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(From Guardian Unlimited)
Preamble Good morning everyone and welcome to our live coverage of the opening race of the 2007 season. The sun's out, Martin Brundle's patrolling the grid and I'm flagging - it can only be the Australian GP. "James, have you fallen into the GU trap?" asks Damien Feva. "I'm guessing your bosses wait to see which of their naive staff volunteer to cover the Melbourne grand prix, foolishly thinking that they'll be doing it from Albert Park, when they'll really be doing it from a Farringdon bunker. Am I right?" Bah.
Grid Well, Lewis Hamilton lived up to the hype yesterday by qualifying in fourth spot at his maiden GP, while his new team-mate, Fernando Alonso, took his McLaren to second, just behind Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari. Nick Heidfeld starts from third, following an impressive display from the BMW Saubers (Robert Kubica is fifth), while plonked right at the back of the grid, in 22nd, is Felipe Massa, whose gearbox packed up during his qualifying lap.
About the track It's likely to be a little bit lively, to say the least, going down into the first Jones corner, at this opening race of the season. The Albert Park set-up is 3.295 miles long (we're set for 58 laps) and is traditionally a little bumpy and hard wearing on the cars. It's a warm one in Melbourne today, unlike last season, and the stage is set for a thrilling curtain-raiser.
AND THEY'RE OFF ... Raikkonen leads around the first corner with Heidfeld second and Hamilton forcing Kubica and Alonso behind him as he goes third.
Lap 1 Surprisingly, everyone made it around the first corner safely, although Anthony Davidson appeared to get left behind on the grid and is now 21st. Raikkonen's Ferrari is pulling clear, with Heidfeld and Hamilton in hot pursuit. Jenson Button is 13th and David Coulthard 16th.
Lap 2 Formula one's least subtle driver , Kimi Raikkonen, is 2.070 seconds clear as his rivals line up behind him. Hamilton appears to be holding Alonso up a little but is showing few nerves in his first ever GP.
Lap 3 A television replay from the first lap shows why Davidson is languishing in last: having been stuck on the grid, he then collided with Christijan Albers's Spyker at the first corner, getting shunted skywards and eventually coming back down to earth in last.
Lap 4 Raikkonen is now 2.573 seconds …