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Hamilton Denies Ricciardo Australian Grand Prix Pole in Thrilling qualifying
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Posted By:   |  15 Mar 2014   |  9:38 am GMT  |  412 comments

Lewis Hamilton clinched pole position for the Australian Grand Prix in a thrilling session that saw high winds and a rain shower make for an dramatic climax, with home favourite Daniel Ricciardo taking second place ahead of Nico Rosberg.

It is the 32nd pole of Hamilton’s career, equalling compatriot Nigel Mansell with the sixth highest tally of all time.

Mercedes’ Friday pace was clear once again this morning as Rosberg set the fastest time and Mercedes continued their dominance – in dry conditions at least. They looked set to fill the front-row with little exertion.

However, with a quickening wind and a darkening sky the threat of rain increased throughout the afternoon. By the time the top ten shoot-out arrived it was extreme wet tyre conditions for most – although Ricciardo set his time on Intermediates.

With Hamilton and Rosberg holding the front-row after the first run it became time to decide on a switch to intermediates or to remain on the full wet tyre. The Mercedes pair deemed it wet enough to use a new set of full wets, whilst Ricciardo opted for a switch to intermediates.

In the final five minutes there were quick improvements. Hamilton set the fastest time only for his team-mate to usurp him, although Hamilton had one final chance. During Hamilton’s final tour, Ricciardo had finally got his intermediates up to temperature and was setting quickest sectors, taking provisional pole and sending his home fans in to raptures.

But Hamilton was going quicker still, making use of Mercedes’ superior power and a brave final sector to take pole by 0.317s.

“The conditions made it extremely difficult,” said Hamilton. “So much more power so you’re short-shifting into six, seventh before you can actually get the full throttle.”

“I was kind of on the limit, it was very difficult to know what the turnover point,” Hamilton explained. “Do you take a risk or not – I decided not to. Daniel obviously did a really god job on the inters so it was obviously a very close call between the two.”

Along with Ricciardo there was a number of impressive performances from the younger generation of drivers, headed by Kevin Magnussen. The McLaren rookie has been driving to his limit all weekend, showing plenty of confidence and taking a fourth place start in his first Grand Prix.

The more experienced team mates of Ricciardo and Magnussen could not make their way in to Q3. Sebastian Vettel could not match the pace of the Australian throughout the session and a yellow flag caused by a spin for Kimi Raikkonen put an end to Vettel’s hope of an improved lap and a place in Q3.

Vettel will therefore start in thirteenth place tomorrow, just behind Jenson Button and Raikkonen’s Ferrari, who share the sixth row of the grid. A software issue for Vettel meant that power delivery was rough and he complained in practice and qualifying that the power unit lacked drivability especially on acceleration.

The sister Ferrari of Fernando Alonso went against the grain in Q3, running the intermediate tyre from the out-set before switching to extreme wets in the final minutes. He was three seconds off the pace prior to the switch but was able to make up for lost time and improve to fifth place by the session end.

Joining Alonso on the third row was another strong performer, this time Jean-Eric Vergne. The Toro Rosso has looked a handful in dry conditions but with the playing field level he and team mate Danii Kvyat were able to get in amongst the front-runners. The 19-year old Russian, Kvyat, eventually took eighth place in his first qualifying session of Formula One, behind Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India and ahead of the Williams pair of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.

Lotus’ 2014 woes continued with Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado failing to set a lap and will start on the final row of the grid.

Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, Qualifying

1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m44.231s
2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m44.548s +0.317s
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m44.595s +0.364s
4. Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1m45.745s +1.514s
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m45.819s +1.588s
6. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m45.864s +1.633s
7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m46.030s +1.799s
8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1m47.360s +3.129s
9. Felipe Massa Williams 1m48.079s +3.848s
10. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m48.147s +3.916s
11. Jenson Button McLaren 1m44.437s +2.173s
12. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m44.494s +2.230s
13. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m44.668s +2.404s
14. Adrian Sutil Sauber 1m45.655s +3.391s
15. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1m45.867s +3.603s
16. Sergio Perez Force India 1m47.293s +5.029s
17. Max Chilton Marussia 1m34.293s +4.118s
18. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m34.794s +4.619s
19. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m35.117s +4.942s
20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1m35.157s +4.982s
21. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m36.993s +6.818s
22. Pastor Maldonado Lotus

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  1. AlexD says:

    So we already have some answers. Merc the strongest, Red Bull is a huge surprise and they will be super quick couple of races from now. Ferrari can start building a car for 2015 and LDM can have another strong speaxh for Ferrari fans that they will be strong. I think the title will be between Merc and Red Bull. Ferrari will fade away as will Williams.
    We need to have some more answers on the fuel consumption and this will come tomorrow. Reliability is not bad at all. We might now see Lotus next year

    1. Kev says:

      Wow! Some strong reactions after just one qualifying session.

      For all we know, the top 3 could retire after first corner and Magnussen could win with Alonso being second :)

      Australia is not known to highlight the running order in anyway. I will wait for the traditional circuits and Ferrari’s ability to adapt before coming to a conclusion.

      Whatever be the result, Alonso’s best chance of title will come in a Ferrari.

      1. Sergio says:

        I think Ferrari power unit is the weakest of all in pure performance. Hard to fight for the title whith this baseline, even for Alonso.

      2. jakobusvdl says:

        Good response Kev,
        I’m not sure what would make you draw all of those conclusions AlexD. Let’s see how the season pans out

      3. j says:

        The thing with predictions is that they are much less impressive when you wait until the season is over to make them.

      4. JakobusVdL says:

        Touche J, lets see how mystic AlexD does.
        I’d agree that Mercedes and RB will be front runners, but McLaren will also be very strong, and I doubt Ferrari will be off the pace, and with the Merc motors, and some decent sponsorship money Williams will also remain the mix. A close season ahead.

      5. Wayne says:

        Agreed, the running order will be pretty certain at Spain I reckon.

      6. CC says:

        I totally agree. When the teams are back in Europe, they can easily fly out new parts and alterations to the circuit in question. The season from Spain in mid May to Italy in mid September is when the championship development strategy goes into over-drive, and from Barcelona we will see the true pecking orders of the cars/teams/drivers.

      7. Andrew M says:

        “Australia is not known to highlight the running order in anyway.”

        People trot this out every year, but the car who wins here more often than not is the WDC/WCC car.

      8. CC says:

        For a driver to win in Australia is a good start, but it’s not always a springboard to championship glory – think of Coulthard in 1997 and 2003, Irvine in 1999, Fisichella in 2005, Button in 2010 and 2012, and last year with Raikkonen. However, you are right in pointing out the majority of the winners in Melbourne have driven a car that can go onto win the constructors title – the only odd ones to that theory are 1997, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2013.

      9. Kev says:

        In the years of Schumi domination, coming to Australia with a good car ensured you win a lot of races before the rivals could catch up. There was only McLaren who provided some notable competition. Williams was blowing hot and cold. Renault didn’t surface until 2005/06.

        But as RB have proved in the past years, in season development is much more important than having a good car early in the season.

        Now we have Mercs who are good at the moment, RB ho will come good over the season and McLaren/Ferrari who will also be able to close the gap and Williams who are looking good as well. In short, the competition is more.

        So while the Merc is a fast car we cannot say for sure that it will win the championships until the rivals concede.

      10. Wade Parmino says:

        Not in 2010 or 2012 or 2013.

      11. Folkdisco says:

        In the past 5 years, the Australian GP has been won by the eventual WDC and WCC twice. So that’s 40%. Ie. Less often than not!

      12. David says:

        Yep. How can you predict a whole season based on the opening qualifying session?

        It’s a long season and as we know development during the season is so important. One reason why lesser funded teams that are strong at the beginning fade as the season progresses is they don’t have the $$$ for the “development race.”

      13. Craig D says:

        You can’t, hence such talk just being “noise”!

        But great quali session to start the year. The young guys outperforming their “no.1s”. Good stuff.

        With rain tomorrow, the race could still be unpredictable, even though on paper it appears like a Mercedes 1-2. But crashes and safety cars could spoil such expectations. Plus how much of an effect will fuel conservation be? (Not much for this race if it’s wet.)

        If Ricciardo wins that would really be something!

      14. JEZ Playense says:

        Yes slightly ambitious predictions or perhaps the poster owns a Crystal ball? The season is way longer than this AlexD’s memory unless he has not really watched the sport closely before…

      15. Jonathan says:

        Not only is it predicting the whole season based off of qualifying, but it was a WET qualifying. We don’t have very many answers yet.

    2. Mike84 says:

      Ferrari may yet drive Alonso to defect to America.

      1. Phil R says:

        Hahahaa, good one!

      2. Red Rider says:

        Driving what? The Indy cars? … or the crash cars like Montoya?

    3. James Clayton says:

      “Red Bull is a huge surprise and they will be super quick couple of races from now”

      Tell that to Vettel!

      While Ricciardo was undoubtedly impressive, I’m pretty sure that he wouldn’t be quite that far up if the rest of the field were on inters. The track was clearly coming towards inters, and by the time Ricciardo set his lap time everybody else was on the *wrong* tyre.

      Renault’s problems seem to be intermittent – they had a very good day (with Red Bull, at least) yesterday and, were it not for a bit of rain, were set for a torrid time today. Lotus were nowhere to be seen, and Torro Rosso were all over the place until the rain came in.

      1. Grant says:

        It wasn’t just because of the inters, DR was setting fastest times throughout the qualifying session.

      2. Paige says:

        The thing is, though, that Ricciardo was involved in making the call to go to inters. There was a radio transmission in which his race engineer asked him if he thought the track was ready for inters, and Ricciardo said it would be in two laps or so. So it was Ricciardo who interpreted the conditions to be ready for inters.

        Ricciardo was on impressive form today. He had Vettel covered in Q1 and Q2, and he made a brilliant call to go to inters and set a great time. He sent a very clear signal that he is not going to be a pushover for Vettel. This Red Bull pairing could get very interesting.

      3. James Clayton says:

        It could; but I maintain that a good performance in wet weather doesn’t indicate that Red Bull will be ‘super quick a couple of races from now’

      4. Bryce says:

        He was always up there and was consistently quick over the longest run of all drivers earlier on, P3 at worst behind the Mercs.

        I think he was really tuned into a track that was not quite at the crossover point between the compounds and as ROS just missed a final run, would have got the same result on full wets, on which fastest times were still being set.

      5. ben s says:

        I thought Ricciardo did a sterling job throughout, especially with this being his first competitive run out in a RB. His times were always amongst the front runners all the way through the programme.

        As an aside, one benefit of the new engines and the lower decibels – it was great to hear the crowd, especially the huge cheers as Ricciardo took initial pole time, then the collective groan as hamilton took it back. Great for the tracks with atmosphere… but the soulless modern tracks where money not heritage bought them a race are going to be found out when the empty seats don’t make a sound.

      6. Nick says:

        Ricciardo was quick in all the sessions, not just once the rain started falling. And all through Q2 and 3, while there was no question of what tyre to be on, he kept bumping himself up to the top spot or near enough to it. There were others out there on inters too, and they didn’t all whack in great times like Ricciardo did.

    4. Richard says:

      We need to see who gets to the end of the race in one piece. Wet conditions does tend to close up the gap on what was a track starting to dry out which allowed Ricciardo to make some headway, but I think it will be a different story tomorrow if the weather remains dry.

    5. UncleRon says:

      Daniel was on inters and the track was coming to them. I wouldn’t say RBR have the pace just yet.

      But I would say Mercedes definitely have….

    6. Sebee says:


      Could you remind me how many wets and intermediates each driver has for the weekend? Could not using a set in Q3 today be a benefit for tomorrow, should it rain?

      1. KRB says:

        4 inters, 3 full-wets.

      2. Sebee says:

        They get to keep all for the race, or they have to give some back Friday or Saturday?

      3. KRB says:

        Get to keep ‘em all. Only dry-weather tires are given back.

    7. k5enny says:

      The “iceman’s” performance today really shows that the Lotus of the last couple of years was a championship winner— Pity Schumi was driving it ..

      1. FerrariFan says:

        I think in 2012 someone (maybe the biased Flavio Briatore) told that Alonso in that years car would have won the championship easily.

        Lets not conclude anything yet but I think Alonso can mask the defects of bad cars and make them drivable while others may struggle to extract any performance from them.

        This brings us to the point that Ferrari keeps building dogs every year and Alonso’s dream of a third championship is definitely not in a Ferrari. Too bad Ron Dennis is back at McLaren and that shuts the door for any possible move there.

        As for tomorrow’s race, if it rains look out for the Hulk.

      2. KRB says:


        In other important news, Ricciardo has moved from the flat-bill to the rounded-bill camp.

        HAM flat
        ROS round
        RIC round

        I hate flat-bill caps, but anyways!

      3. MISTER says:

        I don’t remember Schumi driving a Lotus..

    8. C63 says:

      That’s an odd comment. There were huge cheers when Vet was knocked out of qualifying. Bigger cheers when Ric took provisional pole and slightly less of a cheer, but a cheer nonetheless, when Ham took the pole. Not sure where you get the idea Ham isn’t much liked. I thought the recent JA article, stated he was second most popular driver after Alonso (who drives for Ferrari).

    9. Red Rider says:

      What did he say about Schumacher?

    10. Craig D says:

      Eh?? The crowd will mostly likely cheer anyone who wins as long as it’s not Vettel!

      It reads a bit of touchy comment to be honest.

    11. Nick says:

      Sad comments

    12. MISTER says:

      Lewis is very likable. I can’t see him ever getting booed. He isn’t cocky or ignorant either.

      I wasn’t expected Vettel to get booed, but fans just don’t like him. And the hand gesture he did after crossing the line is not going to help his cause. That’s just pure frustration because of the yellows cause by Kimi, but others were affected too. You don’t see them waving their arms around.

    13. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Waiting for someone to get booed? That’s a sad prospect.. Try and enjoy the race anyhow.

    14. matthew says:

      youve got it all wrong.and actually if you look at all the comments on different tabloid sites and f1 forums,about what he said about schumacher,most ppl are on hamiltons side,because they took time to watch the whole interview.plus lewis wasnt boo’d when he got pole.he s actually a very popular driver globally.

    15. Mike84 says:

      Because he still spouts thinly-veiled boasts about himself with annoying false humility at every opportunity. This time the veiled message was, I was disadvantaged because I hadn’t driven this car in the wet before, unlike some of the others, but I still came out on top; I’m overwhelmed at my greatness (Again).

    16. Andrew Carter says:

      Don’t know where you got that rubbish from, I could hear the fresh round of cheering when he set pole.

    17. kobe says:

      We just had reasonable entertaining qualifying and your impulse is to remark that the pole sitter will be booed (if he wins the race) because no one likes him? This is either a perverse form of damage limitation (due to run away emotions)or worse yet just a hater…besides James’s quite recent article listed him the second most marketable driver in F1..and Aussies never booed when he beat Webber there.

    18. Mohamed Chaudhry says:

      Karen this is a sport and whoever does the best job wins. Yours and the partisan fans boos won’t change the result. Regarding Hamilton’s comments, you should re-read the transcript of that interview where he was praising Schumacher extraordinary strength to come through. Lets look forward to a good and exciting race. Keep the boos to yourself.

    19. Quercus says:

      Rubbish. Somehow I don’t think you know much the regard with which the various drivers are held.

    20. Kingszito says:

      Stop spreading propaganda, hear say. Simply say that you don’t like him, not that he is not much liked. Everybody can’t love him. Some will love him and some will hate him, that’s life. His love/hate is no different than other drivers.

      Hate and love comes with success. If people don’t talk about you, then you are nobody.

    21. Max power says:

      Isn’t liked much??!!

      Erm I think you’ll find he’s one of the most liked driver on the grid. He’s also probably the most disliked but his fan base is still huge

      You need to out that into perspective.

    22. Uwe says:

      Hamiltons comments on Schumacher could have been worded better for sure but I take it from the video they were not meant in a disrespectful way. (And I’m german and no fan of Hamilton.)

    23. F1Racer says:

      now, what did hamilton even say about schumacher??

    24. Malcolm says:

      What negative comments could Lewis have possibly made regarding Schumacher, especially if it’s in regard to his recent accident?

      Be specific.

    25. rossco says:

      I’m pretty sure Hamilton wouldn’t give a crap about if he is well liked. According to the popularity stakes he is right up there Alonso with fan popularity. James had an article about it on his site a week ago.

      disappointed to be an Australian after the crowd booed vettel when he crossed his final quali lap in 12th and didn’t make it still holding a grudge after the Webber incident.

      1. James Allen says:

        I think he does want to be liked. But as you say he has a healthy following. He’s a Marmite driver, probably the ultimate Marmite driver!

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        Que? marmite?

      3. James Allen says:

        It’s a food – you either love it or you hate it

    26. Tickety-boo says:

      Good grief. SV has been hounded for driving the best car quickest and whilst not a fan of RB it was for everyone else to beat them. The booing is pathetic and indicates too many people have their knuckles still too close to the ground. Bring what on, exactly?

    27. aveli says:

      the crowed are intelligent enough to understand what hamilton said so they will not boo if he wins.
      racism is based on lies.

    28. Thompson says:

      Wow…….. funny thing is the cameras love him.

    29. TBP says:

      I hope the Aussies don’t boo anyone that gets on the podium. They should be applauded for their racing and the booing can be done in other areas rather than race day.

    30. Vlad says:

      Good summary. But you forgot – Ron’s back!

    31. Vlad says:

      We like Lewis in Australia, after the wheel spinning in the SLR. He keeps it real. Should win this in a canter, with Rosberg close behind.
      TAB now only paying $2.00 for Merc 1-2, should have got in earlier people!

    32. TimW says:

      Total nonsense, just because you don’t like Lewis does’nt mean nobody else does.

  2. Oddz says:

    Go Lewis :)

    I didn’t expect Redbull to challenge so early on, sandbagging indeed

    I really hope Williams has a nice race tomorrow, as a Lewis fan it s weird to wish Massa well but i really hope he does well, Ferrari screwed him.

    1. Kev says:

      Yes, I am looking to seeing him doing well without the ‘pressure’ of being in a big team.

      As for being screwed, Kimi is a good example of a driver being screwed by the team by not being paid the whole season even while winning races. Not really that case with Massa.

    2. Don’t think red bull were sandbagging. I still don’t think they have the pace though they have improved. The weather is the reason we have a mixed grid. Only mercedes drove according to form.

      1. Jean-Christophe says:

        Exactly! I don’t understand why people keep forgetting that it had been raining! In the dry, there are cars that are quicker than the Bulls who are almost 2 seconds a lap slower than the Mercedes

      2. cos says:

        @ Felix and Jean-Christophe…Didn’t JB make a comment to the beeb when one of the RedBulls passed him on the outisde of one corner or other…I think during testing (on one of the few occasions they had it working)…. as much I dont like RedBull …I think they have a great chassis so yeas although the rain had a lot to do with things see what happens…all the poor testing problems and yest here’s a RedBull …almost on pole(and its not even Vettel putting it there)…..In my humble opinion, i’m loving the top ten ….hopefully these young guns can make it interesting and give the world champions a run for their money :)

      3. The Red Bull is fast in both wet and dry conditions. The question remains whether it’s reliable for a full race length.

      4. Grant says:

        RBR is very quick indeed, as DR showed us throughout the session (trading fastest times).

        No point in trying to downplay expectations at this point.

      5. Mhilgtx says:

        It sounds like Red Bull did an update to the software only on Vettels car overnight. Then the car was undrivable and from watching the incar vids it looks like that was true. I wonder why they chose not to apply that update to Ricardo’s car? Looks like that worked wel for Ricardo and hope can hold off the Mercs.

        I really want to see Williams do well I like Masa and Bottas as well as Sir Frank

        Looks like any team taking money from Maldanados people get what blood money deserves. What will lotus do next year as it is doubtful that regime will still be in place then.

        I want Ferrari to get their act together and Kimi to do well

        All in all very exciting start to the season and I am looking forward to staying up to watch the race tonight!

    3. [MISTER] says:

      Yes, sticking for 3 years with an under performing driver is called screwed. Only that it was the other way around, Massa screwed Ferrari with his very poor results.

      Alonso might finally get the credit he deserves this year by outperforming Kimi. Haters will still not recognise that and find excuses.

      1. H.Guderian says:


      2. Joe S says:

        Really? Alonso got that credit in 2012. Certainly did from me. Btw the moment someone uses a stupid term like “hater” is when I stop listening.

      3. MISTER says:

        Bad choice of word from my part. Never meant it that way. For example I have a few drivers which I don’t like and don’t care much of what they do, but I would never ever hate them. I believe you cannot hate someone that you never met.

      4. Quercus says:

        ‘Haters’ is a gross exaggeration. I know of no serious F1 fan who has ever ‘hated’ any F1 driver.

      5. Kingszito says:

        You can never please haters. Alonso will beat Kimi and another reason would surface just to downgrade him.

      6. Rayz says:


        Very early days in the Alonso v Raikkonen battle but this article is one of the finest reads of the situation I’ve ever seen. A must read.

      7. Kev says:

        I believe Alonso will beat Kimi. But Alonso will not be whipping Kimi like he did with Massa.

        Once the issues are sorted, both drivers will push each other. But I trust Alonso to come out on top. Should be a fascinating battle along with the one at Mercs which is flying below the radar because of all the attention at Ferrari pairing.

    4. Richard says:

      Not sandbagging, they simply did little running to know where they are. They will be slower in the dry as it was the drying conditions, and the intermediate tyre that allowed Ricciardo in.

      1. Craig D says:

        They weren’t sand bagging. The strength of their car couldn’t be shown because it wasn’t “strong” enough!

        DR did very well, but the rain was a leveller. Mercedes clearly look to be the best.

        It will be interesting to see how Williams perform on race pace to to some answers on how strong they truly are.

      2. Mhilgtx says:

        Funny how the US broadcast pointed out it was starting to rain again and Ricardo was the only one to make the inters work. The others that switched slowed and even the much praised Alonso switched to wets.

        The fact is Merc is fastest right now we don’t know about tomorrow or the next day.

    5. Anon says:

      I don’t think RB were sandbagging, I can’t see them being so close in normal conditions. There were a lot of variables at play today, changing track conditions, inexperience in certain conditions with the new cars and the inters were arguably the best tyre come the end of the session.

    6. Phil R says:

      It’s not sandbagging if you can’t get out of the pitlane…

      1. David says:

        so right. lol :D

    7. Lohani says:

      I’m also hoping Williams to do well, and Massa in particular. I’ll root for Massa the whole season. It was quite a heartening moment to see Massa’s Williams twitching on approach to turn 11 followed by a TV shot of his father’s worriedly concerned, yet wishing-the-best-for-his-son countenance.

      Like Massa, his dad seems like a nice person, and a great father. I’m sure a win from Massa will make dad even more happier. Talk about supporting your child through thick and thin. These are some genuine moments and stories we sometimes miss in the high-octane, glamor-ridden, technically complicated sport of F1. There is a human side there as well.

    8. dren says:

      I don’t think Red Bull were sandbagging at all, they had reliability issues and basically redesigned the car’s packaging in time for the first race. The car was always going to be quick. It’s a testament to that team how they improved their reliability so fast. Just compare them to Lotus.

      1. cos says:

        agree…I think RB will be back on form..(I truly hope not but I think after the first few races they will be back mixing it upfront ..whether its Ricciardo or Vettel)

    9. TimW says:

      I think setting your car on fire is a pretty extreme form of sandbagging!

    10. JB says:

      Not sure if Red Bull was sandbanging at all, more like they were pulling their hair out to get the car running reliably. Remember, this is not the first time they had poor showing in pre-season test.

      What I am impressed the most is Daniel Ricciardo! He is light-years ahead of 4x champ Vettel.

      LOL! there was a loud cheer when Vettel lost out Q2. I’m a Vettel fan but thats understandable.

      BTW, anyone seen the onboard of Hamilton? His car is soo well sorted. Mercedes have a very easy and last car. Alonso, Massa, Vettel onboard all showed the drivers correcting throughout each corner and even in straights.

  3. Wheres Equin0x? says:

    What a great quali session! Sure the sound isn’t great, but watching the drivers actually having to wrestle the cars around the track made for exciting stuff. Even in the dry they looked a handful. I think this will bring new fans to the sport.

    Well done Hamilton. Of course congrats to Ricciardo, he looked to be struggling on the full wets but found his groove again on the inters.

    Lotus looks to be in trouble, Maldonado can’t be happy. Dare I say it…I thought even Max did pretty good out there.

    1. chris says:

      No I can’t agree, they sound like sedans, only quieter! Perception is as important as fact; F1 needs to sound fast as well a be fast, no matter how innovative the engineering is.

      1. darren w says:

        Problem is, these power units are quick. This is what the new fast sounds like.

        Instead of all the people comparing them to household appliances, we should probably be trying to compare them with space ships and machines in SciFi movies.

      2. Andrew Carter says:

        I think FOM needs new trackside mics. The video’s we were seeing from testing had a very different sound to them.

    2. 1.6V6T says:

      I’ve heard this off quite a few people about the sound, but I think it is your TV set, maybe you need to adjust the sound settings of it allows you as I have a brand new TV (only got it last week, my 1st HD too, the cars look amazing) and the sound of the cars is right up there. Every teams car sounds different, even to others running the same PU. I listened to practice 1 through so e decent headphones so I didn’t wake the wife and I have to say that through them it was every bit if not better than last year as you can also hear tyre squeal and the crowd raw when things happen.
      Seriusly thought, try the sound settings on you TV before writing the sound off. I found turning off a few things like ‘auto sound llevelling’ and ‘surround effect’ really helped along with a tweek on the graphic EQ settings.

    3. FerrariFan says:

      Well at least we now hear the crowds cheers / boos

    4. j says:

      I watched this on BBC and the way they treated the sound was pathetic. The thing with TV is that the guy sitting at the mixing board simply has to move a few faders up and the engines + crowds can be as loud in the mix as you want them to be. They clearly made a decision to make the announcers 4x as loud as everything else.

      Agree fully on the on-track action. I love seeing the oversteer on some of these cars and hope it continues although they are sure to dial that out because kicking the back end out is a slower way around even though it looks so great.

      Ham’s been getting a bit of a bashing over the last few years so it’s good to see him get pole. Hope all the underdogs can pull through this year. Ricciardo over Vettel, Massa in for a win this season?, Magnussen doing well.

    5. Grant H says:

      Haha Totally agree “wheres” equin0x? Funny that???

      ricciardo was much lighter on throttle in onboard reply compared to seb…maybe it was the car last 4 years haha

  4. Random 79 says:

    Vettel Vettel he’s our man,
    if he can’t do it Ricciardo can…almost…

    Well done to Hamilton for taking the first pole of 2014 and I have a sneaky feeling it won’t be the last.

    Best quali I’ve watched in ages :)

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Well done Danny Boy! Only qualifying, and all that, but still, great debut……..
      I half agree with your comments, it was a great qualifying, but…………..I would have preferred a dry running order. I like a topsy turvy wet qualifying session as much as the next spectator, but just this once, I wanted to see who at this stage had raw speed on a dry track. Problem with this qualifying session is that a wet track is a lottery, so it is hard to make meaningful comments on a cars performance relative to each other.
      Still, well done Daniel so far. An Australian has never his world championship home grand prix, so fingers crossed to see the wooly haired Dan with his beaming smile on the top step of the podium – Advance Australia for Daniel is young and free! (Although we’ll have to check out his contract for the small print on certain freedoms).
      Still, a lot depends on the weather tomorrow – a wet race will throw a double six. I thought Australasia was supposed to be the driest continent on earth – except on the weekends on the AUS GP!

      1. KRB says:

        Well, to be fair, there’s not been too many Australians that have run in an Aussie GP that counted towards the world championship. Even less were in race-winning cars.

        1985 A Jones (Lola)
        1986 A Jones (Lola)
        1990 D Brabham (Brabham)
        1994 D Brabham (Simtek)
        2002 M Webber (Minardi)
        2003 M Webber (Jaguar)
        2004 M Webber (Jaguar)
        2005 M Webber (Williams)
        2006 M Webber (Williams)
        2007 M Webber (Red Bull)
        2008 M Webber (Red Bull)
        2009 M Webber (Red Bull)
        2010 M Webber (Red Bull)
        2011 M Webber (Red Bull)
        2012 M Webber (Red Bull)
        2012 D Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)
        2013 M Webber (Red Bull)
        2013 D Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)

        So that’s only 18 entries since 1985, and really, only Webber 2009-13 was in a car capable of winning the race. That’s only five genuine chances at an Australian home GP win.

        Of course, Aussies (and then Kiwis) dominated the race before 1985 when it was a non-championship event.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Patience Gaz, by the time they end up back in Europe we’ll have a better idea who’s done the best job and if you believe some then Melbourne isn’t the most representative circuit for that anyway so if if can’t be representative it might as well be entertaining :)

        It’s very early days, but if Dan can keep up this level of performance then I think he should get another chance at his home GP in a Red Bull next year…and speaking of that, here’s a crazy theory:

        Mark was and integral part of the RBR team for a few years (and doing pretty well considering the rubbish performance of the car at the time). Then the young gun came along, smokes the old hand and so ends up being the effective #1 in the team while the old hand is replaced by a young guy from TR.

        Now Seb has been an integral part of RBR for a few years now and has been doing pretty well for himself, but then a another young gun comes along and smokes him. What happens next? ;)

        Apparently Seb had software issues so I do expect him to come back stronger, but if – if – Dan does continue to out-perform him what are the chances Seb might be replaced by one of the two TR boys? That’s assuming he doesn’t move to Ferrari first, but personally I think he’d be nuts to do so.

        As for Aus being the driest continent on Earth? It is, although Melbourne does get a bit of rain…and sunshine…and storms…and the odd apocalypse…and traditionally all in the one day :)

      3. Auski says:

        It has not rain in melbourne for two months. Middle of March is very end of summer,

      4. Phil says:

        You are talking about Melbourne – famous in Aus for being the only city that has 4 seasons in one day.

        Simply, Quali and the race itself are scheduled too late in the day in Melbourne – 5.00pm local time – rain time at this time of year.

        Apparently so scheduled to cater for European TV….. just stupid.

    2. Vlad says:

      Agreed. Daniel beating Seb was awesome, crowd loved it :D

  5. P says:

    kvyat seems like an exciting driver…

    ricciardo already showing that he did deserve the seat at redbull(early days though)…but yeah this performance would definately shut many mouths…

    i wonder how long until maldonaldo speaks like this again->
    “I really need a good car to enjoy it, and this year I’m not enjoying it,”

    “I’m living a really bad moment and I need some motivation to keep doing my best. I want something more. I’m here for something more.
    “I don’t want to just be in Formula 1, to be honest. IT’S BETTER TO STAY AT HOME, if it’s like that.”
    hulk would now be pretty happy he missed out on that seat and so will all his fans(actually everybody else apart from maldo)

    1. KRB says:

      Kvyat certainly had an eventful quali.

      I’m guessing this grid is certain to be the youngest ever, in average age.

      The youngest so far was Malaysia 2013, with an average age of 27 yrs and 2 mos. But we’ve since lost ol’ man Webber, and gained youngsters Kvyat, Magnussen and Ericsson.

      I was very surprised to see that Lewis is the 6th oldest out there now! Only RAI-BUT-MAS-ALO-SUT are older, in that order.

  6. Dufus says:

    What a start to the season.
    The best things i have seen so far…..

    1. Mark Webbers insight into the cars, drivers & conditions and how the teams approach the issues at hand. So much so he had Alan Jones, James Allen, The One HD crew and fans glued to the television.
    James you need to tap into Webber’s insight for the rest of the season somehow. Trying to get any relevant information from the typical media interviews with drivers and team principles etc with their PR Spin pales into comparison with what Webber had to say.
    I know we had Webber on One HD here in OZ but maybe Europe won’t see that. Shame for them.

    2. Ricciardos performance (and i don’t have to elaborate on this).

    3. The typical Melnbourne weather, 3 seasons in one day.

    4. Not the sound of the new V6′s except i will say in qualy given how dramatic and exciting it was i had forgotten about the sound.

    Thanks James for your insight both on One HD and on the website. What a year 2014 will be.

    1. Monktonnik says:

      The one hd coverage has been good so far. It is always great to see JA on telly, and Webber is fantastic. He is open and technically up to speed with the current cars, and drivers.

      Just wish we hadn’t had signal issues at the end :(

      1. Andy says:

        How good would ja and webber be as a commentary team?

      2. cos says:

        someone somwehere please make this happen!

      3. CC says:

        Webber is doing some analysis/input for the BBC at selected races this year – his Porsche commitments allowing.

      4. Nico says:

        Am seriously missing the OneHD coverage. Here in Singapore, we get ‘expert’ analysis from Alex Yoong which is not the same from having a former top f1 driver like Webber, or even the british pundits on BBC/Sky ….

        James – any chance of doing some contributions for Fox Sports Asia ??

      5. James Allen says:

        I have enough on my plate!

      6. monktonnik says:

        The Ferrari pasta?

        That looked good

      7. Vlad says:

        We got him first :D

      8. Kenneth M'Boy says:

        I felt like handing Mark a drink he was talking that much. His tonsils must have been as dry as the outback. Riveting stuff though. Go Ricciardo!!! Was on the edge of my seat, can’t wait for tomorrow.

    2. Drew says:

      Agreed, Ricciardo was outstanding today, but I think he was pipped by Webbers commentary performance! I learnt more about F1 today than I have I a very long time!!! Sign him up JA!!

    3. Marty says:

      I agree with everything you say about Webber’s insight…Whilst he was never my favourite and neither is the commentary on One HD for that matter (it seems clear they don’t appreciate James), Webber was in a class of his own as far as delivery, enthusiasm and explanation of F1 behind the scenes that is current and not just speculation. I learnt so much this afternoon…kudos to Webber…

      Yes he should be a permanent fixture somehow!

    4. Horoldo says:

      Yep, James adding some driver insight from someone like Webber to your website would be fantastic. I like the technical side from the engineers, but I really love the way Mark described the driving challenges in detail on today’s One HD coverage.
      Also congrats to Dan. Super driving today.

      1. James Allen says:

        MW was great today, I agree

      2. Erik says:

        He was, really liked how he settled in, I think the conversational nature of ten’s couch setup helped him relax. You can tell he let his guard down and got all caught up in it, especially arround qualifying, because he dropped a couple of swear words. Showed that he forgot about the camera and we got the real MW. He likes to talk about performance curves doesn’t he? Haha

    5. Vivek says:

      Mark is with which channel?

      1. David in Sydney says:

        Channel Porsche.

    6. Jean-Christophe says:

      One positive thing about the sound is now you can hear the crowd cheering which adds a lot to the drama :-)

      1. F1Racer says:


    7. Racyboy says:

      I’ve never seen or heard Webber so animated and so informative.
      His commentary on Hamilton’s pole lap was probably the best I’ve ever heard.
      I couldn’t help thinking that an Allen/Webber F1 commentary team would be a dream team.
      You’d need James there to keep a lid on things. I think Mark may have had a few too many RedBulls or Macciatos.

    8. oddz says:

      how does ine gi about watching this one hd channel in the Uk?

      1. James Allen says:

        You don’t – it’s Australian TV

      2. Erik says:

        Look up ten.com.au and the ‘ten play’ section of the site hosts the coverage online. Although you’ll have to get through the gegraphical region blocking if you’re not in oz.

      3. Vlad says:

        Ask your mates to record it to torrents afterwards.

    9. Joe S says:

      Was Webber a commentator or pundit? Would be nice if some of it appears on youtube sometime.

    10. MistressofSpeed says:

      The “AussieGrit” is contracted to do some work with the BBC this season. If he doesn’t get into a Porsche until April, here’s hoping those of us in the UK get a chance to experience his One HD commentary prowess during the Malaysian GP.

      James – do you know when he’s scheduled to work for the BBC? And, will it be more than just pre-recorded features?

    11. Quercus says:

      “…except i will say in qualy given how dramatic and exciting it was i had forgotten about the sound.

      Precisely. The old sound will be forgotten. I like the way the radio sound is so much clearer now they’re not fighting the high-pitched engine noise. A few races in and the different car noise will be irrelevant. At last cars are sliding again: that’s what matters!

  7. Dave Aston says:

    Kobayashi, no running at all on Friday, starts p14, what a legend.

    1. Dave Aston says:

      I mean, 15…

      1. Random 79 says:

        With some help from his friends at Lotus :)

        Don’t get me wrong; it was good to see, but I’d like to see him do it on merit, not just because of weather and attrition.

      2. Dave Aston says:

        Is it because he is back?

      3. Shane says:

        Do it on merit? How can there be any greater display of a driver’s merit than qualifying in mixed conditions in the first race of the year after such massive changes to the technical regulations. Kamui Kobayashi is starting the Grand Prix directly behind the reigning world champion!

      4. Random 79 says:

        Fair point Shane.

      5. Chris Chong says:

        Not only that, beats former team mate (Perez) and qualifies just behind the lead driver in former team (Sutil), while driving in an arguably inferior car in a backmarker team with the worst power unit.

      6. Brent says:

        Yea it was really good to see Kobayashi drag the Green Monster into Q2. I hope the Caterham’s ugliness is brilliance in disguise.

      7. Random 79 says:

        If it is then it’s a very good disguise :)

      8. Kayjay says:

        You was right the first time. Bottas drops to 15th after a gearbox penalty, promoting KK 1 place to 14th.

      9. neilmurg says:

        then Bottas drops 5 places so he’s 14th

    2. Shane says:

      Absolutely! Love to see KOB back in F1.

  8. Bruce says:

    What a stunning start to the season, the best for at least the last 25 years that I can remember. If you want noise, sit under an FA/18, if you want predictability, use a V8 that’s been bedded down for eight or so years, but if you want an exhibition of frighteningly talented drivers displaying skills that the rest of us can marvel at, bring in turbo V6s and ERS and the rest of the changes this year has served up. Just brilliant entertainment.

    1. Julian F says:

      Completely agree Bruce. It’s been great watching them today. The noise is different but I love it – and you can just see how much power there is. The bloody things just keep pulling all the way down the straight. Boost, wheelspin in top gear all down the straight. Makes me think of Senna in the Lotus, Nigel in his Williams, Prost etc.
      Gold stuff.

    2. forestial says:

      well said. hopefully with another few blinding sessions like that and we can stop hearing people bleating about how it’s not the same as the old days.

    3. Steve Zodiac says:

      The thing is, it is the the noise that makes F1 different to other forms of motor racing. previously, from the moment an F1 car(s) fired up to the end of the race, the power was visceral and kept your attention. With, for example, saloon car racing every one can have a nice chat between the cars or go to the loo. Wasn’t like that with F1, is now, shame. Say what you like it’s definately lost something

      1. Steve Zodiac says:

        Actually if you want crowd noise, go to a football match, they’re boring too

      2. Sideways man says:

        I quite liked the quality of the noise,with its deep,throaty,slightly rough edge. It was just much too quiet.

      3. j says:

        Where were you watching during quali?

        Sitting in the grandstand at turn 3 annoying your Aussie neighbours with complaints about how boring they are?

        Or sitting on your sofa thousands of Km from the track posting this old chestnut of a comment one more time?

      4. Shane says:

        I initially felt the same way with the oil burners at LeMans, but I’m used to it now, and seeing the cars hunker down and rip their way around the track is awesome in it’s own right.

    4. neilmurg says:

      I prefer the new noise, the V8s were too brutal on my delicate ears. Now you also have the thrum of the V6, the squeal of the tyres, the whine of the turbo (and the people saying ‘I miss V8s’), the sound of the crowd. Maybe soon the crunch of the nose, the pop of a tyre blowout, the vifff of a locked wheel :-)

      but please, cheer the good (Ricciardo 2nd), not the bad (Vettel missing the cut), he’s a decent guy and a great racer

    5. Quercus says:

      Precisely. I remember Moss, Fangio and Clark and yet I’ve never wanted to go backwards. Believe me, this can be as exciting. Reducing downforce while upping the power has always been the solution and at last they’ve done it. This will give the really skilled drivers a chance to show why they’re the best.

    6. Rob says:

      Yeah the sound… The turbo whistle/whine is comparatively louder than I expected, and that aspect was interesting, but I agree with another fan who inferred that the audio guys haven’t adapted to the new sound levels yet, it’s like they’re still using last year’s decibel attenuation settings on most of the mics or something. Either that, or the timbre of the exhaust notes roll off lower, so that even at the same television audio mix levels, there’s a lack of higher harmonics that makes me want to crank the volume. But then, I have the commentators yelling at me.

  9. kenneth chapman says:

    well just how wrong i was in forecasting a track littered with smoking wrecks, either today or tomorrow. it is nothing short of miralulous that so many cars did so well considering where they all were just a few weeks ago.

    two standouts today. ricciardo was the ‘man of the day’ closely followed by magnussen and kvyat.

    for ricciardo to rise to the occasion despite all the pressure etc being heaped on him was uber impressive.

    of course it was only quali and means very little until the race is over but it is a major step when considering the daunting task of having a 4 times WDC occupying the other side of the garage. very very well done.

  10. Jonathan says:

    We still do not know about Red Bull – no they weren’t sandbagging – they were just not able to run the PU at max! Several said the car was actually very good.

    However – quali played into their hands. Wet conditions make engine power far less important – and can massively improve cooling. We have no idea if they can make their fuel last or if with dry weather they can keep cool enough.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Ricciardo also was right up there in Q1 when it was dry.

      The car seems to be good, now we just have to see if it can go the distance.

  11. Pete says:

    Varying engine noises across the manufacturers, more crowd noise, hearing Alonso’s big lockup clearly on TV… This new quiet F1 might yet work.

    Fascinating qualy… Who guessed that top ten then?!

    1. Steve Zodiac says:

      Quiet F1? Seems to me that if F1 are trying to attract new fans they need something to set it apart. Instead we’ve got Prius racing, it will only attract the tree huggers. Still at least you’ll be able to use your smart phone to make pointless calls during the races. I guess F1 is not foe enthusiasts any more.

      1. Craig D says:

        It would be nice for the atmosphere to have the engines a little louder but it is interesting having having gains of tyres squealing, the noise of the turbo, etc.

        At the end of the day, people bang on about F1 needing to be the pinnacle of technology. Well noise from an engine (or power unit I should say!) is just wasted energy. Any energy not converted to kinetic is wasteful. Hardly cutting edge.

        I definitely welcome the technology getting more advanced. It does no good to be luddite about such things. But I am an engineer myself and fair enough, for some that aspect isn’t that interesting for them.

        We’ll get used to it anyway. In practice I was like “Hmm not sure about this”. But by quali I wasn’t minding it. Come the race, I doubt I’ll be thinking about it anymore.

      2. darren w says:

        As both a tree hugger and F1 fan for as long as I can remember, seeing how much of a handful these cars are even in dry conditions is thrilling. It reminds me of many classic clips from the 70′s and 80′s when the cars were so twitchy.

        And they are certainly fast.

        As for the sound, F1′s aural impact has changed dramatically over the years. Whatever sound it is…it’s the fastest. For me F1 has always been about the lightning fast change of direction and loading through the corners.

      3. Andrew Carter says:

        Whinge, whinge, whinge. Tell me, do you always go to races blindfolded just to hear them or is racing and car control not important to you. It might be quieter, and I think FOM really need to change their trackside mics cause they’re not that quiet, but they are spectacular to watch and that makes up for the lack of horrendous shrill that we used to have.

        Heck, I can even tell the difference in engine note from Merc to Ferrari (very distinctive sound from them) and Renault. Big improvement IMO, especially when you see the drivers car control on display so much.

      4. Kingszito says:

        I agree with you, but unfortunately you cannot change it now. The earlier you start focusing on the positive side of the car the earlier you will enjoy the sport. The positive side for me is how the car keeps the drivers on their toes lap after lap. The drivers are literally wrestling with the cars. I hope that aspect of it doesn’t change (soon at least). It makes one appreciate more the input of these drivers.

      5. Speak for yourself mate, I’ve been an F1 enthusiast for a few decades and this is great stuff. I suspect the true F1 enthusiasts will continue to enjoy the racing as always.

        Those engines sound fantastic to me!

    2. Quercus says:

      I noticed that too. Quieter and more subtle: the radio transmissions are clearer; the exhaust noise doesn’t drown out the mechanical sound. Just wait for Monaco and listen to the tyre noise echoing off the houses.

      More ‘classical music’ than ‘garage’:
      dare I say it — more sophistication.

  12. mbraz says:

    Great effort by Daniel he was on the pace all afternoon and thoroughly deserved his front row spot. hope he can keep it going in the race.

  13. Quade says:

    What a brilliant start to the season! It was a day of the young guns.

    I never thought I’d ever root for a Red Bull, but there I was almost physically willing Ricciardo to pole! What a revelation the kid is! Cool as a cucumber, but with wheels hotter than molten lava.

    It was a shock to see Ron Dennis actually smile and almost do a jig when Magnussen crossed the line in fourth. Brilliant drive.

    As for Vettel? That was shocking, horrible and just ugly. Here are their times compared, it was pretty comprehensive:

    Daniel Ricciardo
    Q2 – 1:42.295 (2.373 seconds faster than Vettel)
    Q1 – 1:30.775 (1.156 seconds faster than Vettel)
    Position – 2

    Sebastian Vettel
    Q2 – 1:44.668
    Q1 – 1:31.931
    Position – 13

    It could be a wild season yet!

    1. Vlad says:

      Since Seb had a “software issue”, is he allowed to fix it now, or will he start from the pit lane?

  14. Bryce says:

    What more could you ask for from a season opening qualifying session, especially with the new regs?

    Nothing except maybe MAL getting a timed lap in to make it a full field. We saw running on all types of tyres as the moisture changed things up. Consistent running of pretty well all teams other than Lotus was a pleasant surprise.

    RIC seemed to excel in the conditions in his bull, as did the sister team. The icing on the cake was the late off by Kimi. This forced those with a bit up their sleeve that had not been up to pace at that stage, to slow for 200m or so under the yellow flag on their last flying lap.

    It will be a very interesting first dozen laps or so with an out of pecking order grid all on the fresh tyres. Potentially much more interesting, the new kid on the red bull block well ahead of his WDC teammate at the chequered flag.

  15. Quade says:

    What a disappointment Kimi turned out to be. Going by what we saw today, he is no match for Alonso; the season is still long though, but I’d bet on a frog flying a plane instead.

      1. Quade says:

        Haha! As soon as I saw that humorous message in my mail box, I knew it could only be you!

    1. Jean-Christophe says:

      You draw such a conclusion after one qualifying? Would you say that Vettel is no match for Ricciardo? There’s still a lot to come

      1. Alexir says:

        @Jean-Christophe Exactly! Unfortuntely some F1 fans only judge drivers by their latest peformance….heck the race is still to come and Im actually betting my money on it, that the race results look quite different compared to quali results.

        If Kimi can finish the race, then he most likely will score nice points, we have seen time and again that he has risen from such positions before, so its not the end of the world, and next race weekend can be completely different than the previous one, but like I said, some people are quick to judge

      2. j says:

        Haha. Maybe a bit too soon but Quade’s comment is just the type of headline they favour at some F1 news sites.

        “Kimi No Match For Alonso” – click

      3. Quade says:

        Not just todays quali, but all practice sessions so far as well.

    2. Vlad says:

      Yeah, cmon, it takes Kimi a little while to get a correct steering wheel with Gelato and Vodka buttons on it.

  16. goferet says:

    Reverting qualifying session and it appears we have a full class of top drivers with the majority able to keep their cars on the island despite the extra power.

    Brilliant effort by Riccardo though it’s unfortunate he didn’t get pole for what a story it would have been in front of his home fans.

    Job well done by Mercedes for securing P1 & P3. With Brawn away, I wasn’t sure if they would get the strategy right.

    Ferrari made a mistake with the tyre choice in Q3 and so lost Alonso some time.

    As for Vettel, it’s always a massive shock to see him not make Q3.

    I see Lotus are still hurting from having missed the first test.

    Overall good to see good old Kobayashi back and our new rookies show promising abilities.


    Regards tomorrow, Mercedes’ Paddy Lowe reckons fuel saving won’t be such a hindrance in 2014.

    1. KRB says:

      Riveting, y’meant?

      1. goferet says:

        @ KRB

        Oops, thanks for the correction.

    2. Andrew Carter says:

      I don’t think Alonso lost much at all, and he would have had a sizable hand in the tyre selection for Q3 given the conditions.

    3. Vlad says:

      Wait until Red Bull and Ferrari try to twist the FIA’s arm on fuel saving. Engine equalisation coming, I just know it, blah.

  17. Purple Helmet says:

    I suspect RB still has some power and reliability issues, though it’s very promising for them so far.

    As Vettel fans like to say, it’s not all about the car (Ricciardo 2nd, Vettel 13th). I hope that if normal service resumes and RB starts winning races that Ricciardo doesn’t start having his front wings given to Vettel. He deserves a fair crack, he looks like a potential champ.

    1. KRB says:

      He does deserve a fair crack, though really, if you were team principal at RBR with a 4xWDC, wouldn’t you perhaps cater to his desires more than the first-year team driver? It’s only natural that they would favour Vettel … he’s a known quantity, he’s done the business. If Ricciardo keeps his head down, though, and just delivers consistent results, in time the team will trust that if they go “his way” in development, that they’d see results.

      1. FerrariFan says:

        not if i suspect the 4X WDC to jump ship in a season or two.

        It was interesting to see a delighted Dr.M at red bull. I wonder where his loyalty will be if things get too close between the two drivers.

      2. rafa says:

        Well if you were Ron Dennis you probably would you know!

      3. Aaron Noronha says:

        It basically economics whoever ends up midway with the best chance of winning the title goes to be the no 1 driver. There have been times when no 1 drivers have played second fiddle to the the no 2 drivers or been put in their places. Micheal-Irvine 1999, Kimi-Massa 2008, and Alonso-Hamilton. If Ricciardo can beat Vettel consistently neither Dieter Mateschitz nor anyone else in Redbull will enforce any sort of team orders to support their 4xWDC.

        In fact having Ricardo outdo and beat Vettel in the championship is much better for the team.
        1)It will save them millions in performance bonus that Vettel would definitely get if he clinched his fifth(which would surely be invested in something resourceful for next year)
        2)Having Two World Champions will raise their Brand Value(Vettel’s haters would naturally gravitate towards Ricardo thus bring in more fans towards the Redbull brand.)

        Secondly there isn’t a computer software that dictates how any aerodynamic updates would benefit one driver over another. The designers design a car according to what they feel will deliver the best laptime/downforce and all drivers will adapts their driving around it by tweaking the setups to match their driving style. Every update or upgrade of the aerodynamics changes some handling of the car hopefully for the better. The myth of Redbull designing their car to suit Vettel over Mark is all BS. The blown diffuser was the best concept of that era. Mark couldnt extract the same amount of performance from it as Vettel did. In fact Even when Vettel was driving a Torro Rosso(a Redbull clone) he scored more points than Mark webber. For that matter even in 2009 before the entire blown diffuser concept Vettel was faster than Mark. I am 100% sure there is no way for Adrine or any other designer to know for sure how much any concept or update will benefit or cost a driver when he thinks of it or designs it. And Adrine designs cars the way he likes them. FAST. So to allude that the development will favor one driver over another is pretty ridiculous.

  18. CC says:

    I was hoping that Melbourne qualifying would be bone dry in order to ascertain the true dry weather performance of the new cars. That hasn’t happened, so I think we need to be cautious in analysis. Wet weather qualifying is indeed a lottery and can be inconclusive when it comes to real performance. 2005 Melbourne qualifying springs to mind – Williams and Sauber qualified well at that event but you they faded in a dry race.
    Still, that takes nothing away from Riccairdo and a stupendous performance, as does the performance of the two Torro Rosso’s. Of course, the race tomorrow will totally depend on the weather conditions, so it’s a case of wait and see.
    Apart from the excellent performance of the Mercedes cars, as expected, the jury is still out on the pecking order of F1 2014.

    1. jakobusvdl says:

      Nice post CC.
      It’s been an interesting weekend so far, but way too early to draw any firm conclusions.
      I’m looking forward to seeing how this new era develops.
      The technology is obviously going to take a bit to refine

      1. CC says:

        @ jakobudvdll.

        Thanks. Yes, you are spot on – maturation of new engine technology will take time to bed in.
        It won’t be until the European season starts in Spain onwards what the true pecking order of the cars and teams is. Also, Barcelona makes the start of the “development war” in F1 for the summer season. That is where the championship will be won or lost – as always.
        If the race is rain affected tomorrow it may be exciting, but in terms of car/driver combination performance somewhat un-conclusive: if Malaysia is bone dry (and that’s a big if) it will give us a much more accurate barometer of where the cars and teams are at in terms of raw performance.

    2. Bryce says:

      2012 revisited, with different winners for the first half dozen or so races again?

  19. marcus says:

    Great result for Daniel, Absolutely on the money. No fluke there!

  20. Kingszito says:

    That was a statement of intent made there by Daniel Ricciardo. I hope Red Bull allows him to compete against Vettel. So that even when Red Bull runs ahead of other teams we would still enjoy the battle between him and Vettel unlike Webber days, but I doubt that Christian Horner or Helmut Marko would allow him.

    1. AuraF1 says:

      Marko actually smiled though – maybe if Daniel is part of his young drivers programme he’s actually not going to feel the wrath of Darth Helmut…

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Yeah Marko was really happy, Horner on the other hand..

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        if, and it is a big if, ricciardo can consistently do the business then marko will have a dilemma on his hands. vettel will demand protection and bang the table. what does marko do? sacrifice his latest choice or go with the flow?

        this has been a consideration for some time now and sooner or later it will happen. i look forward to the day when someone can genuinely beat the ‘finger’ at his own game. am i biased,yes, massively so.

      3. furstyferret says:

        I must admit I nearly fell out of my chair seeing how happy he looked for the young oz charger, shame he couldn’t show such pleasure for a certain ex aussie driver

      4. Greenmeanie says:

        AuraF1, your spot on mate. I was interested to also see That reaction plus the whole team on Dan’s performance was more inline with a Vettel celebration than what we have seen in the past when Webber excelled.

        Also, thanks James for your lead on channel 10 / One hd, your camaraderie with the aussie team is clearly apparent. I suspect you have as much fun joining them for the weekend as you do being an F1 globetrotter :)

      5. James Allen says:

        I love the work with the lads from 10.

        It’s great what they lay on for the F1 fans here in Australia. Almost 30 hours live from Friday to Sunday night!!

  21. Mike84 says:

    Well Massa, welcome to the midfield for the rest of your career!

    1. aezy_doc says:

      he’s already quite familiar with that part of the field I would say. He’s still ahead of Raikkonen though.

    2. Simple says:

      Pretty much the same place he’s been since 2009 actually…

  22. Anne says:

    Great job Lewis! Good for Ricciardo. He started with the right foot in RB. McLaren and Magnussen amazing!

    Everything else is more of the same.Vettel should turn the problems into an oportunity to fight back and make the race exciting. Nice to see Kobashayi capable to be in P14 with trouble Caterham.

  23. radi says:

    It must be more circumstances than speed that put ricardo where he is. Inters seemed to be the right tire.on dry he would have not been so close. Great job by ricardo regardless,
    Would really enjoy seeing ricardo outdrive vettel every now and then.

    1. Random 79 says:

      And how do you explain his performance in Q1? Leprechauns perhaps?

      1. radi says:

        Q1 is not flat out for all.

      2. CC says:

        Ricciardo’s qualifying performance was superb. He has an advantage of having nothing to un-learn at Red Bull in terms of driving technique, engine mapping and aerodynamic balance adjustment as new regulations means everyone has to start from scratch.

      3. Random 79 says:

        True, he has that advantage. The other advantage is that he’s been driving a Toro Rosso for the past couple of years, so I imagine the driver to engineer conversations go something like this:

        Vettel: This car is bad; it lacks downforce, it lacks power, it’s difficult to handle, it’s nowhere near as good as my old RB9 :(

        Ricciardo: THIS IS FREAKING AWESOME!!! :D

      4. Fastfastfast says:

        Wasn’t he on softs while the Mercs were on Mediums?

      5. Raffique Martin says:

        Simple really. Redbull are still testing and hence were really in fear of failling to get out of Q1. I’d imagine their engines would’ve been turned up, so relative to the rest of the field they look better than they are. Q2 & Q3 skewed this further with the rain and RB of course has killer downforce (relative to the field) which is the big differential in such condition. Vettel of course had issues with his car. Not trying to take away from the excitement that Daniel brought to the show. Just a bit of perspective.

    2. Kingszito says:

      Christian Horner or Helmut Marko will not allow Ric out-driving the WDC. I would be surprise if they allow it. That Australian is a force to be reckoned with in F1 and I hope he doesn’t end up like Webber did in RBR.

  24. stu says:

    Hi James, been an avid follower of your site for a while now,definitely the best by far!!! But this is my first post…. Having watched the thrilling qualifying this morning i was wondering if you thought Vettel’s different throttle technique that he used so effectively for the last few years on Adrian’s cars to make such good use of the old blown diffusers is now the problem for him in trying to unlearn what was described as a counter intuitive technique by many people, getting on the throttle so early, which is obviously now not possible with the increased torque and lack of rear downforce. I haven’t heard anyone bring this up yet. It was clear it wasn’t only Kimi’s yellow flag that slowed him down, he was clearly struggling with drivability on corner exit and a huge mistake somewhere around turns 11 to 13.
    Keep up the great work!

    1. Marty says:

      Yes indeed I thought this also. Although it shouldn’t take Vettel too long to adjust his driving technique. I think it was even mentioned as the reason why Webber was behind Vettel early on last year due to to Vettel adapting quicker. And if you take it further, Daniel has had to deal with a less than perfect car for 2 yrs with less grip and being in the midfield so the new car is not much of a stretch for him to adapt in driving style…

    2. Drew says:

      You are so right Sir.
      I was beginning to think that I was the only person thinking just what you have said.
      Vettle was taught to drive a car that was all about the cheaty exhaust thing that Newey had developed, now that has gone, can he drive?
      No, as I am sure we will see throughout the season.
      Yes Red Bull we be competitive but Vettle is surely only a midfielder.

    3. Andrew Carter says:

      Vettel had software problems today that made for a more vicious power delivery. Still, Ricciardo’s looked very good this weekend.

  25. David in Sydney says:

    It’s a long season and it’s a long wet race Sunday; we haven’t seen the full impact of the rules yet.

    It is good to see everyone got on with their jobs although Kimi will be furious and Alonso very happy!

    1. Richard says:

      I gather the race will be dry! Yes I’m beginning to think these cars don’t suit Raikkonen, but let’s reserve judgement.

      1. deancassady says:

        Clearly that Ferrari isn’t optimal right now for Raikonnen, but maybe one of the other ones would be okay.

    2. krischar says:

      @ David in sydney

      Why alonso has to feel happy ? Just because kimi made a mistake and alonso made it into Q3? Does not make any sense mate

      Iam more than 100% cert that alonso would have felt disappointed. Because Ferrari were way of the pace in dry and wet as well. I watched alonso’s reaction when he weighed himself. He was in deflated mood. These Ferrari drivers aim to fight and win WDC’s. They will not feel happy just because one has out qualified the other. Of course team-mate challenge will excite kimi/Alonso. Yet given their credence and experience they will be more interested to challenge Mercedes/RBR pilots for the title

  26. AJ says:

    What a great result to see the new guys doing so well. Brilliant work Dan.

    Is there any talk of car problems for Vettel or Buttton, or did their teammates simply out drive them in the conditions?

    1. jhynesadmin says:

      According to Christian Horner: “[Seb's] engine software meant he was down on power with extremely poor drivability and we need to understand that, as it compromised his qualifying, but we’re really pleased for Dan. The car’s good – our weakness is on the straights and in the wet you can’t go so fast on the straights, so we’ve got to work on that.”

      1. David in Sydney says:

        SO they don’t run the same car – VET has different software?

        I am sure WEB wasn’t surprised to hear that in Melbourne today.

      2. kenneth chapman says:

        a good point there david. i also had a similar thought.

      3. Nick says:

        [mod] I’d be surprised if ANY team is running genuinely identical cars for both drivers.

      4. Phil says:

        I was thinking along similar lines to David.

        A team might tweak the software to suit a driver, but only if gives an improvement. If it made Vettel’s car so much worse than Ricciardo’s, wouldn’t they just run the Ricciardo version in both cars for this weekend?

        Have we been told the whole story?

  27. Alexander Supertramp says:

    Great qualifying!

    Vettel was NOWHERE compared to Dan, in dry or wet conditions.

    Kimi? JB?

    JEV confirms his talent in the wet, but Kvyat was very impressive too.

    Without reliability problems I expect an easy Merc 1-2 tomorrow. But there is a lot to watch out for, Fernando vs. Kevin, Seb/Kimi cutting through the field, probably at least one Red Bull not making it to the flag,..

    1. Carl Craven says:

      lol Seb/Kimi cutting through the field. They’ll have to get past Button first who was actually way faster than both of those two all weekend.

      It’s a shame you overlooked his contribution. Of the three he was unlucky to qualify so far back being caught out by Kimi’s (YES KIMI’S) spin when in fact Button had been at least .5 secs a lap faster than his team mate all weekend up until that moment.

      It’s quite likely he’d have been on the front row at the worst the second which is where his team mate is.

      And a question mark against Button.

      1. Drew says:

        Button was Fast, You are right. I feel that the Mclaren is a bit faster than we have seen so far.

      2. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Magnussen improved after Kimi caused the yellow flag, so we shouldn’t blame that.

        And Button front row? Magnussen was 8 tenths slower than Ricciardo, so I don’t believe that would have happened.

        Still, Mclaren have a good shot at a podium finish, but right now K-Mag is their best bet..

      3. Doug says:

        Yes, felt bad for JB..he was looking sharp and happy with the car..unlike Seb!

  28. Adam says:

    Apparently there was 21 others drivers on the grid but I’m stuck Ricciardo taking P2. Wow!

  29. ArunasNesvarbu says:

    Looks like Seb had software problems.

    1. Michael says:

      Sure he did. What we saw here today was a Sebastian Vettel without a blown diffuser and all that downforce. When given the opportunity to drive a “real car” he was like a fish out of water. This year I have a feeling is going to make or break Vettel.

      1. Adam says:

        Make or break Vettel?

        As much as I can’t stand him, after 4 consecutive championships, I’d suggest Vettel has been ‘made’ already lol

    2. H.Guderian says:

      Diferent version of the software between cars??? Huummm….

      1. Ikki says:

        This is exactly what that was bugging me after reading. This clearly means that both the cars are not running the same software and the preferential software running in Vettel’s car blew on their face. Hope Ricciardo gets a fair chance from next race.

      2. GWD says:

        Those pesky engineers obviously put the go-fast software on DR’s car and mistakenly put the pretty-reasonable-software-for-a-no.2-driver on SV’s car. or maybe SV was just testing it to make sure it was as bad as it was hoped yet still not causing of a retirement. I’m sure the good Doctor will that fixed before the race… ;)

    3. snailtrail says:

      of course he did…

  30. MrF1 says:

    You’re all drawing conclusions far too soon. Lets get to Europe before we start poking the stick..conditions were tricky and the Ferraris were loose coming out of the final turn (was in webber stand). A rear wing adjustment could be a fix. Looking forward to the race. Go Dan!

  31. KRB says:

    Bottas has a gearbox penalty, so BUT-RAI-VET-SUT-KOB will all move up one.

    Impressed by Magnussen, and surprised by Kvyat. Though I think in the case of STR, it’s down to their car in the wet (Vergne’s in the top 10, and he’s not a particularly notable qualifier).

    Rosberg passed over the line 5-6 seconds after the flag came out. Maybe without his off on a prior lap, he would’ve got another lap in.

    Vettel was unlucky b/c of Kimi’s crash, but still, don’t do the hand waving. I realize that’s how he is, but he should try to cut it back a bit. It’s off-putting.

    I hope it’s a dry race tomorrow, I’m interested to see what the pecking order is (though Melbourne is not the best indicator of that), or get a better idea of it at least.

    I wonder what the STR’s will do when the #1 car shows up in their mirrors? Let’s at least make it look like we’re racing, ok fellas?

    I have zero expectations, as 58 laps is a big ask even for those with the most mileage under their belts.

    Team orders are fully valid at this stage. The stupidest thing any team could do is to “let them race” and have one or both cars not finish b/c of fuel, mechanical failure, or the cardinal sin, a collision between teammates. A new era and new reg’s and only a 5 engine allotment scream out for bringing the cars home with the least fuss possible.

    1. quattro says:

      “Team orders are fully valid at this stage.”

      What hypocrisy. No, they are not – they should never be at the first race of the season – any season. That would really be “fooling the paying public”.

      “A new era and new reg’s and only a 5 engine allotment scream out for bringing the cars home with the least fuss possible.”

      So, the new era with “only a 5 engine allotment” dictates – OK to NOT race…hurray for the new “racing” era then.

      1. C63 says:

        Toto confirmed [in the TP press conference] they have already discussed what will happen between the drivers in certain circumstances. He specifically said he wanted to avoid the sort of thing that happened last season at Malaysia. So I am afraid KRB is right. However, it’s not hypocritical if they tell you they are doing it, nor are they fooling the paying public either :-)

      2. KRB says:

        It’s not hypocrisy, it’s wanting to bring home the most points for the team. If the Merc’s race, and they take each other off, meaning zero points, everyone would be saying it was a stupid decision to allow them to race.

        Mercedes seem to have an advantage over the others in long-run pace. So bank the points, get the 1-2 if you can, create a gap between the Mercedes cars and the rest of the pack, and then fight it out between them.

        If after the 2nd pitstop (I’m still assuming 2 pitstops) ROS is ahead of HAM, and they’re running 1-2, then bring it home in that order (multi 644). And the same, if it’s the reverse (multi 446). Above all, bank the points. See what the lay of the land looks like after the first 3 races, get a clearer picture as to the reliability of the cars, etc.

      3. quattro says:

        So, for how many races will you, as a fan, be content/understanding seeing the Merc cars NOT race? Until they “create a gap” you say. What is the definition of that gap? 1, 2, 3 race wins? What if the gap is not more than 25-50 points half way? How to handle the fact that double points are awarded at last event? Why would the fastest qualy driver, be treated better (in effect what you are saying) than the other driver which may be a better race (thinking) driver?
        I for one, would feel VERY cheated watching the two Merc cars take trivially (proffered by the TEAM) drivers & (obviously) constructors title, without have seen a fight for at least the drivers title throughout the season. This is very real scenario if we start considering first-GP-team-orders as valid/OK.

        I also wonder, how come team orders become so logical/valid/”stupid not to”/ when we are talking about Merc/RB/Mclaren, but the opposite when it is Ferrari that, at some point in the season, chooses to ask their drivers not to race (which is exactly what you are obviously expecting from Merc)? Would you say what you have said if it was Ferrari (ALO) that was dominant now, and not Merc (HAM)?

        What you are saying is logical for the team to do now, due to the reasons you mentioned, is ALWAYS true. It is ALWAYS preferable for the TEAM, that its drivers should NEVER race each other when they are 1-2 – regardless of regulations/stage in the season. Actually, given the fact the Merc is dominant – Merc should feel way LESS need to start giving TOs early on, than if they were closely matched by other teams.
        The reason they hesitate using TOs, early in the season, would be due to bad PR/complaints from fans and/or complaints from the driver ASKED to be #2 from the get go.

        I am talking as a F1 fan and spectator here, not a stakeholder of any team.

      4. TimW says:

        If you were the Mercedes team boss and your 2 drivers were running 1st and 2nd, well clear of the rest, would you let them race each other? I’m sure we would all like to see that,
        but it would be a very generous team boss to let the drivers risk running out of fuel or over stressing the engines, just to provide a show.

      5. quattro says:

        I am not a team boss, I am a F1 fan! So, I am talking from the perspective of a F1 fan.

        When fans consider strict TOs “valid/OK” from race one, you will start seeing early TOs from race one. I believe the opposite to be true as well, as a team boss who knows early team orders will give massive bad PR, will think twice before using them. As a F1 I prefer the 2nd option.

    2. Vlad says:

      I hope Kyvat ignores Vettel in his mirrors. “Here’s one for Mother Russia” :D

  32. TimW says:

    Great session, although I fear the most exciting part of the weekend may have just happened. Great lap from Lewis, and Ricciardo was mighty! One unexpected bonus of the quieter engines was you can hear the crowd cheering, was great to be able to hear them roaring with approval every time Daniel put in another belter, you could also hear them cheering when Seb went out… It seems this kid is going to give Vettel a lot more trouble than people thought.

    1. C63 says:

      you could also hear them cheering when Seb went out…

      I could only just hear the crowd – over the cheering in my lounge ;-).

  33. Luke DLP says:

    Great result for Dan Ricciardo; the home crowd at the track were absolutely loving it. The crowd (including myself) also didn’t neglect to notice when a certain other driver failed to make Q3! I think the cheers might’ve been louder than the new engines too. Speaking of which I agree entirely with Mallya’s comments regarding the engine noise – the sound of F1 has definitely gone. It’s not a bad sound; it’s just that it’s not that ear piercing scream you could hear throughout the suburbs of Melbourne! Good luck to Dan – here’s hoping he can do better than Webber’s previous efforts at Albert Park.. Would be good to hear the national anthem twice tomorrow!

    1. Mr Ed says:

      Amazing drive by Ricciardo but personally I thought the cheering when Vettel missed Q3 was just appalling and a very poor reflection on the event.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        multi 21, a bit like parking your car across rascasse?

      2. Richard says:

        Do you mean cheering or jeering? If it was jeering then it was as bad as Vettel’s sportsmanshi. You know the fans aren’t stupid and don’t miss much, and dare I suggest that Vettel has created that monster all by himself!

      3. Aaron Noronha says:

        You mean like Hamilton ignoring team orders during the 2007 Hungary GP Qualification or Hamilton lying to the stewards in 2009??? Or Mark Webber ignoring Team Orders in Silverstone 2012. Or Alonso Black mailing Mclaren with spygate to make him the no 1 at the team??? I think your assessment of sportsmanship is very biased towards a certain German

      4. Richard says:

        Well I thought we were talking about Vettel, clearly the fans disagree with you. It’s the manner in which some of the things have been done. For example:-
        1. The finger in front of the camera lens is disliked and seen as arrogant.
        2. The way he used to veer towards other drivers ultimately colliding with Webber when he was challenged.
        3. Really blatant disregard of team orders in Malaysia.

        I think the Hamilton liegate can be disregarded as it was a director of McLaren that lead him into it, and was dismissed because of it.

        The problem is that once you gain a bad reputation it is very hard to shake it off so will probably have to face the remaining years of his career being treated in that fashion particularly in Australia.

      5. Simple says:

        The cheering was a reflection of people’s attitudes toward Vettel. Hardly surprising…

      6. Doug says:

        I guess the fact that Vet was heavily favoured by Red Bull over MW might have slightly irked the Oz fans…guess they do give a XXXX about Multi 21 after all! :-)

    2. Brent says:

      Alonso in Spain quality cheering down under. There was no doubt, on TV, who the crowd favorite was. Vettel’s software glitch will help Ricciardo get his feet under him. It’s hard to picture a Red Bull making to the finish.

      1. FerrariFan says:

        Imagine how it will be in Spain this year if Alonso manages a race like last one. We may not hear any noise from the cars in that race.

      2. Adam says:

        True. But then who pictured Riccardo on the front row? Or both cars doing so many trouble free laps so far?

        Fingers crossed! :)

    3. jdnz says:

      You kind of have to be some kind of loser yourself to revel in the misfortunes or failures of others.

      Really poor form from the grandstands.

  34. Mazdafarian says:

    The cheer for Danny making the front row was great. the one when Seb dropped out of Q2 was priceless!

    1. Dutch Johnny says:

      Comments like this makes me fear f1 fans will become the same as football supporters.. The great thing about motorsport for me was that no matter wich guy you support, everybody could sit in a stand together. Can understand the background of this with webber. But i never understood the hate for vettel after multi 21. If it would be the other way around everybody would love it right? because Mark Webber is always right ofcourse…

      After all these years watching f1 and reading a lot of forums and blog, i understand one thing, get the media on your side… Funny though the much revered Senna punched people in the face, drove someone off with high speed.
      But a hero to many. Funny how the world works… i always feel for prost, especially after the senna movie making him look like a evil mastermind. Nigel roebuck has a great story about those years with a much more balanced view.. But hey how cares because senna never did anything wrong right?

      1. mtm says:

        > If it would be the other way around everybody would love it right?

        That’s probably one of the sticking points, that Webber did stick with team orders a couple of times.

        Seb made a choice and get’s to live with the outcome. He won a race and lost some respect. To use some Aussie vernacular, I don’t see a problem with him copping some for being a bit of a shit bloke =) I think there were more cheers rather than boo’s, which is people having a laugh. I doubt anyone’s going to punch on over it.

      2. Rohind says:

        Webber followed team orders??C’mon…There were specifically a couple of instances when team asked him not to challenge Vettel,which he did anyways,but failed to pass him coz Vettel was faster…Do you think Senna or Schumacher would have followed team orders like in Malaysia when they are faster than teammates?No matter how talented or fast you are, unless u have a good PR team and is popular with the media, you will not be deemed great by the fans

      3. JAWA hs-f1 says:

        We’ll said.

      4. Spectreman says:

        Agree with you Dutch Johnny on Senna. He was very fast, but perhaps his greatest talent was really getting the media on his side. And I don’t mean that as a compliment.

      5. JAWA hs-f1 says:

        Well said.

      6. kenneth chapman says:

        @dutch johnny. it could never be the other way round. IMO webber would never go back on an agreement.

      7. Adam says:

        I would suggest the Aussie cheering of Vettel not making p3 was half related to webber/multi 21 and half down to the fact that we love an under dog. A lot of people hated Shumi when he was dominating too, then when he’s running around in the middle of the pack after coming back in the Merc, everyone loves him again.

        Strange lot we are :)

      8. GWD says:

        I get what you’re saying. But holding the fans at the track accountable to good sportsmanship after they’ve paid their money and no doubt consumed a few alcoholic bevvies is asking a little more than these people can give. SV would have done a better job in the multi21 instance by just saying “I wanted to win regardless of what the team wanted, and neither of us should have been restricted in any way from racing eachother for the win” and not engage in the actual bs that we saw him descend to. A response like this would have added to his fan base/approval rating, as being more about pure racing than politics. But that didn’t happen and sometimes you have to wear the pubic’s perception of you with the ruthless mindedness that SV has typically shown. The public’s collective unreliable memory will adjust after the career based on the accumulated stats, but some acts of SV’s personality will remain imprinted in there too.

      9. Nick says:


        I thought it was quite poor when all the bogans around me cheered as Vettel crossed the line without making Q3. And when I watched the session back at home, it obviously wasn’t confined to just where I was.

    2. Ozherb says:

      It would seem the Australian public have not forgotten ‘multi 21′ based on that rapturous cheer for the P13 of Vettel.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        and neither they should.

      2. Vlad says:

        Definitely haven’t forgotten. Or the way the team favoured Seb after Istanbul 2010, or Silverstone 2010. We like a fair go, even if someone is a world champion, no favouritism.
        Dan stuck it to him good :D

      3. Nick says:

        It has nothing to do with multi 21, that’s just an excuse people are clinging on to. Vettel was booed on the podium last year in Melbourne, before multi 21 had even happened. He didn’t lead a boring race from start to finish, he didn’t even cross the line in 2nd.

    3. Grant says:

      Ooh almost forgot that!

      Thought there was something wrong with my telli when I heard it. Priceless indeed!

    4. AndyRat says:

      Don’t forget that when Seb dropped out of Q2 that was the exact moment the crowd realised, whatever else happened, Dan Ricciardo had just out-qualified him at their first race together, thus the cheer! Sure, there’s not much love for Vettel out there either,but I don’t think the cheer would have been half as big if Dan had been 16th at the time.

  35. W Johnson says:

    We still don’t know the reliability or race pace of the new engines, such as fuel efficiency…..as a result the Ferrari’s might need to pick up taxi passengers. :)

    1. mtm says:

      From Ferrari’s repeated comments about the need to monitor fuel usage it appears they believe they are well behind Mercedes. Renault’s, who knows! Red Bull’s this weekend are probably the only one’s who’ve pushed it fully.

  36. Steve says:

    Well done Lewis.

    How on earth have RBR managed that?

    Interesting race coming up with a new winner I reckon!!

    Oh, and I couldn’t be happier for £astor Maldonado..lol!!

  37. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

    The eternal history, another year lost…
    Fernando against 25.000 Flintstone cars: result 5
    Fernando against 25.000 skateboards: result 5
    Fernando against 25.000 Ferraris: result 1

    1) Mercedes
    2) McLaren / RedBull
    3) Willians
    5) Ferrari

    1. Random 79 says:


      Can someone please light up the goferet signal? I need him to please explain these stats for me.

      1. KRB says:

        I’ll call Commissioner Gordon. ;-)

      2. goferet says:

        @ Random 79

        Lol… Am baffled too

      3. Random 79 says:

        Mate if you’re baffled by those stats then I’ve got no chance :)

      4. C63 says:

        Is that like the batman signal that shines into the night sky over Gotham City ?

      5. Random 79 says:

        Yep, except that instead of a bat it looks like a goferet.

        Now the question is: What does a goferet actually look like?

        Well, I tried looking up goferet on google images so that we could have a look, but what I got was a few images that look absolutely nothing like a goferet and approximately 38,000 images from jamesallenonf1.com.

        So until I manage to find a decent image of the rare and elusive goferet you’ll just have to use your imagination :)

    2. UncleRon says:

      Alonso 5th again – running 1+ seconds of the leaders…. deja vu?

      LDM seems stressed this year in the F1 breakfast interview with JA….sorry to say but the F14T seems like a dud….

      1. Vlad says:

        It’s a typical Ferrari car.. conservative. Seems kind on its tyres, but down on power. Plus it guzzles. James Allison hasn’t had time to make his mark there yet.

  38. JAWA hs-f1 says:

    -Impressive performance by Kevin Magnussen. Out-qualified 3 time Aus GP winner team-mate on debut and that too on a track where he has never raced before !!! So far so good, let’s wait ‘n watch

    -Rosberg vs Hamilton was great.. I wonder what would have been the order, had Rosberg also managed to get another lap.

    -What a surprise.. Alonso will start AGAIN from P5…There’s a Merc and a Bull on front row and Alonso on P5.. Does that sound familiar to anyone??

    -Disappointed by KIMI’s performance so far. Was expecting more.. I wonder what are his issues? new tyres? new brakes?

    -Good stuff from Ricciardo as well. I wonder if Intermediates tyres were a big factor? I suspect it was, since apart from him no one else came within a sec of Mercedes.

    -Lastly, will this engine software issue of Vettel be a factor in the race as well or Renault will be able to fix that before race? It will be nice if James can shed some light on that.

    1. KRB says:

      If Rosberg had not gone off at Turn 9 on a prior lap, he would’ve crossed the line just before the flag was falling (he crossed just 5 sec’s after the chequered), and likely would’ve beaten Hamilton’s time.

      I don’t think he can blame any of this on timing; it was all down to him.

  39. Peter says:

    This Ferrari looks a very nervous car especially compared to Mercedes that is just so balanced. If they can’t sort out this car quickly Stefano will follow Martin Wittmarsh after this year i feel.

    1. Mitchel says:


      You mean replaced by Ron Dennis? Or by a returning Jean Todt?


    2. GWD says:

      I’m sure Ferrari just forgot to switch on the power cleaning head of the vacuum cleaner for extra suction and cleaning before qualy

  40. smith says:

    Hope your sat some where nice with the biggest sumg look on your boat race.

  41. quattro says:

    Ferraris now proven lack of ability to produce outright fast packages has actually one really nice advantage. You are not that disappointed anymore when your driver only gets fifth grid position, barely beating Vergnes TorroR and HULs F India! You are rather relieved, thinking it could actually have been much worse (at least until you realize pole sitter had 1.6 seconds faster a time…). Rather tragic…
    What to blame now, that the wind tunnel is working fine? Red color not so aerodynamically efficient? The “Italian” nose?

    1. krischar says:

      Superbly put quattro

      Cannot understand how a team with such huge budgets and talented personal at their disposal cannot produce the fastest package right from the winter test and Race 1 for the past six seasons 2014 included already.

      I feel the disenchantment already for Alonso. Every season make him work harder and harder. I do not know, whether Alonso cried or not. However i did cried a lot in disbelief when alonso lost the WDC titles in 10 & 12. Simply because ferrari does not deserve a talent like our king Alonso

      Unless and until the entire management does not change at Ferrari they will not win anything. Under stefano D they have always played safe and conventionally

      Oh Lord please save our hero Fernando from this stupid bunch of people at Ferrari and help him to find a team again who can produce a machinery which is worthy of ALO talents

    2. darren w says:

      I like this ‘red not as aerodynamic’ hypothesis. News reports came out a few weeks ago saying that the colour yellow was dangerous (needs PCB’s to manufacture) so maybe there is something to this:-)

    3. FerrariFan says:

      or Alonso’s commitment like many said he gave up last season. What a joke.

      1. quattro says:

        Many say the same thing, does not make the thing being said true. And even if what you say is true, I would not be surprised as I am sure ALO signed the contract expecting to be given a racing car – not a truck year after year!

        Anyway, do not listen at what “many say”. Instead look at the only things that matter – ALOs position the final standings…of any previous ALO-Ferrari season and relate to the strength of the package he had at the time. Let us know your view then…

    4. Klaas Backers says:

      Exactly!! Ferrari has become an incapable, unimaginative, midfield team. That makes 5 bad cars in 6 years, only the 2010 car had some potential. How sympathetic Domenicali is, it’s time for a change. Italians can’t run a team, they’ve proven that in the past. They need a ruthless team principal, that gives Ferrari their desire to win again, but Domenicali is too nice.

    5. Vlad says:

      Probably too many people having a push me-pull you in design.

    6. Sujith says:

      It is just the first race. There are a lot of clever people there now. They just need to get out of their comfort zone and stop thinking in the Italian way. James Allison came in too late into that team. I believe his work will more reflect on next year’s car. The drivers are saying they are moving in the right direction. There is more to see from the F14T.

      As frustrating as it is, it is not the time to be moody. It is a long season. If the Wind Tunnel is fixed their development parts should work. It is just the matter of developing. Last year the development did not happen only because of the Wind Tunnel numbers did not co-relate to the track. I say wait till Europe to make judgement.

  42. Marc S says:

    So these quiet engines….. Anyone else think they sound different, quieter but pretty nice. I like hearing the tyre squeal.
    Best bit is hearing the atmosphere from the crowd…. Think that really made qualifying with Aussies going crazy for Ricc.
    Think this could really help F1 get new viewers who aren’t so interested in the technical side. Most sports now- Football, tennis, golf etc are made by electric atmospheres. This has always been drowned out in F1 by V12/V10 & V8s…. Fuel efficiency, turbos, electric energy are the future and we just need to get used to it as F1 fans and personally I’m quite enjoying it so far!

  43. Dmitry says:

    Oh, come on! Why did so many jump to conclusion that RBR is fast????

    They are not very fast, they just have been helped by the weather.
    Q1 time was set by RBR on softer tires and still it was 1.4 seconds off the P3.

  44. greg says:

    Williams tomorrow will proberbly be the only team to really push, they have nothing to lose at this stage and if it means a new engine or something further into the season, its worth taking advantage of the cautious team now.

  45. nusratolla says:

    Its painful to see Raikkonen Struggle…. Yet, we are for Our Red Seven.

    Kimi Fans – The Red Sevens.

  46. Mark J says:

    Interesting results today and a great qualifying session. Obviously Vettel had some problems today but Ricciardo was brilliant. Be interesting to see how the team dynamic evolves over the season. Especially with Marko in the background now supporting both drivers.

  47. Rob Newman says:

    Vettel had software issue in his Renault after an upgrade. This crucial information is missing in this report. This gives a wrong picture of Vettel’s performance.

    1. H.Guderian says:

      Seems Rich did not have that software issue…

    2. Grant says:

      Vettel (like Button) fades away when the car is not perfect.

      This season is going to expose him.

    3. Shaboopi says:

      Here’s all the info you need Rob… New team mate is 2nd. 4 time world chump is far far behind. It’s obvious which Red Bull driver has done a better job so far…

    4. kenneth chapman says:

      was ricciardo offered the same software with the same upgrade?

    5. Vlad says:

      Kinda like what happens when you plug into Windows Update… your chassis gets bogged down with bloatware.

  48. krischar says:

    Boy, oh boy

    I did not see this result coming from anywhere. Daniel did a fantastic job. Daniel clearly rattled vettel throughout the quali session. Vettel was erratic and raghed which made me chuckle a lot and enjoy the session more than i expected to. Vettel showed his sulkiness at the end of Q2 when he waived hands at the stricken Ferrari

    Well done Kevin Magnussen as well. Outpsced jenson quite easily

    As usual Ferrari have come up with sub-standard car. Very poor and trailling the likes of mercedes,RBR, and McLaren. Fernando have his work cut out right from first race day. Exciting race in prospect though.

    James have RBR turned it around so quickly? Or the wet weather conditions have helped Daniel and RBR? Your thoughts and insight will help us to understand better?

    1. KRB says:

      He waved his hands when passing Kimi’s Ferrari? I saw him throw his hands up after he’d crossed the line and saw that he didn’t make Q3.

      It was hard luck, but it happens.

      1. Sujith says:

        I am no Redbull or Vettel fan. But this quali session is not a good indicator of Daniel Riciardo’s pace over Sebastian.

        Vettel had a software issue on his car that contributed to his problems. Lets see what he can do come race day.

        Still not sure if Renault is behind other teams with race starts.

  49. Rein says:

    P15 well done Kamui Kobayashi / Caterham!

  50. IP says:

    The cheer for vettel dropping out was about as huge as when mika salo spun his Toyota allowing webber to finish fifth on debut!

  51. Vivek says:


    I am not sure about this, hence asking. Is it true that in general, the cars charge up their batteries during one lap and the built up energies are discharged during the next lap, followed by another lap of charging up?

    If this is true, then the pattern would be that fast laps and slow laps would alternate and would also mean hot laps (qualifying) of more than 1 lap are history !!! ?


    1. James Allen says:

      No, they keep them at roughly 60-80% charge by harvesting and discharging in equal measure

      If you go for full discharge – on a quali lap, for example, you have to recharge the lap after

  52. Nick says:

    Well, I walked around the circuit a bit today before settling at the outside of the turn 2 exit. I was expecting a fairly boring practice 3, followed by a terrible qualifying. Instead, I was quite chuffed with all of it.

    A few things:
    Standing trackside, the Merc and Ferrari are the ugliest cars IMO. All of the others, with their little phallic bits… you just can’t spot them on the cars as they’re going around. Even the Caterham actually looks pretty good (if you don’t mind the colour). You just don’t see the hideous bit connecting the front wing, so the nose kinda looks like a shorter version of a Mercedes nose from a couple of years back. Of course, up on screen it’s another matter entirely.

    The sound… is fairly rubbish. I’d like to think I went in open-minded about it, but the sound just didn’t grab me at all. It’s a bit of a turbo whine on top of a fairly dull sounding engine note. And they’re crazy quiet. The V8s sounded angry, the V10s had that beautiful harmony of tones… these turbo’d V6s just sound muted and uninspiring. Exiting out of turn 2 on to the straight, it sounded like they were crawling on an outlap. Down the end of that straight, it just sounded like they were rolling in off the power or something. The Porsches and the V8SCs all sounded like angry racing cars. The F1 cars sounded like they were behind a safety car.

    What is good though, is seeing the cars sliding about. Plenty of that going on at turn 2, wet or dry.

  53. Heinzman says:


    Little has been said of the affect of the loss of the blown diffusers, particularly upon vettel who was innately able to harness it via his driving style.

    I am sure he will adapt as he is a champ, yet do you see this as a predominant cause of his issues today? He was ragged.

  54. Sujith says:

    Not a representative Quali session at all. Kimi would not have made it into q3 even if he did not crash!

    If the Race is dry I expect the Williams cars to be faster. Way Faster. Looks good for a great race. Can’t write off Ferrari. Atleast Fernando has got a real chance to win if his starts are as good as last year ie.

    Will be interesting to watch. My money is on Lewis running away with the Rosberg or the other way around with Fernando creeping into third.

    1. krischar says:


      Iam alonso fan and pragmatist, yet to say alonso will win is little bit too much of a stretch. Ferrari looked quite dismal both in dry and wet as well from what we have seen from Friday and Saturday as well

      At best Alonso can finish P4 or P3 with his heroics. If mercedes failed to finish then a win is not out of the question

  55. Rohind says:

    Good job Ricciardo…Red bull did a good job by choosing him over other experienced drivers.He’s fast,confident and optimistic..Bad luck to Vettel…Didn’t look as comfortable as yesterday in FP3 and qualifying.

  56. ShaBooPi says:

    Well a little more information about the current standing today, it looks like Ferrari have done the usual job of being 3rd fastest car at best. Now they’ll hope that their drivers can make up the deficit and ask Alonso to do so or tweak his ear. They’ll always “miss” the title because they never have the fastest or second fastest car these days. Its quite dismal for a team with the supposed nature or being the biggest in F1.

    The intriguing thing is, when Raikkonen was announced for Ferrari all these Kimi fans started crawling out of the woodwork proclaiming the end of Alonso. Many on this site. Where are these fans now? They must be in awe of their man right now. While new drivers like Magnussen and Ricciardo impressed, Kimi only impressed the barriers.

    I think it’ll be a crazy start to the race, and I’m interested in seeing how the Williams performs. Hope for some shake up in Mercedes because I don’t want a championship where one team has the fastest car by a mile, as we’ve had in the last 4 years.

    1. Alexir says:

      Well as Kimi fan I would say that the crash didnt really matter at that point anymore since Kimi was coming to pits anyway, his chances to get to Q3 went in traffic, first sandwithced between Mercedes, then running behind Perez…..actually the crashsaved Kimi from dropping behind some drivers like Vettel who had to slow down so much because of the yellow flags that they couldnt get past him and drop him even futher behind

      Obviously it has been difficult weekend for Kimi, but come on…the race is still tomorrow and Kimi has managed to rise from such positions before, we have seen it time and again, so its not the end of the world. And even if the race wouldnt go much better for Kimi, I still wouldnt be worried unless his troubles would continue in the next few races as well.

      But people like to overreact, both to Vettel’s and Kimi’s performance…. unfortuntely some F1 fans judge drivers only by their latest performance….

  57. dan says:

    Wow, how the love of the fans has faded for Vettel! I was present at qualifying, and as soon as Vettel was knocked out in Q2, almost the entire crowd CHEERED.
    Could it be that people are seeing him as too ‘smug’?
    It’ll be interesting to see how his team-mate fairs this year. Now in a competitive car, maybe he’ll outshine Vettel….

    1. Mazdafarian says:

      I don’t think any F1 fan outside of a pair of lederhosen wants that guy win so much as a meat raffle.

  58. Arya says:

    Hi James,

    I have read in few places that there are some concerns about Ferrari power train. Any inputs from your end?

    1. James Allen says:

      sure fuel consumption is one concern

  59. Eduan says:

    Everybody thinks the sparks are going to fly at Ferrari with Alonso and Raikkonen, but watch Mercedes you can see there is tension between Rosberg and Hamilton. Both are Hungry for success and they are going to fight hard! Sparks are gonna fly at Merc

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      But to be fair, the tension looks to be coming primarly from Rosberg, e.g. never mentions Lewis in interviews.
      Lewis from his part should not be that nice or feel the need to include Nico by congratulating him for P3 because you just know Nico is pissed off about it.

      Conclusion: Shake hands, fight fiercely, take no prisoners and may the best man win. End the fake bromance!

    2. Vlad says:

      Senna vs Irvine style? :P

  60. Truth or Lies says:

    Great start to the new season.

    Though a wet first qualifying session probably threw up a few too many unusual results and I’m not sure if its wise to say a pattern has been established. This may be the case but its in the race that we’ll really see some serious pointers, especially regarding reliability.

    The start could also be very strange and some carnage cannot be ruled out, especially if cars near the front stall or get away badly. Lets hope not, but either way its going to be exciting.

  61. aveli says:

    again those who try to predict the future got it all wrong. all the cars made it through the qualifying session without a hitch and the red bull was fast. vettel could’ve been on pole with the car set up right in dry conditions. we’ll find out after a couple of races how close the front runners are. rosberg was unlucky not to have enough time for his final run.

  62. Pkara says:


    1. surya kumar says:

      It looks like Mclaren have made s right choice with K mag.. the look and smile of Ron Dennis says it all. . Let us wait for the mid way point to see if Jenson feels lost without Martin Whitmarsh.

  63. Marcelo Leal says:

    It’s just early stages, but I will say it anyway: I told ya! ;-)

    Just Kidding, but I really think what we could watch on this qualifying session is the result of:

    1) “It was just the car”, in the last four years… he was driving without team mate ;-)
    2) Alonso and Kimi will fight in every session to know who will be out of Q3 or start from fifth place ar above. Ferrari really have two guys that do a lot on the race day, but cannot go fast enough for pole
    3) Button is as much of a top driver as Hamilton. ;-) Really people, let’s stop this dream… Kevin will finish his career this year.
    And please, stop with the “Mercedes engine is the best”… yes, it is, but yesterday the driver made the difference, as the second place does not use a Mercedes engine.

    1. James Allen says:

      You cannot draw any conclusions from one wet qualifying session. How can that possibly compare with seasons’ worth of results and achievements?

      Be balanced please!

      1. CC says:

        I agree James. If anything, we’ll have to wait for a fully dry weekend to make an accurate analysis of the current cars.

      2. krischar says:

        James it’s very clear that daniel is bit better than Webber already notably in quali. Vettel cannot simply brush off daniel in terms of one lap pace at least. Vettel will be favored by RBR in case if Daniel can maintain this type of intensity and can mix it up with consistency.

        Yes it’s little premature to say daniel can keep vettel honest and outpace him just on the basis of 1 quali session. Yet it is clear and evident that vettel never had to face the challenge in the past from webber at least in quali

      3. Marcelo Leal says:

        It’s just my opinion James!
        We were trying to make conclusions at the winter tests… ;-)
        We will have the whole year to look into this.
        Asn you did take the time to do some critics at my comments, I will state it very clear:
        1) Vettel is fast, but an average driver. Won 4 wdc because of the car.
        2) Button is not even fast.
        3) Alonso and Kimi are very similar drivers. Very consistent at races, but struggle to pole. Just look at the stats (hope the stats are not just from wet quali)
        4) Hamilton is the fastest driver after Senna.
        But if you cannot live or respect the opinion of others, or if you sre like politicians that try to “invalidate” divergent opinions, I can stop to comment. ;-)
        Same way I do no involve myself in politics… ;-)
        Go H.A.M

      4. Jorge Gaviria says:


    2. jdnz says:

      This, and the other similar comments.

      Don’t know how people have come up with these conclusions about pace, even as far as ranking the teams for this year when A) we haven’t even had a race yet and B) this was a wet quali.

    3. Kirsty says:

      2nd place is a Newey car though.

  64. Vinola says:

    What happened to brainy, mr smooth, wet weather master? Beaten by a rookie?…it’s gonna be an interesting season, one I can predict won’t be short of excuses.
    Well done Lewis, Ricardo and Magnussen. Nice to see the Williams in top 10, great start.

    1. Grant says:

      Yea you’ve gotta love British commentary and media. … :D

    2. F1.Sky says:

      To be fair, Mr Smooth looking very good until Kimi Crash!

    3. bob says:

      You mean the guy who’s been at least half a second quicker than Magnussen all weekend and was caught out by Kimi’s accident?

      Honestly, is there ever any balanced views on Button?

      Kimi, and world champion and constantly referred to as one the top 3 or 4 on the grid, was SECONDS slower than his team mate and puts his car in the wall on one of the slowest parts of the track.

      Vettel, a 4 x WDC and widely regarded as one of the very best qualifiers ever, can’t qualify any higher than 13th in a car his team mate nearly put on pole and who’s team mate has been faster than him all day.

      All of this and it’s Button, who’s been faster than his team mate all weekend and get’s caught out by a yellow flag is who everyone is saying is washed up and passed it???


      1. Vinola says:

        My prediction for the year stands: he’ll run out of excuses with Magnussen’s superior talent. This is just the start.

    4. Carl Craven says:

      Did you watch qualifying?

      I guess not. Kimi had a spin and brought out yellow flags and Button was not able to put in a final lap. Therefore he lost out.

      Button has been consistently .5 sec a lap faster than Kevin, no reason to see why he wouldn’t have beaten him if he’d been able to put in his final lap.

      What, no well done Rosberg?

      1. Vinola says:

        I hope you watched the race. What happened to the .5sec per lap delta in performance?. Maybe you missed Ron D’s reaction to Kevin’s qualifying performance: smug satisfaction is what I saw. And he knows a thing or two about talented drivers. Let’s see how the season unfolds.

      2. Carl Craven says:

        Yes I did watch the race.

        I did see Ron’s reaction. He has a right to be pleased. I imagine he’d have been even more pleased had they both managed the same.

        As for the .5 Button started p10 and ran in the mid field, do you seriously think a car driving in a mid field pack can go faster than a car in veritable clean air.

        You reactions, responses and undersanding of this situation lack rationality and clearly biased.

      3. Vinola says:

        As I recall, he had a few laps right behind Magnussen without gaining on him and finished 3.5 secs down.

      4. Vinola says:

        Here’s Andrew Benson (BBC) in his report; “Magnussen was within a second of the Red Bull with five laps to go but Ricciardo was able to hold on to the end. Ricciardo was eventually disqualified around six hours after the end of the race.

        Behind them, Button was unable to close on Magnussen, but beat Alonso by jumping ahead of the Ferrari at their final pit stops”.

    5. aveli says:

      button was faster when he was on track with magnussen at the same time, just got caught out by the yellow flags. we will see how he comes through the field tomorrow.

  65. GyuriO says:

    Not surprisingly, pilot fans put their heart in their comments, while F1 fans show more caution in assigning too much weight to the quali as ace finishing order.
    Maybe this autumn, the pit wall crew will be able to squeeze out 100% of the energy from the 100Kg of fuel, and the drivers’ reflexes to do as told by radio become “second nature”. Then a qualifying grid will tell some on the finishing order.
    For now, quali session was just a separate event, definitely a thrilling one.
    Tomorrow, different demands mechanically, different weather (?), one have to be a total naive or a God to risk a prediction :D

    1. Chuck 32 says:

      Good Comment:
      This season will be a two for one event. You will have the speed event on Saturday with it’s results and the Endurance(at first)/Efficiency event on Sunday.
      Will trophies for Qualifying develop into WQC/WDC/WCC?

  66. danny almonte says:

    Rain always allows the truly talented drivers to shine. I hope F1 hasn’t gone from tire saving races to fuel saving races. It should be an interesting race.

  67. Ross says:

    James of the three engines which is your favourite sound and why?

    1. James Allen says:

      i’ve not yet really differentiated sound to be honest. I need some time trackside and I’ve been too flat out with broadcasting commitments this weekend to do that

      1. Richard says:

        The sound of the cars is very weak on TV James, and I have to say a disappointment. When the microphones are close in the pit lane the low growl is audible, but at speed on the track it’s quite hard to pick up on. I think something is lost and out of character with these engines.Perhaps they can tune the exhausts to improve it for next year.

    2. jdnz says:

      Ross, how about you? I don’t particularly dislike the sound, I just wish it was louder. The Renault in the Red Bull doesn’t sound that bad to my ears.

      Hard to explain, but these engines sound hi-tech but tame. They sound too smooth. The V8s sounded vicious, especially at the top of the rev range. On boards felt exciting with the V8s, but now, even though the driving is more exciting with the cars being so loose, the noise (or lack of) has taken something away from it.

  68. Matt says:

    What an exciting qualifying session. It was wonderful watching some young new boys light up the circuit. Ricciardo was stellar all weekend. Kev Magnussen looks very mature and measured. Kvyat looks a bit wild at times but sure has some serious speed.

    Also very nice to see the Williams boys doing well. The livery looks great and the car seems pretty solid.

    Vettel is looking like a bit of a mystery. He just doesn’t seem to be very comfortable with the cars balance.

    Pastor Maldonado in last place!!! All I can say is that it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy!

  69. Vipin says:

    Did anyone notice the Aussie crowds roared when

    Sebastian Vettel did not make into Q2?

    That was just fantastic! :)

  70. NJB says:

    Before we get too excited about F1 in 2014 let’s see wether tomorrow we witness a race or an economy run. My prediction is that fuel-saving will negatively impact the racing as much as tyres did last season.

    And whilst the loss of engine noise can be justified, I just cannot come to terms with the ridiculous looking cars as they are purely the result of a lack of foresight in the regulations. I still wince every time I see the TR and FI.

    If F1 can’t sound good, it should at least look good!

  71. Craig D says:

    Must admit, I had the jury out on Ricciardo. I’d didn’t think he was that special but a great performance today.

    It appears that Vettel had some drivability issues however, so I don’t think we can be too hard on him (like, “There you go – an average driver blah blah”).

  72. Ross says:

    Gosh didn’t expect you you reply at this time hope you manage some sleep! Enjoy the race!

  73. deancassady says:

    Just one session; so no trend.
    Also, shifting conditions interacting with the plethora of variables, makes it difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions, except…

    “It’s never too early to start winning”, and Lewis is winning so far; did someone mention that there is a championship for most poles?

    Red Bull are coming, it won’t be all ‘blue skies and sunshine’ for Mercedes by May.

    As far as the despondent Red Sevens: what did you expect? Going into the den of the AMC (Alonso Media Corporation)? It is now all about proving Alonso is better than Kimi, the championship is secondary (though still important).
    Don’t be too down, if anything can be made of the Ferrari this year, Kimi will make it.

    Way to go Lewy!

    I pick Magnussen for victory, a Red car will be on the podium, and half the field will never make the flag.

    1. kenneth chapman says:


      @ dean cassady wrong, wrong and wrong again. however i wasn’t that close myself. i seriously thought that only half the cars would reach the flag so i was out by three cars!!!

  74. Chris G says:

    Couldn’t agree more Bruce
    It’s been so long since I’d seen seen the drivers really driving that I think I’d forgotten what it looked like. This reminded me more of the 1989 Grand Prix from Adelaide than anything in recent years. Watching them skimming the wall (turn 10 I think) was simply spectacular.
    And I like the car sound if I’m honest but will have to wait until I’m sitting at the hairpin in Montreal before I can pass final judgement
    Very happy man

  75. CYeo says:

    Martin Brundle on Kimi’s nose to the wall moment:

    Best place for something that ugly…

  76. Steven M says:

    I only have one question? Wheres Seebee?

  77. Kaartik says:

    Hi James, during testing Ferrari claimed that both Alonso and Kimi have same driving style but seeing today it’s totally different and Kimi struggles so badly why Ferrari couldn’t find a solution for him. He has been having same problem under braking during testing and now.

  78. Joe S says:

    Vettel sure gets moody when things aren’t going his way. Very quiet from what we heard on the put radio and very short answers to his race engineer.

    I’m a Hamilton fan but I was a bit gutted when he took pole from Ricciardo. The crowd reactions to those two moments (IRicciardo getting and losing pole) and Vettel going out in Q2 was great. But even better was that we can hear the crowd more but it is a shame that the engines aren’t loud. But it’s so nice to be able to hear the little things in the car nw, even if it does seem surreal.

    I’ve never liked Mercedes much but it’s even harder to get behind them with no Ross Brawn. Niki Lauda, great driver and so on but he shouldn’t be near a management position. Toto Wolf really pulled a fast one when he moved to Williams….after he said he was in it for the long term. And people say Hamilton is too PR savvy but I’ve always found Rosberg to be too slick and bland, but I do want to like him, he’s definitely a really nice guy.

  79. cos says:

    Just a small something I picked up on…when Lewis was commenting on his lap..I saw him blink only 4 times the whole lap…these were at

    Turn 5
    Turn 9
    Turn 12
    Turn 14
    …Now if that is how much he is concentrating when he is watching his own lap how much concentration does he and the other drivers have during the entire race?? Im guessing they hardly blink at all..no wonder they are so exhausted when at the end of the race …physical and mentally draining…gotta love F1…missed you my friend :)

  80. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    HAMILTON was right to change teams 1,5 years ago. Go! His dreams of 3 WDC are a little more realistic now!

    And also HULKENBERG was right when he choose FI and not Lotus… I believe he can grab P3 this weekend in Australia.


  81. Ryan M says:

    I have to agree today was the most exciting qualifying session in many a races.

    I really cant see why there are so many pessimistic comments regarding the Ferrari, Alonso posted a solid time in Q1, and I think it appears they have a solid base to begin development. Many people forget that post-schumacher traditionally Ferrari haven’t come out of the box to well, 2010, 2011, & 2012 are good examples, its towards the middle of the season that solid podiums have come on merit and performance.

    One thing I was concerned about this year was the new 1.6 V6′s, having attended a few races myself I can see how the reduction in sound may take away from the overall experience, cant be sure I wasn’t there today! But watching on TV I was pretty impressed the noise was good (quieter albeit) hearing Alonso’s lock up was great, the crowd cheering after Vettel missed Q3, and also the team radios were clearer. The first 2 really added something extra for me , IMO F1 is in a good place this year.

  82. StefMeister says:

    Regarding the new sound, I quite like it. Yes its not as loud as what we have had before but I don’t think that automatically makes it worse, Just different.

    Sticking with the V8′s or going to something like a V10 or V12 just to keep it loud is silly, Its not how you keep the engine makers interested & if they don’t like the formula or don’t feel its relevant to them there not going to enter F1. And I know many fans think the idea of F1 been relevant to anything outside of F1 is dumb, But were not the ones who have to convince people in a board room to give us money to Research, Design, Build & Develop an F1 engine & everything that goes with it.

    Smaller capacity turbo’s is the way MotorSport in general seems to be going, Its what they have at Le Mans, DTM is considering going that route & having held meetings with engine manufacturer’s Indycar also went the V6 Turbo route.

    Anyway regardless of what they sound like, The new power units along with the reduction in downforce make the 2014 cars more fun to watch, Especially from the OnBoards with drivers fighting wheel-spin under acceleration as well as the cars just moving around more in general.

  83. Adrian Newbie says:

    not sure if its been said but if cars are quieter i cant see why they cant increase the sound in the audio mix. Im sure it will eventually happen but cant see why broadcasters cant think ahead. They pay enough after all.

  84. Wellbalanced says:

    Massively impressed with: Hamilton, Ricciardo, Magnussen (love the fact that aggressive driving style really stands out in these new cars- Q1 in the dry was scintillating to watch), Kyvat (and also to lesser extent Vergne).

    On the other hand, it is insane how much trouble Lotus are in. Both, both, at the back of the grid.

    Maybe rain masking true pace, but I’m a tad disappointed for Williams.

    Pleased Chilton started well.

    Very little idea who will manage to finish tomorrow, not expecting more than 12, especially with rain. But if all did, would think first three on grid, with maybe Massa and Alonso coming through. Looks like Railkonen struggling, but you never know.

  85. Shaboopi says:

    James, what do you make of the rumors that Vettel accidentally drove Daniels car during qualifying? :P

  86. Nator says:

    How good is Howie doing the driver interviews out back. Drivers just can’t help to smile at his cheesy jokes.
    Ja & Mw on OneHd is Gold.

  87. aveli says:

    webber should give up racing those porsches and join the bbc crew. he’ll be excellent and i don’t like the idea of him racing Porsches.

  88. Fuzzy says:

    Where are the front end camera mounts on the Red Bulls?

    1. Sujith says:

      They are inside the vanity panel of that Redbull nose. A Clever interpretation of the rules. If you looks closely you can see 2 small camera lenses there on either side.

      Mercedes is not gonna copy that. Because the way their Camera Mounts are right now is said to give them some aero advantage as it is.

  89. OJ says:

    Full credit to Jenson Button, if not for the yellow flag, he would of been on the front row. I think this year will really see the cream rise to the crop in difficult-handling cars and in this Button will excel more than any other driver.

  90. Paul says:

    James – could you clarify the fuel rule please as I’m still unsure if the cars are only allowed to use 100 litres during the actual race (from lights out to taking the flag or do the cars only get 100 litres allowance in the tank to include getting to the grid, slowing down lap plus a litre for the scruntineering after the race?

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s 100kg maximum for the race

      The maximum flow rate is 100kg/hour at any point but clearly if you did that you’d run out of fuel in an hour!!

  91. foreverf1 says:

    Hi James,

    Is it possible to get a rundown of what tyres the drivers will be using tomorrow, provided it is a dry, since they all qualified on wets/intermediates?

    As I understand, they have to start on tyres they set fastest on Q2. Thank you.

  92. Luciano says:

    Don’t understand the comments that RB are up there only because Ricciardo was on inters. He was matching the Mercs throughout qualifying when they were on the same tyres.

  93. IS says:

    Where did Gary Anderson go?

    I was disappointed to see that he wasn’t on the BBC’s coverage as i found he provided a good technical insight last year and I liked his low-tech style, is Allan McNish in effect replacing him?

  94. Feral says:

    First congratulations to Ham, Dan & Nico.
    and to all the rest who made up the top ten…great start to a new era.
    some big surprises :)
    I for one loved that we had dry then wet Quallie…forget about the cars for a minute…they are all new and will develop over the next few races so we really don’t know where they are at…fuel tyres etc..

    But for me it showed more than anything which drivers have adapted best to the new turbo era and adapting their style of driving the new machines, in the dry & wet.
    Exciting year ahead as the others learn the new way to drive to get the max out of the cars.

    Webber on OneHD TV was so refreshing, like an excited kid with the knowledge he wanted to share with the F1 fans (real genuine) reminded me of the days when Hunt use to call the races . he has a place in the media

  95. panagiotis says:


    There is something wrong in Maranello and that is certainly not the wind tunnel and the correlation issues. Shall we name it Fry or Marmoriny this year? In the past it has been called Aldo and conservatism, I would risk to say unworthy. It has also been named Dyer for a championship lost on the factory and a slow car, not on the cirquit as it luckily happened. Ron got it right at his stable, the same luck of inspiration and direction I guess is missing in gestone sportiva too. Sorry Stefano. Yes all these just because of a poor show during first race quali. I hope the race would differ just like last year, and the year before last, and the year before the one before last. Red Greetings for a nice season

  96. Mikeboy0001 says:

    James, I was in Jerez, at the time even not in full power, they sounded very good
    Now on TV, they still sound OK, but maybe a bit to low, and poorly detailed
    I think one idea the FIA along with the broadcasters should do, was to implement better high def. microphones into to the cars in the right places, to counteract the lower decibels
    This engines along with the turbo and batteries, make a very high tech and futuristic sound, where one can tell the engine from the turbo, and the harvesting from the delivery of the batteries.
    Sound capture is also an art form, and now it seems, it can be the key aspect to make fans and TV viewers more happy with this new formula

  97. Wade Parmino says:

    Too many conclusions being drawn here from a single qualifying session. A truly accurate indication of the running order won’t be determined until Spain at least.

    One definitive conclusion that can be drawn now however, is that Lotus are looking terrible. It seems Lotus and Williams have traded places.

  98. Dario says:

    I think new cars sound great. The sound of a blow of valve just awesome. And best of all sitting in Albert park watching qualifying without ear plugs. Very cewl in deed. Ps I think nico Hulkenberg would have placed that mclaren on pole.

  99. Folkdisco says:

    Remember, *no points* have been awarded thus far. And a wet track favours drivers, not engines. But in race trim, I do not think Ferrari will be strong. Surprisingly good result for all the Red Bulls, except, surprisingly, Vettel. All the people writing off Red Bull this past month have got very short memories. Best performance of the day was Magnussen. A stunning debut, looks about 14, acts like an old hand and Mclaren have got a real talent there. In an era without testing, the best entrance into F1 is with the team with the best simulator. The 2013 Mclaren was a dog, but team OCD know how to build a good simulator, and Kevin spent the last year in the thing.
    Wrote this yesterday, but it didn’t post for some reason.

  100. Elias says:

    If the car does not rely on gasoline engine because it uses the alternative power sources like eleectric motgor and the combustion engine produces energy with the
    organisation of a second. A team of scientists and engineers, the permanency
    and reliability of the vehicles have stamped log books, complete with 16 valves, delivers real speed and punch.


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