Formula One is back and, as is traditional, Melbourne plays host to the season opener this weekend.
The Australian Grand Prix marks the first step in Lewis Hamilton's title defence as the Mercedes driver looks to become only the third man to win five championships.
Hamilton has only won twice at Albert Park - in 2008 and 2015 - but has been a machine in qualifying, and one more Australian pole this week would see him surpass Ayrton Senna's record of six.
The Briton was beaten by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel - another man chasing his fifth drivers' crown - in this race last year, a result which hinted at an epic title battle that, in reality, eventually petered out to a comfortable Hamilton triumph.
Most eyes will be on Ferrari and Red Bull over the course of the week to see if Mercedes' closest challengers can close the gap on the sport's dominant force.
In particular, Red Bull will be keen to lay down a marker to show that they can be part of the title mix this season.
But there is also plenty of interest further down the field, where McLaren's post-Honda future will begin to take shape following their switch to Renault, whose own factory team are tipped to make strides in 2018.
TALK OF THE PADDOCK
Much of the focus this week will be on how the teams adapt to regulation changes.
Pre-season testing gave the drivers an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the new Halo head protection system, but it remains to be seen what, if any, impact it will have on qualifying and the race.
Two new compounds have been added to the tyre line-up for 2018, although neither will be present in Melbourne, where soft, supersoft and ultrasoft will be on show - ultrasoft proving the most popular choice.
Sergey Sirotkin and Charles Leclerc are the only drivers without any F1 race experience on the grid, so they will be keen to swiftly begin to repay the faith shown in them by Williams and Sauber respectively.
RACEWEEK SCHEDULE (all times local)
No Australian driver has ever won or been on pole position in the history of the race.
2017: Sebastian Vettel
2016: Nico Rosberg
2015: Lewis Hamilton
Toto Wolff: "We will tackle this new season with the same dedication, team spirit and energy that has made us strong in the past. Each of us has the mindset that last year's Championships belong in the past; yesterday's trophies don't win today's games.”#F1 #DrivenByEachOther pic.twitter.com/9j46gnGh5h— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) March 19, 2018
|Cubs use five-run fifth inning to trump Cardinals|
|Manchester United 1 America 1: Mata salvages draw for Red Devils|
|Steelers´ Super Bowl window getting smaller - Brown|
|Neymar cares about PSG and will stay amid Real Madrid speculation|
|NFL, NFLPA at ´standstill agreement´ over anthem policy|
|Guardiola: It would´ve been a mistake for Jorginho to join City|
|Angels star Ohtani cleared to resume pitching|
|´I don´t give a f***´ – Cousins hits back at critics after Warriors move|
|Merritt leads Barbasol Championship|
|Ruud awakening for Ferrer in Bastad|
|Nibali withdraws from Tour de France with back fracture|
|Fabinho: I´ll try to convince Mbappe to join Liverpool|
|Beating Messi boosted France´s World Cup belief – Lloris|
|Carnoustie saving the worst until last|
|McIlroy´s youthful exuberance could be a bad sign for Carnoustie contenders|
|Saints triumph at second-placed Wigan|
|Anfield atmosphere sweetened Alisson on Liverpool|
|Bouchard reaches Gstaad quarter-finals|
|´What are you waiting for?´ - Alisson reveals Salah text messages|
|´Full package´ Alisson could not be missed - Klopp|
|Alisson to Liverpool: Brazil star becomes most expensive goalkeeper in history|
|Alisson to Liverpool: Brazilian´s stats blitz Mignolet, Karius|
|Liverpool sign Alisson in world-record deal|
|The Open 2018 diary: Spieth´s got ball skills as Finau proves the scratch golfer|
|Woods: Score doesn´t reflect how well I played|
|Can we go to Paris now? - Thomas in a hurry after conquering Alpe d´Huez|
|Thomas: I could have finished stronger|
|Kisner shines at baked Carnoustie as McIlroy, Rahm and Thomas loom|
|Sarri´s mentality made me a better footballer - Jorginho|
|Tax rates played a role in Ronaldo joining Juventus, says LaLiga president|
|Aggressive McIlroy doing it his way, not the fairway|
|I let him have it - Spinazzola ribs Ronaldo over Juve shirt number|
|Thomas makes it back-to-back wins|
|Ramos may remain for Spain but Luis Enrique promising surprises|
|Cazorla still playing through pain after Villarreal appearance|
|Vegas to Carnoustie - a hellish trip for Jhonattan|
|NFL training camp 2018: Five under-the-radar rookies to watch|
|Woods off to a flyer as Thomas charges|
|Sanchez given green light to join Man Utd tour|
|Greipel, Groenewegen and Gaviria latest sprinters to abandon Tour de France|
|Luis Enrique hopeful over Pique as he plots a Spanish evolution|
|I had a brain fart - Spieth disappointed with missed opportunity|
|I´ve sacrificed too much to quit, says injury-plagued Rossi|
|Klopp rejects Henderson´s plea to return early to Liverpool training|
|Open champion Spieth loses ground in scrappy finish|
|Alexis Sanchez hints visa issue sorted as United States trip beckons|
|Kovac an admirer of Pavard, expects James to stay|
|Dzeko happy at Roma and eyeing silverware|
|Eels win basement battle with Bulldogs|
|Kluivert to follow Totti´s example after taking ´big step´ with Roma|
|Kisner hopes to return Claret Jug favour to Spieth|
|FIBA bans 13 players & two coaches over Philippines-Australia brawl|
|Spieth and Rahm in the mix as Kisner sets the target|
|Monchi insists Roma remain ambitious as Liverpool close in on Alisson|
|Cavendish thanks ´race that shaped career & heart´ after cruel Tour exit|
|No Trent Bridge Ashes Test as England confirm schedule|
|Ajax tell Barcelona not even ´insane´ money will buy De Ligt, De Jong|
|Hamilton agrees two-year Mercedes extension|
|Uran withdraws from Tour after failing to shake off injuries|
|Spieth tees off Open defence|
|Zidane has shown no will to coach France, insists FFF president|
|Risking the curse - Steelers star Brown lands on Madden 19 cover|
|Pogba silenced his critics with World Cup displays – Ibrahimovic|
|Warburton overwhelmed by support following retirement|
|Wilshere excited by tactics of Wenger-like Pellegrini|
|Deschamps never considered France exit prior to World Cup win|
|Persepolis eye Champions League after Iran impress at World Cup|
|Sandy Lyle gets The Open underway at Carnoustie|
|Roosters sign England international Hall|
|Ovechkin, Kim earn major honours at ESPY Awards|