March 28th, 2023

The week of the mullet

Crikey! It’s Australia week – and Formula One is embarking on the longest journey of the season to surface in Melbourne, Victoria, for one of the best-liked events of the year. Going on a plane for nearly a full day (if not more) is totally worth it when one of the greatest, most laid-back, and friendliest cities in the world awaits you at the end of the flight.

Melbourne is brilliant. A vibrant art scene, glorious coffee, and chill lifestyle all conspire to make this weekend a popular one. This is none the more so than for Valtteri and Zhou. Both have good memories from the city, on and off the track, and both have good reasons to look forward to this weekend’s race. Zhou, who delivered a strong performance at Albert Park twelve months ago, finishing whiskers away from the points on his first visit to the track, remarked about the large Chinese community thriving in the capital of Victoria: you’re never far from a bubble tea place in Melbourne – nor from some fans who will be ready to cheer the Chinese ace on!

As for Valtteri, the connections with Australia are many. First and foremost, Tiffany – for the mind goes where the heart leads. Over the years, Valtteri – who won in Melbourne in 2019 – has become almost an adopted Aussie: we saw him kicking a Sherrin, driving Supercars, sampling the best flat whites in town – all things, of course, a local would totally do on any given day.

And then there’s the mullet.

Few F1 fans and personnel haven’t seen that infamous video – as Valtteri fully transforms and releases his inner Aussie. Thongs and singlet complement the look – dare we say, the Look (capital L) – as our man embraces the most down-under version of himself. And, far from being an off-season stunt, the mullet is here to stay, in all its glory: a symbol of defiance, maybe; surely a sign that Valtteri just enjoys a little bit of harmless fun – and, most importantly, just being himself.

So g’day, Melbourne, and thank you for having us. On a week when we celebrate all Australians, whatever their background and connection to the land; when we honour the history and traditions of this place, the past and the present of this beautiful, electrifying land; and make our contribution to the future generations living here, we all feel a little bit Australian.

This race weekend, we embrace the mullet.