Focus: Formula One

Formula One is coming back to Australia in the month of March. It has been coming to Australia since it was first held at Phillip Island in 1928, however, at the time it was called the 100 Miles Road Race. In its time here it has been called Tasman Formula and also Formula 5000. It changed to Formula 500 because the European teams were reluctant to commit to the Tasman series. It has been held at various locations over the years but it was only since 1985 did it join the Formula One World Championship and that year it was held on the street circuit in Adelaide. It was held there until 1995 and thereafter to Albert Park in Melbourne. The first race in 1996 had over 400,000 people turn up to watch the event. In the Formula One Grand Prix calendar, the Australian Grand Prix is the first round to be held. Since moving to Melbourne the only time it was not held as the first race was in 2006 and 2010. This tradition was also maintained while it was being held in Adelaide. Prior to then however it was the Portuguese Grand Prix that hosted the first race and this special privilage. When the Grand Prix moved to Albert Park, there was a lot of protests. These protestors claimed that holding the race there would turn a public park into a private playground. They also protested about the fact that the race would cost a lot of money that could well be better spent if they were to actually build a permanent circuit somewhere else. During the history of the grand prix, two drivers have been the most successful at winning the Australian Grand Prix and they were Australian Lex Davison and German Michael Schumacher. In 1991 the race was stopped after only 16 of the 81 laps because of rain. This gave the track the record for being the shortest Formula One race ever. In 1993 the race was won by Ayrton Senna, this was his last win before his death. There has also been controversy there as well. In 1994 two of the title contenders, Michael Schumacher and Damon Hill were involved in an incident and both of them were forced to retire from the race which allowed Michael Schumacher to win the Drivers Championship. After 1995 new safety measures were wanted after Mika Hakkinen crashed heavily into a wall after he suffered a tyre failure during the first qualifying session. He was very badly injured and was saved when he had an emergency Cricothyroidotomy which was performed at the side of the track. Mikka recovered from the accident and was back inside a Formula One car after only three months. If you do not feel like travelling to the Grand Prix by air, you can use car rental companies in major cities, like Sydney to hire a car and drive there instead. Car rental in Sydney can work out cheaper than other forms of travel. Additionally, it is also a good way to see the countryside whilst making the journey south.