Right, time for round 1 of my “Race Rating” articles. Smeddles and I were out living the dream in Melbourne.. and here’s what we thought of the opening race of the season! Sunshine yeehaa!
Without further ado..
We start with a 5 out of 10:
- +1 It’s F1 baby! It’s still the start of the season, nobody really knows who is fast, Ferrari’s bad, Toro Rosso’s better, it’s unpredictable! Seriously, the start of the season can sometimes be some of the most interesting racing of the year.
- -1 Start of the season It’s the start of the season, and the championship isn’t really in the picture yet. Looks like those 2 points just cancelled themselves out.. eh.
- +1 The cars sound normal again! No more off-throttle blowing of the diffusers, and the result was acoustically pleasing.
- +1 A change in the order Red Bull come to Melbourne as favourites, but McLaren dominate qualifying and the race. Is Red Bull’s run over?
- -1 Not much happening at the front Jenson Button never looked under any real pressure throughout the race, and after taking the lead into the first corner, was untouchable. The top 4 were close at the end, but never close enough to be called a proper battle.
- +1 Titanic battle for points Sauber vs Lotus vs Toro Rosso vs Williams vs Ferrari vs Mercedes. Nobody knew who was going to come out on top. Maldonado even looked like challenging Alonso up until his heavy shunt on the final lap!
- -1 Early retirements The heroes of qualifying, Romain Grosjean and Michael Schumacher, were early casualties during the race. Grosjean made a poor start when he forgot to change gears whilst accelerating towards turn 1 (!) before being taken out by Pastor Maldonado. Michael Schumacher was locked in an interesting battle with Sebastian Vettel before his gearbox gave way.
- +1 Sprint to the flag! The safety car bunched the field up nicely, and left us with around 20 laps of pure foot-to-the-floor action to finish the race with. Vettel benefited the most when he pitted and came out ahead of Hamilton, who had slowed to meet the safety car delta time.
- +1 DAT FINAL LAP Ricciardo, after losing his front wing at the start, had fought back to the mid-field and was fired up for the attack on his team-mate to steal his first points. He couldn’t get it done in the DRS zones, but the ensuing chaos resulted in a drag race to the line. First, Maldonado dropped it at turn 6 and crashed heavily into the wall, throwing debris all over the track. Perez slowed to avoid a penalty, but Rosberg powered through and caught up to him going onto the back straight. The pair made contact, which left Nico with a puncture. Into turn 11 & 12, there was a traffic jam as Rosberg wrestled his car to the finish line. With cars going in all directions, Vergne lost control and allowed his team-mate through, and then di Resta DRSed him across the line! Absolute chaos.
The first race of the season gets a healthy 8/10 rating.
How did you find the opening race of the season? Comment away and share your thoughts!