The 2015 Formula 1 season bursts into life on Friday morning in Melbourne with the first free practice session for the Australian Grand Prix.
Following a long winter, the teams will get their first chance to lay down a marker to the rest of the field during practice at Albert Park today, with Mercedes, Williams and Ferrari all hoping to continue their pre-season form from the off Down Under.
Although first practice gives very little idea of how the pecking order will shape up for the rest of the weekend, it will be intriguing to see how the teams fare in the first weekend session of the year. The front-runners will want to make an immediate impression, but for the likes of McLaren and Force India, simply racking up the mileage would be an achievement.
Uncertainty still surrounds the next move for Sauber and Giedo van der Garde following their legal row across the course of the race weekend. In the past couple of hours, yet another court hearing has taken place, with the judge choosing to adjourn proceedings until after FP1. Even at this late stage, it is unclear just who will be driving the team’s cars in the session.
Nevertheless, FP1 will go ahead as normal in Australia as the countdown to the first race of the year continues. For a complete round-up of all of the pre-race weekend news and reports, be sure to check out our full grand prix preview.
“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.
“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”
Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something
we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”