THE F1 GRAND

NT News - Motoring - - NEWS -

ALL revhead roads lead to Mel­bourne this week­end for the Aus­tralian For­mula One Grand Prix. Na­tional motoring ed­i­tor PAUL GOVER takes a look at what cars the driv­ers have in their garage at home WO of the world’s fastest driv­ers do not own a car. Grand prix rook­ies Bruno Senna and Lu­cas di Grassi might each have a 300km/h For­mula One car wait­ing for them in the garage at Al­bert Park, but when they get home to Europe their car spa­ces are empty.

His­pania Racing Team’s Senna, nephew of the three-time world cham­pion Ayr­ton Senna who was killed in an F1 crash in 1994, be­gan his road­go­ing ca­reer in a sec­ond­hand Audi A3 in Brazil but now sur­vives on lifts and loan cars.

For di Grassi, who has joined the grand prix world with the all-new Vir­gin team, life in Monaco means he does not need a car.

Walk­ing is much eas­ier in the tiny, mon­ey­drenched city-state on the side of the Mediter­ranean Sea.

But the two rook­ies are rare in the F1 world, where driv­ers can get al­most any­thing with a gi­ant dis­count, or free.

TThere was a time when Mercedes-Benz handed cars to any­one with an F1 drive, just as they backed the stars of the golf and ten­nis world, and there are still good deals at the three­p­ointed star.

Of course, for Mercedes-Benz GP driv­ers Michael Schu­macher and Nico Ros­berg a car is part of the pack­age.

And it’s no sur­prise that both have cho­sen the pocket-rocket C63 AMG, al­though two-time dad Schu­macher goes for the sta­tion wagon.

As for the rest of the line-up in Schu­macher’s garage, all those years at Fer­rari means there are def­i­nitely some red cars . . .

Rubens Bar­richello used to be Schu­macher’s side­kick at the red team and still has the Fer­rari 575 he got dur­ing his time with Fer­rari.

To­day’s Fer­rari driv­ers are both Maserati men, with Fer­nando Alonso slid­ing into the lat­est GranCabrio last week to cel­e­brate his win in the Bahrain GP and Felipe Massa hold­ing on to the Qu­at­tro­porte he likes to drive in Mel­bourne.

But mov­ing back to Benz sees Jen­son But­ton has a shiny new sil­ver Benz C63, just like Ros­berg and Schu­macher.

The dif­fer­ence is he al­most bent the AMG hotrod on one of his first drives, slid­ing into his race base at McLaren in Bri­tain on fresh snow and nar­rowly avoid­ing a crash — in the carpark.

Robert Ku­bica in the driver’s seat

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