One of Badger’s fans – we’re calling him Aussie Badger is, along with Senior Badger (the man who founded the idea of Badger) attending the Australian Grand Prix this weekend, for the full four days, and after a brief paddock tour this morning with a thousand or so other early-bird ticket holders, got to get in, behind the scenes and explore the paddock on the eve of the 2011 F1 season.

Here’s his report from Melbourne and some photos…

Well the first F1 weekend is underway at last! A wet start for the supporting races practice but the rain cleared in the afternoon to provide some drier running for the V8s. None of the Silverstone problems of getting to the circuit – almost everyone arrives by public transport. In my case a train to Southern Cross and then a short tram ride to drop us within about a 100 metres of the gate, finally a short walk to our stand seats. It feels a much more intimate circuit than Silverstone – if you wait by the pits exit you can watch the F1 starts come and go – some will even come across to sign autographs! Its location almost in the centre of town makes easy access to the wonderful coffee bars and eateries that Melbourne is well known for. In the opposite direction is St Kilda, the sea and its famous cake shops and South Melbourne beach is only about 500 metres away.

The F1 cars will be having their first outing tomorrow during the 2 practice sessions. Today’s (Thursday) rain and possible showers before dawn will mean that little rubber will be on the track; temperatures will be low, 14/18C, so times may be slower. The weather forecasts, at present, indicate that qualifying and the race will be dry – but that could change.

So in just over 12 hours the season will roar into action and we will be able to see how well the cars go straight out their boxes – great!

A big thank you to Marussia Virgin Racing for organising the trip into the paddock, it’s really made the weekend for Badger’s reporter-fans downunder.  What a great team, and that’s a smart new team shirt there!