The day before the first race of the 2007 Formula One Championship, and here in Melbourne we saw Michael Schumacher’s replacement, Kimi Raikkonen, snatch pole from world champion Fernando Alonso.
The only concern in Kimi's mind is whether the gear-box failure his team-mate Felipe Massa had will arise in his car and put paid to his hopes of winning the race.
Fernando Alonso seemed happy enough to be second on the grid with his new team McLaren. He told me it's been a tough winter, especially as he's had double the work learning the workings of a new team and adjusting to a different style of driving on the new Bridgestone tyres, which he admits he hasn't come to grips with yet ....see what I did there!
BMW’s Nick Heidfeld, sporting a stylish beard, was surprised to be on the second row. He fully expected the Renaults and Hondas to be a lot closer.
Renault's problems, while important to them, are nothing compared to Honda's. When I asked Jenson Button what was wrong with his car to be starting 14th on the grid, he replied 'everything'.
Jenson looks like a man with the weight of the world on his car. He says the forthcoming race will be the most valuable test of the winter so far!
And last but not last, the Super Aguris surprised the paddock by taking 10th and 11th positions on the grid. Anthony Davidson reckoned if he hadn't made a mistake when he tried to adjust the fuel mix on the final corner he could have easily make it through to the final section of qualifying. He did point out though that the result far and away exceeds all their expectations for a fifteenth-month-old team.
It is beginning to look like the wide open season we were all hoping it was going to be!