest of the season. He’s going to be very hard to beat if his Tonka car stays in one piece.
5.50pm: Ruby Rose is performing on the stage out of the corner of my eye. She is truly rubbish. It sounds like the ’90s gone wrong.
6.10pm: All over, as per the script. Vettel, Hamilton, Webber, Button, Alonso. It’s like a Who’s Who of the Yalta Conference. I’m out of here. Off to drown my sorrows in a seedy bar somewhere with the perpetually sad-eyed Nigel Mansell. Now there’s a proper racing driver for you.
*NOTE: Apologies for the quality of the photographs: we’ve been having trouble with our photocopier here at DNC Towers recently.