The slippery Albert Park circuit caught out a lot of drivers on Friday afternoon with low temperatures and dusty roads combining to make life difficult for the F1 stars.
The FIA has confirmed that it has received applications from 22 teams wishing to compete in the 2008 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. The federation has invited all of them to attend a meeting in London on April 10, 2006.
The negotiations over the rules for 2008 continue with the plans to restrict engine performance being greeted with considerable disquiet in the car companies around the world.
The dissenting members of the British Racing Drivers' Club have got together the necessary 85 signatures needed to call for an emergency meeting during which they intend to reject the plans put forward by the club's board of directors to develop the facility in league with property St Modwen.
Antonio Pizzonia will race for the Rocketsports team in the Champ Car World Series this year. The former Williams test driver headed to the United States this year after being unable to find a decent job in F1 and has been looking for a deal to give him the chance to challenge for the title
It is no big surprise that David Richards has submitted an entry for the 2008 FIA Formula 1 World Championship in the name of Prodrive. The company is an important motorsport organisation and competes in a variety of different championships around the world.
Wherever the Formula 1 circus goes, F1 teams and sponsors like to display cars to attract interest.
Australian GP - Friday Photos
Australian GP - Friday Press Conference
Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Tonio Liuzzi was spotted having a seat fitting the other day with Red Bull Racing and our spies tell us that the Italian will test for the team next week at Paul Ricard.
Australian GP - Friday Team Quotes
Australian GP - Practice 2 Results
The Australian Grand Prix weekend got off to a slow start in Albert Park on Friday with the teams sending out their test drivers but only allowing the race drivers a few laps in order to not risk problems with engines.
Australian GP - Practice 1 Results
Australian GP - Thursday Press Conference
Ask around in the Formula 1 paddock about this year's calendar and you will hear a lot of people saying that they prefer having the first race in Melbourne - but not everyone thinks that is such a good idea.
There are rumours floating around that McLaren would like to see Nico Rosberg in a car alongside Fernando Alonso in 2007. It is a great idea for Mercedes-Benz, of course, which would like to have a German star in the future.
Alex Hooton, the chief executive of the British Racing Drivers Club, is to stand down at the end of June, following BRDC chairman Sir Jackie Stewart out of the door. Hooton has been with the company for five years.
CVC Capital Partners has completed its purchase of all the shares in SLEC, the holding company of the Formula One group of companies. The 14.175% of SLEC which CVC did not own belonged to the investment bank Lehman Brothers but this has now come under CVC's control.
Former Champ Car champion and Formula 1 driver Cristiano da Matta has been struggling to get a drive in recent weeks after PKV Racing decided to hire Katherine Legge and Oriol Servia.
Tim Mayer has been named chief executive officer of the American Le Mans Series. At the same time he will remain as chief operations officer of IMSA. Mayer is the son of former McLaren team boss Teddy Mayer.
Paul Stoddart says that he is going to come back to F1 in 2008 and has submitted an entry in the name of European Minardi F1 Team Ltd. The team will presumably be based in the team's old premises in Ledbury as the Italian base was sold to Red Bull at the end of last year.
The race this weekend in Albert Park will give us a much clearer picture of the relative competitiveness of the various Formula 1 teams afetr two races in hot temperatures.
Red Bull is to fund a MotoGP Academy for the commercial rights-holders for the MotoGP World Championships, Dorna Sports. The aim is to discover and develop new riders from all different backgrounds all over the world.
The FIA has given details of a meeting that took place on Friday at Maranello with Cosworth, Ferrari and Renault.
The five GPMA-affiliated Formula 1 teams have, as we predicted, submitted entry forms for the 2008 World Championship. The teams say that they are looking forward to being involved in the process of finalising the 2008 regulations between now and the end of June.
The Autodromo Nazionale at Monza can run the Italian Grand Prix without problems. A deal has been brokered by the mayor of the city Michele Faglia with three families living in the village of Biassono.
Dan Wheldon gave notice of his desire to get to Formula 1 by starting his career with Target Chip Ganassi Racing with a victory at Homestead, but the death of rookie Paul Dana in a crash in the pre-race warm-up cast a shadow over the Indy Racing League's opening event.
The FIA met with Ferrari, Renault and Cosworth representatives at Maranello yesterday to discuss engine homologation proposals. It is not clear whether Renault was attending the meeting as a representative of the GPMA or in its own right.
The one thing that is missing from the new 2008 Formula 1 Sporting Regulations is any reference to a common electronic control unit. This in included in the Technical regulations published some time ago but that may still be changed.
The FIA will be publishing the entry list for the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship on April 28. This will give the teams "accepted or rejected in its absolute discretion" by the FIA the chance to be involved in two months of discussion about the regulations.
Fernando Alonso signed his deal with McLaren around the start of November but was unable to get a face-to-face meeting with Flavio Briatore for the six weeks that followed before the news was finally announced.
Easton Sports, a manufacturer of sporting goods in the United States with a tradition of innovation, has just launched the world's first bicycle featuring nanotechnology products.
Silverstone is set to host one of the biggest crowds for England's opening game of the soccer World Cup on Saturday June 10.
As we reported a week ago, the Japanese Grand Prix is moving to Mount Fuji in 2007. The news is a coup for Toyota, as the race has been lured away from rival Honda, which owns the Suzuka circuit.
Jorg Zander, the chief designer at Williams for the last seven months has left the team unexpectedly but there is no signs of any problem with the team, rather that Zander felt the need to move for personal reasons.
The result of the Malaysian Grand Prix did not feature Ferrari to any great extent. After Michael Schumacher's impressive showing in Bahrain, the red cars faded out of the limelight in Kuala Lumpur, with engine troubles dumping Schumacher and Felipe Massa down the grid.
Australia will ban all tobacco advertising at Albert Park and Phillip Island after October 1 this year.
Indy Racing League founder Tony George and Champ Car's Kevin Kalkhoven are now finally admitting that they are talking about merging the two self-destructive championships to create a single entity to challenge the ever-increasing dominance of NASCAR in the United States market.
The Institute of Mechanical Engineers, which organises the Formula Student racing car design competition in Britain, has announced that Jon Hilton, the technical director of of the engine division of the Renault F1 team will be its chief judge for the event in 2006.
The Italian nation is currently in the middle of an election campaign with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's centre-right coalition known as the Casa delle Liberta against the centre-left L'Unione, headed by former prime minister and ex-president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi.
Fernando Alonso had a new way to celebrate victory in Formula 1 in Bahrain when he did a curious hip-twirling move on the podium. This caused much excitement in Spain where reports have claimed he was imitating the character of The Grinch from the movie "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".
The FIA World Council has accepted the 2008 FIA Formula 1 World Championship Sporting Regulations. Entries for the 2008 championship will open on Friday and will close on Friday March 31, seven days later.
The FIA World Motor Sport Council meets today in Paris to endorse the ideas being put forth by FIA President Max Mosley over the future of Formula 1. The body is not famous for its independent thought and so the plans will no doubt be put through accordingly.
GP Masters, the series which allows F1 stars of yesteryear to compete with one another in similar machinery is heading for Silverstone on August 12-13. The series kicked off last year in South Africa and is now planning to bring the show to Silverstone, hoping to revive the Mansell Mania that was around in the early 1990s.
The sound of a Formula 1 may get the fans tingling but in recent years it has been getting engineers excited as well, although for rather different reasons.
The negotiations in the paddock in Malaysia last weekend over the question of what is legal and what is not legal was an unusual thing for Formula 1.
CVC Capital Partners will be allowed to acquire Speed Investments Ltd and thus gain control of SLEC, the holding company of the Formula One group. The European Commission has given its go-ahead to the deal on the understanding that CVC sells Dorna, the company that promotes the MotoGP World Championship.
The 2006 Malaysian Grand Prix looked like being a really interesting race but as things turned out, it was not a classic. The early demise of Williams and Kimi Raikkonen and the lack of performance of others meant that Giancarlo Fisichella had things pretty much how he wanted them.
Malaysian GP - Sunday Press Conference
Malaysian GP - Race Notes
Malaysian GP - Sunday Photos
Malaysian GP - Sunday Team Quotes
Malaysian GP - Race Incidents
Malaysian GP - Race Results
Giancarlo Fisichella has had a difficult time so far this season but an engine change after Bahrain, allowed because his car failed to finish for other reasons, meant that the Italian went to steamy Malaysia with the potential to outshine his rivals.
The important point to be made is that the grid for the Malaysian Grand Prix will not be published until Sunday morning and thus it is possible that there will be teams who will decide to change engines before the race begins.
Malaysian GP - Saturday Photos
Malaysian GP - Saturday Press Conference
Malaysian GP - Saturday Team Quotes
Malaysian GP - Qualifying Results
Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso continued their Bahrain battle in Malaysia on Saturday morning, the two men ending the session first and second, separated by 0.05secs.
Malaysian GP - Practice Session 3 Results
The Pirelli company is in a state of flux at the moment but it is doing well with 14.6% growth in revenues last year and profits up by 32%. The company is involved in the tyre and communications industries and in real estate development. There was a fourth division involved in the cable industry but this has been sold off.
Honda F1 test driver Anthony Davidson set the pace in the second practice session with an impressive last minute lap of 1m35.041s, which put him three-tenths of a second faster than Alexander Wurz's Williams. Also in the hunt were Fernando Alonso (Renault) and Felipe Massa (Ferrari).
At the moment there is much talk about the future of Juan Pablo Montoya and whispers that he is talking to a lot of different teams. The logic in the paddock is that Montoya will go to Renault next year to replace Fernando Alonso.
Malaysian GP - Friday Photos
Malaysian GP - Friday Press Conference
Malaysian GP - Friday Team Quotes
Malaysian GP - Practice Session Results
The word on the street in Italy is that Italian tyremaker Pirelli is considering a bid for the role of F1 tyre supplier next year when F1 switches to a single tyre supplier. The FIA will decide the identity of the supplier after a tendering process which will be beginning shortly.
Alexander Wurz set the fastest time of the Friday morning session with a best lap of 1m34.946s, which was half a second faster than the fastest lap of the race in 2005, set by Kimi Raikkonen at 1m35.483s.
Malaysian GP - Practice Session 1 Results
Tony Purnell, the former head of the Jaguar Racing Formula 1 team, has won his libel action in London's High Court against Business F1 magazine and its editor Tom Rubython.
Ralf Schumacher has been shedding some light on the poor performance of Toyota in Bahrain. The team believes that the problem is that the cars are not heating the tyres effectively and that means that the tyres are not working in the way they were designed to work, which in turn means that lap times are not very good.
The rules about replacing engines in Formula 1 are in the spotlight at the moment with Felipe Massa and David Coulthard going into the Grand Prix weekend in Malaysia facing a penalty of 10 places on the grid after qualifying.
Malaysian GP - Thursday Press Conference
There is a story with very interesting implications in Japan with Aguri Suzuki's rumoured backer Softbank reported to be in the process of raising money to buy Vodafone KK, the Japanese subsidiary of Vodafone.
There have been reports that Bernie Ecclestone is considering buying a share in the Ferrari company. Fiat owns 56% of Ferrari and thus remains in control but banks now own much of the rest, although Piero Ferrari still holds 10% of the business.
The Mole, a shadowy figure who operates a network of spies throughout the motor racing world, has for the last six years, provided clandestine insights in Formula 1 for the ITV-F1 website. After months of secret negotiation, The Mole has now decided to switch operations to grandprix.com.
The Grand Prix in Bahrain may be doing wonders for the reputation of the city and there is clear development going on all over the island but this does not seem to have had much of effect on the crowds. In 2005 the circuit said that it had attracted 77,257 spectators over three days.
McLaren's new sponsorship deal with Vodafone is in the spotlight following the news of ructions within the mobile company.
Toyota's Fuji Speedway will host the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix, replacing Honda's Suzuka circuit as the venue for the event. Suzuka has hosted the race since 1987 but Fuji was the home of the first Japanese F1 races in 1976 and 1977.
Bahrain GP - Race Report
Renault has named Alain Dassas as the replacement for Patrick Faure as president of the Renault F1 Team.
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone is offering British Grand Prix ticket holders a ride of a lifetime with F1 driver Button if they purchase tickets between March 10 and May 1.
Ozjet, Paul Stoddart's airline in Australia, has suspended its scheduled services because of a lack of support.
Bahrain GP - Race Notes
Bahrain GP - Sunday Photos
Bahrain GP - Sunday Press Conference
Bahrain GP - Sunday Team Quotes
Bahrain GP - Race Incidents
Bahrain GP - Race Results
The Hockenheim Ring is to have a new managing director with the announcement that Rene Jaeggi, the boss of the FC Kaiserslauten soccer team is to take on the role.
Honda has no plans to move into NASCAR stock car racing, according to Robert Clarke, the president of the Honda Performance Development, the US company which runs all the company's racing activities in the United States.
The Grand Prix Manufacturers' Association met with the commercial rights holders of Formula 1 last night in Bahrain and we hear that the negotiations did not go as smoothly as had been hoped and the meeting broke up without any solution having been found.
A number of teams have been muttering about the way in which the rear wing of the Ferrari 248F1 flexes under loading. The FIA has inspected the car and says it is legal but some of the other teams are not happy with the decision.
Gulf Air has extended its sponsorship for the Bahrain Grand Prix sponsorship until 2010. The company has sponsored the race for the last three years but has now signed a four-year extension to the deal.
Michael Schumacher won pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix, but he did not set the fastest time in the qualifying session. That honour went to Fernando Alonso who set the fastest lap, two-tenths of a second faster than Michael's best in the second part of the three-part session.
Bahrain GP - Saturday Photos
Bahrain GP - Saturday Press Conference
Bahrain GP - Saturday Team Quotes
Bahrain GP - Qualifying Session Results
It was only in the last few minutes of the third session in Bahrain began to give us a clearer picture of the relative competitiveness of the various teams this year. In the final pre-qualifying dash Jenson Button emerged ahead in his Honda, squeezing out Michael Schumacher by 0.011s.
Bahrain GP - Practice Session 3 Results
Rioters trying to draw attention to domestic issues in Bahrain achieved their goal on Friday night in Bahrain, by targeting an area where many western press were staying for the Grand Prix.
The Autodromo Nazionale at Monza has cancelled a race meeting planned for March 18-19 because of the ongoing dispute over the noise produced by the racing cars.
Riot police in Bahrain last night clashed with demonstrators, who were burning tyres and rubbish bins in the outskirts of Manama. Eleven people were reported injured.
Anthony Davidson set the pace in the second session on Friday in his Honda, four-tenths of a second faster than Michael Schumacher's Ferrari. Third fastest was Williams-Cosworth test driver Alexander Wurz but the question everyone was asking after the session was: What does it all mean?
Bahrain GP - Friday Photos
Bahrain GP - Friday Press Conference
Bahrain GP - Friday Team Quotes
There have been questions throughout the winter as to whether or nor the V10-V8 equivalency factor is correct. Scuderia Toro Rosso has benefited from good luck because the decision to build a V10 car was made before the team was sold by Paul Stoddart last year.
Bahrain GP - Practice Session 2 Results
Dieter Gummer, the mayor of Hockenheim has told the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper that the circuit will not host the German GP in 2008 unless the losses are reversed.
The new Super Aguri SA6 will not be ready for the San Marino Grand Prix. The team has been concentrating its resources on developing the SA5 and that means that inevitably the new car has had to take a back seat in the last few weeks and that means that the new chassis will appear later in the European season.
Robert Kubica topped the timesheets in the first session in Bahrain, although a number of teams did very little running, a precursor for the Friday morning sessions for the rest of the year, with teams staying in the garages to preserve their engines.
Bahrain GP - Practice Session 1 Results
The Bahrain circuit has given information about the attendance at the race in 2005, with a total of 77,257 over three days.
Bahrain GP - Thursday Press Conference
Oriol Servia has signed to race alongside Katherine Legge in the PKV Racing Champ Car team.
Hockenheim may be struggling but over at the Nurburgring things are going rather better, at least according to Walter Kafitz, the managing director of the circuit. Kafitz has told a German newspaper that there are plans for A $200m expansion project for the track facilities.
It has been four years since the first serious rumours of an involvement from the Dubai royal family's airline Emirates in Formula 1.
This is the traditional moment for a preview of the Formula 1 season and the opportunity for Formula 1 journalists to fall flat on their faces with bold predictions that they will live to regret in the months ahead.
It seems to be very clear that a solution is coming in the battle between the car manufacturers and the Formula One group and its ally the FIA. Everyone involved will be keen to seem to have done all right in the outcome.
A wake will be held for Josh Rehm at the Bartlett-Garrity Funeral Home, 338 Court Street, in his home town of Plymouth, Massachussetts on Friday, March 10 from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM.
There are reports in Australia that Foster's will soon end its various sponsorship deals in Formula 1. The Australian company has a five-year $3.7m annual deal to sponsor the Australian Grand Prix and also pays out around $18m a year for other F1 sponsorships, including pouring rights at events.
Josh Rehm, a talented racing driver, an enterprising businessman and one of the people who helped grandprix.com in its early years, has been killed in a road accident at the age of 27.
The Formula 1 system of stewards is to change significantly in 2006 with the announcement that one steward will be at every race.
There is always much positive PR flowing out of Bahrain at this time of day but that does not mean that the locals are paying much attention to the race, beyond making money from the racing people when they come to town.
Bernie Ecclestone is offering seats on the board of the sport's operating company to racing teams and carmakers to bring them into the fold. The Sunday Express in London reports that two non-executive directorships are on offer to representatives of the teams and manufacturers on the board of Formula One Administration.
Ferrari SpA has revealed its financial figures for 2005 which prove conclusively that it is an automobile manufacturer and not a small private racing team. The company said that it sold 5409 cars in 2005 (up 8.7% from the previous year) and had a turnover of $1.5bn.
Plans are afoot for former F1 drivers Antonio Pizzonia and Enrique Bernoldi to join forces to turn Paul Gentilozzi's Rocketsports Racing Champ Car team into Team Brazil.
German businessman Michael Ohoven, the man behind the Infinity Media film company is planning to make a film about the life of Mike Hailwood. Infinity has been in business for six years and is now a leading independent film maker and financier.
The future of the A1 Ring, the home of the Austrian Grand Prix, has been unclear for more than a year, following a decision by the Austrian authorities not to allow the development of the circuit by Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz.
The board of the British Racing Drivers' Club is facing a vote of no confidence over the question of what the club should do to preserve the future of the British Grand Prix.
Work has begun on a new racing circuit at La Palma del Condado, between Seville and Huelva in the south of Spain. The plan is for the local authorities to spend $35m on the construction of a 3.5-mile circuit in order to attract racing teams for winter testing.
There is an exciting new opportunity for a young British racing driver to race in the United States thanks to the efforts of GT racer Tim Sugden. Sugden currently runs the www.bearacingdriver.com website, aiming to help youngsters on their road to the top.
Red Bull has come up with a novel solution to its problem of having too many topline engineers in its Formula 1 operation and has posted Gunther Steiner to the United States where he will oversee the company's operations in NASCAR.
The European Union Competition Directorate has extended its inquiry into the acquisition of SLEC Holdings by CVC Capital Partners. The decision is now not due until March 21.
There are reports across Europe that Kimi Raikkonen has now inked a deal to join Ferrari in 2007, whether Michael Schumacher is there or not.
The FIA President Max Mosley says that the entry list for the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship will close at the end of March so that teams involved will have the chance to be involved in discussions to fine-tune the regulations by June 30 2006.
Prodrive has applied for planning permission to upgrade the company's 250-acre testing facility at Honiley, near Kenilworth. The application was made on February 22 to Warwick District Council by architects Stephen George & Partners of Solihull.
Over in India, the Hindustan Times is reporting that Narain Karthikeyan is working on the idea of starting a racing academy in India to help teach F1 hopefuls what it takes to make it to Formula 1.
Talks are already well-advanced about who drives where in 2007 with the announcement of Fernando Alonso's move to McLaren having thrown the cat amongst the pigeons.
The thing that is most difficult to judge in F1 at the moment is not the speed of the cars over a lap but rather how they will manage over the 25-lap stints which we are going to be seeing in races this year.
NASCAR will next week launch a new show on The Biography Channel with 13 half-hour episodes of a show called "NASCAR Driven to Win" planned. These will profile NASCAR's most popular young drivers led by Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch in the first epsiode followed by Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle in the second.
Former Silverstone finance man Stephen Beattie has been jailed for three years and seven months after admitting in court that he conned the British Racing Drivers Club, which owns the UK's Silverstone racing circuit, using club cheques made out in his name.
British Minister of Culture Tessa Jowell is facing a government investigation into whether she breached the ministerial code of conduct by having her mortgage paid off with an alleged bribe to her husband from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Ms Jowell denies that she did anything wrong.
Former F1 drivers turned broadcasters, Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell, are expanding their management company 2MB and have taken on McLaren test driver Gary Paffett as a new client. Paffett was previously managed by former kart champion Martin Hynes. Brundle also manages Red Bull Racing's David Coulthard.
Mercedes-Benz used the Geneva Motor Show to underline the company's sporting tradition, spotlighting a series of five new models from the company's in-house supercar division AMG.
Franck Montagny's desire to be a Formula 1 driver is not to be doubted but with the possibility of a driver on offer this year in Champ Car with Rocketsports, the signs are that the Frenchman would head off to the USA to try and emulate the success enjoyed by his longtime rival Sebastien Bourdais.