Preparations in full swing at Albert Park with one month to go before the Australian GP

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Off season? What off season? Lewis Hamilton’s stunning championship victory in Abu Dhabi may feel like it happened yesterday, but the new year of F1 racing is quickly approaching.

Today marks exactly one month until the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, meaning that the countdown to the race is well and truly on.

Home favorite Daniel Ricciardo has already said that he wants the next four weeks to fly by so he can race at Albert Park, but others may want to bide their time and make the most of testing first.

Between now and the first practice session in Australia (13th March), teams have a further eight days to try out their cars and iron out any issues in Barcelona. The two four-day tests run from Thursday to Sunday in both of the next two weeks.

One big question does need to be answered in the next month: just how many teams will be racing in 2015? After having its request to race with the 2014 car blocked by the F1 Strategy Group, Marussia (to be now known as Manor F1 Team) is working hard to try and get a ’15 runner ready and some kind of team in place.

With permission from the commercial rights holder (Bernie Ecclestone), Manor could miss the first three races of the year and turn up in Bahrain, but there is still a race against time here. The team is due to come out of administration on February 19th.

At Albert Park, the circuit is being readied for its annual highlight event. Australia has traditionally hosted the opening round of the season since 1996, with Bahrain getting the billing in 2006 and 2010.