Date: 23rd March 2011 at 10:07am
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It?s official, the Formula One season is now here, the F1 circus has rolled into Melbourne, the teams, drivers and press are all getting settled in and the action on the track is just days away.

All the pre-season talk has been about how fast both the Red Bull and the Ferrari cars are, they appear to be streaks ahead of every other team on the grid, but while winter testing went well for both teams, Red Bull and Ferrari have themselves played down their chances, preferring instead to state that the clearer picture will not be known until after Sunday?s opening race of the F1 2011 season.

‘I can’t wait to get going: I’m ready to race and I think the whole team is well prepared after doing so many laps over all the days of winter testing, even more than we had planned in the end,’ Ferrari?s Felipe Massa told Ferrari?s official website.

‘The car appears to be reliable, but on its own this is not enough as the car needs to be quick too. For the moment, reliability has been good and I don’t think we can complain about performance, but we won’t have a clear picture until all the teams are together on track in Melbourne.’

The winter testing this season has been very intriguing, while Ferrari and Red Bull have looked consistently fast in both low fuel tests and race simulations, teams such as Mercedes, Sauber and Renault have also impressed.

Toro Rosso, Williams and Lotus also look like they have made strides forward this season, while McLaren have looked inconsistent, lacking pace and reliability, however an upgrade ahead of the Australian Grand Prix could change that, with the team hoping to be a second a lap quicker once Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button get the chance to turn the steering wheel in anger for the first time this year.

It promises to be a great opening race of the season.



So who will start the season as they mean to go on? Will Formula One’s youngest World Champion Sebastian Vettel get his title defence under way in style? Will Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso be ready to fight as soon as the lights go out?

Or will McLaren’s British dream team laugh in the face of recent tests and brush aside the competition?

Our front page poll asks exactly that question: Who will win the Australian Grand Prix?

To vote, simply login using your Vital Network username and make your prediction!

We will be running a prediction vote ahead of every race this season, so it will be interesting to see just how accurate (or not) our predictions are!

While I’m here let me quickly take this opportunity to also announce our Facebook and Twitter pages.

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