Our event of the day is the Australian Grand Prix, the first race of the 2018 Formula 1 season, at the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne. The Australian Grand Prix has been part of the Formula 1 season since 1985, and has been held in Melbourne since 1996, serving as the season opener every year, except in 2006 and 2010. The record winner of the race, as a Formula 1 event, is Michael Schumacher, winner on four occasions – in 2000-02 and 2004. The most significant innovation of the new season is the “halo” cockpit protection device, introduced to improve drivers’ safety.
Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes is the main contender for the title once again and has secured his fifth straight pole position in Australia in qualifying with a record-breaking lap of 1:21.164. Behind the four-time champion from the United Kingdom came the Ferrari duo of Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel. All three of them have won in Melbourne twice – Hamilton in 2008 and 2015; Räikkönen in 2007 and 2013; and Vettel in 2011 and last year. The second Mercedes driver, Valteri Bottas, crashed his car on Turn 2 during the third qualifying session, which caused the qualifying to be shortly interrupted. Without setting a lap time in Q3, Bottas will be fifteenth on the grid today after finishing 10th in qualifying and then getting a five place penalty for having to change his gearbox. Red Bull driver Max Verstappen sits in fourth spot on the grid. The long awaited return of Formula 1 racing at Albert Park should not disappoint the fans.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the fifth and final day of the WGC Dell Technologies tournament at the Austin Country Club. Semi-finals will take place in the morning, and then the final showdown and the consolation match in the afternoon. There are two big games in the NBA Western Conference with the Oklahoma City Thunder taking on the Portland Trail Blazers at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City; and the Golden State Warriors facing the Utah Jazz at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. In cricket, it’s Day 4 of the 3rd match of the Test series between South Africa and Australia at Newlands in Cape Town, and Day 4 of the 1st Test between New Zealand and England at Eden Park in Auckland. In the NHL, there are plenty of important matches – the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Philadelphia Flyers at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh; the Minnesota Wild welcome the Boston Bruins to the Xcel Energy Arena in Saint Paul; and the Winnipeg Jets face off with the Nashville Predators at the Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg. It’s Day 5 of the ATP World Tour and Day 6 of the WTA World Tour Miami Open at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, Florida. In the AFL, Melbourne meet Geelong Cats at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Richmond.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Formula 1
See what else is happening in the world of sport