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Rosberg Cruises To Victory in Australia, as Ricciardo and Magnussen finish on the podium
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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  16 Mar 2014   |  9:34 am GMT  |  512 comments

Nico Rosberg justified Mercedes’ billing as 2014 Formula One favourites by producing a faultless drive to claim victory in the Australian Grand Prix, the German finishing some 24 seconds ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen, both of whom claimed their first podium finish.

The fourth win of Rosberg’s career came on a day when only his team-mate could have offered a challenge. However, for pole sitter Lewis Hamilton the chance of battling with Rosberg for the top step never materialised. At the start, the second following Jules Bianchi’s failure to get away, Rosberg shot into the lead while Hamilton bogged down and lost places to the other podium finishers. The problem was due to a broken cylinder, an issue that saw the Briton retire after just three laps.

If this was a disappointment for Mercedes, the pace and dominance of Rosberg’s car will be a consolation. He was significantly after than any other car out there and the winning margin of 24 seconds over Daniel Ricciardo could have been a lot more had the German not backed off and managed his pace for the final 20 or so laps. When he pushed, for example to re-establish his lead after the safety car, we saw lap times over a second a lap faster than his pursuers.

“To start the season with a win is unbelievable and I have to say a big thank you to everybody who was involved in building our car over the winter,” said Rosberg. “I always dreamed of having such a strong Silver Arrow and now it seems we are there. In the race, everything went perfectly for me. My start was great and I was able to push from there until the end, with our fuel consumption well under control.”

Ricciardo and Magnussen were elected to finish on the podium for the first time in their F1 careers; Ricciardo after 51 starts and Magnussen on his debut. Ricciardo was however called before the stewards on a fuel flow matter after the race.

It was a disappointing race for defending champion Sebastian Vettel, the Red Bull driver was off the pace in qualifying with software issues and he also suffered a deficit of power in the race. He struggled on until lap five before pulling into the pits to retire.

Out on track Rosberg was able easily to establish a 10-second lead in the opening stint, pitting on the 12th lap due to a Safety Car and then opening up a 15-second lead during his second stint. From there it was straightforward. Rosberg continued to draw away from Ricciardo and crossed the line with 24 seconds in hand over the local hero.

The battle for second came in the final stint, when Magnussen closed in on Ricciardo and threatened to improve on an already stellar drive. He couldn’t find a way past the dogged Aussie, however, and had to be content with matching Hamilton’s 2007 feat of finishing third on his debut. The young Dane has looked comfortable and confident so far and today he was able to lap on a par with three-time Australian GP-winning team-mate Jenson Button, who made use of an early second stop to under-cut Fernando Alonso and take fourth place, a finish that gives McLaren the early lead in the Constructors’ Championship.

In the closing laps Magnussen was unable to pass home-favourite Ricciardo, Red Bull’s latest recruit also giving a fine display of the young talent in Formula One. He had a relatively quiet race, although showing that Red Bull are by no means out of this championship.

Behind Button, Fernando Alonso was able to pass Nico Hulkenberg after being held up for a frustrating 30 laps and brought home some solid points on a quiet day for Ferrari. His team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen, finished in eighth place, behind Valtteri Bottas and Hulkenberg.

Bottas and Williams have shown strong dry weather pace in testing but could not replicate this in Saturday’s wet qualifying session. With race conditions dry, the FW36 looked to be the second quickest car on track, Bottas making his way up to sixth place before tapping the wall, causing a puncture and consequently bringing out the Safety Car for debris on the circuit.

After dropping down to 15th place, Bottas benefitted from the safety car he had caused bunching up the field. He powered back through the pack to sixth place, giving Williams more points than they achieved in all of 2013. It was a less enjoyable day for Felipe Massa, however. He was dumped out of the race in turn one when Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi braked too late and smashed into the back of Massa’s FW36.

The top ten was completed by the Toro Rosso pairing of Jean-Eric Vergne and 19 year old rookie Daniil Kvyat, who becomes the youngest points scorer in F1 history.

There were some signs of an improvement in fortunes for Lotus as Pastor Maldonado moved up to eleventh place in the opening phase and knocked on the door of the points positions. But he soon retired on the side of the circuit with Romain Grosjean following suit later in the race.


An accident at the start eliminated Kamui Kobayashi and Felipe Massa, the Caterham slamming into the Williams into turn 1. Although Massa was furious, it emerged when the stewards looked into it that the Caterham had suffered a rear brake failure.

Look out for our UBS Race Strategy Report on Tuesday here on JA on F1, with many behind the scenes details on the strategy and why the race unfolded as it did

Australian Grand Prix, Melbourne, Race, 57 Laps
1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1h32m58.710s
2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull +24.525s
3. Kevin Magnussen McLaren +26.777s
4. Jenson Button McLaren +30.027s
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +35.284s
6. Valtteri Bottas Williams +47.639s
7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India +50.718s
8. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +57.675s
9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso +1m00.441s
10. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso +1m03.585s
11. Sergio Perez Force India +1m25.916s
12. Adrian Sutil Sauber +1 lap
13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber +1 lap
14. Max Chilton Marussia +2 laps
15. Jules Bianchi Marussia +8 laps*

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512 Comments
  1. Tim says:

    Well done D Ric, great work.

    1. Mistress of Speed says:

      RIC under investigation bt Stewards: fuel flow rate issue!

      1. Grant H says:

        He has to lose podium it will be a total farce if he doesnt,

        Gutted for ham

      2. Jake says:

        Well, apparently he “consistently exceeded the flow rate of 100kg/h”.

        That’s quite a feat considering the race took 1hr 32 mins and he started with only 100kg fuel…

      3. Jota180 says:

        Not really much of a feat he obviously wasn’t running 100kg/h for the whole time.

      4. Equin0x says:

        Well said.

      5. Ben says:

        100kg/h is a flow rate. Just like 100km/h is a speed limit. You exceed the speed even for a second, you are breaking the law. You exceed the fuel flow rate even for a second (well, actually 0.2s) you break the rules.

      6. Sebee says:

        Yeah, how can you exceed when you have a fixed amount of fuel?

        Unless, FIA gave teams extra fuel to avoid teams stopping with 7 laps left and making F1 look like a joke.

      7. Dren says:

        The flow rate equation takes into account the rpm of the engine. Also, they are not full throttle 100% of the lap.

      8. KRB says:

        Yeah, for real eh? Using 100kg in 1h32m would equal an average fuel-flow rate of 65.2kg/hr.

        I have yet to read the entire decision, but that seems hard to square with the FIA saying DR “consistently” exceeded the fuel-flow rate.

      9. Grant H says:

        Im surprised the no of persons here who dont get it, yeh u start with 100kg but you dont run above 100kg/hr long do you else u run out of fuel, point is DR is running with fuel rate exceeding 100kg/hr for short durations to defend against overtakes

      10. C63 says:

        he started with only 100kg of fuel…..

        Ah, but did he? My understanding is the limit of 100kg of fuel applies to the race distance only, not the out and in laps. So, the FIA police the amount of fuel being used by means of a flow meter, eg a 2 hour race would only allow an average flow rate of 50kg/hour or in the instance you refer too, a maximum average of around 66kg/hour. So it would appear, at least according to the FIA technical delegate, that Red Bull actually started the race with more than the permitted fuel allowance (which in itself is legal, it’s burning it which isn’t). I mean who would have thought it, Red Bull cheating! Whatever next :-)

      11. Craig D says:

        A lot of people don’t seem to understand the concept fuel flow rate. It isn’t a constant value, so it’s not an average for a whole race. It’s the maximum RATE of fuel allowed when everything is maximised: 100% throttle, engine setting turned up to the max (“Overtake button” mode)!

      12. Criss says:

        @KRB It’s like for few laps you’re using more than 100 kg/H of fuel to gain an advantage in seconds from the pursuers ,or to pass other cars ,and after that you save fuel for the rest of the race to be within 100 kg per race.

      13. Steve Zodiac says:

        Sorry, this whole new fangled formula is just b****cks

      14. Jake says:

        A lot of people don’t seem to understand ‘tongue in cheek’ when they read it. :)

        On another note, I love the sound of the new engines. Hi tech turbo noises, tyre squeal, intelligible conversations with pit crews – great stuff.

      15. Adrian J says:

        James, any update on this?

        Seems pretty clear cut to me, but then this is F1…

      16. Andrew M says:

        Confirmed he has been disqualified, Red Bull are appealing.

      17. Vlad says:

        What a ridiculous rule! Why not just say “you guys have 100kg max, use it however you like”???

        Flow rates are for what reason???

      18. Andrew Carter says:

        To prevent early 80′s power figures.

      19. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        To avoid too powerful engines in Qualifying. Without the limit, teams could be over 900 hp on a flying lap, and FIA doesn’t want that. I don’t know why, but they don’t like it.

      20. Craig D says:

        It’s an engine performance cap parameter. Without it the engine manufactures could design an engine that is capable of a much greater performance when run in peak mode than we currently have, since you’re allowing more energy to be converted at once. And for safety reasons, such an engine may be too powerful.

      21. Martin says:

        Probably to get the engine builders to think differently rather than just aiming for maximum power at 15,000 rpm.

        To me where Mercedes has an advantage over Ferrari on engines in not maximum power, but producing power lower in the rev range without using heaps of fuel. The Ferrari has shown high top speeds in testing and in Australia and was fast in the fast cornered sector 3 relative to the McLaren, indicating good high speed downforce. That to me indicates strong top end power to have high speed with relatively high drag, but the lap time isn’t quite there.

        To get back to the rule point, traditionally petrol engines have been less relatively efficient than diesel when running at partial throttle. What the rules do is encourage the engineers to find ways of making petrol engines more efficient across a wider range of operating conditions.

      22. Kyle says:

        If they didn’t have flow rate control they could turn the engines up to 1000bhp for a limited period if time without running out, it would get out of hand if left to the teams. Ever see the turbo cars of 88?

      23. aveli says:

        the rules are being compiled now, they are being followed.

      24. Vlad says:

        I was hoping for a return to the good ol days ;)
        But teams might think about turning up the boost that high with only 5 engines per season.
        Anyways Red Bull are appealing, with Horner claiming faulty sensors, hope Daniel keeps his podium.

      25. KRB says:

        @Criss, I get how it works, but then what does “consistently” mean? 10s/lap they were over? I haven’t seen any hard numbers yet, but I’m sure we will.

    2. F1 very Fan says:

      I am glad Rosberg won. Anything is betetr that Hamilton, who looks more like a Raper,with diamond ear-rings, gold chains and a baseball cap that is far too large for him. Worse is that he is always grumpy ;((

      1. Aaron Noronha says:

        This is F1 and not a movie or Fashion TV. All that matters is how fast he can drive and not how good he looks. And Hamilton is very fast so that’s all that matters

      2. Josh says:

        I’m assuming you mean ‘rapper’. Compare the way that Hamilton and Vettel dealt with their retirements (both on the radio while on track and afterwards). Hamilton had every right to be grumpy and was actually very pragmatic and realistic, Vettel on the other hand was the grumpy one.

      3. SaScha says:

        It’s a shame people always have the same old ridiculous predjudices.Maybe Hamilton was grumpy because he knew the team is doing a sloopy job with his car. He had a technical failure at every day he was in the car so far, only saturday went without a hickup for him. Hamilton wasn’t able to do a race distance in this car by now,while Rosberg has plain sailing all the time

      4. Oddz says:

        What is it with you guys and the way Lewis dresses?
        Why is it such a big deal? What is wrong with rappers?
        Would you mind for example if he was dressed like a rock star? Somehow I doubt it….

  2. Mohd Fazly says:

    Great….

    1. Equin0x says:

      So DR is DQ’d. Come on Redbull what are you playing at, first Vettel’s car was undrivable in quali and eventually had no power and now they exceed fuel flow limit even with the limited fuel they are allowed, a great opportunity missed there as when we get to the big open track of Malaysia with massibe long straights Merc powered cars will run rings around them, but great result for Mclaren and Alonso keeping in mind in Fernando’s eyes he’s really fighting Vettel and Hamilton for the title. Huge anticlimax for Dan, I think Merc will go on and dominate this year with Hamilton easily hauling back Rosberg with 18 races remaining, Hamilton just seems to have the speed advantage with this car unlike last year which was close.

      1. Craig D says:

        If Hamilton is a contender for the title then so is Rosberg. He can’t be counted out.

        Real shame about Ricciardo indeed. Bad PR for the sport as well. His podium was a great story for Australia. Maybe the appeal will succeed though if there’s a sensor issue in general. Still, Red Bull were playing with fire if they refused to heed the FIA’s warnings during the race.

      2. Martin says:

        I’d wait for a standard qualifying session and race before judging comparative speed. Rosberg was 0.4 of second faster per lap over 10 laps in FP3. It could be fuel levels were different, but it is most relevant comparison that we have so far.

        Qualifying clearly wasn’t indicative, being wet when it counted and Hamilton getting the last over the line case to benefit from the best track conditions.

      3. KRB says:

        Though Rosberg was set to be last over the line, but screwed himself going off on an earlier lap, which meant he last crossed only 5s after the session flag fell.

      4. rider says:

        Can you tell me were Rosberg was o.4 of a second faster in fp3 because in that session they didn’t do long runs instead they did short runs and Hamilton was 0.6 faster than Rosberg with the medium tyre both in fp3 and q1.

      5. Martin says:

        @rider a typo I meant FP2. Autosport worked out the numbers.

  3. AlexD says:

    Congratulations to Rosberg and Mercedes! They have done a phenomenal job. Red Bull is the biggest surprise and well done for them. I think they have a chance to fight for the title. Ferrari a huge disappointment, they are not there. I think their engine is not as good as Merc. Race was rather dull

    1. KARTRACE says:

      I am afraid not only the engine, seems that brake by wire system isn’t anywhere near where is suppose to be. In the early stages of the race it seems as if FA couldn’t modulate the brake force while KR couldn’t master those brakes till the end. A huge disappointment, I suspect this one is going to be even worst season for SF in comparison to 2013.

      1. AlexD says:

        Ferrari lost it completely…not talking one race, but the bigger picture. The cannot capitalize on all the assets they have and finally produce a winner. LDM will say now that he asked Domenicaly and his team to understand the problem and address it. 6 years and nothing. Alonso will destroy Kimi this year…even though I like Kimi more and will likely join Merc or McLaren next year

      2. Sebee says:

        Kimi to Mercedes? To replace who?

      3. Dren says:

        Kimi was fighting the car all race. I think once the car is sorted we will see Kimi much more challenging to Alonso. But at this point I see Alonso jumping ship, but to where? Magnussen looks to be the real deal. I bet Mclaren retains button.

      4. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        Alonso should leave now. Take a year off. He is wasting his huge talent at Ferrari. Another dog of a car. At least, this year we will see DOM being *FIRED*. Alonso must join McLaren Honda next year for sure.

      5. Rob says:

        SD cannot survive this IMO. His stated strategy to Alonso is, “keep puttering about, we think people in front of you may suffer problems, remember this is about reliability.” OMG! Your race-winning strategy is to pray for DNFs! In race 1!

        SD, Turn all the ****ing knobs to 11, and see how long your FIAT lasts. If it only lasts 10 laps, fix what broke, and turn the same knobs to 12 at the next race! I’m not even a Ferrari fan and I am incredulous.

        Ferrari is truly, at heart, a strong midfield team, then. It’s like the old timers have been saying. Only a serious foreign blood injection, a la Todt-Brawn-Schumi, can occasionally get the old horse to run. What a travesty.

      6. Erik says:

        Dren : I don’t think McLaren will retain Button. Dennis is back and Button has not performed. Cannot qualify. Dennis will go for speed and not personality.

        The Sky commentators almost said it out loud yesterday, then looked at each other. They said, Button is running in a good car this year, or something to that. Meaning he will not be there for next year. Alonso will probably go there. That is why they have both Kimi and FA in the same team. Ferrari need a driver for next year, of the big 4. Kimi, FA, Vettel, Lewis. The other are spoken for.

      7. Equin0x says:

        Erik can I remind you Button still finished 3rd and all weekend in the dry was more consistent than Magnusson anyway. Fair enough Ron Dennis likes to do weird things to his ‘senior’ drivers for some strange reason like Prost and Alonso before this but in this case so far its not justified. If Kev manages to comorehensively outscore Jenson this year through sheer pace and driving then fair enough but if Button outscores his team mate AGAIN then no the sacking will not be warranted, Button is the best hope for the Honda era barring Vettel and Alonso.

      8. Krischar says:

        @ H.Guderian (ALO fan)

        I agree with you mate, it pains me to say this, yet to drive for the ropey Ferrari machinery year after year since 2010 to this point must have hurt Alonso and when he demanded better car and questionned the team Ferrari last season. LDM palyed politics with our legend Alonso and tweaked his ears

        Fact is Ferrari are a mid-table team (Like a Westham/ Norwich) nothing more than that. Massa has confirmed this in the past and Alonso has elevated his performances / drives to the highest level year after year to stay in contention for the WDC and lost it couple of times becuase of Gambit blot by Ferrari and Lotus drivers in the past

        Now this season LDM is going to tweak whose ear?

      9. Steve Zodiac says:

        This stuff will cause and accident before long

    2. bob says:

      Alonso claimed that he could just push as fast as he wanted, without having to care for fuel efficiency, but he just didn’t have the power to overtake.

      That sounds like a problem that is impossible to fix with the current rules, as they cannot add more power to the engine, or even change gear ratios.

      So yeah, if you don’t have a Mercedes engine, the season is over.

      1. Kev says:

        RB in the previous years have proven otherwise. Long way to go before anything is decided.

    3. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      ROSBERG seems cruising to be a “Button 2009″ model of champion.

      It will be tough to HAMILTON to overcome the 25-0 score of this opening race during the year, but of course he can do it (just the results reversed next time for example). HAMILTON is not BARRICHELLO 2009 and now it’s early days to call…

      1. Aaron Noronha says:

        Exactly. Without the other Mercedes of Hamilton we cannot access if Rosberg was coasting or really pushing. If it was an all out fight between the Mercedes Drivers, i am pretty sure they could have extended the gap to the rest by over a lap.

        Although it is pretty early in the season so say that they will carry the same advantage over the entire season seeing that Renault teams especially Redbull havent got a chance to test and run their updates as they were hindered by reliability issues from the engine side during all the test. Maybe Redbull and Ferrari can reduce the gap before the mid season but it may be far too late for anyone to claw back the point deficit unless Mercedes suffers a retirement every race or Vettel goes into one of his late season streaks of winning races or Ferrari some how turn their performance around.

        I bet Mercedes advantage has to with something other than just engine performance. There are 4 other Mercedes teams and it cant put to just an aero advantage. I am willing to bet that Mercedes has perfected the FRIC suspension and is enjoying the benefits of its fruits

      2. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        Yeah, maybe Williams can catch up Mercedes soon!

      3. Equin0x says:

        What makes you think Hamilton is better than Barrichello? Also this car is more dominant than the Brawn was in 2009! Massive power advantage over Redbull and in most areas too. The net advantage over Redbull on a more conventional Tilke track ia probably about 2sec a lap. I can’t see how RBR can recover this unless Renault gives them alot more power and drivability but with the engine freeze its over already you just want to hope Hamilton doesn’t implode.

      4. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        HAMILTON is a Champion, not Barrichelo, so HAMILTON is better. LOL!

      5. Dazzler says:

        Hamilton has 24 wins and one Championship
        Barrichello has 11 wins and no Championships

        Or will you argue that Barrichello never had a championship winning car ?

        Check your facts. (and prejudices).

      6. KRB says:

        Well, it’s not like there’s only 2 races left! There are 18 races left …that’s roughly 1.5 pts to make up over each race, which is nothing. I don’t get people sometimes.

        The reliability should even out over the year.

  4. Dmitry says:

    Great race! And much better than anyone anticipated.
    Once again – an issue for Lewis.

    From what I’ve seen my conclusion will be that Mercedes is in a class of its own (except reliability), but many others are in similar league – RBR, McLaren, Ferrari, Williams – they are on the same level at the moment. Only development race will sort them out… probably.

    If Merc sorts their issues – they will definitely be favorites for all coming races.

    1. Dmitry says:

      Oh, RBR just got disqualified!

      Does anyone still think they are fast?
      Using more fuel than allowed does not make them faster in fair way…

      1. DonSimon says:

        Can you link to the decision, I cannot find anything other than under investigation! Cheers!

      2. Dmitry says:

        Well, now it is all over the internet. Autosport has a nice article with full FIA ruling on that.

      3. C63 says:

        They are a team that has always been on the edge of legality and, up to now, have got away with it. Be interesting to see if their ‘minder’ Bernie can exert sufficient influence to get them off the hook. I get the feeling his power within F1 is on the wane. Feel sorry for Danny though, it’s hardly his fault.
        Still, when all said and done, news of RED Bull woes always puts a spring in my step :-)

      4. Sebee says:

        Let the appeal process and facts come out. I am very curious how this is possible with standard fuel flow units issued by FIA apparently (right?) and fixed amount of fuel for each car.

      5. Kyle says:

        Pretty straight forward, all the facts are known. They won’t be able to pursade the fia they are wrong nd redbull are right.

    2. Krischar says:

      @ dmitry

      Do not add Ferrari in that order mate

      It’s complete farce and horror show from Team Ferrari with the exception of their drivers.

      The order is very clear Mercedes, Williams, McLaren & RBR. Ferrari lead the force India and torro rosso. However Ferrari can feel buoyed because there is marked improvement between 2013 and 2014. They started ahead of lotus

      Goodbye 2014 for Ferrari already and they can now divert the resources for 2015

      1. Aaron Noronha says:

        Dont Rule out or write off Ferrari so soon. Its the first race and its the first time every team will run a proper race without sandbagging. No one shows their hands in testing unless they have to impress sponsors. Maybe by the 3rd or 4th race we can write them off. But with such distinguished driver as Alonso and Kimi and the best reliability on the track amongst all teams, expect them to score consistently through out the season while they sort their performance issues. I wish they dump their ugly nose and go for some of the solutions the other teams have come up with.

    3. Folkdisco says:

      IMHO, Magnussen did the most impressive qualifying, AND the most impressive race. The best rookie debut since…? Answers please! The 2013 MP4 was a dog, but in an era without testing, the best introduction to F1 is to spend a year or two in the best simulator. Ie Mclaren’s.

  5. Paige says:

    The highlights for me today were three young drivers: Magnussen, Bottas, and Kwyat. Magnussen and Bottas were horrendously quick and made their pace last until the end, even if Bottas had a wall slapper. Kwyat was also very impressive to me. It is not easy to be a teenage driver with STR and then put the car in Q3 and come home with points in your first race, so he deserves a lot of credit. F1 looks like it will be in good hands going into the next generation.

    Ricciardo was also impressive this weekend. Very quick in qualifying, made the right decision to go to inters in Q3, and he drove a very composed and quick race to get on the podium. Vettel is not going to have an easy time with him.

    The biggest lesson from today, though, is that Mercedes is going to blast away with the championship. It’s going to be the Lewis and Nico show, provided that the engine keeps all of its cylinders the rest of the way. Round 1 to Nico, but this is certainly not the end of it.

    1. aveli says:

      magnussen and kyvat were a class act and bottas did well too. mutton came through the field somewhat but rosberg was unchallenged. not as exciting as i hoped. a wet race may have been more exciting after all.

    2. Blackmamba2 says:

      Well I think that’s wrong, they wasn’t as good as they looked, Button closed to within 5sec of Magnusson whilst driving a damaged car and started well back, Kvyat got beaten by Vergne even though JEV had a rrally messy race and is a below average driver anyway, Bottas had a tremendously fast car but was beaten by the Mclarens and Alonso due to thst huge error that he was lucky his race didn’t end. If there wasn’t a safety car and Hamilton didn’t have his issues he would have beaten Rosberg by 40sec or more and lapped the rest of the field.

      1. Paige says:

        First of all, you conveniently forget that this was Magnussen’s very first race as a bloody 21 year old racing against a teammate starting his 15th season in F1. He royally, undeniably, very clearly observably, and comprehensibly beat Jenson Button’s ass in qualifying yesterday, and he mastered a technically complex car in his first race in it better than guys with years of experience and nearly grabbed 2nd place at the end. Button was able to close a bit because he was not in fuel saving mode. Once Magnussen went away from fuel saving mode, he pulled the gap out on Button again.

        I will repeat this, because I think the message really was not very clear to you even though it was very clear to pretty much anyone who was paying attention to F1 this weekend:

        Kevin Magnussen beat Jenson Button’s ass this weekend.

        And once again, in the case of Daniil Kvyat, you conveniently ignore the fact that he is 1) 19 years old, and 2) it was his very first grand prix. You don’t just show up in F1 as a 19 year old and start dominating. No one has. Sebastian Vettel showed up to Indianapolis in 2007 as a 19 year old and got beat by Nick Heidfeld. Nevertheless, he held his own on pace and scored points. If you are to claim that Sebastian Vettel’s performance was not impressive because Nick Heidfeld is his teammate, or are one to claim that Sebastian Vettel somehow is not an elite driver, then you are way too delusional to be having this conversation with. The fact is that Kvyat is a teenager who just stepped out of GP3 (and probably puberty, along with it) into incredibly technically complex F1 cars that people with loads more experienced struggled with this weekend. And he made Q3 this weekend and brought home points. Ergo, he did a very good job.

        Bottas did make one mistake that probably kept him from the podium. The fact is he came from 15th to 7th (now 6th after Ricciardo was booted) even after slapping the wall. He had brilliant pace and again, despite his lack of experience, mastered very complex cars like someone with far more experience. Bottas showed an abundance of pace today.

        You’re being a bit unrealistic in saying that Hamilton would have beaten the field by 40 seconds. I agree that he would have won, but he would not have beaten Rosberg by 40 seconds. I agree that Hamilton is quicker, but definitely not 40 seconds quicker. Rosberg has shown that Hamilton needs to be at his best to beat him.

      2. Edison says:

        Paige, very well explained.

      3. Aaron Noronha says:

        +1

        Rosberg was averaging laps 4/10 faster than Hamilton during his long runs in fp2, we cant be sure that both drivers were running similar programs or had the same fuel loads. Hamilton was lucky in qualifying because the track was constantly evolving and he was the last person to set a lap. I am not saying Rosberg would have beaten him but i am pretty sure if Hamilton wouldnt have retired it would have been an epic fight at the front with both drivers pushing each other and we would have had the opportunity to see Mercedes true pace because after Hamilton’s retirement i am sure Rosberg was Coasting

      4. Paul Adamson says:

        Hmmm, whereas you conveniently forget that Jensons qualifying was ruined by the yellow flags.

        Fair play to KM, excellent entrance for the rookie but lets not the facts get in the way of praise.

      5. Carl Craven says:

        Your post reads very aggressive.

        Magnussen drove a great race didn’t he and it’s pretty obvious that he ended the race infront of Button.

        However, you’re ingoring a lot of events that explain why that happened, why Button didn’t attack Magnussen in the closing stages, why Button didn’t get an opportunity to put in a final flying lap to suit a rather biased argument.

        You meanwhile (quite rightly) praise Bottas who made a mistake which nearly took him out of the race. A mistake not made by any other driver and conveniently overlook the fact that Button made up a similar amount of places.

        One you praise, the other you ignore. I hope you can see the lack of logic in that.

      6. Tealeaf says:

        You missed the point completely, you compare Vettel’s drive to Kvyat’s??? Vettel came in middle of the season when Heidfeld has raced the car for a season and half already, then in this race you have to remember all these ‘rookies’ have been racing drivers all their life and this new Formula is new to everyone not just the new drivers so any advantage is wiped out, and I agree with the blackmamba2 Magnusson, Bottas and Kvyat didn’t impress me that much to be fair, look at Rosberg’s first race for Williams, fastest lap and apparently stood out but then was smashed by Webber rest of the year. From what I’ve seen at Mclaren Kev had a better quali than Button but that was about it he didn’t outrace Button or anything and for Bottas he outraced himself in what was probably the 2nd fastest car and Kvyat done a solid job but nothing outstanding. Who did stand out in the this race was Alonso and Hulkenberg, they dragged their dog of cars into good points and clearly outraced their highly rated team mates.

      7. KRB says:

        @TL, Perez is highly rated?!?!

      8. Nick says:

        Your Rosberg v Hamilton comment I think is ignoring the very strong likelihood that Rosberg wasn’t pushing for most of that race. We saw after the safety car how quickly he opened the gap back up. He could have absolutely destroyed the others but they instead went with a more polite slap about the head. They had no need to push the car to its limits and played it safe.

        If Hamilton had been in the race I imagine it would fairly quickly have become a multi 21 style situation in whatever order they happened to be in. No one had a hope in catching them, and Mercedes weren’t going to push their brand new power units and gearboxes any harder than they needed to at that early stage. An easy 1-2 finish with one slightly disgruntled driver is better than one or both drivers DNFing with mechanical problems.

    3. danny almonte says:

      Hamilton has had the bad car since pre-season testing. This is further proof. Looks like Rosberg is the favorite for the title at the moment.

      1. SaScha says:

        Rumors are Mercedes wants a German WDC, looks like Hamilton will get then nr2 treatment this year

      2. wotsomu wanda says:

        Rosberg has now inherited two wins from Hamilton. This could be ominous.

      3. Richard says:

        I think that is ridiculus because Mercedes would not have paid all that money to secure Hamilton and then deliberately sabotage his challenge. While for Hamilton the situation was far from ideal and no doubt Rosberg inherited the win because Lewis would have been fast. The engine failure cost Mercedes a 1-2 victory and leadership of the constructors. Please let’s have no conspiracy theories, however it could have been negligence or failure to check things through properly.

      4. KRB says:

        Why would they shell out 20m for him then? And do you think the plan was to be 8 pts behind McLaren after the first race?

        @wotsuma, a bit hard to say the win was Hamilton’s when we didn’t get to see one unhindered race lap from him.

      5. Alexander Supertramp says:

        I don’t think his car is sabotaged, he just has awful luck. It’s pretty worrisome that he hasn’t been able to complete a single race distance since testing, Rosberg has 3 full races under his belt..

    4. All revved-up says:

      I’m not an anti-Jenson fan but did Magnussen just beat J fair and square in his first F1 race?

      Seriously impressive. Welcome to F1 young Magnussen!

      1. RichardD says:

        Jenson lucked out in qualifying with the Kimi accident affecting his hot lap. He came back from starting 6 places behind to finish only 4 secs behind Magnussen. So I don’t think this proves anything yet, although it does show that Magnussen is good and the McLaren isn’t that bad either.

  6. Caterhamfan says:

    After his showing today, I really hope that Caterham are paying Kamui by the lap – and that he’s paying for repairing his car. What a dismal start to the season and I don’t see it getting a lot better :(

    1. Martin P says:

      Actually I think he had a great start in driving terms. He getaway was phenomenal so imagine the race he could have had without the brake failure.

      Add to that temperament – despite it not being his fault he apologised straight away and took the reputational hit.

      Give him a working car and we may still see something special from him.

    2. Brent says:

      So do we get a retraction when you find out it was brake failure. It looked to me to be a systems failure when it happened.

    3. Blackmamba2 says:

      Actually he had brake by wire failure, maybe Caterham should use the money he paid them to build a car that can actually stop! Othrr than that he outclassed Erricson or whatever he’s called.

    4. J Hancock says:

      Confirmed now that Kamui had a ERS failure and had no rear brakes. Seems odd to be saying it, but not Kamui’s fault that time, Massa’s comments cam before that was confirmed, he’s probably a bit more circumspect now.

    5. Caterhamfan says:

      Well, Kamui said it was all his fault after the race and no mention of brake failure, hence my comment. On the Caterham site Kamui says that “From the initial data it looked like I had a brake system issue which obviously meant I couldn’t do much about the contact and when we got the car back and looked at the information in much more detail it was clear that was the problem.” So it seems that with the new “brake by wire” system the driver can’t even tell that the brakes have failed!

  7. Tealeaf says:

    Pfft now that was actually boring and the sound was just making it hard for me to stay awake. As for Vettel and Hamilton’s power issues? Well its given their team mates a clean break and I suppose these things happen but I can’t see how they will cope with the heat of Malaysia!
    It’s clear Mercedes are about 1sec faster than Redbull even on a track like Melbourne its not hard to imagine the gap is probably doubled on wide power circuits like Malaysia, its a huge advantage. Ferrari was dissapointing and so was Raikkonen and finally just to note Kobayashi had rear brake by wire failure so I let him off at first I thought he was reckless and its a shame coz it was a good performance in quali by Kamui

    1. Lohani says:

      I didn’t like the sound of the engines also – they sounded very GTesque Interesting, though, to actually hear the tires squeaking and squealing on the track. The squealing sounded quite funny at times too.

      Good win by Nico. Good drive by Ricciardo, Magnussen and Bottas. Poor Massa! Unlucky Vetty and Hammy! On to Malaysia, then. I’m expecting more funny sounds.

      1. Darren says:

        I was thinking, surely the TV producers can turn up the cars in the sound mix? Yes their quieter but if you turn up the volume to hear them the commentary is really loud.

      2. Lohani says:

        They may have turned it up a bit in the mix compared to last year; I don’t know. But, it’s the low-pitched growl of the new beasts that makes them less noticeable. It’s like the bass passage in music – sometimes they get lost in the mix of competing sounds in the same frequency range. I suppose an application can be developed that isolates those engine frequencies and pitches them up.

        This makes me think, though. Why didn’t the FIA try to reuse the sound energy of the V8′s when they were around. There was a lot of energy there just reverberating on the racetrack (for which I had no complaints :D), but they could surely have been harnessed and reused to add more power to the KERS.

      3. Sasidharan says:

        I tried that. The tyres were making more noise than the engines.

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      I’m with you Tealeaf.
      However, keep the faith, it’s just Round 1 – long way to go, marathon and not a sprint and all that………….
      Having said, as I write this, Daniel has been DSQ, the Bull have made an appeal, so it seems F1 is heading back to the court room to sort out its differences, not on the track where issues should be sorted out!
      Controversy and politics, never far away in the crazy world of F1!

    3. Luke says:

      I was standing at turn 10 on Sunday, and even though it was my first ever F1 race attendance, I have to say I was very underwhelmed with the noise. There was no “wow” factor at all. I felt like I was watching a support race.
      The best F1 car I saw on track on Sunday was the 2012 RBR car that DC drove a demo for a speed comparison with a V8 supercar & Mercedes AMG road car. Now that thing had the wow factor! I can only imagine what a field of 20 of them sounds like. Didn’t even need earplugs for the new cars.
      As for the race, it was so boring after half race distance, I left and watched the rest on TV, but that’s the experience from the cheapest ticket available I suppose.
      I won’t be forking out big $ for a great F1 race weekend experience with these cars in the future. It would be like paying for a snowboarding holiday & getting no snow!

  8. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

    Hello James! I have a question! The tip of the nose of the cars, should be part of the crash structure, bat it was so easy for the McLaren front jack mechanic to break that little part of Jenson Button’s car nose. It is normal?

    1. James Allen says:

      No, that bit wasn’t part of the crash structure

      1. AuraF1 says:

        JB put in his fastest lap right after that nose job. Best cut it off more often ;)

      2. Vlad says:

        Yeah the tray man can play cricket every race.

      3. BW says:

        Sorry, but if it’s not a part of the crash structure, then what it is, some vanity panel?

      4. JCA says:

        James, any worries in the paddock about the way the Caterham lifted Massa into the air? (As predicted by Newey, but dismissed by the FIA and other teams.)

  9. Craig D says:

    Very nice start to the season. Unfortunately, the loss of Hamilton to challenge Rosberg (or rather have Hamilton challenged by Rosberg), meant we lost the spark of the battle for the win. Otherwise, it could have been a real great race.

    The sound is certainly odd and it’s a shame it’s not louder but if it means the race is better with these cars, I can live with it.

    Who’d have thought a Red Bull would finish, let alone a podium!

    It was great to see Williams do well but it was such a missed opportunity for them. That car looks like it should have filled the 2nd and 3rd spots. Williams need to get these points early on before the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull get stronger and become reliable.

    Overall, it looks like the Mercedes have a clear performance advantage and it could be a fight between Ros and Ham for the title.

    Magnussen is a true talent. I like Button but I wish the media wouldn’t keep banging out fallacies like on Saturday when Pinkman called him “the king of the wet”, etc!

    1. Andrew M says:

      It’s bizarre there isn’t more engine noise, you can hear so many more things, like the crowd and the screeching of the brakes. I’m sure I’ll get used to it, but after X years of watching Formula 1 it’ll take some getting used to.

      1. Darren says:

        I agree but I thought the V8s sounded terrible so this is a welcome change. Ever since they binned the V10s F1 has not sounded the same.

    2. Tealeaf says:

      I don’t get why you think Williams should have been P2 and P3?!? They didn’t have the pace in FP or quali and even in the race I think the Mclaren and Redbull would of had them covered, if everyone finished P7 and P8 is the best they could have got.

      1. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

        I had the same feeling like @Craig D, that Williams was scary fast. I’m an Alonso fan and the rate he was closing on Alonso before kissing the wall, was very high! I was with the eyes on the tiemer in those moments.

      2. Martin (England) says:

        Bottas pace was 2nd only to Rosberg in the race, if he hadnt had to pit for the puncture he would have probably finished 2nd or 3rd.He was in top 5 FP1 top ten FP2 and didnt run in FP3 and qualified 10th but started 15th and twice overtook half the field to get up to 6th.

      3. Craig D says:

        Bottas was ahead of Button before he smashed his tyre off. He’d have been fighting Ricciardo with the rate he was going and I think he could have beaten him. Of course without the SC, Ricciardo would have had a bigger gap but that Williams looked fast and very driveable!

        We never saw Massa but chances are he could have race as strongly.

        So my comment was more about the cars’ general potential. Quali was an odd one and perhaps they’re not great in the rain.

        I think Williams were strong in free practice on high fuel. It may be they’re not as strong in quali but in race trim Williams looks to be second best at the moment. If Malaysia is a dry weekend (unlikley!) I’m expecting strong things from Williams.

  10. Equin0x says:

    Nice snooze inducing there. Ricciardo’s 2nd wasn’t as impressive as it seemed and his suspected lack of race pace showed through. If it had been Vettel in that position with a healthy car then he would have pushed Rosberg at lot harder.

    1. James Allen says:

      Amazing variety of views on this

      1. Yngwie Malmsteen says:

        Ricciardo seems pretty fast!! And for him it’s about opportunity + this season is new equipment for everyone so the newcomers won’t be so much at a disadvantage. Will be interesting to see how Sebastian deals with this.
        It’s almost like Alonso Hamilton 2007 but seems like Daniel already has the edge!!

      2. Equin0x says:

        Have the edge? Ricciardo’s race pace ia average at best. When Vettel has this car sorted out then we’ll see, its almost like ‘Rosberg’s got the edge on Hamilton’!!! Would the fan club agree with that assumption?

      3. Aaron Noronha says:

        I think Ricardo drove a stellar race and achieved the best he could. I am pretty sure Vettel would have finished in 2nd too(assuming he dint have car issues and Hamilton retired). There was no fighting the Mercedes today. Redbull are still behind Mercedes and the rest of the Mercedes Teams and Ferrari as they have been hindered during testing. The good news for them is the car was pretty fast with what ever limited testing they conducted. So maybe over the next 2 or 3 races with new updates and Renault able to extract a little more performance and consistency over its engines, Redbull might be able to close the gap.

        Right now Vettel still has a small advantage over Ricardo which was confirmed by Ricardo during FP2 during their race stimulation he was no where near Vettels pace in the longs runs. And he acknowledged too it after fp2 signifying they were running similar programs, which is to be expected as they had never done a proper race simulation before Australia i.e unlike other teams that could probably test updates, Redbull would have focused more on reliability .

        I am sure as time goes by Ricardo will grow both in confidence and skill to take the fight to Vettel if not beat him. Only time will tell if he can beat Vettel over the entire season. I wouldnt bet on it yet based on one race where Vettel had car issues right from fp3.

      4. Tealeaf says:

        Just wait till if Redbull can find a way back and let Vettel be dominant, I wonder if these “fans” will still like this nre Formula, but on another note felt so sorry for Ricciardo a brilliant RBR ruined by this fuel issue, its not as if he used more than the allocated 100kg of fuel.

      5. Craig D says:

        It’s nothing to do with the amount of fuel used for the whole race!!!

    2. Andrew says:

      Well we’ll see about that this season won’t we!

    3. vic says:

      Really? Rosberg get 20+ second ahead and you think that anoother driver would have be able to challenged?
      No matter how good are Vettel, Alonso, Raikonnen, Hamilton, etc. nobody can challenge a car which get 20 second ahead. Ricardo did the best that you can do today that is to be the best of the rest.
      And Rosberg was probably nursing the car, if he would had needed he could had increased the gap easily

      1. Sebee says:

        You don’t think “protect the car and bring home P2″ wad heard on the radio possibly?

      2. Bruno says:

        Well Vettel got 20+ second ahead of an Australian teammate more than once in his career…

      3. matthew says:

        well lewis started in pole.had his car been fine,he probably would have been ahead of nico.so nico wouldnt have built up a 20 sec gap.

      4. Equin0x says:

        Yeah I think another driver could have challenged! Its quite common for a team mate to finish 20+sec ahead, Alonso finished in that range ahead of Raikkonen and we all know race pace is Ricciardo’s weakness as even JEV was more than often faster than him when at STR.

      5. Yngwie Malmsteen says:

        I think Alonso was more than 25 secs ahead of Kimi… I know they were not 1st and 2nd but still; impressive race as ALWAYS from Alonso :-)

      6. vic says:

        I mean if you are driving a different car, of course. In the same car you can always challenge, in different cars 20+ seconds gap means both cars are in different leagues no matter how good the driver in the slower car is.

        And I refer to direct gap (without other cars in between) i.e. real gap, not just caused by traffic

      7. Craig D says:

        People should just give DR credit where it’s due (even if it hasn’t counted, alas). I doubt anyone expected to come 2nd in his first race with Red Bull. Yet some people want to knock him down cos it wasn’t impressive enough?! And Rosberg could have gone plenty faster if he needed to, I’m sure.

      8. Edison says:

        Hamilton has the same Rosberg equipment and probably no 20 seconds vantage would exist between them in normal circumstances. They can easily to challenge each other within little time margin and this is what a believe and hope to watch in this season.

  11. Wheres Equin0x? says:

    Very entertaining first round. I’m loving hearing the squeals of the tyres on lock up or spinning away from the pit box.

    Mercedes look scary, bad luck to Hamilton but he’ll be encouraged by Rosbergs pace. McLaren also looking quick. Obviously I was supporting Ricciardo but perhaps a tiny bit of me was cheering Magnussen on, what a superb drive.

    Was it just me or did it seem that some cars seemed to be taking massively different lines into some corners?

    1. Brent says:

      I agree. You could even hear the warning whistles as the cars came into the pits. And the tires squealing; when was the last time you heard that on tv?

      1. Glennb says:

        When Vettel drove into the pits to retire the car, you could hear his MP3 player. ‘Another one bites the dust’ from memory ;)

      2. Sebee says:

        Easy there…greatest hits album was on shuffle. Your selection was followed by We are the Champions, and We Will Rock You!

      3. Glennb says:

        @Sebee
        “We are the Champions” was ruined by JB :)

      4. vic says:

        I mean if you are driving a different car, of course. In the same car you can always challenge, in different cars 20+ seconds gap means both cars are in different leagues no matter how good the driver in the slower car is

      5. vic says:

        sorry that was to be post in the former comment

    2. AuraF1 says:

      The sound was great! I agree hearing the crowd and especially the screaming tyres was a lot more fun than the engine note. Sure the V8s were more impressive at first but a few laps in I loved hearing the tyre pain.

      And yeah everyone taking different lines was fun to see. A bit of driver variation is a good sign for 2014.

      1. ManOnWheels says:

        I second that. Formula 1 just became great again.

    3. Equin0x says:

      Equin0x is right here. The PU sounds lame even GT3 cars sound better in fact even my Impreza sounds better F1 has lost its signiture noise. As for reliability its a surprise RBR gave Vettel a dud and Ricciardo a illegal fuel mapped car! Also I’m also surprised Hamilton got the PU woes instead of Rosberg but hey “everything happens for a reason”… apparently.

      1. Craig D says:

        Why would you or anybody be surprised that Hamilton’s PU had issues and not Rosberg’s or vice versa?! Just bad luck. To start believing otherwise is not a great mindset to hold…

  12. Andy says:

    The good news is that we won’t have to listen to Di Montezemolo next year whinging about coming second again, they’ll be lower than that.

    The interesting thing was how the rookies adapted to the new power units, seemingly better than some of the established drivers. The rookies seem to just get on with it whereas some experienced drivers seem to throw the dolly out because it doesn’t suit them.

    1. MikeyB says:

      This is Generation Xbox coming into F1 now – they’ve been sharpening their reactions and honing their skills on video games and simulators since they were infants.The older generation don’t have that lifelong advantage and will have to work hard to maintain their positions in the pecking order.

      1. Kay-gee says:

        +1

      2. Shak says:

        I don’t think it’s that, the sky commentators hit the nail on the head with their comment ‘the drivers can’t drive the cars the same way as last year’

        The lack of aero and the way the power is delivered is very different from last year and for the experienced drivers, it really shows who can easily adapt and who can’t.

        As for mag, Eric an kyvat etc.. They didn’t experience the power delivery and df from previous years so it’s easier for them to adapt.

  13. JakobusVdL says:

    An interesting race, way more cars finished than I’d expected before the start of the weekend. Hamilton’s cars early DNF throws a real curve ball into the story.
    Fantastic to see the newbies Magnussen, and Kvyat perform so well, and brilliant to see Bottas power back through, after his ‘gentle tap’ of the wall.
    Happy to see a good mix of teams and powerpacks in the points, and no tyre or fuel issues.
    So it all worked out just like we expected after testing…….apart from most of the results ;-)

    1. KRB says:

      I’m not sure 14 cars finishing was “way more” than what was expected. Way more than some of the doomsayers, for sure.

      Oh Lewis … didn’t I tell all’y’all? If he didn’t have bad luck, he’d have no luck at all. I half expect it now. 8 Mercedes engines on the grid, and his is the only one that fails (ok Massa’s we don’t know, b/c he was taken out). I can only just hope that the reliability stuff evens itself out over the season.

      I’m posting after just hearing JA confirm that DR is DQ’d. What a pity! Rules are rules though. Obviously they were ok on the fuel limit (his engineer was telling him the whole time), but not on the fuel rate? Don’t they have real-time sensors monitoring this, and wouldn’t Race Control be in touch with them if there was a problem in the race?

      This makes a total feel-good result into a total downer. Feel gutted for Daniel.

      Magnussen = amazing result.
      Bottas = good result, ruing that one big mistake.

      The Mercedes were the class of the field in this race. Congrats to Rosberg, though that’s probably his easiest victory to date (though China 2012 was pretty easy too). He didn’t put a foot wrong in the race. Pity that there couldn’t have been two of them in the race, to make it a bit closer, though I doubt they would’ve allowed wheel-to-wheel racing (I wouldn’t have).

      More later (off to hockey practice) …

      Go Liverpool!

  14. JLH says:

    Gents did you actually like THIS f1?

    1. Martin P says:

      Yep, huge improvement. A few tweaks and they’re onto a winner again with a chance of building the sport and not just waiting until the die hard fans all kick the bucket before closing the shop.

    2. James Clayton says:

      Well… it’s not as enjoyable as it was from when I started watching in 1995 until the gimmiks were introduced in 2011, but it’s certainly better than what we had for the last few years.

      As for the Engines… I’ve been saying all through free practice and qualy that I *like* the sound. After hearing 24 cars all going round at the same time; I’ve changed my mind. It sounds like a very busy doctor’s waiting room. Very unpleasant to listen to .

      1. MikeyB says:

        It’s a peculiar noise alright and it’s nothing like the demos the engine builders released before the new season commenced.

    3. Vlad says:

      Yeah, absolutely brilliant. Sounds like the 80s.

      P.S. Ron is happy.

    4. aveli says:

      i don’t like the idea that the mercedes is so much quicker than the rest. i the rest of the races are wet, to bunch up the field for close racing.

    5. AuraF1 says:

      Yeah that was an actual race – drivers doing different things and having to wrench and ride these cars – single sweaters should have a grip to power deficit and sliding, skidding, bucking is lively and overtakes off the racing line means its actually paying to have brave driving again – despite the fuel/tyre saving they actually could make a difference with aggression again as well.

    6. Anthony says:

      Love it! This reminded me of the 80′s/90′s. Real challenges for the teams on engineering, aero and reliability rather than administrative ones. It’s also refreshing to see the role of pit strategy reduced.

      This will also change road cars forever once the tech slips downstream.

      It’s also great to see the field shaken up after four years of very boring RBR/Vetell dominance.

      The lap times and everything else will improve as the engineering matures, they always have in the past.

    7. Anil Parmar says:

      I liked it, but I do wish the engines were slightly louder.

      I didn’t mind the racing; without Pirelli cheese tyres Australia has always been a track with minimal overtaking due to the small straight and long right hander at the end of the lap.

    8. quattro says:

      This is not F1, rather F1.6. Lets hope coming rounds will contain elements such as racing, overtaking, out-braking & other attributes of close racing action. Only hearing tires sliding/spinning on asphalt does not make it for me.

    9. Bruno says:

      No. From the ‘Big Four’, Hamilton and Vettel had to retire early, whereas Alonso and Raikkonen’s car was disappointing. And more than last year with the tyres, drivers can’t attack at the end of the race. Actually after Bottas hit the wall, almost nothing happened until the boring disqualification of Ricciardo. Good races by Magnussen and Bottas though.

      1. Equin0x says:

        I completely agree. Hardly anything happened apart from Bottas’s early charge and the race was rather flat.

      2. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        “Raikkonen’s car was disappointing”

        What do you mean by that?

        I thought they (KIM, ALO) have the same car.

      3. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

        is “Alonso and Raikkonen’s car” in the comment

      4. Krischar says:

        @ H Guderian (Alo Fan)

        What they mean is Raikkonen was brilliant and his car was a complete tripe.

        Yes Kimi and Alonso drive for the same car. yet If kimi does not do well then he has been botched up by Ferrari, He has steering issues, He have a car with understeer style. However if kimi does well, then Alonso is not up to the job and Ferrari may need to replace or fire him

        This is poeple’s view and general perception in the paddock for many years / seasons.

        Alonso have produced another spectacle in AUS. and in my view/opinion it was a vintage alonso drive

      5. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        @Fernando
        Yes. You are correct.
        My mistake.

      6. Yago says:

        Most drivers were atacking at the end of the race, and did their fastest laps at the end. So that’s not accurate.

      7. Alex says:

        True, I think they were very careful with fuel comsuption and at the end realize they can go faster, it was the first race, they are still testing, in some races we will have a bigger picture.

    10. ManOnWheels says:

      Absolutely! Cars that you could even tell from one another, even if they were all black. Cars wiggling with their tails, trying to shake off their drivers in corners that were easily flat out last year, screaming tires, grunting engines, whistling turbos and some nice cutting through the field by some drivers that were out of position.
      How can you not love this?

      Ok, if you’re someone who is into the sound of circular saws, then it’s probably not for you, but don’t worry, the carpenter around the corner surely has one of those for you to listen to.

    11. Ben G says:

      Dull race. Dull sound. zzzzzzzz

  15. Vivek says:

    Quite an exciting race. I don’t think F1 has lost anything at all (except the sound element, of course).

    I was trying to compare the overall time of last year’s Australian GP with this years. Fastest lap was about 3 seconds slower this year. Overall race time was about 3 minutes longer this year ( Not sure how to account for safety car’s time and do not remember if there was a safety car last year ). For a start of a new season, the cars are fast enough and will surely be as fast as last year come the end of the season, as the teams learn more and fine-tune.

    Red Bull/Renault have done some serious work in the last 2 weeks to get one car on to the podium. Ferrari are still about 4/5 fastest. Mclaren get a podium in the first race after not getting one through whole of 2013. Williams were the only team who probably did not maximize their result today. A pity for Massa ….

  16. Thompson says:

    How do you achieve a 0.3 sec advantage over your nearest rival put your car away only to turn up 24hrs later to find its broken.

    Not putting any conspiracy theories out there but…………..

    1. Cliff says:

      Not much difference from a road car! Park it up and come back in the morning only to find that it won’t start.

    2. aveli says:

      have you never owned a car?

      1. Thompson says:

        Yes, it gets serviced once a year by my local Haldfords or who ever has the best MOT/service offers at the time and it starts every day – it’s a Renault.

        It’s not serviced by the best brains money can buy.

        Vettels car we could see from practice was sick but Hamilton’s car was fine.

        They said the problem was known before the peraid lap – hope we are not seeing a Rubens type 5 race issues while your team mate scampers off into uncatchable lead before a public outburst is needed to sort it.

      2. Tealeaf says:

        Wow imagine if Hamilton did suffer a ’5 race’ problems and Rosberg pulled 100+ points ahead, imagine the outcry from the british media and the fan boys!?! BUT if it was the other way around and happend to Nico then very quickly it’d all be swept under the carpet and everyone would be applauding Hamilton’s brilliance. The double standard actually amazes me.

      3. aveli says:

        did hamilton’s car stop on track during testing and practice? nothing abnormal about a cylinder failure. different components can fail every race because it’s possible.

      4. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

        You really think Mercedes will pay a load of mony to Hamilton and then sabotage his car?

      5. Dazzler says:

        Are Mercedes going to pay 20Million euros to a former world champion who is their most successful driver and then not maintain his car ?

        Of course not. That was a bad setback and Lewis will return.

        Tealeaf. It may surprise you that British like talking about British drivers. Also in Britain, most British racing fans want British drivers to do well. Win races and titles even. I know I do.

        I was disappointed that when Damon Hill was interviewing Toto Wolff and Paddy Lowe on Sky Sports he seemed to harp on about Lewis’s car failure when MercedesAMG had just won a race. I thought that was poor from Damon despite myself being frustrated that Lewis retired. Our press can get like that sometimes sadly.

    3. KRB says:

      When did they find the problem though? Surely they would’ve found it during the warm-up reconnaissance laps, if it was a missing or misfiring cylinder?

    4. Red Rider says:

      Quote from Thompson: “Not putting any conspiracy theories out there but…………..”

      You just did.

    5. Sufyaan says:

      I guess you dont realise how strict parc ferme rules are. The cars are in a sense, heavily guarded!

  17. Quade says:

    Today was the day of the underdog. All three drivers are the weaker member of their team.

    Congrats to Magnussen for emulating Lewis first race podium with McLaren. That is one kid to watch!

    Storming Botas might have made the podium if not for bad luck with the wall and a penalty; he is my driver of the day.

    Kimi? Damp squib.

    1. Andrew says:

      How do you know Ricciardo is weaker? He hasn’t looked it so far.

      Same goes for Button and Magnussen

    2. aveli says:

      magnussen’s second!

    3. NickH says:

      Kimi will be strong when they sort out his understeer. His front tyres were badly grained

    4. Harshad says:

      Kimi had tyre graining issues and electrical problems because of which he couldn’t use Full power available to him.
      Having said that, his laps times were very similar to Alonso’s until 2nd pit stop.
      Perhaps Ferrari could have played it smart by bringing Kimi early in the pits for his second stop (just like Button) as he was suffering from tyre graining. But then That’s Ferrari, they will always botch up when it comes to strategy.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Agree that Ferrari are not the sharpest on the strategy front.
        And yet again they have come to Melbourne with a car that is off the pace somewhat…….that Manarello engineering and aero department have a lot to think about.
        Is Fernando thinking “Oh no, not again, those pesky British teams have produced cars superior to mine – again??????”

      2. Aaron Noronha says:

        Agreed. When Alonso decided to stay and not cover Nico they should have brought Kimi in. I have no idea what they were thinking. The guys making the decisions in ferrari have surely lost the plot.

  18. bmg says:

    Great to see some young guns kicking ass. Ricciardo is going to be a super star with that smile and personality.

    1. aveli says:

      officials wipe away that smile as they left melbourne.

  19. Warren Buys says:

    A fantastic and exciting start to the season, with all the drama promised by pre-season testing. It is going to be a great season and exciting year to watch Formula One. Hats off to JA for his contribution to the coverage of the entire event and his work with channel ten!

    1. Nigel says:

      +1. Really enjoyed the work of James, Tom and the c10 guys over the past 3 days.

  20. Stuart says:

    A great way to start the season!

  21. furstyferret says:

    Wow that merc looks brawnesqe, well done nico, shame for lewis, but he will win plenty this season, great result for riccado, and the 2 maccas, take away kobi taken himself and another car out, reliability looks ok, for most of the field

    1. michael grig says:

      it was said
      lewis had a cylinder not workin’ normal in his
      engine; furstyferret you might know more; why not share it with us (not shame for this shame to that, of course)

  22. Nick4 says:

    Congrats to Rosberg and Merc and to young Ricciardio and Mangnussen. The young bucks have arrived and the old guard Alonso and Raikonnen were left struggling in the Merc wake. Ferrari relinquished a possible 4th by not pitting when Button pitted – a typical Ferrari strategic error. I hope that we are not in for another ’92 Williams type demolition this time by Merc and reminiscent of their dominance 60 years ago with Fangio and Moss.

  23. DK says:

    It looks to me Merc will dominate at least the first four fly away races in dry racing condition. Only reliability will deny them. Not sure if a Red Bull deserve to be in front but Ricciado has certainly done a fantastic job to grab P2. Mclaren and Williams looks equally strong and I am pretty sure Bottas would have caught Alonso and Hulk if not of the brush against the wall. Ferrari seem to be the 5th fastest, disappointing …… And I truly missed the sound of V8!

  24. Johny says:

    Ferrari team, especialy management, is a disgrase to Ferrari brand – when will mr. Montezemolo understand this? More or less second bugdet in a grid and all what Domenicalli can do – talk about future inprovements for a sixth year in a row.
    Sorry for Fernando, sorry for Kimi to be sitting in a car of losers.
    La macchina degli altri, Montezemolo, la macchina degli altri!

    1. Oly says:

      Agree. Newsflash for them (Ferrari management) – in Domenicali era drivers never were part of the problem, in fact drivers (Alo) were only stellar part of the team.
      Today Ferrari finished as fourth team but actually they were slower than Williams also. Having such a drivers in such a car is a disgrace.

      1. AlexD says:

        Fully agree….it is not acceptable

      2. Vlad says:

        That vacuum cleaner might finish each job, but it still only catches the crumbs.

    2. Anil Parmar says:

      It’s disappointing but it’s always about damage limitation in the first 4 races. Ferrari had an electrical problem and still made it to the end and that includes Alonso setting some very competitive lap times.

      We will need that fixed for Malaysia and China though; it’s clearly worth a few tenths..maybe even close to a second.

      1. Edison says:

        Just snappy like that. Pure magic fixes everything fast in Formula 1.

    3. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

      Basically, Ferrari has three problems:
      1)DOM
      2)LdM
      3)Fry (*huge* disapointment)

      1. Spartaco Dini says:

        Fully agree with DOM and Fry , ESPECIALLY Fry !! – but LdM ?? stai attento cosa dici …..

      2. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        Is he (LdM) from cosa nostra??? ;-)

      3. Klaas Backers says:

        Completely agree with Fry being part of the problem @ Ferrari. Ever since he set foot at Maranello Ferrari has become a midfield team with very average cars and very poor development. I don’t understand why they hired him in the first place, he was responsible for the 2009 Mclaren and that was also a dud. They need to get rid of him asap! For 2014 it’s already too late, but they can get a head start on the rest for 2015.

  25. Arnie S says:

    I’m the first to congratulate ROS, Ric, and Magnussen. Bottas did a great job. But what a BORING race. It was kind of a road-train and except for Bottas and Button’s undercut, they were just cruising around. Watch ALO not being able to get close. Magnussen (yes he did a great race) but how close was he really to get RIC???

    RAI was just trying to get a car with poor break-balance home.

    I sincerely hope for more racing in the coming event.

    Driver of the day: 1 Bottas. 2 none. (But car of the day Merc!!)

    1. CC says:

      I’d agree it was a dreary race – but to be honest, I fully expected this. Melbourne in the past has produced some great races, but also some processions too. This year’s event was similar to 1998 and 2005 in that a radical change of regulations has meant everyone – both drivers and teams – was being over-cautious, with the result of being under whelming for us spectators.
      Also, like 1998 and 2005 it seems one car has got an edge in raw performance.
      Let’s hope Malaysia will be a much improved spectacle, but with data collated from this race the teams and drivers will have so much more information to work from.

    2. KRB says:

      I like Bottas, but how can he be DotD after his mistake in smacking the wall, which cost him a likely 4th, and possibly a podium?

      It was a bit boring in terms of the number of overtakes. The red-light flashing signal made sure that no one wanted to ride on anyone’s gearbox. Maybe for this race the drivers were being extra cautious, just to get the car home and grab some points. But if that works to keep pursuers from closing up on cars in front, that could make for bad racing.

      1. Arnie S says:

        I agree that Bottas mad a mistake. However, he was the only one trying to fight for position. I have rerely seen a F1 race with so few attemps to overtake. That’s why, in my opinion, I put him up for DOD

      2. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

        And he was chasing who? Hmmm, let me thing about? I remember well the 2010 Australian GP when a fast driver (maybe a to agressive one), in a fast car, smashe it in the closing stages chasing the same driver who Bottas was chasing! Coincidence? Or some drivers ar makeing you to push a little bit over the edge even in inferior machinery? This is a comment to defend Bottas! So DOD for him ;)

      3. KRB says:

        Hamilton? He got hit up the back by Webber in 2010 in AUS! Get your facts straight!

      4. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

        Sorry @KRB. I just realise that it was 2012, Maldonado chasing Alonso, and the first one ended in the wall. In 2010 i think Alo was behind Massa wich was 3rd and protect them both from a charging Hamilton :) It was a writing mistake :) I was thinking at the 2012.

  26. Ken Switzer says:

    Positive spin on alonso, but a negative one for his team mate.
    Is this andrew benson of the bbc writing here?

    1. James Clayton says:

      “Fernando Alonso was able to pass Nico Hulkenberg after being held up for a frustrating 30 laps and brought home some solid points on a quiet day for Ferrari. His team-mate, Kimi Raikkonen, finished in eighth place, behind Valtteri Bottas and Hulkenberg.”

      Where exactly do you see spin, positive or negative, here? All I see are facts.

    2. AuraF1 says:

      If you report their actual positions how is it spin? Surely spin would be reporting it the other way round and excusing kimi’s lower position?

    3. Pat M says:

      If you want to see positive spin on Ferrari’s weekend have a quick look at ESPN F1 (can I name other websites here?). In the constructor’s championship table only Ferrari powered teams are listed so it’s Ferrari first, with Sauber and Marussia right on their tail :)

  27. Derek Lorimer says:

    Change in both technology and a generation of drivers shown in this race. If Bottas had not hit the wall he would have had the Williams a lot further up the field as well

  28. Rayz says:

    I’m sorry to keep going on about the lap times, but for a dry race, this is just unacceptably slow for F1. Even the lightning quick Rosberg started out in the mid 1m35s while the rest were in the 37′s and 38′s. That is over 10 seconds down on race pace from a decade ago. Ridiculous! Now I know the heavy fuel is a major factor in this but even at the end the top guys were mostly in the 1m33′s whereas Raikkonen had a fastest lap in the 29′s last year. And this isn’t even a track that exposes the newfound lack of downforce on the 2014 cars. Next time out in Malaysia will be a true test as there are much faster, flowing corners.

    I didn’t think this race was up to much, it certainly didn’t live up to the hype of cars breaking down everywhere and things going wrong (which shouldn’t be the basis of our entertainment in the first place).

    I agree with Martin Brundle that something needs to be done to get the sound of the V6 Turbo’s louder and back to the F1 that race goers love. The raspy sound we can get over but it shouldn’t be as quiet as it is. And for 2015, the noses need changing and some downforce needs to come back on these cars to get them up to speed again.

    Btw, James…. Your thoughts on that Kobayashi, Massa crash at the start. Seems like Newey was right that the lower noses could be deadly. Massa was shoveled upwards and a higher speed crash may have seen Kamui’s face being mashed into the back of Massa’s car. Highly dangerous. Well spotted by Anthony Davidson.

    1. Howard P says:

      Indeed. Sad to read Kamui’s tweet apologising (for something that wasn’t his fault) met with racism too

      https://twitter.com/kamui_kobayashi/status/445086060381368323

      Knowing the FIA they would probably overregulate it to the extent of putting winglets at the back like with Indycars…

    2. Brent says:

      A decade ago the teams did 300000 kilometers of testing a season. The big teams were spending close to $400,000 for every lap of racing. I think where we are is an great starting point for a new era. They will pick up 4 or 5 seconds a lap by the end of the season.
      I can’t wait to get too Montreal and listen to the sounds of 2014 and not hear the scream of the dinosaurs.

  29. JAWA hs-f1 says:

    -Rosberg should have considered having a coffee break during his second pitstop to make things more exciting for the fight for race win. And to be fair, Mercedes pit crew tried to make things exciting during the change of left front tyre. A bit of shame that Hamilton retired because I’m pretty sure the battle between them would have been intense.

    -Overall, the race was exciting, but Bottas mistake cost Williams crucial points and brought out SC. Kimi was about 2-3 sec behind Alonso at that time and that got ruined.

    -For a change, McLaren managed to maximize their potential. Well done.

    -Williams underperformed. Quite clearly, they have race pace. It will be interesting if they will keep up with the rate of development.

    -Mercedes are in a league of their own. I can’t see other closing the gap in the first round of flyaway races. It will take mighty effort from other teams to challenge them.
    And well done to both Kevin Magnussen and Dan Ricciardo. It’s great to see the talent being rewarded rather than the big bucks pay drivers.

  30. FM says:

    Wow, what a boring race it turned out to be. There are more racing overtaking on a single carriageway than in this race. So it seems that after the tyre saving formula now we have the tyre&fuel&power unit saving formula. I do hope that the season turns out to be more exciting and not because of mechanical failures but we get to see some real racing. Afterall, we already have an endurance type racing series (which is actually delivering pretty good racing).
    On a positive note, happy to see new faces on the podium, and most of the rookies did well.

    1. James Allen says:

      Australia is a very tough place to pass.

      There will be LOTS of overtaking in Malaysia

      1. Nick says:

        But WHY will there be more overtaking? Will it be proper racing, or will it be cars just cruising past other cars?

      2. James Allen says:

        1. Because Sepang has two long straights one after another and it’ll be hard to fight someone off through there if they have a straight-line speed advantage.

        2. Because the Melbourne track is narrow and few corners have two lines going into them, unlike Sepang. The marbles affected this here but the extra track width in Sepang will not have the same effect.

        If you read my UBS Race Strategy report on Tuesday you will see some interesting detail on the Ricciardo vs Magnussen battle for example

      3. Nick says:

        Yeah there’ll probably be lots of overtakes on the two huge straights. But will they be wheel to wheel down the straights with bold moves in the big braking zones? Or will it be a Merc powered car just cruising straight past long before the braking zone? Or maybe an easy overpowered-DRS pass, again finished long before the corner? Or maybe an easy pass as one car drives past another that’s heavily fuel restricted?

        Whatever the case, I’m just not expecting to really see any good racing. I’m expecting if the pack does shuffle around a bit, it’ll be in a rather uneventful fashion. Maybe I’ll be wildly incorrect about it all, but I’m finding it hard to keep my hopes up.

      4. Anil Parmar says:

        Agreed James. I do love Melbourne but it’s never going to produce a race with lots of close wheel racing due to the small straights.

        Great way to start the season though.

    2. Anil Parmar says:

      It’s very difficult to overtake at Malaysia due to the small straights and the final corner which spreads the cars out. Most races at Australia before the Pirelli era were exactly the same.

    3. Opa says:

      tyre&fuel&power&sound saving…

  31. Andrew M says:

    Mercedes showing the sort of dominance we haven’t seen since, well, last year.

    There’s a long way to go of course, but getting 25 points on your teammate is a massive leg up for Rosberg given that Hamilton will be his closest challenger for a while. Reliability will almost certainly improve as the season goes on those points in the bank are worth their weight in gold, as Hamilton will have fewer chances to benefit from a similar Rosberg breakdown.

    Even if no-one matches Mercedes for a while, this season already looks set to be a classic. Hope I’m right.

  32. Rodolfo says:

    30 second gap by rosberg without pushing…All these changes were supposed to make it more interesting… Unfortunately Mercedes domination may be far greater than red bulls…

    1. Richard says:

      Which is a great thing because we’re all sick of Vettel.

      1. Rodolfo says:

        …Well I guess I was speaking from the point of view of a sportsman…

      2. SteveS says:

        I hadn’t realized you were royalty, my liege.

      3. Martin (England) says:

        Ha ha, that made me laugh out loud.

      4. Equin0x says:

        Speak for yourself. I’m personally sick of Hamilton and his comments/hat/accent/attitude/dog/wig etc…

        I’m also sick of the Aussie fans for cheering Vettel’s quali session when he had car problems. How low does these people go? The booing was going on lasr year there in Melbourne too and that was before multi 21 so thats not an excuse. I for one hopes Rosberg gets a clean break and some luck and the golden boy has to support Nico’s title bid.

      5. Dazzler says:

        Maybe you should focus on the driving and performances and not on dogs,wigs,accents and comments taken badly out of context.

        It may surprise you that the majority of Australian fans would like to see an Australian perform well at Albert Park. Note the cheers when Ricciardo crossed the line in Q3 and the groans when Hamilton did. Some fans long to see different names at the top of the timesheets.

        It is not pleasant too boo but understandable given the monotony last season provided.

      6. Oddz says:

        Again, what is this obsession you have with what Lewis wears?
        Would you have a problem if he dressed like a rock star, somehow i doubt it…

  33. Charlie says:

    Interesting that Sky couldn’t be bothered to think about or analyse the Ferrari driver battle during the race. Obviously the cars were both suffering from some problems, but I still think it was an interesting race from the perspective of driver rivalry.

    A peripheral view suggests that Alonso is faster and doing better (indeed his fastest lap was about a second faster than Kimi’s). However, I’d be a little concerned if I was Alonso. From 11th in the grid, with a damaged (courtesy of Kobayashi) car, Kimi was right behind him after only a few laps. In fact Kimi’s opening laps were the best of anyone’s (regardless of whether the either biased or just blind pundits at Sky noticed or not). He was ace. Alonso then drove the car home in the place it started while Kimi lost two places under a safety car pit stop and another (later regained on track) in the second pit stop.

    Regardless, the point is, in terms if driver rivalry on Sunday Alonso has every reason to be a little nervous as far as I’m concerned. He did not outshine his teammate as the media seemed so excitedly to think he would. Better punditry might have made that clear.

    In other news, Lewis seemed not to be too upset about losing out. When your car is about to do to 2014 what Brawn did to 2009, and what Red Bull pressure on Pirelli did to the second half of 2013 why would you be? I really hope I’m wrong.

    1. JAWA hs-f1 says:

      Alonso vs Kimi was looking fantastic. I was quite disappointed when SC came out, ruined all the progress of Kimi.

      Yesterday, I was honestly disappointed by Kimi’s performance but yes, today he was on song, especially in the first 10 laps or so.

    2. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      Fernando had lost ERS for the first 3 laps (including the start) and had to activate it manually (whatever that means) for the first 15 laps. If not for this problem Alonso would have been 4th or even 3rd by the end of first lap. And you are also missing the fact that Alonso battled better cars than Kimi did. Alonso’s pace was better all the weekend, and it looks like it could be like this for a while.

      1. Equin0x says:

        I agree Alonso conpletely smashed Raikkonen and as for damage to Raikkonen’s car… well there’s no proof there was any damage tbh.

    3. Oly says:

      Yes – in other words Kimi’s performance was fantastic today and not only Alo but everybody are scared. LOL

      1. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

        +1.000.000

        Just KIM´s fans saw it that way.

    4. Chromatic says:

      I noticed Kimi utilised the great start mechanism of the Ferrari which allowed him to bolt off unlike the sluggish Lotus starts. Best start of all today were Rosberg and Kimi.

      I sense however, that Kimi is angry. I have never before seen him so ill at ease with those in the garage … maybe I’m misinterpreting, but Kimi is usually minimal in his body language. I noted he was remonstrating with his crew in a very frustrated way.

      Ferrari have stated they will comply with Kimi’s requirements urgently to give him the steering that will allow him to put the car where he wants. Till then, probably spain time, he may continue to drive their slow car without ease, as will Alonso too.

      1. janis1207 says:

        Ferrari have already said that Kimi has very soft hands. i.e. he wants his steering to be exactly to his liking. Remember, he was frequently complaining about the steering last year with Lotus as well?
        Then it’s brakes. It was obvious, Alonso could manage the brakes on his car better than Kimi. Don’t know if it’s different brake-by-wire settings there, or Alonso just more adaptable.
        Anyway, it’s going to take some time to iron these problems out, and by that time Alonso (who managed to get along better with what he had) may be gone points-wise.

    5. Rayz says:

      +1. it should be a close battle when kimi gets more comfortable with the car. lets not forget Alonso got nearly double the lap count of kimi in testing. huge advantage

    6. Vivek says:

      Charlie … Really among the few positive views that I have seen on Kimi performance. To me he looked like plain struggling, many mistakes too interspersed with good driving.

      I don’t think the car is any good, but Alonso is making a better fist of it as usual. If Kimi takes 4-5 races to adjust to the Ferrari (like he did with Lotus in early 2012), Alonso will be long gone and Ferrari may be forced to further focus their efforts around him. Interesting battle this …

    7. GP says:

      Charlie, you are absolutely right. You really know your racing.

      And I agree with you, Kimi will win this year’s championship hands down. It is obvious, isn’t it?

    8. NickH says:

      Kimi was just struggling with understeer all race, his front were very grained so he will have had no front end grip. Understeer is very bad for his turn in style, Alonso’s style does not suffer as much with understeer. Kimi will be fast if they can cure the understeer

  34. W Johnson says:

    Congratulations McLaren! The British team is back!

    1. Doobs says:

      Merclaren

    2. All revved-up says:

      Great that McLaren are leading the constructors table.

      Are they faster than Williams and Red Bull? The next few races will be interesting!

  35. Olivier says:

    Only Williams is able to mount a challenge to Mercedes. It just wasn’t their day today … they will liven up the first half of the Championship season.

    Red Bull will claw back. I am well impressed by Ricciardo/Red Bull. Especially if you consider where they are coming from. The second half of the Championship will be between Mercedes and Red Bull.

    1. Richard says:

      Daniel exceeded a fuel flow limit, or at least the FIA is looking into that. That isn’t a small issue to be honest…

      1. Olivier says:

        You’re right. Ricciardo is disqualified. It is heartbreaking but the right thing to do.

        How could this happen? Was it a technical sensor failure or did Red Bull deliberately cheat?

      2. Richard says:

        Red Bull is pretty famous for attempting everything on the limit of what the other teams would call illegal. So I wouldn’t be surprised if they deliberately cheated.

  36. Spectreman says:

    Shame on Kobayashi. Massa could’ve fought for a podium.

    1. Paweł says:

      Old good Koba is back ;)

    2. hippyneil says:

      As I understand it, it was a mechanical problem with kers/ers and he had no rear braking so it wasn’t his fault.

  37. Horoldo says:

    Well done to Nico, Dan & Kev.
    Am so happy Dan got on the podium today, but man is that Merc quick. Lots of work to do by the rest of the field now they can see how far they are behind.
    A Williams probably would have been on the podium if they had qualified better, or if Bottas did’t clip the wall.
    Very good race, hope Dan can keep up the podiums.

  38. Matt says:

    Awesome result for F1 as a whole I thought. The drivers being compelled to drive the car rather than just riding it. As an Aussie I’m especially pleased for Ricciardo but the late charge of magnusson was equally as impressive. Great job Nico.

  39. Spectreman says:

    Also, congrats to Nico, and no surprise for me. My money has been on him for this championship for quite some time. I believe I commented in this very site some time ago that he would adapt better to the new cars and easily beat Hamilton. Hamilton’s too rough on his car, makes too many mistakes too.

    1. oddz says:

      Uhhhh!!!
      I didn’t see a mistake, I thought thwarted car broke down through no ones fault?
      Also didn’t LLewis beat Rosberg in thier 1st season together?

    2. Oddz says:

      Uhhhh!!!
      I didn’t see a mistake, I thought the car broke down through no ones fault?
      Also didn’t Lewis beat Rosberg in their 1st season together?
      But ehh you know best and in your mind, Rosberg already has the championship lol.
      Personally I think those two are very closely matched in terms of skill and will give us a season to remember.
      As for today’s race, Great job Rosberg, unlucky Lewis

    3. KRB says:

      The “Hamilton’s more rough on his car” canard. *rolls eyes*

    4. Richard says:

      That’s just it he didn’t. Hamilton’s car had a fault from the start. It was easy for Rosberg and Ricciardo to pass with Hamilton running only on five cylinders.

      1. Dazzler says:

        Easily beat Hamilton ?

        LH’s car failed him on the parade lap, Rosberg did not beat him and he didn’t beat him last season either. You seem to forget Lewis was quicker in practice and out-qualified your hero.

        He made no mistakes this weekend.

        Richard you will be disappointed over the course of the season and are wasting your money.

      2. Richard says:

        Dazzler: I think you put your comment in the wrong place. I’m pro Hamilton, but I do believe in fairness and credit where credit is due. Your comment was no doubt aimed at “Spectreman”.

      3. Dazzler says:

        Apologies Richard.

        There are some bitter and emotional statements by fans on all sides which I must challenge.

        Spectreman will be proved wrong over the course of a season. Some of the barbs aimed at Button are unfair when facts are considered

      4. Oddz says:

        LOL @ Richard

        calm down dear comment is necessery here

  40. The Spanish Inquisitor says:

    The fifth position of Alonso is fictitious, the real position is ninth. Ferrari is the fifth car of the grid. The actual rank is
    1) Mercedes
    2) Williams
    3) McLaren / RB
    5) Ferrari
    Ferrari’s motor has a lack of power. Nothing to do about this. Impossible to recover this disadvantage whit aerodynamics improvement. The season is over for Ferrari, for Hamilton to. Rosberg’s year.

    1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

      Season is not over, power can be improved in many ways yet, a lot of parts of the PU cans still be modified. Also, McLaren and Red Bull are not that far away, ahead yes, but not too far.
      Ferrari’s race was strongly altered by Fernando’s problem with ERS at the start and first laps. Without it he would have fought for the podium and Kimi’s first stop wouldn’t have been that slow. Yes they are te 5th team, but if by the start of the europe races they are 2nd fastest, it wouldn’t be a surprise.
      Starts are going to be even better than last year, and developement looks way better with the new wind tunnel. Mercedes is a concern anyway, but you know, with Fernando behind the steering wheel…

      1. James Allen says:

        You are not allowed to develop the engines for performance, as they are homologated

        Only changes permitted are for cost, reliability or safety and only after consultation with all the other engine makers

      2. Rohind says:

        So power units are homologated means that none of the other cars are gonna catch up with Mercedes and they are going to win every race with a margin of over 20s? If that is the case, we might as well stop watching this season and tune in for 2015. At least red bull were dominant only in the second half of last season

    2. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

      Exactly my thougts.
      Couldn’d say it better.
      KIM showed the exact Ferrari position.

    3. KRB says:

      For Hamilton too? Huh? It’s the first race people! Yeah, it’s the worst result possible for Lewis in the intra-team battle, but there’s 18 more races to run! If they both have the same amount of mechanical breakdowns through the year (i.e. equally costly in terms of points), then it will be a good contest. Hamilton needs a good result next race, hopefully now he’s in a credit position with Lady Luck.

    4. Richard says:

      One thing you are forgetting!? – Unreliability, it can strike anywhere at anytime!

  41. Anne says:

    I´m gonna start with McLaren. Thank you to all those who made this miracle possible after a horrible season last year. I expect exciting battles between Button and Magnussen.

    Congrats to Nico for a dominant win. However looking at the problems that Hamilton had. I don´t know what to think yet about Mercedes. Same about RB. Are these 2 teams Dr. Jekill and Mr. Hyde?

    Very happy for Ricciardo for his podium.

    I feel bad for Williams, such bad luck. Felipe deserved a better start. And Bottas with that accident. Both could´ve finished ahead of Alonso and close the gap with McLaren.

    Ferrari, whatever! They have 2 amazing drivers and very bad car again.

    Toro Rosso and Force India did really good.

  42. Glennb says:

    Very impressed with the rookies today. Bottas was on fire and made it real exciting. Congrats to Nico and the Merc outfit. A very dominant victory. Congrats to Daniel and Kevin. A very interesting and refreshing podium today I thought. It’s great to see that the future of F1 is looking strong, driver-wise. Well done to AJ for not busting out of his suit ;)
    Early days but the Mercedes team look mighty right now. The next group is pretty tight so hopefully an interesting season ahead of us.

  43. Ken Switzer says:

    Two stop strategy for Lotus …..

    … as anticipated

    1. Chromatic says:

      LOL. Very good.

    2. All revved-up says:

      Witty! Enjoyed that

    3. KRB says:

      Both listed the cause of their DNF as ‘MGU-K problem’.

  44. chris green says:

    james – congrats on the job you did on the ten network. also to alan jones’ podium interview. best one yet. he didn’t try to force the drivers. just asked the questions and sat back and listened.

    i think rosberg could have gone quicker if he had needed.

    1. James Allen says:

      I think you are right, ROS could have gone a lot faster

      1. janis1207 says:

        Yes, but a qualified yes.
        Rosberg set the fastest lap of the race on lap 19 (?), with lots of fuel on board. After that he was mostly cruising trying not to overstress anything and saving fuel. So, yes, he could have gone faster.
        But then there’s the fuel consumption, overall and peak. I would dearly love to know how much fuel he had in the tank at the end of the race. Only knowing this we can know if he really could have gone significantly faster. Without having being called to explain the peak fuel flow rates.
        For example, Bottas come-back certainly was crippled with the need to save fuel.

      2. Richard says:

        Had Lewis’s car not failed then we may have seen just how fast these Mercs are, however both drivers would still have the same constraints on fuel, and engine useage so no point in taking any higher risks than necessary.

  45. Ian Spencer says:

    The Renault teams will be quietly cursing Ricardo’s success as it takes away any chance of Renault arguing that they need significant engine changes to allow them to compete. Yet, if Mercedes have a cylinder failure, they may be able to talk through a design change for themselves.

    The other question is how hard were the various teams working to get their positions? How much fuel did Rosberg have left – would be nice for this information to be public.

    1. Richard says:

      I don’t think the failure was that fundamental, more likely an electrical fault.

  46. Yngwie Malmsteen says:

    Don’t get me wrong but anyone else thinks that Magnussen’s start was a bit “a la Grosjean spa style”? I was amazed he didn’t collect the Ferrari!

    1. Nick says:

      He didn’t mean to just cut across like that. If you watch it again he got wheelspin trying to get the power down and caught it just in time to keep it on the track. It flicked the other way first, and then I guess maybe it gripped up as he piled on the opposite lock, throwing him to the far left.

      Also, in terms of positioning, being on the very outside going into turn 1 at the start of the race is just asking to be boxed in at turn 2 by guys coming down the inside. So aside his car visibly being of out of control, it just wouldn’t really make much sense in terms of positioning. He was aiming for about the centre of the track.

      1. Yngwie Malmsteen says:

        Thanks!

  47. Marlie says:

    Good and expected start by Mercedes. Although it was a pity that Lewis had to retire. I was a bit dissappointed with Nico’s reaction. I understand he is very happy, but pity he did not mention the “bad luck” on the other side of the garage.

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      “I understand he is very happy, but pity he did not mention the “bad luck” on the other side of the garage.”

      Why would he want to do that, I can’t imagine he cares how unlucky Hamilton is.

      1. Richard says:

        Well Rosberg had the luck today, but it’s a long season and I don’t suppose it will be the only failure as complex as these cars are it doesn’t seem to take much to stop them.

    2. Tealeaf says:

      Would you rather Roaberg do a Hamilton like last year with a fake and patronising sympathy note??? Its better to say nothing, maybe the luck has changed for Rosberg.

  48. F Zero says:

    I hadn’t been excited to watch a race this much for years. It was well worth the wait.

    Dan did a great job and so did Magnussen. Amazing performance for both under that amount of pressure.

    Kvyat also had an impressive debut.

  49. ayrton1 says:

    Will this be the season of “Number two” drivers?

  50. kenneth chapman says:

    well, all expectations out the window apart from knowing that the mercedes would be mega in the ‘engine department’.

    today we caught a glimpse of what the future talent bank holds. obviously things will change during the season once all the teams get sorted but for the moment it like a breath of fresh air to see the ‘kiddies’ in action.

    rosberg has been around quite a long time now so he doesn’t qualify for the accolades i am referring to. he did drive a flawless race and i was glad to see him on the podium rather than hamilton.

    as for ricciardo, a superb start to what may be a stellar career. i certainly hope so. ever since he trashed vettel’s fastest lap in the young drivers test in abu dhabi 3 years ago [in the same car] i have patient waited to see him on the podium. yes, one swallow doesn’t make a summer but it is an indicator of just how mature ricciardo really is. to make it even better, he is a really nice guy. warm and engaging.

    the other standout was magnussen. this lad has a briliant future ahead of him as well. bottas proved what an asset he is to williams and he too drove a great race.

    in summary, a few old dogs need to get their kennels in order as they will be hard pressed in the future to match the sheer pace and enthusiam we saw demonstrated at albert park today. a thoroughly enjoyable race.

    1. SteveS says:

      Rosberg and Riccardo are hardly “kiddies”. I’m happy they drove well but not surprised.

      1. kenneth chapman says:

        read my post again, rosberg was specifically eliminated from my ‘kiddies’ comment. ricciardo as i am well aware, is not strictly a kiddie but is a newbie in a top car.

  51. Ken Switzer says:

    james, was that yourself standing near the wire when brundle was doing his grid walk?

    We need you back, croft and the beeb guy just havent got the hang of this commentating bis.

    1. James Allen says:

      No, I was in the commentary box from 30 mins before the race onwards

      1. Ronspeak says:

        And Ted (which I think is interesting) kravits made more INTERESTING evaluations after the race when he said we’ve worked out Rosberg was a half a second per lap quicker than the rest of the field. Classic! Where did the find him??

  52. CC says:

    Mercedes show why they are pre season favourites – so Rosberg’s win was to be expected, but he deserves credit, you can only drive to the opposition around you. However, Hamilton’s problems shows no one can take reliability for granted – if they were anyway.
    Ferrari were mildly disappointing in terms of raw pace, but at least they have championship points on the board – but Alonso must have expected better than fifth. Raikkonen has looked subdued and uncomfortable all weekend. Plenty of head scratching at Maranello in terms of finding another couple of tenths.
    Magnussen was very impressive, Button put in a great comeback drive for a lowly grid position, but performance of the day – and the weekend – has to be Ricciardo. Having never run in a top flight car – and team – he showed superb maturity, discipline and performance to qualify and finish a superb second. It is early days, but it seems already Daniel has blended into his team with aplomb and has been a worthy recruitment to Red Bull.
    Having said that, it is literally early days, and until there is a fully dry weekend it is difficult to ascertain the competitive order of F1.

    1. CC says:

      I’ve just read on the BBC F1 wesbite that Ricciardo has been DQ for illegal fuel flow, but that Red Bull will appeal.
      Already, F1 2014 has got off to a controversial start – is that deliberate cheating or an innocent miscalculation?
      Until the full facts are known about this case I won’t comment on it, but suffice to say we will here more in the next few days, and doubtless we will have be having more discussions about the fuel flow limit here on JA on F1.

      1. super seven says:

        Not sure if I would call it deliberate cheating, but they certainly did things outside of the rules, and should have known better. The FIA gave them specific instructions regarding the fuel flow meter, and they choose to disregard those instructions.

        From what I read of the judgement, I don’t think they will have much success on appeal.

  53. antonio says:

    Is it me on a negative feeling Sunday morning, or we are approaching another tedious, boring F1 season, engine sounds are a let down as well

    1. Voodoopunk says:

      Of course it’s going to be tedious and boring, if all the complaints about last years domination is anything to go by.

    2. Kieran says:

      Thanks for this lovely constructive balanced comment. You’ve really added to the debate.

      My suggestion would be, politely, to stop watching. You win no prizes for trying to make everyone as unhappy as you are.

      1. quattro says:

        Now we are talking about “constructive balanced comment”. Well done! :/

      2. Ronspeak says:

        Well said

    3. neilmurg says:

      its you

  54. Hansb says:

    Great drive from the podium finishers and Bottas (beside brushing the wall).
    But this new formula looked boring, so boring to me. For the first time I really had to fight against the sleep.

  55. Paweł says:

    Encouraging start to the season.
    Hope more teams will be in the battle for points.
    Eco F1 is still attractive.
    I would reintroduce tank up during the race with fuel limit of 100kg for the whole race.

    Rgrds

  56. Rob Newman says:

    Great win Nico. No surprises there. Kevin and Ricciardo were fantastic. Also a great drive by Kvyat – the youngest driver to get a point in F1.

    A stand out performance was by Vettel. Smart guy. He was studying what Ricciardo was doing instead of walking out in his sunglasses like certain other drivers.

    1. Oddz says:

      LOL
      I was wandering when these types of comments would come out.
      Now he is disliked because he wore sunglasses!
      Do you realise the reason Christian Horner made that comment was in defence of Vettel losing his cool when his car broke down. I believe someone asked him about SV losing it and he had to come up with that comment.
      As for the drivers walking around wearing glasses, how do you know what they did once in the paddock? where you there and saw what they did with their time?
      I know the word hater is extreme and over used but …..

      1. KRB says:

        What did Horner say? He alluded to Hamilton in his comments? Why??

        Rob’s a true party line type of guy.

        Re: SV, heard from DC during the broadcast that he was blurting the “do something!’s” again. What the hell can Rocky do about the engine, from the pitwall?!

      2. Tealeaf says:

        Change the settings/mapping? Was it better just to tell Vettel “everything’s normal” then??? A best lap of 1:49 was that due to Seb can’t drive or something? Next you’ll say Ricciardo is over 2sec quicker than Seb… Just a shame its Rosberg driving the 2nd Merc if it had been Hulkenberg or even young Magnusson we’d have a new world champion for Mercedes this year but as it stands its wide open with Merc’s average overrated driver pairing.

      3. KRB says:

        Ok, but do you work best with someone else barking at you?! That’s the point. Don’t lose your head.

        Average and overrated?!? It’s great how comments work …make good ones consistently, and one’s credibility grows. Make silly ones, and you’ll be judged accordingly.

        In this post you’re crowning Magnussen, but in a prior one you urge caution in over-reading his result! My advice is take your prior advice, and try to be consistent.

      4. Oddz says:

        @ KRB

        Nah he didn’t allude to Lewis, forgot which pundit observed the way Vettel lost his cool when the car started having problems to which Horner made the comments about how after the race he came to help out. i was just trying to highlight the reason we know what Vettel did after the race is because of what he did during.

        As for those wearing glasses, how does Rob Newman know what they got up to?
        Also RBK maybe you can help out while we are at it, what is this obsession commentators on here have with Lewis swagger?
        You think they would react the same if let’s say he dressed like a rock start?

    2. Omniprescient says:

      Now expect him to fly to Viry Chatillon for a debrief with the motorists.

  57. Colin says:

    Good race after all the fears of only a handful finishing. More than anything, i was pleased to see close racing at least behind the mercs. I think Renault deserve special praise for turning things around from testing. Just need some of the top teams like McLaren and Williams to up their game a little and apply pressure on mercedes and the bulls to make the championship a full blooded fight.

  58. Garry J. Berry says:

    Interesting that no team challenged McLaren’s rear suspension ‘aero’ components by referring the matter to the FIA (as was thought could happen when we first sighted them during the 1st test in Spain). I can only assume that all the teams considered these shaped rear suspension components to be within the rules. Any news James?

    1. Timmay says:

      Mclaren aren’t winning so of course there is no appeal (yet)

      1. Garry J. Berry says:

        But 2nd & 3rd places (now) in Australia profit McLaren more points than 1 win. Surely if the other teams don’t appeal initially to the race’s Stewards & then the FIA in a timely manner & at the first opportunity it will weaken their case if they decide to do so later? It is the basic legal principal of mitigation of losses.

  59. Dawn says:

    Massive relief having Ron Dennis back where he belongs. Hopefully, he can instill a little more urgency into McLaren to develop the car faster and better than certainly last year’s lame attempt.

    1. Chromatic says:

      Seems he is not just simply ‘observing’ as he says …

  60. Mike J says:

    It was somewhat a disappointing race. Mercs and Rosberg look very ominous for at least six races. They can do ‘a Brawn’.
    But good luck to them as they obviously got their act together with the new cars before the others.
    Ferrari just “look” slow.
    I thought Ricciardo showed a great deal of confidence over the whole weekend. RB were conserving fuel and Ric had the McL covered in my opinion.
    Williams, both Bottas and Massa look to have a more balanced car except KK put paid to Massa.
    I was on T1 (outside) again and the cars are so quiet. You cannot hear them coming towards you and after they disappear out of T2. The previous cars you could hear from the other side of the lake!!!

    1. Doobs says:

      Rb were burning more fuel than they should have been, not conserving.

      1. KRB says:

        Well, at a faster rate than that allowed, so says the FIA. We’ll see what comes of the appeal.

      2. Mike J says:

        Thanks but i wrote this before the news broke about the fuel rate.

  61. Martin P says:

    Any news on Martin Whitmarsh yet James?

    The guy deserves some acknowledgement for the turnaround – if the car was a dog you can be damn sure it would have had his name all over it but equally, there’s no way Ron and Eric have had time to lead or influence the team 2014 design.

    1. Sufyaan says:

      In my opinion, the design team deserves more praise.

  62. ffcunha says:

    A good race.

    People will get used to this new sound after some races.

    Pecking order a litle bit like in testing, red bull a litle bit better than expected.
    Maybe:

    1-mercedes
    2-williams
    3-maclaren
    4-Red bull
    5-ferrari

    Drs didn´t look very effective at this race, let see how it will be at malasia.

    Kobayashi beeing Kobayashi.

    Alonso saying that with extra warm up lap and the safety car they were able to push all the race without needing to save fuel worries me. We´ve seen Rosberg, Ricciardo and the Mclarens saving fuel and they steel finishaed in front of ferrari.

    As Kimi says, let ´s wait and see…

    1. quattro says:

      Ferrari is currently probably close to 1 sec per lap slower than the Merc – in race trim, so yes if you are to worry it is time to do it now.

      1. Yago says:

        I think the difference is bigger, more than a second!

      2. Timmay says:

        Correct. Even the next best car (probably Williams, Mclaren or maybe Red Bull), is a second slower I am sure.

        It is a 2 horse race this year. I am going for Nico.

      3. Yago says:

        Well Timmay, I’m going for Lewis! ;)

      4. Krischar says:

        @ Quattro

        The difference is more than 1 second mate in race trim when you pit Ferrari with others. Rosberg have clearly stated that he could have gone lot faster in the last 20 laps or so if there was a chellenge presented for the race victory. This is more scary to hear. Ferrari purely are 1.5 seconds off the pace per lap if we compare the picture with mercedes

        Williams are lot closer to Mercedes than Mclaren and RBR. with Ferrari in clear distance, at the moment Ferrari are just fifth fastest. Mercedes, williams, Mclaren, RBR and Ferrari in that order. Ferrari can be happy for one reason because they are well clear of lotus. Hence Alonso will not be punted by few other pilots who costed him WDC in the past.

      5. quattro says:

        You are right, I am afraid. The difference is probably more than one sec, the question is by how much. Nonetheless, it is very clear that Ferrari most probably is fifth fastest in r-trim..

        I was thinking about the electrical problems that Ferrari said they had during the race. I have read that the ERS contribution is around 1.5 seconds/lap, so if it was not working 100%, the question becomes how much it was contributing? If it was only working to 50%, we have 0.7 sec/lap right there. Hopefully that is the case (probably optimistic thinking but anyway…), which would make Ferrari maybe 2-3rd fastest (?) behind the Mercs.

        Note also that Ricciardo (probably) was consistently using more fuel than the others – thanks to the courage of FIA (at last) they also did pay a price this time. This maybe means that we do not know 100% the pace of them yet.

    2. Andre says:

      It is not the problem that the sound is different, the problem is that there is no sound. At least not a kind oft sound that is really unique… I live about 20km East of the Hockenheimring and when F1 used to be on, I could sit in my garden listening to the unmistakable F1 noise! I won’t really hear much now at all. It is not a gold idea to throw out one oft your unique trademarks I think.

    3. super seven says:

      “Kobayashi being Kobayashi”.

      More accurately “Caterham being Caterham”.

      When you get to the braking zone and find you have no rear brakes, you’re just along for the ride. Kobayashi and Massa were both innocent victims in that one.

  63. TGS says:

    So Red Bull exceeded the fuel flow rate? What does that mean? So not only do they restrict fuel but they put a speed limit on its consumption? Is this for safety reasons?

    1. super seven says:

      Basically, yes.

      If they didn’t have a fuel flow limit, you would have engines putting out 1200bhp or more in qualifying trim.

      Limiting the amount of fuel that they can stuff in to the cylinders is the simplest way to limit the peak horsepower.

      Limiting the maximum amount of fuel allowed per race is the simplest way to reward the most efficient power unit.

      It seems that Red Bull didn’t like the accuracy of the FIA required fuel sensor, and decided to add their own to use for flow control purposes. This is not allowed by the rules, so they have rightly been penalized for it.

      1. Timmay says:

        Whats wrong with qualifying levels of horsepower – i would LOVE that. This new formula is veering close to being garbage – a too long safety car window is the only reason some of them didnt fuel starve their cars for 1/4 distance today.

        Sad

      2. super seven says:

        Fuel starving the cars is a result of the 100kg total fuel limit, not the peak rate of fuel flow.

        Arguably, just limiting the flow rate is a better solution. The cars can use as much fuel as they like, but can only push it into the cylinder at a certain maximum rate. This would allow the racers to race the full distance instead of lift and coast, but still emphasize power unit efficiency, since the most fuel efficient setup will go fastest.

      3. TGS says:

        Thanks for that. So Mercedes then are achieving the most horsepower within the fuel flow rate. Does that mean Formula 1 is now a fuel efficiency formula or has that always been the case to some degree?

      4. super seven says:

        Like it or loathe it, it’s far more the case this year than in previous years.

        I’m OK with the concept, but the rules on homologation lock in any advantage Mercedes for the entire season, so there’s not much chance of Renault or Ferrari catching up if Mercedes truly do have a better engine.

  64. Howard P says:

    I really don’t like how quiet they are. I know I know, get used to it blah blah… but the appeal of F1 is the buzz you get, you’re supposed to be frightened, your body shaking every time an F1 car passes you. Now they just sound like sports cars. Quiet ones.

    Hearing the tyre squeals and public tannoy over the engine.. :(

    1. AIF says:

      I agree. I did not enjoy this race, even with the new drivers. The appeal of F1 vs other racing for me was the screaming of the engines and the feeling you get. I’m at Montreal every year. Unsure at this point if I’ll be there this year. I’ll try to stay awake for the next few races and see.

    2. Baktru says:

      And it’s one of the things about the new engines I am still happy about. I don’t particularly want to wear earplugs to watch a race..

  65. Cliff says:

    Terrific drive by the rookies today, here’s hoping for more. I’d also like to think that this is the start of McClaren being competitive again. As a fan of F1 I’m also pleased to see thar RBR appear to have found some form.

    To complete the day, it would have been nice to see the architect of the Mercedes revival on the podium in the form of Ross Brawn. Mercedes will be fine without Ross Brawn, but the work and structures that he put in place shoild serve as a reminder of what a tremendous talent they let go last year.
    And then you have Martin Whitmarsh, possibly the author of his own downfall at McLaren, but again, he too would have had to sign off on this years car, so just like he took the flack for the 2013 car, I hope that he gets some credit for signing off on the 2014 car.
    As a fan of McLaren I have to say that it’s great to see a competitive Williams car again and long may it continue

  66. Jack says:

    Really hope Ricciardo is not disqualified! Be such a shame and at his home race of all races! Whatever the case is i think it was a super drive from him considering he has the Renault engine compared to the other drivers around him and it was in the dry not wet like in qualifying. I think that really says something about himself and also the car. Just imagine if Red Bull had a Mercedes engine, it would be 2013 all over again.

    1. SteveS says:

      “Just imagine if Red Bull had a Mercedes engine, it would be 2013 all over again.”

      Australia 2013 …. Lotus won the race followed by a Ferrari.

      1. Jack says:

        2013 in general. Red Bulls dominance throughout the season (especially second half). Not specific races. You know what i am talking about and you know i am right.

      2. Tealeaf says:

        I agree with you. This Renault PU is alarmingly bad just look at Lotus, fron a race winner and the 2nd fastest car for alot of the season last year to a back marker in a few months, if I was Lotus and Caterham I would like a refund please

  67. Nick says:

    Well, I actually starting leaving the race to go home just before half way through. Bored senseless.

    A couple of cars out at the start (Massa was a shame, seeing as the Williams was competitive), Lotus uselessly crawling around at the back, Vettel crawling around at the back and retiring with mechanical problems, Hamilton out with mechanical problems… and from there, mostly just follow the leader. Bottas was making a few moves, but I wasn’t even seeing anything particularly interesting there. Just seemed like a car with a lot more power driving past cars that didn’t stand a chance.

    Came home and watched the rest of the race from my couch… found it pretty much just as boring. At least in the last few Vettel/RB years, even if he was dominating a race, there was usually plenty of good action going on behind him.

    Good on Ricciardo and Magnussen for their podium finishes. Good to see Bottas in a competitive car now, although his mistake did ruin what could have been an even better result.

    Personally, I’m thinking that if the reliability isn’t sorted out soon, and the non-Merc teams can’t sort their performance problems, this is going to end up pretty much a boring throw-away season.

    And again, the sound is rubbish. After they ran the speed comparison race with the old V8-powered Red Bull, pretty much everyone around me was saying, “That’s what an F1 car should sound like.” And then the race finally started and out came the F1 Hoovers. The camera choppers were drowning out the cars. The loud-mouthed group behind me were drowning out the cars. You no longer hear the cars tearing around at the far end of the circuit. Now you hear them when they’re right in front of you, and then it’s basically silence until they come around again.

    1. quattro says:

      Well put – all of it!

    2. chris says:

      Yep, we were on turn 1, and the cars do not sound great, bit like old Indy cars. Most of the talk on the tram home was about Ric and the lack of noise. I paid a lot of money for this weekend and the new cars did not make me say “wow”!

      1. Nick says:

        I’d been considering a grandstand seat for the weekend but ended up deciding to just go GA and use the money elsewhere. Glad I made that choice, and how this season pans out will have a big effect on whether or not I go at all next year.

    3. Andre says:

      +1 I already decided not to get my Hockenheim ticket this year in protest oft the double point rule. I can see the Hockenheim grandstands in the distance from my garden… My main reason for getting at least one ticket every year (usually I go to Hungary if there is no race in Hockenheim), was the sensation of “hearing” an F1 car in your stomache. That is all gone now. No point anymore to go through the trouble of going to the curcuits. I am shocked about this kind of F1.

      1. TGS says:

        Yes I was disappointed the sound didn’t hit you in the chest as it once did. They need to do something about that.

      2. Nick says:

        Yeah, I’m not usually one to get too upset about things. Change is inevitable. That said, I was already fairly doubtful about this season… huge expensive changes with limited testing, the fuel limits, the power unit allocations, the ridiculous double points farce, etc. But even still, I was more just mildly annoyed and just not particularly enthused about the year of F1 ahead. After the weekend though, I’m a confused mix of angry and just plain beyond belief.

        One positive note I guess… at least the Pirellis seemed to be holding up ok.

  68. Sri says:

    Good race by Nico. A few comments on Ferrari:

    1. Ferrari as usual was a disappointment. Williams, McLaren, RedBull, Mercedes, Force India and Toro Rosso are better if not as good as Ferrari — now how will that bring it a Championship is beyond my understanding.

    2. Ferrari’s strategy was poor. It was obvious that undercut is the right way to go when Alonso was stuck behind Hulkenberg and Raikkonen behind Vergne. Button nicely employed it and Ferrari wasted a chance there.

    3. Kimi will now know how it would feel if priority was not given to him. He lost in pit stops and he was not given undercutting – I presume if he were in Lotus he would have got that and ended up above Alonso. But here Alonso got it first and so no way Kimi could have beaten Alonso on the track even if he wanted to through strategy (and his slower driving).

    Ferrari should begin to come out of its Alonso-centric approach: at one point Kimi was just 3 seconds behind Alonso, but ended up far below (besides Kimi’s lackluster performance, it was Ferrari’s Alonso-centric approach also caused it). They should also fire Domenicali – he lacks some strategic intelligence that even an average fan could easily devise by merely watching. Also, if they get a chance and they are bored of their lethargy, they can then design a good car for a change (notwithstanding the electrical issues that both cars nursed today throughout the race).

    1. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

      Yes.
      Kimi ending 22sec behind Alonso is Ferrari’s fault. Kimi not going to Q3 is Ferrari’s fault.
      I heard this same thing when Massa was there. Everything was Ferrari’s fault.

      1. H.Guderian (ALO fan) says:

        P.S.: Did you see Kimi’s *huge* two or three mistakes while he was fighting with the car??? Ferrari’s fault???

      2. Sri says:

        I did acknowledge Kimi’s slowness more than once. Didn’t you read that? What I said was if it were Lotus, they would have undercut Kimi and made him go ahead of Hulk-Alonso-Button. It is Ferrari and they did not. So whose fault is it? Of course I’m not sure if Kimi asked for it and if it was denied or Kimi did not want to do it himself. But the point is, being in same team as Alonso, it will be difficult for Kimi & Ferrari ti employ strategy that would benefit Kimi over Alonso if there is an opportunity.

      3. Yago says:

        To be benefited by strategy he has to be ahead of Alonso. That is how it is done by every team on the grid. Plus the undercut was not the best thing to do for Ferrari, just whach their first laps on the mediums if you want to convince yourself. He wouldn’t have overtaken anybody by doing such an extreme undercut I believe. That is something quite risky and to make it work you usually need to be faster than the guys in front, plus have good pace with new medium tyres.
        Alonso made it work in Australia last year because he was much faster than Vettel and Massa (the guys in front) and degradation was much more of a factor than yesterday. But it was very risky because he then had to manage super long stints.
        Kimi was not in a position to do it, and his speed compared to Alonso who was in front was not enough (not even close) to make the team to agree on it if he wanted to do it, which I doubt.

      4. Krischar says:

        @ Fernando “150%” Alonso

        Were you really afraid about the line up before the season start?

        Because I am a devout Alonso fan and i never had any doubts what so evr about this Lad ever since he entered the F1 scene in 2001 with minardi.

        Yes haters will hat because they have too much resentment against our Wizard Alonso.The man is genius and a legend in the making for me

        Alonso can take on any pilot as his team-mate. He has repeatdly confirmed his issues were with Mclaren and Ron dennis noting against lewis. Pit Alonso against Lewis or vettel in Caterham or Maurssia still alonso will easily wipe the floor with the duo

        Alonso cannot handle a competitive team-mate? This is clear myth and a complete drivel

      5. Sujith says:

        @Yago
        To be benefited by strategy he has to be ahead of Alonso. Well that is what exactly happened to Massa during the second pitstop right in 2013. He was ahead and yet Alonso was given the undercut.

        Is there a clear cut rule that says the lead driver has to make the pit-stop call? Or does every team follow that rule? Does Ferrari follow it. I don’t know, as soon as we saw the pictures of the Rim off on the track close to the racing line, the next shot we saw was the No7 Ferrari passing the pit entry without getting into the pits, I was screaming!! Pit him Pit him now!! I admit the SC was not deployed at that moment. But the strategy team what was in Ferrari say 2004 and 2005 especially one guy by the name of Ross Brawn would have made that call.

        It was a much better choice than stacking them both up. Alonso could have easily got his stop done at the following lap.

        I know hindsight is a wonderful thing and they were really not that good on pace anyhow. But a gamble that would have worked should certainly have made it a little better for them.

      6. uncas says:

        You’re right mate. Some people doesn’t want to see Alo’s skills. As Alo fan, I fear 2014 won’t be Alo’s year. Fer is far behind Merc PU.

      7. simpledan says:

        Ferrari needs a development driver with technical understanding like Schu. Is Alo that man? Probably not.

      8. Krischar says:

        @ Uncas

        “some people doesn’t want to see Alo’s skills”

        I totally agree with you mate And this has been the case in F1 for many years or seasons now

        I live and love to watch F1 simply because of alonso and the spectacle he produces week in-week out for us the (Sincere fans). (just like Lionel messi)

        I share your fear as well time has ran out for legend alonso. This season WDC fight is between Nico and Lewis. Whether 2015 will be better for Ferrari? i do not think so. Ferrari are a Mid-table team now who can only fight with Force india and Torro-Rosso.

        Alonso have to look somewhere else for 2015 if he his serious about another WDC. I hope the almighty will help our king alonso to find/jump to other team who can give him the fastest package like mercedes did this season for lewis/Nico

      9. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

        I’m obviously a Alonso fan. All the autumn and the winter we had a lot of this Kimi will trash Fernando story here or on other forums. I respect Kimi as a racer, and i was somehaw “afraid” that my idol could be beaten by his teammate. The first race is gone, and he was 22 seconds in front. I will not make a party, i will take it step by step. I hope he will do the same the rest of the season. Bat it seems is not enough. Haters gonna hate! Who should be this triver teammate? God? At least wait until the end of the season, like i will do, to draw any concluison. Don’t bother us (because in the first place i’m an F1 fan, and then an Alo fan) with your jumped conclusion!

      10. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

        Sorry, the replay was for Sri comment and it was driver not *triver.

      11. Krischar says:

        @ Zachary’s Disease

        “Alonso will give kimi fans many oppurtunities to come up with more excuses on sunday” – You have hit the nail on it’s head

        Very true mate, i could have not put this any better than you did

        I respect kimi as WDC winner, yet the excuses and number of excuses flow in here by kimi fans is too much. Kimi himself confessed he could have done a bit better than what he managed. Yet for some reason people (kimi fans)turn their back on this and state Ferrari have favoured alonso in Aus and will continue the same.

        People need to be more realistic with the posts

      12. Kay-gee says:

        Okay at least agree that it is Ferrari’s fault that their car not only looks like an anteater but it runs like one too.

    2. Chromatic says:

      Sri,
      malaysia and bahrain will suit the ferrari much more and I expect Kimi’s issues to be sorted out by ferrari ..to some extent by bahrain, and fully by spain.

      Ferrari now know what they have to do. failing is not an option for anyone in the team.

    3. Zachary's Disease says:

      I’m pretty sure the leading car gets first preference to pit stops……Massa, when in front of Alonso, was given the first choice when it was time to pit. Same will happen when kimi is ahead of Alonso. But I’m sure some of you will be wagging your finger during the Malaysian gp saying that somehow Ferrari have sabotaged kimis chances again…. Maybe next time Kimi wont be a second off Alonso’s pace and hopefully when he’s “fiddling with the buttons on the steering wheel” he won’t slide off into the wall!
      All the excuses will come out, just like they did when Massa was repeatedly beaten. Then at the end of the season the story will be the same as it always is for alonso……by maximising every chance he gets during a gp weekend to pick up info that gives him a better understanding of his car and track conditions, he will, more often than not, be able to produce results that are higher than expected. By learning and not merely driving on Fridays and Saturdays, Alonso will give Kimi fans many opportunities to come up with more excuses on Sundays…..

    4. simpledan says:

      Ferrari needs faster drivers. Kimi and Alo are good but lack speed. They are old too. Vet, Ham, Ros or Hul would probably be faster and are certainly more hungry for success.

      1. uncas says:

        Do you think Ferrari’s problems are the drivers? What had Ham, Vet, ….. done whith the lack of perfomance of the f14t? This car is the 5° – 6° of the field, In my opinion (I’m a fer and Alo fan) the season is over.

      2. Sri says:

        Yet, none of those drivers you mentioned did any better than these two in the last couple of years (except Vettel). Of course, Hul was not in competitive car and so was Ros to some extent. But I do agree, this year and next are the best opportunities for Kimi/Alonso to do something. I cannot see them doing much in next few years as the younger drivers come over. This race showed that there are some nice young ones out there: particularly Magnussen and Kvyat.

    5. quattro says:

      “Ferrari should begin to come out of its Alonso-centric approach: at one point Kimi was just 3 seconds behind Alonso, but ended up far below (besides Kimi’s lackluster performance, it was Ferrari’s Alonso-centric approach also caused it).”

      [mod]
      If anything, it was RAI who let his team down and the other way around. For your info:
      - RAI FAILED to get out from Q2 – ALO managed doing that and also getting fifth in Q3!
      - not only did RAI fail getting out from Q2, he also succeeded where most rookies fail – he crashed the car on the IN LAP! On the radio he told the team “I was in traffic…and I crashed”. In interview afterwards he seems to have said, ” I was playing around with some switches on the steering wheel…”…confused as always!
      - During the race RAI (not ALO), committed mistakes that lost him positions and mean he was on his way leaving the track, several times!
      - During the race, RAI was ALWAYS behind ALO.

      Still, in some magical way, you seem to ignore all of the above, and argue that it was Ferrari how let RAI down! Not only that, but you are also suggesting that Ferrari should have pitted RAI first during the SC, which basically is impossible as ALO was physically AHEAD of RAI on track! The only way Ferrari could manage what you want would be to NOT pit ALO during the SC…only to get RAI in…really?!!

      “— now how will that bring it a Championship is beyond my understanding.”

      Even thought it probably was a one-off magical over-performance and beyond most peoples understanding including me, but ALO (the driver you claim Ferrari is centered around while they should not…) managed in 2012 beating VET. He did that despite Ferarri giving him a car as slow as this one at the start of the season. There is still hope, even though I will agree it is very very slim.

      1. Sri says:

        Yes, I agree safety car was not the right point to cite for “Ferrari favoring Alonso”. But undercut definitely is a point missed by Ferrari not only for Alonso, but also for Kimi (and hence my angst). Also Alonso got 1-lap earlier pit stop over Kimi during the second stop. Now, @Yago (above) said that the lead car gets the usual advantage, in this case it is Alonso. I do agree that could be the case. So we should observe what happens in next few races. But whatever it is, it will be difficult for Kimi to beat Alonso through strategy as they are in the same team unlike in earlier years. He has to do it on track, if he can.

      2. Yago says:

        Well, if he qualify ahead and manages to hold Alonso during the first laps, he will have preferential strategic treatment. However, it is not the first time Alonso takes a gamble to beat his teammate, as an extreme undercut. And sometimes the over cut works for him also, as in Australia, if he is faster than the driver in front and is able to conserve tires. Plus in Australia we could see that the first laps after the pit stop are not the strength of the Ferrari. So to beat Alonso Kimi will not have only to be able to stay ahead, but he will have to be as fast.

      3. f1space says:

        You mixed things up mate. Actually Vettel beat Alonso in 2012.

    6. Krischar says:

      @ Sri

      “Alonso Centric approach”. what a clear and complete load of tripe, Do you know what you talk about?

      Alonso had the track position right from the lights to finish. Alonso drove a sublime race and his performace was a clear spectacle to watch. Alonso had ERS issues and unstable braking issues as well, yet he has put in a consummate drive. A Classic Alonso drive in my opinion

      What you want Ferrari to do? Do you want them to focus or concentrate on a pilot who did not make it into Q3 just because of mistakes and wet weather conditions? Do you want Ferrari focus on a driver who simply had too many off track excursions on sunday? Do you want Ferrari to use the under cut option for a pilot who made too many mistakes and let torro-rosso / bottas to get by few times on race day?

      Can you answer these Q?

      Kimi himself accepted and confessed the fact that he could have done better, He also pointed out the new formulae for this season makes Ferrari car little more difficult to drive. Simply because Ferrari struggled all afternoon for the balance under braking. Both Kimi/ Alonso locked up the tyres umpteen times because of this issue.

      Finally you better forget the resentment which you have against Alonso

      yes Stefano D needs to fired not just becuase of the strategy or intelligence. Because irrespective of the strategy / reliability issues which other teams faced. Ferrari can only fought with Force India and Torro-rosso pilots. They did not stand any chance whatsoever to get in with a sight of not even Mclaren

      Ferrari have turned up with ropey car once again for 2014 and can write off 2014 now. Ferrari can better concentrate on 2015. Kimi/ Alonso have to fight it out on the track and gets points for the team if they can. Nothing else Ferrari can do with the gap to Mercedes

  69. Nick says:

    Although, now I’m reading the Ricciardo might have his podium taken from him over a breach of the fuel flow regulations.

    Even if Red Bull somehow manage to argue their way around this and Ricciardo keeps his podium, I’m already hating these new regulations.

  70. Sonny says:

    Can we stop calling these “races” until one happens?

      1. Timmay says:

        Yes

  71. ShaBooPi says:

    Well, I’m not really sure what to say about this first race. The only good thing was the skittish nature of the cars. Apart from that, it was a dull race. It seemed like the Mercedes powered cars were tough to even get close to, I’m not sure how many non-Mercedes powered cars overtook cars powered by Mercedes?

    Its a pity Williams didn’t get to shine, they should have had 3rd and 4th today easily in my opinion. Kobayashi is back to being an amateur again. Overrated. Hulkenberg is stellar as usual, why does Raikkonen deserve the Ferrari seat?

    Having said that, Raikkonen deserves the Ferrari seat, because Ferrari are a pathetic ensemble. Its the same repetitive excuses from them, year after year. Last year Mercedes and Red Bull were fighting it out toward the end, Ferrari had at least as early a start to work on the new car, and once again they are miles behind both in terms of speed. Its unbelievable that this team is spoken of as the best, when in truth were it not for the run in 2005, aided by extreme power with money and the FIA, they’d be quite a barren team.

    It is early but still, another year with an obviously slow car. I’m afraid we are in for another year with one team running away with it and a battle for best of the losers immediately behind them. Hopefully the next race shakes things up…

    1. Nick says:

      Kobayashi has been cleared in the investigation, as the car had failed. Apparently he had no rear brakes, hence when he hit the brake pedal the fronts locked instantly. From there, pretty much nothing he could do about it.

  72. Colin says:

    Bad news for Daniel if is car is found to be illegal. Zero tolerance policy will ensure that he’s dumped out unfortunately. On the bright side, a mclaren 2~3 sounds pretty good!

  73. Andy says:

    I feel a bit for Ross Brawn, a lot of Mercedes’ new found excellence is down to him and they pushed him out. Hope he got some satisfaction from today’s win.

  74. schick says:

    Mercedes have a decided power advantage,Magnussen was all over Ricciardo on the straights but in the wiggly bits Ric pulled away enough to nullify Mags much better power. Ferrari will be beside themselves with the lack of “horsepower” (or ponies with short legs). Disappointed in Kimi’s efforts especially under braking he drove like someone with a club foot.

    1. Alexir says:

      Well Kimi made it very clear the whole weekend that the way the car behaves, the front especially is not into his liking. Alonso’s and Kimi’s driving styles are different, that’s why Alonso didnt suffer from it like Kimi did and Ferrari made it clear that they bring new parts for Kimi’s car as soon as possible.

      I would say that all things considered, how badly that car currently fits for Kimi, he did decent job to get the points that were available…also thanks to safety car he propably lost 7th position.

      1. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

        I read somewhere here, on this site a very good comment about Alo driving style. It was a article from automn. I’m sorry i don’t have the link. Basicly it was saying that during his championship years with renault, because of the power that beast had, Alo twisted his driving style, “pushing” the front weels into the corner, in such a manner that a lot of people, including myself, where thinking that he loves a car with understeer.

      2. Yago says:

        This is F1, adaptability is key. The Ferrari is not to the liking of Alonso, not any more! Just as an example, he was blocking front tyres a lot when he almost never blocks under braking. Then he didn’t have electrical power for the first laps, that is why Hulkemberg overtaked him (Kimi also had issues with the electrical power trough the race).

        So everybody is having issues, the best drivers adapt and do what they have to do to be as fast as possible. Alonso outperformed Kimi all weekend, full stop. No more “the car is not to his liking” kind of thing please!

      3. Alexir says:

        True, Alonso did better job this weekend, but the fact still remains that Kimi had more trouble with his car than what Alonso had.

        This is straight from Dominicali:

        http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/112974

        “We need to help Kimi try to find the right balance in the car,” he said. “He deserves that.

        “There was an improvement [this weekend], but we are still not where we want to be.

        “As a team we have to make sure that everything will be done to help his driving style and I am sure for Malaysia it will be much better.”

        But ye, you are absolutely right that that Ferrari needs to improve on all fronts, not just on Kimi’s car, just saying it was obvious that Kimi was struggling lot more with the setup the whole weekend, hopefully they can fix that soon enough, improve the speed so we would see both drivers on podium soon enough.

      4. Krischar says:

        @ Yago

        “The car is not to his liking”

        Very well put mate, i could have not said it any better than you did

        I have already seen enough of excuses in favour of kimi in this section “Kimi made it very clear the whole weekend that the way car behaves, the front especially is not to his liking”

        Kimi could have done better, Given his experience and credence, Yet for some reason it has not happened for him this weekend and Kimi confessed that fact he needs to adapt to this new formulae soon and also the he pointed out that Ferrari car is difficult to drive and vulnerable under braking, Alonso shared the same fact as well F14 T is unstable under braking

        Neither of pilots cannot be culpable for the poor weekend they had by their standards. Ferrari have let the drivers down and have turned up for 2014 woth another dismal perfronace and abysmal car. I cannot see any improvement from Ferrari for the next few races and pretty much for the whole season.

        The message From Ferrari Team and SD / LDM is; “Drivers have to squeeze the car and get any number of useful points for the team”

        If any pilot question about the Car and they way Ferrari develops the car like Alonso did in 2013 then their ears will be tweaked and they will be petrified by LDM

      5. Yago says:

        Yes Alexir, it’s evident Kimi is having difficulties. Remember first half of 2012, then it was Massa who was having similar troubles with the car. Both Kimi and Massa, now and in 2012, did have more troubles than Alonso with the car. The F14T is very difficult to control under braking, and it is difficult to come to grips with the front end also, which caused a lot of front graining on Kimi’s case. Domenicalli is saying Ferrari will work with Kimi so he can overcome the problems, exactly the same he said after Australia 2012 referring to Massa. Ultimately, Kimi’s or Massa’s problems are/were directly ralated with the pace comparison with the driver in the sister car.

        However, it is wrong to say that the difference between Alonso and Kimi (or Alonso and Massa back in 2012) is due to the car suiting Alonso’s style better. It’s easy to tell Alonso doesn’t like the behavior of the car at all, you can see this by noticing the number of times he is blocking the front wheels. Actually he almost mised turn 1 in Q1, which would have meant he did’t get to Q2, a total disaster. It is very very strange to see him blocking so much. Also back in 2012, he did a spin in Q2, so you could hardly argue he was happy with car behavior.

        The difference between Kimi (or Massa) and Alonso is that Alonso can drive around those problems, and can adapt his driving to obtain the maximum regardless of the behavior of the car. That is essential in F1, and is how speed is found ultimately. It is very very rare to have a car that behaves exactly in the sweet spot ideal for any particular driving style.

        So Kimi will catch up. He will probably come short, this is he won’t probably rise his game to Alonso’s standards, but he definately will be closer at some point. If this is already at next race, or later, we have to wait to know.

      6. Yago says:

        Sorry, it probably sounded like I was comparing Kimi to Massa. That was not my intention, I think Kimi is overal a far better driver than Massa. Just in case you are a fan, which I don’t know! ;)

  75. Gravity says:

    Reviewing what I predicted…
    _______________________________
    Only time (Sunday!?) will tell what the real position of the teams are!!
    If I need to predict, I’ll certainly expect the following:
    1. Lewis / Nico on the front row with Massa/Bottas right behind – 50%??
    2. None of the Renault cars in the top 10 in quali – 3 in top 10!! If anything it was Ferrari engine not doing too well..
    3. More than 30% attrition – expecting a maximum of 14 cars to finish with half of them at least 2 laps behind – spot on with attrition – without safety car, Merc has the potential to lap half the field all the time! Scary!!
    4. Red bull to start from the pit lane!! – too bad….
    5. At least 2 safety car – just 1..
    6. Few incident of cars to spinning out of the track – this did happen over quail & race
    7. Williams to outscore their 2013 points haul in just 1 race – yes!!
    8. We will have a surprise winner – Not Lewis, Nico, Seb or Fernando – damn Nico! But it was a surprise podium – wasn’t it – all underdogs to their more illustrious team mates!!

    And now I know why I should never put money on my predictions!!!

    1. Pat M says:

      But now you have some results to extrapolate your predictions from. I think you should be safe betting Nico finishes the season in first 133 points ahead of Magnussen, with Perez down in tenth with 19 points……but you might not want to bet the house ;)

  76. Chris says:

    Really worried about Jenson!! If there was no safety car or undercut he’d of gone nowhere today, he was easily outperformed by his teamate, and this weekend I heard him singing his own praises for his Canada win (amazing it was, but its ancient history now). It hurts me when I hear people slagging him off for just winning a championship in a massively superior car (my friend swears blind that fact keeps him at Mclaren), and when you hear rumours about Mclaren chasing down other drivers for their number one, but he seems to be getting less and less inspiring :( I’m a fan, but if I was running a midfield team, would I take him on next year if the rumours of Mclaren wanted a new driver prove right, answer would have to be no (being a super guy and personality is just not enough). That’s assuming a top team wouldn’t want him!!

    Thoughts guys??

    1. Sri says:

      If I were a top team and looking to hire a driver, I would go for Nico Hulkenberg. And if this season pans out as the first race: even Bottas, Magnussen, Kvyat are to be watched out. So in short, yes, Button will have difficulty finding a good seat if these people perform as they have done today. I think Button and Raikkonen (I’m a big fan of him) have a very narrow operational window unlike some other drivers. If the car is not in that zone, then nothing can be done and they will get beaten by their team-mates or other “not-so-classy” drivers (Massa etc.).

      1. Ed says:

        No need to write Button off just yet.His qualifying was messed up by Raikkonens incident and he would have probably started up there with his teammate.
        until we have a dry qualifying Its too early to get carried away with the one race performance of these young guys.

      2. Carl Craven says:

        I think kevin looks good, and despite the fact that he finished infront of Button he technically didn’t run the faster race. Button started with a 6 place deficit and turned it into a one place deficit.

        Had he not been hit by the yellow flag he’d probably have beaten Kevin in qualifying and the race.

        I’d be surprised if Kevin gets that lucky with his team mate again.

        He spent the weekend .5 secs a lap slower than Button at all the sessions including Q1 and most of Q2 until the yellow flag.

    2. Chris J says:

      Cut the guy some slack…..he’s just lost his father who was a major part of his F1 career. Having got this first race done and dusted he’ll settle down and be pushing for wins!

      1. Alex Butters says:

        I thought Button did an ok job today actually, getting the car to 4th – 3rd with poor Ricciardo’s disqualification – never thought I’d be cheering a Red Bull on the podium!

        KMag seems talented, so Jenson desperately needs to up his game in qually, but like Alonso he brings the car home in the points regularly. In 2011 Lewis was always faster but Jenson outscored him over a season. It is silly to draw too many conclusions from just one race, let’s see how the season pans out once everything settles down a bit and the teams know what they are doing…

        I take your point though, there are a lot of gp2 gp3 etc champions in F1 now who deserve their chance. Talking of which – outstanding drive from Hulkenburg yet again! When oh when will he get a good drive?

    3. FW14B says:

      Jenson was only let down by his qualifying performance and that was due in part to Raikkonen’s crash.

      In the early stages of the race Jenson will always play the long game, more often than not it often comes to him, and as things turned out he ended up 3rd. Not a bad day at the office and topping the constructors to boot.

      For sure Magnussen will be more of a challenge than Perez.

    4. SteveS says:

      I thought JB drove well today, working his way up from 11th to finish on the podium. (After DR was disqualified, but still..)

      As for his long term prospects, he’s 34 and the second oldest driver on the grid. He doesn’t have great long term prospects. But if Magnussen turns out to be the next Hamilton, does Mclaren REALLY want to hire Alonso to drive alongside him, given what happened in 2007? That would incredibly stupid in my opinion.

      1. Krischar says:

        @ Steve S

        Still 2007? what pity

        Cannot understand when and how the resentment will get over against Alonso with people here?

        Keep tilling on 2007 till the next century and enjoy the bias towards alonso

    5. Chris says:

      Hmm, just want to clarify some of my points, he always has an excuse for not really making Q3. He’s qualifies where you expect the forces indias/saubers and williams of this world to be. He blames luck, balance etc. He would not have been as high today if he did not sneak into the pits, wheres the great passing and racing gone?? Its often said, its an advantage to qualify 11th, but its only an advantage (if it really really is) for the teams chasing tail end points. It’s not for Mclarens ambitions.

  77. goferet says:

    So we finally got to see what the new green F1 is all about but to be honest, I was left disappointed.

    I mean F1 should be all about speed, guts and pushing the last ounce from the car for it’s very unromantic to hear about fuel saving from the get go.

    Anyway, interesting first race for we saw the birth of new talent especially MiniMag, Kvyat and in a way Riccardo despite the fact he has been around the block.

    Good controlled race from Rosberg at the front but with no challengers upfront, it was 2013 all over again.

    Riccardo did well to soak up the pressure at the front with no mistakes whereas MiniMag looked like a pro but just like Lewis, he will be confirmed as a true talent is he can have another 2 or 3 strong races in a row.

    So it appears the Williams have have a good pace, now it’s up to the drivers to bring the results in though Massa was unlucky today.

    Job well done by Mclaren after a difficult year in 2013, this is just the shot in the arm the team needed.

    As for Ferrari, they didn’t look good out there for unlike past seasons, the team at least had good race pace to make up for difficult qualifyings.

    I think when the Lotus gets sorted it will be strong enough to fight for strong points.

    Overall, it’s nice seeing the reliability woes weren’t as bad as feared, this can only get better from hence forth.

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      According to your stats, Rosberg’s win effectively puts him out of contention for the championship.. :D.

      1. goferet says:

        @ Alexander Supertramp

        Yes but we will have to wait for confirmation at the end of the season.

  78. Gareth says:

    Already McLaren and Williams have done more in 2014 than the whole of last year. Ferrari look a mess, Raikkionen was never with it, Alonso looked like he was wondering how on earth for the 4th year running have I ended up with a dog of a car? Botas recovered well, shame Massa was taken out at the start but these things happen.
    Mercedes, got to say they look quick but they also look fragile, I don’t see them running away with it. As for Lotus, in 1994 the team folded due to lack of money and a bad car, I don’t want to see history repeat itself.

  79. Richard says:

    A pity Mercedes had the reliability issue with Hamilton especially after he had done the hard work of putting it on pole. They say it was a cylinder misfire causing the problem which sounds electrical. They need to find the root cause and remove it at the earliest opportunity if they mean to win the constructors. Nevertheless it was a faultless and commanding performance from Rosberg. I think the rain in qualifying put Red Bull up their artifically, but had sufficient race pace to maintain the position. McLaren were in good reliable form going into the lead in the constructors.

  80. dkfone says:

    Hi James, Can we read anything into Ron Dennis buzzing around the pitwall during the race. For a man who claimed he won’t be making decisions from the pitwall, he seemed quite involved today!!

    1. Zachary's Disease says:

      Apparently he radioed both drivers towards the end of the race to remind them that “they weren’t racing Kimi, they were racing Fernando”……

  81. Anthony says:

    James,

    I was really concerned to see that the new noses almost caused Massa’s car to flip during the first corner crash. If Kobayashi had been going any faster…

    How big of an issue do you think that might be, do you think there is a case for an urgent rule change?

  82. warley says:

    Did Hamilton have a hardware failure on the ICE and if so does that mean he has only 4 engines left for the rest of the season?

  83. Sammy says:

    What a boring race that was!
    Looked so much forward to it and than it was just very very dissappointing to see most of the cars cruising for the whole race.
    First lap was interesting and Botta’s overtaking saved the day a little bit for me.
    Better not think about the engine sound, what a farce!

  84. warley says:

    I assumed that Ricardo had simply used more than 100 kg for the race and i can see how that could happen but the post race statement says he consistently exceeded the max allowed flow rate. That should be impossible as every car has the same FIA spec Maximum fuel flow restrictor and they were tested to be within spec. This is very curious!

    1. Richard says:

      It failed on fuel flow not the total amount of fuel used. Red Bull say the FIA sensors are unreliable which I can believe.

    2. super seven says:

      What a pity Red Bull decided to use their own fuel rate sensor instead of the FIA mandated one.

    3. Vlad says:

      I remember an onboard comment in the race “no need to save fuel anymore”. Poor Dan, jipped by the team!

  85. quattro says:

    Not sure if I am getting old & bad memory, but I cannot remember last time I watched as dull a “race” as the 2014 opener. Maybe media created too high expectation…I do not know. I know though that the only “exciting” things happening were drivers “out-braking” themselves (BBW), cars braking and other cars lapping x laps behind the leader…
    Overtaking? Close racing? Engine sound? – naa forget that, this is the new 1.6 liter, Environmentally Friendly Formula 1. Try exchanging “Overtaking” & “Close racing” with the more environmentally friendly terms “Lifting off” & “Coasting”… first then you will start enjoying being a true environmentally friendly racing fan!

    PS. Also think about the poor neighbors living close by the circuit – They never before could enjoy a nice sleep at the time of a race. Now, they do not even realize it is GP week-end, thanks to the new, kind engine sound. :)

  86. panagiotis says:

    Ciao stefano, come stai?

    they should put a Mic array around circuits every 1m just to get something proper for the tv audience.

  87. German Samurai says:

    I must have been the only person who liked soft tyres and driver activated KERS (along with DRS of course). All anyone did was complain. I loved it.

    People got their wish and look at the result. This is how races typically played out throughout the 90′s. It’s okay. I’ll still watch because I’m obsessed, but last year was better. Casual fans will switch off.

    Just look at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix if you want unpredictability. Yes, the season was boring after the summer break but that’s because the top teams other than Red Bull made the calculated decision to give up on 2013 and divert resources to 2014 (despite Vettel only being 1.5 races ahead of Hamilton at the time).

    Just wait until they figure these cars out, figure out the tyres, figure out the optimal strategies, iron out the reliability problems. It might just kill F1.

    The spectacle is gone. These cars looked like GP2s and were quieter. The engines (sorry power units) sounded like frogs croaking. No-one cares about hearing the tyres squeal under braking, we want a loud violent shriek.

    There’s a reason virtually no-one turns up to watch support events like GP2 even if the racing is good and it sounds and looks good. It’s not a spectacle like F1 (once was).

    If F1 wants to know what it’s future will be in two decades take a look towards how far Indy Car has fallen. Who is going to pay $700 for a seat to watch these things? They might be fooled this year (I already have my tickets), but won’t be fooled next year.

    1. kieran says:

      Surely you’d rather watch a race that is dictated by driver skill rather than tyres. I don’t understand all this hype about unpredictability – I’d much rather see races where drivers overtake each other because they are faster. (not becuse the tyres on the car in front are in pieces)

      1. German Samurai says:

        It relied on driver skill last year. The fastest and best drivers were still rewarded. Some drivers could extract speed but only to the detriment of their tyres. They were punished for it by having to stop earlier or more often.

        There was still some graining on Sunday. Drivers drove within themselves. Alonso couldn’t pass Hulkenberg for 30 laps.

  88. Alcides says:

    ¿¿¿¿ A great race ??? After the failures it was so boring. The sound of engines is horrible. The race was boring and dull. ¿ And this is the pinnacle of motorsports?

    1. Mike84 says:

      It was pretty boring, mostly a procession except for DRS overtakes. These new engines don’t add anything to the show if they’re not showing the fans what’s happening, whose battery is charged how much, whether they’re using full power and fuel flow, whose electric motor is providing the most boost, etc. Would add some drama for us.

  89. Matt says:

    I really enjoyed the action all weekend. I was nervous about the new regulations and sound but came away pleased. The cars look like a handful to drive. They are no longer on the steady rails of the past seasons. It is a blast to watch the cars dancing about.

    Lots of new talent to cheer for. Magnussen drove a real mature race and he seems like such a nice grounded guy. Ricciardo also drove so well appearing very calm and confident. Kvyat was also a real stormer and will be fun to watch.

    Biggest surprise for me was watching Bottas’s quick and aggressive pace. Shame he slapped the wall breaking a wheel rim. He was impressive.

    Biggest shock was how badly Ferrari looked. They just looked outclassed. I did catch something about them struggling with electronics and maybe it was reliability plagued pace. We will see.

    I’m very thrilled and excited for what looks to be an epic season.

    1. Krischar says:

      There is nothing to see as far as Ferrari concerned. The season is already over for them. The gap between Mercedes and Ferrari looks Ominous and uncatchable even with 18 races still left in the season.

  90. SteveS says:

    I would think that a broken cylinder would require a new engine for LH at the next race, and a consequent grid drop.

    I expected Red Bull to get SV’s engine issues sorted out before the race started, it’s odd they were unable to do so. Maybe he’ll also need a new engine before the next GP.

    1. Richard says:

      I think broken cylinder is an unfortunate choice of words, more likely to be a misfire due to a failed coil.

    2. KRB says:

      The grid drops only happen once you take the 6th engine.

  91. Bruno says:

    Scanning all the datas from this race, only one conclusion is obvious : Vettel crowned again at the end of the year.

    1. Aaron Noronha says:

      Oddly though skeptical i tend to agree a little with you. Having a car finish 2nd with almost no winter testing shows the true potential of the Redbull. Now they have better reliability(compared to testing)they can focus on performance. Mercedes has an advantage of between 0.5 second to 1 second over the Redbull on the long runs. Its difficult although not impossible to bridge that gap.

      Vettel always has a slow start to his season (except 2011) and then he ups his game. You’ll see a recurring theme where once the car is sorted and he is almost a regular on the podium(usually the top step). But this year all Mercedes teams clearly has an advantage because of the Power Units. It will take Renault at least 6 months to a year to catch up. But you never know how the season will pan out. I for one wish the Ferrari were a little more competitive to make the season even more exciting

  92. Blaize says:

    Did anyone else notice the fake digitized Ads down at turn 3 and 4? Was so weird.

    The F1 logo on the outside of turn 3 and the 3 Pirelli logo’s on the catch fencing outside turn 4.

    I don’t think I’ve seen that before and I certainly didn’t approve of the Tele screens for Flags on the podium.

    Other than that I thought everything was good. Sure the Engines are quieter but I loved hearing the Tyre Lockups. At least after FP1 the guy on the soundboard compensated by turning up the Trackside feed which was the main culprit for the lack of noise.

    I enjoyed many many aspects of this new age of F1. The racing today was of a great quality and in all honestly I would much prefer that to the V8′s

  93. Valentino from montreal says:

    To Lewis :

    Your underpaid teammate has won the Silver Arrow’s first race in this new era … Your car broke down …

    Everything happens for a reason , I guess …

    1. KRB says:

      Val, firstly why don’t you search out what Lewis actually said about Schumacher, instead of going off second-hand reporting? It was clumsily said, but his intent was clearly to wish Schumacher well.

      Secondly, Nico’s underpaid? He makes 12m euro a year, I believe, which puts him joint-fifth in terms of driver pay (after ALO-HAM-BUT-VET).

      1. simpledan says:

        but earns more than vet? Whao!

      2. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

        Of course! Because is a a better driver ;)

  94. Peter says:

    Ferrari have a super team in terms of the drivers, they should capitalise on it. However they are too focused on explaining that they are Ferrari, the biggest team, heritage etc. Too much talk like “we need to improve”, excuses, too much focus on Alonso. Why they have parked Kimi for seconds behind Alonso, why not to try undercut? I hope they sort out themselves because this year there will be no excuses. We know they have drivers with the best race craft and consistency. Great drive by Magnussen, fantastic guy.

    1. Yago says:

      What? Undercut? They had to stop asap during the safety car period. Alonso was ahead, so the one that had to wait was Kimi. Had Kimi been the one ahead it would have been the other way around. It is very simple.

    2. Krischar says:

      @ Peter

      “too much focus on Alonso” – What a clear and complete load of tripe.

      Alonso had the track position ahead of kimi and drove a sublime Race despite the ERS issues which he had to contend from the start. Alonso simply out-performed Ferrari and Kimi. Ferrari came up with usual ropey car and excuses already in the first race. Ferrari focussed on alonso? Who else you want them to focus on? A driver who even did not make it into Q3? A driver who made far too many misatakes on race day and quali? A driver who had too many off-track excursions? You still want Ferrari to do the under-cut?

      Wake up and be pragmatist, Kimi was no where all weekend from start to finish, whereas Alonso drove a fantastic race. He dealt with the pressure from bottas which made bottas to make contact with the walls. He harried and hussled off Nico hulkenburg and he cooked up the tires far too many times. Nico had to pit and Alonso have duly put in a couple of quick laps to get past Nico H.

      Finally give credit where it is well deserved (Alonso) and Take off the ross tinted glass view (Kimi)

      1. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

        Excelent point about Bottas! Remember Mal vs Alo at the same track in 2012?

  95. roberto marquez says:

    “”The Emperor’s New Clothes” (Danish: Kejserens nye Klæder) is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!””
    I think the same is happening to Formula 1 racing ,nobody wants to play the role of the kid, shouting ” This is no longer about drivers but about technology “

    1. Alex Butters says:

      F1 champions

      Vettel
      Alonso
      Hamilton
      Raikkonen
      Button

      GP2 champions

      Rosberg
      Hulkenburg
      Grosjean
      Maldonado

      GP3 champions

      Bottas
      Kvyat
      Gutierrez

      Champions of various types of F3/F3000

      Ricciardo
      Vergne
      Sutil
      Ericsson
      Biannchi
      Massa
      Perez

      Champions of various types of Formula Renault

      Magnussen
      Kobayashi

      Most drivers in F1 probably deserve to be there because they have been successful in lower forms of racing. Max Chilton is the notable exception to the above list – as far as I’m aware he has never won any type of championship.

      We always over-romanticise the role of the driver, but motorsport has ALWAYS been a team sport and always will be. From Chapman to Newey, the most important talent in F1 has probably been the designers engineers mechanics and strategists. Less talented drivers in good cars can often be fairly successful, but even the most talented drivers in bad cars rarely are.

    2. Anthony says:

      Please name an era of F1 that wasn’t about driver + technology?

      Do you think Fangio, Lauda, Senna, Prost, Mansell, Hill, Vetell or any other driver would turn down a competitive advantage?

      Rosberg said it at the end of the race “what a wonderful car you’ve given me”

      F1 has always been about technology and the driver.

      1. simpledan says:

        Actually Schumacher the brave did exactly that and embarked on the risky Ferrari adventure.

      2. Anthony says:

        I can understand why you’d say that, but Schui cited the team’s behavior in the 94′ season as his main motivation for leaving Benetton (launch control incident, overtaking at the British GP and ignoring a black flag, illegal wear on the skid block).

        That season left him with an air of controversy that followed him his whole career. Some of that was him of course, but 94′ cost him the benefit-of-the-doubt.

        $60 million, a works team, and the opportunity to build a team around himself can’t have hurt either. He took the long view rather than the quick win and along with Todt, Brawn and Byrne made history.

  96. darren w says:

    James,
    Is there anything we can read which describes what fixes are allowed on the power units and which are not? Will Hamilton’s cylinder issue, for example, be fixable or will this problem force him to immediately dip into the rest of his power unit allocation for the year?

    Really enjoyed the race.

    1. James Allen says:

      THey aren’t sure yet, because they haven’t studied the engine, but they are hopeful that it will be OK

      1. Richard says:

        Sounds like an electrical issue like a faulty coil. I hope it was not an assembly issue.

  97. Scott says:

    This is the brave new world of Formula 1, then? While it’s only one race old, and presumably teams will improve, I think the hope that this would be better has now evaporated. The only difference this season has over one of the so called Red Bull domination years is that one of two drivers could win it, so perhaps there will remain a little interest. F1 is all about the combination of driver and team, and Mercedes have done better than anyone else, so well done to them, but to all those who would deny Vettel any credit for winning his championships because it was “only the car”, bear that in mind when one of Rosberg of Hamilton wins the championship.

    I am amused at the disingenuity of claiming these new engines had to be introduced so that F1 would “stay relevant”, when saving what is a small amount of fuel on race day really means nothing when dragging this huge circus all over the world 19 times a year.

    The race today: there was intrigue given the pre-race hype of cars retiring right left and centre, but it ended up being a banal affair, a couple of incidents aside. Has the dominance of tyre saving now simply been replaced by fuel saving? Same result either way, which is not real racing.

    At least there’s a Rosberg-Hamilton battle to maintain a little interest for a while.

  98. Ryan M says:

    So it’s the first race of the season and everyone’s writing ferrari off already, absurd, one of the biggest budgets on the grid, the best driver pairing, and what looks to be one of the most reliable packages of the top teams. Do people forget that Alonso has dragged absolute donkey’s of cars to second position in the championship 3 out of the last 4 season?!

    1. Timmay says:

      Wrong. This Merc is equally as strong as a Schumi Ferrari, Vettel Red Bull, Brawn, or 1998 McLaren ever were.

    2. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

      This seems far worse than 2012, and that car was a dog of a car to. But hope dies last …

      1. Alex says:

        I agree the 2012 was not the fastest, but it was competitive for most of the season and very reliable, Alonso manage to have more than 40 points of advantage and lost them because unlucky accidents, not because race pace, the 2012 I think has been the best of the last 4 years, are you maybe wanting to say 2013? because last year car was indeed very mediocre most of the year. If you are talking about 2013, yes, this year looks worse so far, because it seems Ferrari was thinking that their slow pace will be compensated by reliability, but they had electrical problems and the other cars were faster, so it sound like a bad equation right now.

      2. Fernando "150%" Alonso says:

        No, i said 2012 because that car was a dog in Australia, and in the first part of the season. In summer it was quite fast in race trim, and in autumn, fast enough to win that championship. The 2013 challenger was fast out of the box and just Kimi/Lotus with their alternative strategy prevented Alo to win Australian Grand Prix.

  99. Arnie S says:

    Flow rates are for not needing to check turbo pressure. More modern version of limiting fuel=energy=bhp

  100. Sujith says:

    Great Race by Rosberg!! :)

    Atleast I can take pleasure in seeing one of the underdogs I support is getting things done after the disappointment from the Ferraris. This win is gonna be an advantage for Nico both points wise and psychologically. I bet he is looking at the bigger picture here and is going to work hard on improving himself to prepare a serious title fight with his own team-mate. May the best man win. Atleast that’s gonna be exciting to see.

    I hope Ferrari’s wind tunnel is really sorted out, cuz if those parts that are coming on the cars in Europe are not making them go quicker they can forget this year too. What a shame.

  101. Philip Iszatt says:

    I wish I wasn’t saying this but after lap 1 turn 1 I was BORED. Drive skill was completely hidden by technical complications, and I found myself wishing for simple cars with big noisy engines. Please God let it get better!

  102. Fireman says:

    Wow, a lot of pessimistic comments! I suspect a lot of variety in podium before cars hit Barcelona. So, don’t throw your towels in yet. It’s not just about pace. It’s about reliability as well.

  103. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Go HULK, Go PEREZ! (in the points).

  104. Zachary's Disease says:

    Ricardo’s Red Bull disqualified? I’m sure Christian Horner will explain to F1 journalists how silly this fuel rate rule is and how flabbergasted he is at how Red Bull are not allowed to choose their own ‘optimal’ flow rate……..I would be offended on so many grounds if he didn’t. Mainly on the grounds of continuity….I love his interviews where he passionately defends Red Bulls right to “push the boundary with technology”…..and then blatantly ignore that very same “boundary” on any of the following grounds….
    1) Adrian Newey is a genius and this rule is preventing him from showing that.
    2) Safety….there is a real chance the car could catch fire and explode. If the FIA don’t let us continue to use our modified and highly illegal KERS unit to power the many illegal bits on sebs car, there is a real risk someone could die.
    3) Play the victim…..it’s not the fact that we put holes in the undertray when the rule specifically states that there cannot be any holes that got other teams upset…..it’s that the other designers are jealousy of Adrian Newey! Cos they didn’t think to cheat in such an obvious way! Putting holes in the undertray is an easy way of getting a massive amount of performance.

    Nuff said

    1. Aaron Noronha says:

      Just when have you heard a team boss or any engineer in f1 call Seb’s car Illegal?? Show me an article in any paper or site that says one of the team bosses have complained that Sebs car was illegal. You may have a right to your opinion but you have no right to distort facts. Its like someone saying just because Mercedes is about 1 second faster than the rest of the field they are definitely cheating(which is not true). Mercedes clearly gained an unfair advantage last year by their secret test(isnt that cheating too) but only received a rap on their knuckles.

      Its always the misguided fans that have no intellectual capacity to understand that F1 has always been about pushing the boundaries when it come to implementing the rules.
      In fact most innovations in recent years have come from different teams and not just from Redbull Take the double diffuser of 2009 definitely not used by Redbull at first. Or the Fduct from Mclaren. Newey might have resurrected the blown diffuser but he dint invent it. The first blown diffuser was invented and raced in 1983. When subsequently the blown diffuser was banned, it was not Redbull but Mclaren that thought of a better solution of using the down washing of the exhaust gasses to feed the diffuser(wrongly called as Conada effect) In truth only Redbull and Sauber were the only team using the less efficent Coanda when they launch their cars. Eventually Redbull copied the Mclaren concept and developed it into 2013, while Mclaren squandered an opportunity to develop what was the fastest car of 2012 and instead develop a new car from scratch for 2013. Apart from that Lotus and Mclaren have been using FRIC(does that make their cars illegal???) How about all the teams pushing the boundaries on the low nose designs. Even though they arent in the spirit of the regulation all the noses are Legal. The Mclaren blocker suspension is another concept which might be termed illegal and might be contested by the other teams but once it is deemed to be legal by the FIA all other teams will copy it. I am pretty sure even before a protest is launched other teams are developing their own version even if they are the ones contesting it.

      So your point of Redbull cheating is void and at best an attempt to sully the hard work put in by the Redbull team in getting to the top. Every team that is successful has some disillusion fans/hates coming with conspiracy theory to support their opinions instead of using fact to base their opinions on.

      If a team invents or comes up with a solution that exploits the loopholes in the rules, other teams will copy it or contest it and than copy it. There are times when certain loopholes are closed mid season. Sometimes new rules are made in the subsequent year to clamp down on some exploits purely for a cost control and to make sure that the cars are not only legal but also confirm to the spirit of the regulations. Thus a car which might not comply to the spirit of the regulation might still be a legal car. All the noses on the cars this year are legal but dont comply to what the intended purpose was. Hence the rules will be rewritten to close any ambiguity next year to close the loopholes. But that means even if a team has gained an unfair advantage by exploiting the regulation than it is legal to do so.

      The blown diffuser and the later iteration of it were both legal and were banned because all teams were wasting lot of money in developing those concepts for incremental gains. Whatever ended up on the Redbull ended being copied by other teams too. Similarly Redbull copied innovations of other teams too.

      There are time when certain parts are banned or changes made during a season but they become illegal only after the FIA deems them to be not in conformity with the rules(I.e before the ban or change those exploits were legal).

      Finally there are 4 parts to a successful team in F1 The Aero Department, The Mechanical Department, The Engine Department and the Driver. Just as your body cant function without your brain your brain cant function without your body. So their Domination isnt only about Adrine Newey or Sebastien Vettel but the entire Redbull team.

  105. Ace says:

    Well…The sound was quite good when all the cars were on the start line just before the race began.
    Since the pitch produced by the V6s is lower than the V8s, it’s added a new dimension to the sport in the form’s of the crowd’s cheers. With Mercedes power units so strong and Massa with Williams, I can only imagine what a riot it’ll cause in Brazil which used to be marginally quieter than the V8 engines.
    But today in Australia, a star has been born. Kevin Magnussen’s humilty and amazing performance in my eyes is the star of the future. If he keeps this up, Button’s days could be outnumbered especially with Ron Dennis at the helm.
    On a parting note, all these rule changes and a German still finished ahead of an Australian (aside the disqualification)

    1. Timmay says:

      Jenson is already packing his bags. Goodbye

      1. Carl Craven says:

        Yes I suspect to get to Malaysia.

  106. Richard says:

    Hamilton did not bog down, he simply did not have the power and torque to have a speedy getaway or indeed race pace. Getting bogged down implies incorrect clutch control which was not the case.

  107. Peter Scandlyn says:

    Both Lotus cars stopped at a spot where easy removal from the track was available. Yet in each case there seemed to be a lengthy full course yellow when a local would have sufficed. Cameras didn’t provide any viewing, was there something else going on with removing the cars?

  108. Ketthalllotus says:

    Great start by Ricciardo though. At least it shows that the Red Bull no 2 driver can get off the line!!

  109. Bryan says:

    I won’t comment until “Gazboy” has imparted his oh so superior knowledge.

  110. Gord says:

    Looks like WDC will be between Rosberg and Hamilton

    1. Timmay says:

      No doubt

  111. Timmay says:

    It looked & sounded like an endurance race to me right up until the moment I fell asleep. First time I ever zzzzz’d an F1 race in my own timezone.

    Disappointed in the new F1. It is as bad as the last 3 years (2011-2013).

  112. rider says:

    My only concern for Lewis is,that usually he who wins the first race becomes world champion.I hope that does not happen because it will be a big blow for Hamilton to be beaten by his teammate.And finally can someone tell me if there was other drivers that had a dnf in the first race and went on to become champion.

  113. Sufyaan says:

    I’ll say it now. Nico or Lewis for WDC. Nico set the fastest lap of the race on lap 19 (i think). He then managed pace to the end. The others didnt even get close to that time in the closing stages, when cars were even lighter!

    As for the rookies/younger drivers, they seem to be learning and adapting better than some of the ‘oldies’. They seem more sharper and do not have to ‘unlearn’ previous styles/habits. They will be a force this year (those with competitive cars).

    Seems like Ferrari are in trouble and rumours are that they may have gone a touch conservative with design. Definitely seem down on power. Alonso was close to Hulk onto the home straight but was left behind. Kimi was disappointing! Just hope he can get to grips with the car soon. Fear it may take a while though.

    An observation and opinion on Vettel. I feel he is going to struggle with the new formula for a few races. Hes had such a brilliant car up until now and now having to drive a car which he cant just stamp on (throttle) the exits may be hurting him. Hats off to RBR/Renault for getting one car to the end and in a competitive fashion too. Albeit for the fuel infringement.

    Ummmm. The starts! Theyre going to interesting this year with the torquey engines. Cant imagine one in the wet! Would be very tricky.

    Finally, I want to see the ERS/DRS graphic again!! Thought they would have at least developed one. Maybe its not so simple with the new systems.

    Onwards to Malaysia :)

    1. Timmay says:

      You can’t judge Vettel being rain / yellow flag / breakdown impacted from the warmup lap. It is still 1:0 to Ricciardo tho.

    2. Krischar says:

      @ Sufyaan

      You are spot on mate

      Ferrari have gone ultra conservative again this season, Race day performance in australia reflects this. Ferrari car were Abysmal and dismal. Not just that Ferrari were too slow and down on power. Alonso’s struggle to get past a force India for 30 laps clearly reflected the struggles.

      what may take a while? Nothing? Ferrari can write off 2014 and can think about 2015. alonso clearly worried about the gap between Mercedes and Ferrari. It’s far to much too do any catch up

      It’s a bit of relief for others, because rosberg could have drove much faster. He stated Mercedes have more pace left in the reserve.

      Another year of disappointment looms for Fernando, I feel very sorry for a elite pilot like Alonso who have so much talent in abudance and yet Ferrari let him down year after year

  114. Mike84 says:

    This makes me really sure I’m not being overcharged when filling up my car, if it’s so difficult to measure fuel flow accurately.

    Next time maybe I’ll bring a gallon jug to the station and fill the car 1 gallon at a time.

  115. Darren says:

    Thing I noticed about these 8 speed gearboxes, is there any point? They were taking former 2nd gear corners in 3rd / 4th gears. Where will they use 2nd? Monaco? 1st is a waste. Think it was one of the Williams I noticed getting into 8th and quite high in the revs, interesting to see if they will be bouncing on the limiter at faster tracks, Melbourne isn’t really a fast track and I didn’t see any of the other cars getting into top gear.

    1. Timmay says:

      Saves $ – that is all

  116. DEANO says:

    What a difference a year makes. Last year when Vettel won by 30 or more seconds many, many people posting on various blogs were posting of how boring F1 has become, but i’ve read very little about how boring it was when Rosberg totally dominated the race today. For me I simply miss the V8′s and the more traditional engines. These new ones are so high tech and so many electrical things are run off the engine, they are bound to have issues if everything isn’t perfect. If the upcoming races have this much attrition rate well I think that F1 is going to lose a lot of their fan base.

  117. Bayan says:

    good race. I feel bad for Grosjean as I think he deserved a good car this year but am sooooo happy to see Maldonado’s move to Lotus back fire (at least in this race). The lotus may have potential (as some say) but the Williams will be far ahead by the time Lotus get their act together. Maldonado really left a sour taste after his antics last year.

  118. Sujith says:

    I don’t understand the need to be pessimistic here. I just simply can’t understand. Shows that the Formula 1 fans are hard to please. Everyone will be cribbing about something or the other. I mean come on!! Compared to the Jerez test, the first grand prix of the season is a tremendous big step in the right direction.

    These teams are super intelligent, it was just the matter of getting through the first race to learn what’s up with the new rules. 2 or 3 races into the season.. everyone’s gonna change their minds! Formula 1 is gonna be exciting always! However it may be!

    1. Alex says:

      Agree, this was just the first race with a lot of changes (that I think should come gradually, for example, new PU and just five for the year?), so I think this was more like a test race, but you now how hard is to pleased everybody especially the older ones (sorry about that but it’s true). For me it was a weird race, but most of the fans I think will get used to it and as always there will be some people wanting to go back in time because their era was better. I think there has been boring races during the whole F1 history.

  119. JohnBt says:

    DODT – Bottas

  120. Slackbladder says:

    The new regs have trashed the sport!
    What a S T U P I D farce, slow cars that looked slow, sounded like the engine noise was canned, 10 seconds off the real F1 time for Melbourne at best. I let it go at v8′s but paid drivers are like having the richest kids in a country competing for Olympic gold-not the most fit and best suited.
    Stop dumbing down the world so some theoretical nation of politically correct morons ‘feel normal’!

  121. Wellbalanced says:

    I actually thought that was an excellent GP and am impressed with the new regulations.

    The start was exciting, though not an enormous amount happened throughout the remainder. Nonetheless, my attention was held all the way throughout, because: the cars are a lot more interesting to watch, far more twitchy, they look faster even if they are not; the overtaking levels were good, cars could overtake but it wasn’t easy; the fuel limit aspect I thought brought the right amount of intrigue at the end of the race.

    Basically, this new formula has got potential. It now seems crazy that we were watching these cars on rails in previous years. Even if the aero guys will claw some of it back, ‘more power than grip’ is surely what a racing car should be. They look like beasts, and were especially exciting to watch in Q1 dry qualifying.

    Personally I like the noise, especially the turbo whoosh. It may be that as a spectator it is not loud enough, but on tele it works. Also, I enjoy being able to hear the crowd and tyre squeals.

    Finally, obviously very impressed with Ricciardo and Magnussen, as well as Torro Rosso and their drivers. Glad in a way Ham and Vettel didn’t finish, they will inevitably challenge for the championship so it just makes it more interesting in the long run.

    At the next race I am expecting, and very much hoping, that Williams get a proper run of it to the podium. Their resurgence is my main point of interest at the moment.

  122. Steve says:

    The best thing by far was said by one of the TV pundits “Last year we had cars that couldn’t exceed the drivers skills, this year we have cars with more performance then the drivers can use at present”. Last year was point and squirt, this year drivers need more feel, more control. Seeing cars going sideways and drivers having to wrestle all that power is far more exciting and they haven’t even started the development race for real yet. Great to see the rookies have such a good first outing too. Only the first race but fingers crossed for more of the same to come :)

  123. Peppers says:

    This is so late I am sure nobody will read this, but here it goes.

    Thought engines sounded appalling when watching on friday, but tried to assure myself that it had to be this way. By mid race on sunday I found I had forgotten all about it and was just enjoying the racing. New engines have so many positives, and only one real negative (albeit a pretty big one).

    Main question to James or anyone.
    Cars are limited to 15, 000 rpm. In practice it was mentioned that most cars would run at about 12, 000 for fuel saving purposes. As fuel isn’t an issue in qualifying, were the engines cranked up to 15? Was that as loud as they are going to sound?

  124. fox says:

    Both Ellison’s cars don’t perform. Lotus has not been finished because of Ellison departure to Ferrari. Ferrari has not been finished because of Allison late arrival to Ferrari, he just could not change bad design created during 2013.

  125. Rishi says:

    A big congratulations to all the teams! After such massive rule changes they turn up at Albert Park and are fairly reliable, consistent in terms of speed (both between cars and compared to last year) and fuel-efficient (no big fuel-saving variations between teams). My big worry was that we’d see a repeat of Monaco last year because the teams would need to be so careful to try and score a good result. In fact at times we even heard drivers being encouraged to push – “hit the beeps!” – which was good to hear! Wasn’t edge-of-your-seat excitement but was interesting and intriguing. A good race on balance.

  126. Bru72 says:

    Boullier has really turned things around for McLaren! Well done.

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