I know, I know ... normally, we don't start the race discussion thread until the Tuesday before race day. But with the cancellation of Bahrain, we've been without our Formula 1 fix for nearly four months now, so I think a thread created two hours before Tuesday can be excused. Round I of the 2011 FIA Formula 1 World Championship is the ... 2011 QANTAS AUSTRALIAN FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX from the Albert Park Grand Prix circuit in Melbourne One lap with Jenson Button Seven-day forecast: Isolated showers on Tuesday, becoming scattered from Wednesday to Saturday. Clear weather expected on Sunday. Consistently low temperatures expected all week. Lap Record ~ 1:24.125 (Michael Schumacher, Scuderia Ferrari, 2004) 2010 Results: 1st ~ Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes) 2nd ~ Robert Kubica (Renault) 3rd ~ Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari) 2010 final season standings: 1st ~ Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault) ~ 256 points 2nd ~ Fernando Alonso (Scuderia Ferrari) ~ 252 points 3rd ~ Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault) ~ 242 points 4th ~ Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes) ~ 240 points 5th ~ Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes) ~ 214 points 6th ~ Felipe Massa (Scuderia Ferrari) ~ 144 points 7th ~ Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) ~ 142 points 8th ~ Robert Kubica (Renault) ~ 136 points 9th ~ Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) ~ 72 points 10th ~ Rubens Barrichello (Williams-Cosworth) ~ 47 points =10th ~ Adrian Sutil (Force India-Mercedes) ~ 47 points They're ba-aack! After an extended break, the Formula 1 circus returns to what many believe to be the spiritual beginning of the season, the Australian Grand Prix. And we've never quite had a build-up like this: after the intensity of the final run of the 2010 season, with Sebastian Vettel only leading the championship for the first time when he clinched his maiden World Drivers' Championship, the drivers will have to contend with controversial new regulations in the Drag Reduction System, as well as new tyres that threaten to upset the established order with most teams resigned to having to make at least two - and possibly as many as four - stops over a full race distance. I can't for the life of me remember a pre-season build-up with so many variables that could easily produce an unexpected result (like Kubica's second place in 2010) as this one. Read what you will into testing; we're not going to know who is where until Saturday evening.