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F1 alarm clock for Melbourne residents

NEWS STORY
23/03/2011

Mat Coch writes:

The Formula One action may not start until tomorrow yet locals around the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne were woken by the squeal of a racing engine at 8:00 on Thursday morning.

During Wednesday afternoon the FIA safety cars headed out on circuit, their throaty Mercedes engines bouncing off the empty grandstands. During the early evening a Formula One engine could be heard as it lapped the parkland circuit in downtown Melbourne, presumably the two-seater ride car though this writer didn't catch a glimpse to confirm.

Pulling into the circuit at 8am this morning however, a two-seater Minardi was on track, it's engine screaming at full blast as the surrounding suburbs woke to head to work.

While in the media centre the shrill noise is a welcome reminder that the season is only a day away, it does seem a little cheeky on the Australian Grand Prix organizers side. There is no mention of the two-seater ride laps on the official program, with the official schedule listing the first on-track action as a historic parade at 12:00.

Noise has been just one complaint laid against the Australian Grand Prix by the Victorian Government who bankroll the event, and has come under increased pressure over its future in recent years. A screeching Formula One engine so early in the morning, even in the back of a two-seater Minardi, is hardly likely to endear the event to sceptical locals.

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