When and Where: The Australian Grand Prix gets under way at Albert Park in Melbourne at 2 a.m. ET. The race will be shown on Speed. For those in the United Kingdom, the Grand Prix will be live-streamed on SkyGo. Detailed timing and statistics will be available at Formula1.com.
Preview: McLaren showed it is the team to beat in Melbourne after gaining a stranglehold on the front row of the first Formula One grid of the new season in the qualifying round.
Lewis Hamilton produced a sparkling lap to edge his teammate Jenson Button into second, with Romain Grosjean a surprise third in his Lotus.
After the session, Hamilton spoke of the advantage of being in the pole position. And he talked about how he and Button would handle going into the first corner side by side. Hopefully with our brains in gear, Hamilton joked in an interview published on the official Formula One website. But as I start on the clean side this should work in my favor and then let's have a good battle!
Following their dominating year in 2011, the Red Bulls had a disappointing qualifying performance, and they will fill the third row of the grid.
Without the blown exhaust that was one of the reasons for their edge last season, the Red Bulls will be the focus of much attention as fans debate whether two-time world champion Sebastain Vettel and Mark Webber have lost their collective edge.Webber will start a place higher than his illustrious teammate, in the fifth position.
Ferrari has the biggest problems of the leading teams, though. A poor testing season has been followed by Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa starting a dismal 12th and 16th, respectively.
It is the Mercedes team that could pose the biggest threat to McLaren's hopes of opening the season with a one-two finish. Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher will start in the fourth position, with Nico Rosberg in seventh.
Rosberg's position did not reflect his true pace after errors wrecked what would have been a much-improved starting position.
After rain severely affected the early practice sessions in Melbourne, the forecast is for a dry race on Sunday.
Predictions: The lack of rain takes an aspect of unpredictability out of proceedings, meaning that Lewis Hamilton is a strong favorite, providing he gets through the first corner unscathed.
Four times in the past five years, the driver in the pole position has gone on to claim the checkered flag, and Hamilton would love to improve that statistic and start the new season with a bang after a disappointing 2011.
An interesting subplot to the start of the race could well be the witnessing of two sets of teammates -- Hamilton and Button on the one hand, and Vettel and Webber on the other hand -- going into the first corner alongside each other. Both pairs have histories of incidents with each other and the team principals of both McLaren and Red Bull will be stressing to their drivers to avoid collisions, especially off the line.
Look for Rosberg to rise from his seventh place and challenge his teammate Schumacher for a podium spot. The Red Bulls should also be in the mix for a top-three position, though a race win may be beyond them as they look to find last season's form.
A driver to watch on Sunday could well be Kimmi Raikkonen. The Finn, back in Formula One after a two-year hiatus, will start in a disappointing 17th position after a sloppy qualifying performance, but he should rise swiftly through the pack.
Grosjean's superb third in qualifying is a better gauge for the pace of the Lotus, and Raikkonen should cut through the midfield as he makes his way into what should be a point-scoring position.
1. Hamilton2. Button3. Rosberg