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Rigorous pre-race routines begin

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F1 Mole | 12:12 UK time, Wednesday, 25 March 2009

How do Formula 1's jet-setting drivers limber up for the strains of the first Australian Grand Prix of the season?

Despite a dose of four-seasons-in-one-day weather in host city Melbourne, the drivers found plenty of ways to get the blood pumping and brain cells working on Wednesday.

Toyota's Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock got up early for a spot of cycling along St Kilda's Esplanade before a gentle jog on the beach under overcast skies.

At lunchtime, double world champion Fernando Alonso pulled on a pair of three-quarter length shorts to show off his soccer skills.

The Renault driver had a kick around with footballer Danny Allsopp, striker for local team Melbourne Victory, and afterwards the pair swapped shirts. Well, sort of.

Allsopp gave Alonso a Victory shirt while the double world champion gave him a Renault cap.

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg made the most of the blazing afternoon sunshine by taking a stroll through the F1 paddock at Albert Park.

The Williams driver was super-relaxed as he cut his wave through the throng and stopped for The Mole to take a quick snap.

As evening fell, BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica, Glock and Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella made their way to the Crown Casino for a game of poker.

The Mole remembers a lost night in the seemingly endless floor of card tables, slot machines and roulette wheels.

And the F1 drivers may not necessarily be cashing in their chips early either as most of them stay at the plush South Bank Casino complex.

In the morning, the drivers can be found in the Crowns gym, then either in the Japanese or Italian restaurants for lunch before heading to the treatment areas for a mid-afternoon massage.

One former driver told The Mole he was so lost without this rigorous pre-race routine and was going to nip back for a massage anyway. Old habits are hard to break, I suppose.

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