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The Australian Grand Prix officially started yesterday, Wednesday, with the season launch at Melbourne’s Federation Square.  A large crowd had gathered in the city to welcome the drivers and team bosses who arrived by boat along the Yarra River.   The team bosses and drivers then mingled with the crowd as they made their way to the stage to discuss the upcoming season.The whole show lasted an hour or so and then it was off to the track this morning for more interviews and photo shoots, the main purpose of every Thursday.Daniel Ricciardo had Dutch TV presenter Jack Plooij laughing. Earlier in the day Daniel moved through the Red Bull hospitality tent introducing himself to his old team mates, “Hi, I’m Daniel, pleased to meet you!” he joked before moving to the adjacent Renault suite as his Red Bull mates asked him to “be a good neighbour!”

Further up the paddock, Gino Rosato from Ferrari was enjoying the company of Italian F1 TV personality Federica Masolin, and let’s face it, who wouldn’t?  The afternoon press conference was packed.And once again, Daniel proved to be quite the character, joking with Sebastian,and Lewis.If you’re a subscriber to the F1 app you may well have listened to the BBC Live at 5 commentary team of Jack Nicholls, Jennie Gow and Jolyon Palmer.  Well late in the day they did their show live from the paddock.   Being the season-opener. all drivers were required to turn up for the world’s media to be photographed at one end of the paddock.  Seventeen of the drivers did so without their sunnies, however Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton chose not to take theirs off.  It’s fair to say this disappointed many of the photographers and cameramen present.There was some lovely late afternoon light which is always a plus when it comes to photography. And as usual, there was plenty of glamour amongst the paddock guests with Bianca Roberts (below) turning many heads. And finally, the sad news of the day was the shock death of F1 Race Director, Charlie Whiting, in Melbourne last night.  He was such a well known and loved personality; a man I had photographed many times over the past two years.  He will be both missed and remembered fondly.

A reminder that all of my images are available for download at www.prostarpics.com.