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Herald Sun - Switched On - - On The Couch - BY COLIN VICK­ERY

DRIV­ING For­mula One would have to be one of life’s big­gest adrenalin rushes. Just ask Alan Jones, who has been search­ing for an equal thrill ever since he re­tired from the sport in 1987.

Jones won a re­mark­able 12 Grand Prix races from 116 starts. In 1980 he be­came the first Aus­tralian since Sir Jack Brab­ham to win the For­mula One World Cham­pi­onship.

Over the years, Jones has jumped into ev­ery­thing from a Holden Com­modore to a Porsche 935 to a Mazda RX-7 for an­other shot at car rac­ing glory.

Now the 66-year-old is step­ping be­hind the mi­cro­phone to be an ex­pert com­men­ta­tor for Chan­nel 10’s cov­er­age of the 2013 Aus­tralian Grand Prix.

If you were to jump be­hind the wheel of one of to­day’s cars, would you no­tice a lot of dif­fer­ence?

They’ve still got wish­bones and ped­als and brakes and steer­ing wheels and you’ve still got to take a 170mph cor­ner at 170mph. If you go into it at 171 you won’t come out the other end. The main dif­fer­ence is the elec­tron­ics.

Howdo you rate the cur­rent crop of drivers, par­tic­u­larly Aus­tralia’s Mark Web­ber?

Ob­vi­ously they’re not as good as they were in my day (laughs). Mark has proven to be a very re­li­able driver. If that con­sis­tency stays with him this year I think it is go­ing to be an un­be­liev­ably close year. He has as good a chance as any­body (of be­ing world cham­pion).

Whois your favourite to win this year’s Aus­tralian Grand Prix?

It has been a very strange off-sea­son test­ing pe­riod. There have been a lot of peo­ple sand­bag­ging — not show­ing their real colours. I ex­pect Fer­nando Alonso to come out of the pack pretty strong.

There has been a lot of de­bate re­cently about whether Mel­bourne should keep the Grand Prix. What do you think?

Bernie Ec­cle­stone knocked the nail on the head when he said, ‘If you don’t really want it, there are plenty of other coun­tries queu­ing up’. That should tell some­body some­thing. Aus­tralian For­mula One Grand Prix, Chan­nel 10, Sun­day

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