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
|Eagles RBs Ajayi & Sproles out Sunday v Colts|
|Ronaldo looking forward after Champions League red card - Alex Sandro|
|Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister after four seasons|
|Inter captain Icardi can improve - Spalletti|
|Jadeja and Rohit shine as India maintain 100 per cent record|
|Fisher shares lead in Vilamoura after record-breaking 59|
|Messi the best I´ve seen - Lamela|
|Silva demands end to Gomes ´rumours´ and targets early October return|
|Milner over Pogba, says Souness|
|Brazil call up Malcom, drop Thiago Silva and Willian|
|Denly thought Test chance may never come|
|Benitez tells FA to examine Zaha red card comments|
|Bjorn unsure of future after Ryder Cup|
|Tebas still optimistic over Girona-Barcelona in Miami despite RFEF setback|
|Emery promises more chances for frustrated Leno|
|Cahill considering Chelsea departure in January|
|Kaepernick to receive Harvard´s highest honour in African, African-American studies|
|Defending champion Ostapenko dumped out of Korea Open|
|Mourinho is an inspiration - Nuno|
|Witty Wilson ´delighted´ to be praised for Fisher heroics while sitting on couch|
|Burns, Denly and Stone in England squad for Sri Lanka Tests|
|Aspas reveals interest from Real Madrid, Atletico|
|Arsenal´s Mkhitaryan a doubt for Everton match|
|Klopp demands Liverpool ´stay angry´ against Southampton|
|Long-serving Tabarez signs four-year Uruguay extension|
|Injured Mendy ruled out of Cardiff trip|
|Douglas Costa out up to a month with ankle & thigh injuries|
|Slater shrugs off Feki hit amid Grand Final suspension concerns|
|Crisis? What crisis? Klopp unconcerned by Salah form|
|I didn´t convince him, he decided for himself - Guardiola says thanks to Aguero|
|Leno frustrated by Arsenal bench role|
|Joshua almost 2st heavier than Povetkin for Wembley bout|
|From salvation to the record books - Fisher revels in European Tour´s first 59|
|Lahm says Germany best for Euro 2024 as UEFA publishes report|
|Lopetegui backs Modric over Ronaldo for individual prizes|
|Goretzka to start against former club Schalke, confirms Kovac|
|Fisher shoots first 59 in European Tour history|
|Simeone defends Ronaldo after controversial Champions League red|
|Slater sees Storm into Grand Final, awaits fate over ´shoulder charge´|
|Hogg to miss Scotland´s November Tests following ankle surgery|
|Osaka through as Azarenka and Garcia crash out|
|Burgess weighing up legal options after being cleared in Rabbitohs investigation|
|Uncapped Cottrell and Gordon named in Wallabies squad|
|He´s done fantastic work - Mourinho hails Wolves boss Nuno|
|Joshua v Povetkin: No need for fireworks on AJ´s Wembley return|
|Six titles, 204 goals - Aguero´s incredible City career in Opta stats|
|Read to miss Argentina clash, Ioane brothers sign new deals|
|Pedro allays injury fears after Europa League clash|
|Dilly dilly to all the Cleveland fans! Mayfield promises further Browns success|
|Manchester United ´hell´ left Zaha depressed|
|Jackson hesitates in naming Mayfield as Browns´ starting QB|
|LeBron congratulates Browns for ending 635-day winless streak|
|Aguero Extension: 10 of the best goals from the Manchester City star|
|Aguero signs City contract extension until 2021|
|Stress from drink-driving charge may have contributed to Lloris injury – Pochettino|
|CBF backs Cruzeiro´s Dede appeal and suggests VAR investigation|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|Red Sox clinch AL East with win over Yankees|
|Brighton star Knockaert reveals battle with depression|
|Bud Light beer fridges open after Browns snap 19-game winless streak|
|Browns end 635-day drought with first win since 2016 after downing Jets|
|Blue Jays overturn 8-2 deficit in improbable ninth-inning comeback|
|Colo Colo 0 Palmeiras 2: Scolari´s men poised for Libertadores SFs|
|Tour Championship would enhance successful year, says Tiger|
|Pogba: Man United getting better after winning run|
|What bothers me is that he has time to even do that – LeBron responds to Trump tweet|
|Cowboys most valuable NFL team for 12th successive year|
|Mkhitaryan aiming for glory with Europa specialist Emery|
|Sarri: Pedro´s injury is not too serious|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: Drama in Minnesota, a Judge returns and tragedy in Iowa|