Feel 'em

We went behind the scenes with the Virgin Racing team at the Melbourne Grand Prix in its unsuccessful attempt to nab some Formula One points.

Our guide began our pit tour with the tyre warmers that are used by all Formula One teams as the cars' tyres provide little to no grip when they're cold.

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Photo by: Joseph Hanlon/CNET Australia

Are they ready yet?

Each stack of pre-warmed tyres lives on a trolley that makes moving them around easier. They each also have this nifty temperature gauge.

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Photo by: Joseph Hanlon/CNET Australia

Spreadsheet manager

Each F1 race car is wired up with sophisticated telemetry that allows all vital diagnostic information, from temperatures to speeds and g-forces, to be sent in a constant stream from race car to pit lane, where engineers, team management and strategists mull over the figures, trends and graphs.

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Photo by: Joseph Hanlon/CNET Australia

Check, check

Lucas di Grassi checks a few things on his race car prior to Saturday's qualifying session.

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Photo by: Joseph Hanlon/CNET Australia

Supporting role

Teams in pit lane await the beginning of the second race of this weekend's Australian GT Championship event, one of the many support events that's run on Formula One weekend at Melbourne's Albert Park track.

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Photo by: Joseph Hanlon/CNET Australia

On a wing and a prayer

The cars' nose and front wings are detached as the Virgin Racing team perform last minute preparations for qualifying.

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Photo by: Joseph Hanlon/CNET Australia

Open for inspection

One member of the pit crew lubes the car, while another inspects the brakes.

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Photo by: Joseph Hanlon/CNET Australia

TV review

When sitting in the stands, most of the action occurs out of sight, hence the need for large screens. High fences are required to keep crash debris from impaling spectators.

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Photo by: Joseph Hanlon/CNET Australia

A brother's view

Our view from the Schumacher stand provided fantastic views of the turn leading into the main straight, as well as the turn off into pit lane.

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Photo by: Joseph Hanlon/CNET Australia

Dude fest

No doubt the F1 fan base skews decidedly male, hence the installation of a pole dancing pole in the main bar.

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Photo by: Joseph Hanlon/CNET Australia

Access denied

Guess we won't be visiting this garage then. Joseph Hanlon attended the Australian Formula One Grand Prix as a guest of Virgin Mobile.

For the record, both Virgin Racing cars had to retire due to mechanical failures.

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Photo by: Joseph Hanlon/CNET Australia
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