We bring you our very own travel blog ahead of each Grand Prix...
Once you’ve dusted off the jet-lag and overcome the change of gravitational forces while figuratively being on the flip side of the world, there is plenty to do and plenty to see in Melbourne, Australia.
When you’re not having a barbie on the beach, which is, of course, mandatory when you’re down under, be sure to catch a bit of Aussie Rules action at the 100,000-seater Melbourne Cricket Ground… There is nothing quite like watching 36 blokes in vests going head over biscuit chasing an egg-shaped ball around a massive pitch.
If a bit of full contact footy does not rock your boat however, you can always go for a chill out at Melbourne Zoo which is probably where you’ll find our very own racing driver, Carlos Sainz. You may not know Carlos is a HUGE lover of meerkats, which stemmed from his joy for Disney’s The Lion King and the dynamic duo of Timon and Pumba.
Speaking of furry friends, kangaroos have been known to pop up within Albert Park making bulky and aero-unfriendly ‘roo bars a real consideration for our F1 cars, especially with the twilight races of recent years. Several of Australia’s fierce creatures are indeed well-documented Formula 1 fans, with red back spiders and the occasional snake also known as frequent visitors to the race, despite not holding any form of pass.
In fact, according to local legend, a long-forgotten Third and Reserve Driver was once dragged away by wild possums, never to be seen again. Meanwhile, the less said about the flaming galahs on the pit wall the better.
At the end of the day, perhaps the biggest difficultly for any traveller, whinging pom or otherwise, is how to order a beer. A request for a schooner, pot, handle, seven, pony, butcher, ten, foursie, middy or even a pint could all elicit a supply of the amber nectar.
Beer is the chosen tipple for many motorsport travellers to tackle jet-lag in the evening, but even the French-flavoured Renault Sport Formula One Team will concede that Australia can knock out a decent vin, offering an alternate avenue of evening reflection.