Absolutely bloody everywhere, Thursday: With less than a day until Formula One’s 2009 competitors take to the track for the first time, publications the world over have been frantically previewing and predicting the outcome of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, the first of the season.

So, what can we expect from these mountains of race previews? The Runoff Area takes a look.

Towering: A collection of Australian Grand Prix previews
Towering: A collection of Australian Grand Prix previews

Pre-season form has been good for most of the usual suspects, with comprehensive testing analysis coming from the likes of F1 Racing and Autosport. The latter, however, tipped to once again top the pile for F1 news this season, took a wild and perhaps rash step last week in utilising the testing performance of each team to predict the order in Australia. This analysis could, in the long run, hurt their predictive power.

GrandPrix.com looked promising early in testing, but fears persist that they devoted too much of their programme to concocting radical excuses for McLaren’s lack of pace, and not enough on seriously analysing the rest of the teams. This lack of preparation may prove critical later in the season.

Late arrivals to the party include a myriad of British tabloids, who have suddenly rediscovered a chap named Jenson Button and are already championing him to take the world title. As Force India have proved, however, motorsport and patriotism rarely produce satisfactory results.

Several bloggers have already switched their focus away from the racing and onto the politics of Formula One, which have taken a disastrous turn in the last few weeks. A dangerous strategy, this, especially as actual racing might occur for the first time in several years.

Planet-F1 had hoped to move away from their laughable position as chief unsubstantiated-rumour-mongers this season, but all indicators so far are that they will continue to provide a source of entertainment for the motorsport world, though little more.