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Australian Grand Prix
Relentless Raikkonen leaves rivals trailing in Australian Grand Prix
Posted By:   |  17 Mar 2013   |  11:25 am GMT  |  530 comments

Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus sent out a powerful message to rivals by managing a two-stop strategy to perfection and taking a thrilling victory in Melbourne, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel. And to rub it in, Raikkonen set the fastest lap of the race at the end, showing that he had more life left in his tyres.

In a race that saw seven different leaders and the majority of the field running a three-stop programme, Raikkonen was able to make one less stop in the Lotus E21, that is well-known for its gentleness on the tyres. He worked his way into the race lead after a lengthy second stint on the medium tyre, which saw his opposition having to stop much earlier for a second set of medium tyres.

Having started the race in seventh place, the Finn produced an extremely consistent drive as he and the Lotus chassis showed the pace that all other teams had feared in recent weeks. Romain Grosjean’s fast and consistent long run in the Barcelona test was the indication, for those who wished to see it, that the car has the capability to do one less stop in marginal races than rivals.

The platform for the race victory was built during the first two laps when Raikkonen made his way past a number of cars and found himself in fourth position. His long second stint was the clincher. It is Raikkonen’s second victory since his return to Formula One last year and the 20th of his career.

“I’m happy for the team and for myself also,” said Raikkonen. “We’ve had a quick car all weekend and I had a good feeling that we would be ok with the tyres after practice and the team got the strategy perfect.

“It was quite simple; probably one of my easiest wins. You can’t start the season much better than winning the first race and of course we hope we can be fighting at the front of the Championship, but there’s a long way to go.”

Alonso was the best of the three-stoppers and drove an equally impressive race, using the under-cut at the second stop to find his way past a trio of cars made up of Adrian Sutil, Vettel and Ferrari team mate Felipe Massa. Alonso lost some ground in the opening stint behind Massa, but the Ferrari wasn’t able to do the race in two stops and his pace in the final stint was interesting; he pushed hard at the start, then faded. Nevertheless it was a very positive weekend for the team and the radio message to Alonso from his engineer, “Ci Siamo” (“We are there”) indicates that the team know they have a good chance of the title this year, starting from this baseline.

Vettel and Red Bull looked unbeatable in qualifying; the German had looked set to again dominate from the outset after opening up a two second lead early on, but he was quickly hauled in by a quick starting Massa and Alonso. The Ferrari pairing made a very good start past Lewis Hamilton and a slow starting Mark Webber and were able to set themselves up for a their strong result.

Red Bull did not have the race pace to match its qualifying efforts and with Webber ending the race in sixth place after KERS issues contributed to another poor start, it looks to be a very open and competitive season ahead.

Like Alonso, Massa had a very strong race and could have been on the podium had he not stayed out a lap too long for his final pit stop. He matched Alonso’s pace throughout, having outqualified the Spaniard by 3/1000ths of a second.

Hamilton in his first race for Mercedes attempted an ambitious two-stop strategy but was forced in to a late tyre change to stop himself from dropping down the order. He lost out to both Ferraris at the start and did not quite have the pace to match the front-runners. However, it will still be a satisfying result for the Briton with his former employers much further down the order.

Sutil was a candidate for driver of the day; starting from twelfth place and the first car on medium tyres, held his pace across a long first stint and led the Grand Prix at two stages. He matched the pace of the race leaders, but ultimately dropped down to seventh place when he had to pit for the obligatory set of option compound tyres.

Jenson Button and Sergio Perez ended the race in ninth and eleventh places respectively after a troubled first race for McLaren. The car was well off the pace and there were operational mistakes too in qualifying and the race, leaving the team with a long and gloomy debrief.

Paul Di Resta made it a solid day for Force India by ending the race directly behind team mate Sutil. He also managed to take just two pit-stops and gain a good haul of points for the Silverstone based squad.

Completing the top ten behind Button was Romain Grosjean. The sister Lotus did not have a good start and was caught in traffic during the race.

Nico Rosberg was the only high profile retiree, dropping out of the race near the halfway point after losing drive. His compatriot Nico Hulkenberg failed to make the start when his Sauber suffered a fuel system failure.

At the tailend of the field, Jules Bianchi came out on top of the Marussia/Caterham battle ending the race in 15th place. But there was great encouragement for the team as Bianchi set the 11th fastest race lap, albeit on a new set of supersofts in the final laps.

AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Melbourne, 58 laps, Dry throughout
1. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1h30m03.225s
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari + 12.451s
3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull + 22.346s
4. Felipe Massa Ferrari + 33.577s
5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 45.561s
6. Mark Webber Red Bull + 46.800s
7. Adrian Sutil Force India + 1m05.068s
8. Paul di Resta Force India + 1m08.449s
9. Jenson Button McLaren + 1m21.630s
10. Romain Grosjean Lotus + 1m22.759s
11. Sergio Perez McLaren + 1m23.367s
12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso + 1m23.857s
13. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber + 1 lap
14. Valtteri Bottas Williams + 1 lap
15. Jules Bianchi Marussia + 1 lap
16. Charles Pic Caterham + 2 laps
17. Max Chilton Marussia + 2 laps
18. Giedo van der Garde Caterham + 2 laps

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I was jumping up and down at turn 4 when Kimi took the lead as I knew it was “shut the gates”

That was a fantastic race. Definition of speed and precision all rolled into one. So pleased for Kimi and Lotus.

Can only hope Mercedes get there car working and take points away from Ferrari and Red Bull because nothing more I would like to see than Hamilton and Raikkonen fighting for victory-the two best racers on the grid.


i don’t like how tyres are being used to ruin the races. who wants their road cars tyres to wear our quickly? it is all politics. they should just let nature takes its cause after all fans want to see the best driver win or the fastest car win. not many people enjoy race fixing so i wonder why they’re doing it.


Another drive like that from Sutil and he’ll be in a McLaren next season 😉


i think suttil needs to beat his teammate outright first.


Hi James,

I took the following vid with my GoPro on race Sunday and it captures at 1:17 a mechanic/marshal (??) crossing the track IN FRONT OF a moving Catherham at the start of formation lap!!

If a team mechanic, I would have thought he ought the team should be fined/reprimanded… is this the case?

Also, the vid (sadly) shows Webbers poor getaway.



Elated for Kimi, well raced!

Hope Lotus keeps up with the development race, to give Kimi the Championship possibility.

Whereas Ferrari with a decent car this year, is sure to give Alonso the edge over rivals in terms of the whole team + teammate behind him.

Mercedes, yet again a reliability failure (wondering if Nico got Schumi’s car?). But tyre degradation seems a usual suspect but overall pace looks very good.

Mclaren seem totally lost.

Looking forward to a tight 2013 WC and rooting for the ice man to win it like 2007!


Just looking at Paul Hembrey’s comments with regard to Malaysia which he describes as extreme and “all about tyres”. Well it seems that all the races are about tyres and tyre strategy. It this proper motor racing when it should be about car and driver? When are we going to give up this “Mickey Mouse Formula” and get back to proper racing with reasonably durable tyres. There is nothing exciting about cars going backwards because the tyres are losing their grip.


Kimi said he took a bit easy in quali. Was he ruing or was he saying that he wanted the super-softs to last a bit longer in the race and did not push too much? If it was latter, then Lotus were committed to 2-stop before quali itself!


Great first race! I hope Kimi and Lotus can maintain this kind of form through the year. It’s going to make for a great season!

Mercedes, too early to tell it seems like they may be hard on tyres, but the planned strategy distorted the view.

Mclaren, whilst trying to fill the hours between qualifying and the race it dawned on my brother and I that the problem with the team is the design mentality, alternating lead designs responsibilities year on year will always lead to revolutionary cars rather than evolutionary cars. Designers will have different philosophies. Mclaren should consider why they take this approach when looking toward 2014/15. In the meantime, no doubt they will resolve the MP4-28 issues but it seems like such as waste of resources.

Ferrari – Should see if they can incorporate Fernando into the team name. Everything is moulded around him, I apologise to Massa for all the times I have belittled or berated him, the team seem to be intent on destroying any motivation he has. Why throw the result in the first race of the year?


Kimi is gonna win the WDC 2013. This is my gut feeling. And my only sensible reason would be the fact that he made it look as easy as the 2007 case.

Go Kimi Go!


Cars were easy to spot for spectators! Great job for fans this year identifying the cars at the circuit. Generally all the slower team mates from last year/ or new drivers (i.e Hamilton)/ 2012 losers, have the fluro yellow T camera.

Most cars zip by too fast to understand all the helmets (easier on tv). Very pleasing for me, to understand and consistent, my only confusion was fluro yellow on the rear of some cars…..


What a fantastic start to the 2013 season.

KIMI – You’re the man! Cool as ice, does the walk and talk on the track. Iceman says it was an easy race, ye all better watch out.

ALONSO – The smile on his face says it all, he’s a happy man for sure.

VETTEL – Finally the Red Bull dominance is no more, we like to see Seb fight as a leader with the leaders.

MASSA – What happened!!! It can’t be team orders at this stage.

HAMILTON – Respect goes to him for a great start in Mercedes. He will win some races for sure!

WEBBER – Arghhhhh, why why why…….

ROSBERG – Gosh, he just didn’t have the luck factor, he too will win again this year.

SUTIL – Wow! Lead two times during the race, Resta, watch out.

BUTTON & PEREZ – Better use the old car.

Overall it was an exciting race with so much action that went on from the start till the end of the race. Just had to re-watch it, after observing more of the ‘live timing’ which was fabulous as it was obvious when cars peaked and dropped off after each stop.

James aren’t you happy teams are closer now.

Sepang will be more accurate and I hope the track is a hotplate. No rain please! Can’t wait to get there this weekend.

Our last year for the SCREAMING V8s. If only they switched it to the even louder V10s. It seems the Turbo will cost teams double the budget and I thought they were trying to cut it down (mary mary quite contrary). Once again FIA shot themselves!

tom in adelaide

Is is McLaren who have separate teams working on each years car?

Seems like a disaster waiting to happen that now has.

double eyepatch

How nice of you James to choose a photo for this article where there is a crown over Sebastian’s head


and a sign that says R O X


Ha! Well spotted…but thumbs up for the resistance! 🙂

tom in adelaide


And a thumb over Alonso’s! I didn’t realise he had remarried so soon 😛



double eyepatch

Oh wait. The partial F1(tm) logo makes it look he’s also got wings hanging off his back too. I’m now suspicious of how you came to choose this photo now James.


Welcome to the Pirelli World Championship. Oh for the day when tires have a much reduced affect on the outcome of F1 racing.


I so much more prefer this Championship that Dull Bridgestone World Championship


People should be careful what they wish for. Remember Abu Dhabi 2010? Pit stops on lap 1, procession for the rest of the race, decided the outcome

I’ll take seven leaders and a great strategic battle between Lotus, Red Bull and Ferrari any day


Very disappointed by Pirelli. We’re back to the lottery of last year, sigh.


Did Pic win? Did I miss something? What lottery?


Yeah I know, three world champions in the three best cars finishing in the top three – it’s a real lottery.

What are you thinking!


I really enjoyed this race from start to finish with Kimi excellent race and Lotus good on its tyres. On Friday practice Redbull – Lotus and Ferrari were matching on long runs. On race day which seemed cooler maybe the affecting the likes of Mercedes greater and then Redbull slightly. Hopefully in Malaysia in hotter temps may see the full working temp of tyres to cars and a better understanding for teams on race pace setup…..


Paul Hembrey on Kimi / Lotus:

“Masterclass of tyre management.”

That’s the equivalent of giving marathon runners shoddy shoes that won’t quite last half distance !

F1 should NOT be about tyre management any more then marathon about shoes !


one time F3 driver


When was the last time you saw a marathon runner sprinting the entire race?

Marathons don’t have to be about managing the shoes, because they are about managing the body – sure their shoes last, but if the runners didn’t control their pace they’d burn out long before the got to the finish line.

Of course in F1 the effect is achieved artificially, but in the end it amounts to the same thing.


You don’t get it.

Let me spell it out for you.

The single supplier marathon shoes fall apart far earlier for some people with different gait / running style / weight.

Ergo: third party supplier has undue influence on the result.

Yes, I am well aware that Pirelli was ASKED to produce ‘dodgy’ tyres to spice up the action, making the teams to gamble on pit stop / tyre strategy, but now it’s gone too far.

Vettel was 1.2s faster in quali, Kimi 1.2 faster in the race, the difference is not driver nor car, just tyre usage !

F1 / Bernie should decide if F1 is a sport / race or just TV show !

If the later, let the drivers pick grid places / tyres by lottery !



I do get it – I did acknowledge that it’s artificial – but as you said Vettel was 1.2s faster in quali…but after a couple of both Raikkonen and Alonso were catching him – and yes that was solely because of the tyres.

The alternative would have been to see Vettel do a runner the same as he did in most of 2011 – arguably one of the most boring seasons in recent times.

Having dodgy tyres is not ideal – I absolutely agree on that – but if it leads to interesting races than I’ll take it.

The alternative is to start screwing around with reverse grids (as they tried in V8 Supercars), ballast penalties for the winners (as in Super GT) or compulsory pitstops (which in F1 would have little to no effect at all), all of which would be artificial and none of which I like the sound of.

There are probably other alternatives – probably some better than those I suggested – but whatever you might suggest it would still be artificial.

F1 is a race and it is a sport…but it also has to be a show, otherwise people stop watching.

I have a feeling however that to Bernie it’s just a money machine 🙁


Just want to say what a great job Suzie Perry did on BBC1 today. So much better to have a rather more focussed approach to F1 again (I got so tired of the CBBC approach of the last couple of years).

Let’s hope it continues throughout the season.


Good work with the guys from Ten James.

You should grow a beard 🙂


Shame about Webber (but to be honest we saw it coming).

Well done to Kimi, Alonso & Vettel – hopefully the former can continue take the fight to the latter and provide us with a great championship 🙂

Well done to Massa too – great to see him up there with some decent points to start 🙂

Good clean race from (almost) everyone. Nice change to not see a safety car in Aus (even if it would have mixed it up a bit ;))


Didn’t enjoy this race, strategy and the tyre wear lottery is the differentiator these days. Overtaking has become trivial and the speed of individual drivers is dictated by tyre usage.

Qualifying is much more interesting for me, which is a state of affairs.


I do not know which race you were watching, because what I watched yesterday was:

1. A race where overtaking was rather hard even with the DRS

2. None of the Top teams really struggled with finishing a race. Kimi won the race from P7 with a 2 stopper. What lottery are you talking about? This was the plan from the very beginning for Lotus and it was very easily executed. So what is the problem?


Another great performance and masterclass racing from ALO. Great start considering the short run to first corner, great strategy calls and last but not least great overtakes!

Was impressed by the way he managed to get by the, by the looks of it, panicking Hamilton, without being hit. Did ALO see the smoke from the burning tyres, in the mirrors, or hear them screaming when sliding against the tarmac??

If ALO will consistently have a package able of, lets say, top 4 spot on Saturdays, we are in for another epic season.

Lotus – Great performance by car being easier on tyres than the rest…for me, boring victory nonetheless.


“Relentless Raikkonen leaves rivals trailing at Australian Grand Prix”

Exactly where did it mention Fernando / Ferrari Save your comments when they win & I will join you in congratulating them.


boring victory??? really….what do you prefer instead…lights to flag schumacher victories from the early 2000s?


I think he prefers to see Vettel-like wins from 2011.To me….Kimi won from P7, indeed a “boring” win


I am wondering about the possible set ups used during the weekends and how they may signify the actual pecking order.

Red Bull looks to have set up the car more for qualifying than the race and hence might have faced higher degradation during race, so they can still optimize their race/quali bias once they gather more data on the tires.

Ferrari looks like the most competitive car as far as the qual/race combo is considered. They were not too far away from pole position, yet had superb race pace.

Lotus looks good and won this race, but not sure whether the tire conservation trick work else where if the qualifying position is near about todays.

The really confusing one is the Mercedes. Their set up looked more geared towards quali but they tried to have 2 stopper which may require more bias towards consistent race pace. Did they got caught out on track evolution or something that made them compromise their pace for 2 stops instead of 3 stops. Also, confusing is the info that their mediums did not work as well as the soft so is there a downforce/temp related issue somewhere.

It will be cool to see how teams cope up with the variations in the coming season. It looks like an exciting year, unless Redbull sorts out its race pace.


Good questions, but what do you mean Ferrari not too far off in qualifying? They were 1 sec off.I think that indeed, Red Bull made a mistake with the set up and they will improve for the next race for sure. I could very well be that we will still see a Red Bill dominance. Sadly…..


All very predictable today.

Webber gets a really bad start

Strategy puts Alonso in front of Felipe

One of the Merc’s breaks down

Maldanado crashes out

The only thing I didn’t see coming was Roman not crashing on the first lap.


Let’s blame Helmut Marko for Mark Webber’s poor start.

Bring Back Murray

At least the Ice Man won instead of Vettel winning my 20 seconds!


And you never expected a Vettel win and knew Sutil would lead half the rave? Whatever ssssshhhhhhhh.


Hi James,

Superb Raikkonen!

Newey has some work to do with these Pirelli tyres.

As for Ferrari, it all depends on Massa. If massa performs well , quite well or satisfactorily from race 1, then the car is quite good. Alonso needs no intro!


Well Massa was best of the team-mates on the podium


Grosjean was by far the worst.


Can’t wait for the top 10 Q2 qualifiers refuse to fight for pole position so that they have a free choice of what tire to start from. Or, alternatively they go into Q3 with the harder longer lasting compound and only switch to the softer compound for the last 3-5 laps. So much for qualifying.

Seriously, that would be ridiculous, but Sutil almost pulled it off today with what is by far not the fastest car on the grid. F1 becoming a tire formula? I hope not!


congrats Kimi and Lotus. great result. apologies if this has been mentioned already but does James or anyone know what the issues with Williams are? the pace was shocking all weekend. Exhaust issues?


Well an interesting race, and I am so glad it wasn’t another Red Bull domination, and a well deserved win for Kimi and Lotus. I don’t think Mercedes problems were anything to do with tyre wear as they went long on first super soft stint. Hamilton flat spotted them which is why they had to change earlier than they wanted, but was still longer then the other front runners. I think Mercedes are lacking a bit of downforce and perhaps they even need to work the tyres a tad more because it was a cool day and the performance deficit may be partly due to tyre temperature. The Ferrari car is clearly strong, and working very well.

Things will be quite different in Malaysia!


completely agree


James, would you draw any conclusions regarding the team pecking order based on this race? And do you think that McLaren will be able to turn things around quick enough to stay in the title race this season?

Bring Back Murray

Looking good for the rest of the season boys and girls.

All we need is Hamilton and Merc to find a bit more speed and it’ll be perfect.

Whitmarsh out? All McLaren are going these days is backwards.


I think it very unwise to leave it at ‘Red Bull’ chews its tyres.

They certainly struggled in what were cooler than expected conditions, yet I would wait until we can see how they operate on warmer tarmac before concluding that other teams have bridged the gap.

I actually saw flashes of the usual dominance and I think that if they have less graining in hot conditions as I expect, then they remain clear favourites for the titles due mainly the their ability to lock-out the front row of the grid and run in clean air which gives them greater flexibility with their strategy than their rivals.

I am also not convinced that Ferrari’s race-pace is the best as things stand. Raikkonen looked to me as if he had plenty in reserve on worn tyres. Undoubtedly, Ferrari have a great basis to develop from and I do expect them to out-develop Lotus during the season but this race was never Alonso’s to win, even given ideal conditions to three-stop.

McLaren will have to address their issues soon, it was painful to see them struggle the way they did. This, from a Ferrari fan: I was gutted. Tough times ahead.

Mercedes were a little harder to read for me. I don’t know what to think at this point so I am reserving judgement.

I think we need 3-4 more races with regards to temperatures and tyre-wear to draw any conclusions that will not overturned from one race to the next. I am expecting some surprises.

It will be important to observe Webber, Massa and Grosjean to gain insights into the real strengths and weaknesses of the top three.


Mercedes may have to switch focus to the 2014 car sooner rather than later. Should the results not be forthcoming by the British grand prix…Ross, look hard to 2014, turn that promise into true dominance.


Don’t you mean MCLAREN MERCEDES?




Great to see Kimi get the job done. It would be good to see a non Red Bull season as its been getting boring to watch Seb ace qually and then build a 2 second lead from the start.

My money is on the maturity of Alonso to continually be on the podium this year. He’s the professor of the grid


I must be in the minority on this one, but personally I lost interest in that race quite early on. Good to see Kimi take the win and on very good form indeed, and Ferrari are clearly back on song with this car, but for the most part that race was something of a procession. Passes for position only came about because someone’s tyres had gone off the cliff completely, or because of pit stop strategy, and there were very few genuine battles for position. It seemed to be an exercise in tyre conservation first and foremost, and for me the novelty factor has worn off on that front. “Thrilling” is not the word I would use, unfortunately.


I was at turn one! Fantastic experience, awesome seat on the top row of the Moss stand, i could stand up on my seat 😀 I cheered for Mark Webber the whole way through the first 50 metres of the race…. then I got depressed and wanted to go home 🙁 Sutil did get caught by Vettel and co, but then impressively opened up a gap, he looked at ease staying ahead before his first stop, and i applauded every time he went past. I think he should celebrate his laps lead with a glass of wine.

And the cloud cover over the circuit made the light brilliant in emphasizing all the sparks flying out from under kimmis car down to turn one, love it! Seb pulled out a gap of about an entire pit stop over his team mate once again (angry). Oh and after watching the race on tv, Max chilton should probably get out of Alonsos’ way next time, instead of trying to overtake a Caterham while being lapped. Also i could not get my head around what sort of strategy Jules Bianchi had, and whether he’d get sucked back to his opponents after maybe an extra pit stop…. from where i was sitting, Bianchi smashed’em! he absolutely destroyed his rivals, and look forward to viewing his progress next week.

ps. kimi reckoned he was taking it easy, and proved it to alonso with a few laps to go, so i’d bet he would of been as fast as the ferrari on the same strategy.


With the fragile SS tires in play, I expect more teams to play it safe in qualifying. Let the guys fighting for pole destroy their tires and make up positions through one less pit stop in the race. It would have really shook things up if both Force India drivers were on the same strategy. I’m betting that Sauber will also be doing the same strategy.

unF1nnished business

Great race by the Kimster. It’s looking like he’s at the top of his game. Curious about how far back Grosjean fell. Not sure if this was the result of traffic or bad strategy…maybe both.



Does this mean that the Lotus won’t be able to get into the right temperature window in Malaysia? Lets hope this isn’t similar to Mercedes in China last year.


They believe they they will be ok there


Could we see less running in Q3 because of the shorter tyre life.


Strange the number of people saying Kimi/Lotus won because they stopped twice compared to basically everyone else that stopped three times. And that Lotus need to improve their overall pace ???

If that’s how quick the Lotus is on a two-stopper , then how would they have gone if they had also done a 3 stop strategy? Either way I think Kimi would be standing on the top step after the race.Simply put, the Lotus was the fastest car on Sunday no matter how many stops they chose to do.


I second that thought chrisnz, plenty of readers here are of the opinion that Alonso was held up by Sutil, Vettel, Hamilton, A Cow, etc… but that should not take anything away from Kimi and Lotus. Just look at the pace of the guy on the second last lap, he could have done a lot more quicker laps if he was on a 3 stop strategy without having to worry about making the tyres last for 24 laps. He would have blazed through the field like what we saw in Bahrain( I am just using the metaphor, I know he was using the harder compound at that race)


Hey, solid performance from Hamilton, just what we expected. If he can finish this season in the middle order he will be well please. And to see him fighting against his old rivals like Massa and Sutil was just magic. Let’s hope there is much more of this sort of thing for him to come this year.

As for the leading pack, well done Kimi. Great start Seb. Impressive from Alonso. Just a disappointment for JB but hey, its early days and, in my humble opinion, better to have a few knock backs early on than spend the whole of the season fighting for middle order placings.

Malaysia Boleh!


Only one thing can be concluded… Lotus are fast…


Very enjoyable race!

The tyre element kept the race suspense all the way to the flag – reminded me of how descent old skool races used to play out.

Plus, the best possible outcome of a Kimi and Lotus victory!


Is it fair to say this year’s McLaren is last year’s Ferrari?


Yeah, I think that’s fair to say.

Time will tell whether they can turn it around as Ferrari did last year.


Worse, McLaren lacks a driver of Alonsos calibre. If they still had Hamilton I would agree, but Button & Perez are not good enough iMo.


or raikkonen you can add him to the list .


Hope someboy can give some clues:

1. Red bull completely dominated qualifying, i did not watch it because of the time. Was it the normal pace and something that we will see this season or it is because it was something unusual?

2. Lack of pace of red bull during the race was a one off due to the wrong set up and temperatures or they do not seem to be really faster than ferrari and lotus?

3. I was thinking….whether ferrari or red bull could manage two stopper today as did lotus and I do not think it would have been possible. Or Kimi was lucky to never push during the race and could conserve tires?


Bro just watch the race instead of asking such questions.


I watched the race, still do not have the answers. So why was not Red Bull able to match Lotus and Ferrari after being 1 sec per lap faster in qualifying? Set up error for them? Temperatures and operating window was not hit?


Kimi tries to avoid the vagaries of relying on luck. He was probably the only driver today who stayed calm and controled his emotions.

At the start of the race while Vettel, and the two Ferraris were matching testosterone levels, he laid back out of their slipstreams and bided his time. No wonder their tires went away.

Rocket Science 101:

Get enough laps on the super softs so you hold your lap count in check for the next two stints without sacrificing pace.


I think Kimi learnt that trick watching Alonso’s first stint at Monaco last year. Remember, where everyone thought Massa was quicker, but actually Alonso was using his brain.


Kimi learns from Noone. He has raced on every type of tyre and won on every type of tyre. He is not driving a Ferrari now- he is driving a Lotus-think about it they dont work the same way


Why does the glory always have to go back to Alonso? Kimi probably learned it himself!


Yea I don’t understand the tires. Don’t get me wrong I think the racing was awesome, but shouldn’t the ss be way quicker than the med? Say at least 2 seconds a lap and not for just 2 laps? I think Pirelli got it all wrong today. I would expect more teams to qualify on the harder of the 2 tires in future races. I understand Pirelli has a difficult task and there’s a lot of different variables, track temps. and different suspensions, but even though the racing was good, it seems like the tires are not working as they were designed..


I can’t get my head around Sutil’s pace once he put the S/S on. With the extra rubber put down and a very light fuel tank, how could the tyres destroy themselves so quickly?


So Mercedes are roughly where they were this time last year with no massive improvement, and once again can only field one reliable car.


Räikkönen set his and the race’s fastest lap on lap 56. Almost all the other top contenders set their fastest laps over 10 laps earlier (except Alonso on lap 50). For example Vettel’s top lap was over a second slower than the winner’s and set 14 laps earlier.

I have to wonder how much Lotus had in reserve? One could even argue that Lotus and Räikkönen dominated the race.

For that matter, I think I like the new faster wearing tires. It concretely turns the race into a team effort: Losing a second or two in the pit lane each time can lose multiple positions in the race.

Although the pit stop circus in the early race was bit silly. Well, I think it’ll improve a bit after the season progresses some more.


it is not just tires, you have to factor in low fuel in the end also. So these conflicting trends are not easy to fathom.


Good to see that Kimi has recieved and accepted some smile training. 🙂


…and he talked to Brundle on the podium!

Obviously he was very happy to win the first race of the season and good on him 🙂


James, prophetic words from you after friday practice when you singled out kimi’s 14 lap stint in Q2 as a deciding factor in the race.

I think most significant is the fact that raikkonen could post his fastest lap 21 laps into his stint. Clearly the lotus is as fast as redbull and ferrari.

I think Red bull’s dominance in qualifying was due to setup and in order for them to match the race pace of the lotus and ferrari they probably need a less aggressive warm up which could cost a few tenths in qualifying.


Hey James, im mexican, so I care about PER and GUT, I know theres a lot of people that thinks PER paid his seat at McLaren, im a fan of F1 and i like to see the livetiming…

after what I saw at AUS, PER had a better pace than JB almost all the time, he just finished like 3 seconds behind JB (he was being 0.5s – 1sfaster), and for McLaren, PER was making same times as VET at the last stint, this is the first race I know, but what do you think this puts PER and McLaren for future races?

Would PER beat JB that easy with the same qualy strategy?


Sorry, Perez doesn’t deserve a seat at mcLaren….honestly do not think he is as good as Hamilton. Just think about Hamilton’s first year in F1 alongside Alonso.


Im not sure about the seat, he might deserve it or not, but i think hes not as bad as ppl thinks… I mean, he did get the sponsorship from SLIM, but he aint doing any promotion for SP now, all Grupo Carso (Slim) publicity is on Gutierrez side, why would someone like Slim ever pay a driver if he cant make profit with him?



Was Red Bull’s lack of pace compared to Ferrari due to them not running their passive DRS? Was Ferrari running it?

Tornillo Amarillo

If Championships usually is a matter of 2 drivers, this year seems to be 3 indeed: Alonso, Vettel and Kimi.

Unfortunately, Hamilton couldn’t be in the mix for the Championship for the first time in his career this year, that’s a point to consider. But he could be in 2014 with the new engine era and more knowledge of the team. Meanwhile, he sure can win a couple or races this year and be better than McLarens.

Massa could fall in performance if he feels Alonso will always be the favorite in the team when strategy counts.

Button’s career, in troubles. Is there a philosophical problem in the Team?


You make the point about the title contenders better than I did….

As for Button, I have a suspicion Mac will bounce back much much sooner than it seems right now. They’ll be strong by Europe!


That was a great race and it felt like any of the top 5 could win at one point. Just a shame Massa got done over again.

But Sky’s coverage was spectacularly bad. After the the race I don’t think they interviewed Massa, Webber, Rosberg, Grojean… basically anyone who wasn’t British (except Kimi and Sutil, and they only interviewed Sutil as part of a Force India thing with Di Resta). The banter between Herbert, Hill and the presenter is embarrassing. The presenter still looks alternately baffled and smug. And except for the infuriatingly named SkyPad with Anthony Davidson, they haven’t brought anything to the coverage that the BBC didn’t do better. They even preceded the race with one of those naff dramatic poem-over-slo-mo-with-music sequences, just like the ones EJ sometimes narrates on BBC. (And yes I’m still angry at the BBC for their role in taking it off free-to-air.)

With it being the second year of the Sky contract, I don’t want to just get used to it and forget that the coverage is much worse than it used to be, aside from the business model being damaging to the sport. And having an F1 channel with potentially unlimited time yet only bothering to interview British drivers after the race is inexplicable. Their “dedicated” channel isn’t dedicated enough.


Not sure merc were good on tyres, looked the opposite to me in the race


They were ‘decent’. Definitely not top 3 though.


You´re right. They had big issues with tyres. However when it comes to Mercedes I´m more concerned with possible reliability problems.


It seems to be a bit more than just *possible* reliability problems at this stage. Hopefully they can sort it soon.


I meant I´m hoping it doesn´t happen every race with neither driver.


Great win for Raikkonen!! Lewis – P5; ill take that!! 🙂

I said yesterday it was all about the ‘race pace’ and, it was!

Raikkonens ‘two stop’ stint and it was immense! No one, not even Vettel in the ReBull could get close!

Lewis and the Mercedes’ race pace was simply decent; nothing more, nothing less; however, it’s no where near as bad as last seasons W03. A good baseline, a good place to start from. I, he beat Webber, in the ‘sister’ RedBull car on pure pace so, IMO, as long as they maintain their development, he’ll do some damage this year.

… And, on to those McLarens…? Just LOL! I’m sure that car will also come good, but, why-oh-why, when then regulations are changing so massively next year, would you produce such a ‘revolutionary’ car? A simple ‘evolution’ was surely the way forward! I mean, they already had the fastest car, on average, across the whole season last year! :-/

… Anyways, roll on Malaysia next weekend!!



I totally agree with you on Mercedes. There’s a great baseline and let’s hope that they can use this race data along with the data from the tests and improve.

On the other hand, there seems to be a clear gap between Mercedes and the top 3, Lewis had no answer against the 4 frontrunners. But the season is long and it looks like Vettel is not running away with it just yet (it did look that way the first couple laps though :p)


while their respective finishing positions mean more than the actual progress in the race, Mercedes went backwards and suffered with reliability while Mclaren went forward and did not.

I would be satisfied at the very least that we held position (it’s true that Mclaren benefitted from Rosberg’s retirement) and did not go backwards during the race.

I was very pleased to see Lewis doing what Lewis does and enjoying himself, but he didn’t start P1 and he didn’t go forward. One season on and Mercedes form continues and you wonder if they will ever change that pattern?


SOur grapes much? LOL McLaren went forward? What race were you watching? o_O

Merc chose the wrong tires strategy, their degradation isnt any worse than the others(except lotus), they just tried to do a 2 stopper while everyone else(except Kimi) did a 3 stopper.


He was watching it in rewind. Van der Garde won 🙂


Sour grapes absolutely NOT, if Merc chose the wrong tyres then they are fully deserving of the results of their errors.

I have always been a huge admirer of Lewis Hamilton and I am very pleased to see that he has already gotten the measure of his team mate.

As for Mclaren and Button, I was simply pleased to see the person I have been following closely for more than ten years deal with the adversity he had to face.

Button is no more responsible for Mclaren’s move backwards than Lewis is for Mercedes marginal move forward. Neither driver designs the car and their feedback contributes nothing more than helping them with setting the car up. While I am pleased for Lewis, I also put the Mclaren into perspective. If you have followed what has been said you’ll know that while they are not happy to have had such a poor start, they have taken a long view with a car which not only can they develop over the year, but one which is no doubt going to benefit them when huge regulation changes take place in 2014.

I can’t speak for Mercedes, but while they have nudged nearer to the front, the are still suffering from good qualification (let’s not forget MS on pole in Monaco) but poor race pace. Saved only by a feisty Lewis.

I take an objective view whereas you seem to have a very subjective one. If you even know what that means.


You have to look at the bigger picture. Rb, Ferrari and Lotus seem to have the better race pace (this is Melbourne though, so things might change). But after the top 3, it looks like it’s mercedes on 4. And although they weren’t really a match today, things can change quickly if you can keep those pirelli’s in check.


Lotus Renault

Best race pace, but can they develop their car? And how will they handle tyres at higher temperatures – today was around 19C but at 30C what will happen?


Also the best race pace, and with Alonso and a better ‘REAL’ race circuit / race track, Alonso will be able to show better race pace also

Red Bull

Adrian Newey still has the fastest car and can win the WDC again. The tyres were the worst at these lower temps, but should presumably be better when in their ‘optimum’ range and working with the car at the usual higher temperatures through the year.


Still much better than expect. Good on tyres. Good on light fuel. Very bad on heavy fuel.


Bad strategy in qualifying and a bad car to finish 9th/10th. Martin Whitmarsh fails again and they must develop very strongly by mid-season which is a few months away.


For McLaren, I think its game over, because all attention will be switching to the 2014 car in the next three months or so. Time is too short and there’s way too much to do (from tyre management, to ride handling, to speed).

Mercedes might bad under heavy fuel, because the suspension is very soft. This makes the car move around a bit too much when loaded; they would do better at twistier circuits like Monaco, Valencia etc. Sadly, they are likely to be poor at Silverstone, so sadly, no Brit top podium is liklely there this season.

The overall best car seems to be either the Ferrari or the Lotus; RB comes a close second, behind these two.


Sadly for them Valencia isn’t on the calendar this year.


That’s interesting – how have you come to the conclusion that their suspension is soft? Just by the eye?

In which case we should presume it is deliberate and indeed at swervier tracks it can adapt.

We are always told by the experts that Albert Park can be mis-leading – as in it is very unique and not like other circuits.

Luckily the next 2 tracks have their own characteristics so will instantly tell us more!


Yes, you can see the suspension travel of the cars by eye. The McLaren travels vey little (hard suspension), while cars like Lotus and Mercedes travel quite a bit.


I think lotus can . Kimi is not a man bothered by pole position. I’m sure will be decent in high temperatures , they were last year.


Lotus’ strategy was judged perfectly today. Full credit to the team when last year they were often criticised for several bad and sometimes conservative calls.

It was worth enduring the heat, the wet, the cold to see Kimi win the opening race of the season. Can’t wait for Malaysia in a few days’ time.


they should get rid of pirelli,or make them supply a tyre that can last,(i did bet on kimi).

it doesnt seem like motor racing any more,how can vettel be 1/2 sec faster than anyone and have not chance winning the race.

button coming in after 4 laps is a joke(i no he did 3 quali)

i do think alsono does have a fast race car,and if it can save its tyres in higher temperatures ,think he can win.

what are other peoples views?


I get fed up of this every season.

Pirelli have been asked by f1 to provide tyres that perform this way!


They should keep pirelli and you should get rid of the thinking you have. I do not want to have the bridgestone nightmare again…..fantastic pirelli….made me like f1 again.


why dose everyone complain about the Tires? doesn’t everyone have the same tires 🙂

so there’s no favoritism shown there.


In support of James, Teams that are hard on their tyres/dont look after them lost out in OZ.

Lotus had the speed and the low tyre deg=Win

Button won last year with what was a fast Mclaren, the first half a dozen races mean nothing.


They should get rid of the tyres altogether and run on enlarged rims.

Then you’ll see the sparks fly – excitement at a premium! Bonus will be grooves cut into the track on the racing line enabling them to safely continue during the heaviest of downpours.


Ha – someone was asking the other day if Formula E would be like Scalextric.


Kimi finished the race in 1h30m03.225s, Vetel 22.346s later. I guess it depends when you measured the ½ sec for Vetel. From the results it looks to me that Kimi was 22.346s faster than Vetel at the end of the race, and that’s what counts.



Like Kimi says, “There are no points given out on Saturday” 🙂


If the winner does 2 stops in a 58 lap race, how can you argue that the tyres don’t last?

You want races where the pole sitter drives away from the field, stops once and wins the race?


Maybe he should go back and watch some of the old races…if he can stay awake long enough that is 😉


Well said James.


The super soft only lasted for 9 laps on Kimi’s car – it was only the durability of the medium compound that allowed him to do the remaining 49 laps on them with only one more stop. Much as I admire Pirelli’s willingness to take risks with its tyre compounds and choices, the super soft was not up to the job today. Drivers were pitting as early as lap 4 or 5 to get rid of them – that is just ridiculous. Even at the end, with the track rubbered in, they were next to useless after half a dozen laps or so.


Manos: So you’re looking at another 2-3 laps at maximum, given when people swapped onto the super softs in Q3. That still means the tyres were barely lasting 7-8 laps before drivers had to pit. Or to put it another way, they were getting just over 26 miles (42km) at racing speed out of them. However you look at it, that’s pretty poor. They were still as poor at the end of the race as well, as shown by Sutil sliding all over the place. Basically, it was the wrong call.


The Supersofts carried also the laps from Qualifying. So it’s not that simple.


The Ferrari’s are still ridiculously fast from the start I see, looks like everyone who qualifies in front of them will be going backwards in the race this year.


I think it’s a case of the rules and regulations not necessarily suiting their hero’s style of driving, whoever that might be.

It seems that most fans have a 2 dimensional concept of what racing is about. Hero gets into car, puts foot to the floor and wins race by a distance.

I think it evades most fans understanding that F1 is and always has been an endurance race of around 2 hours or 200 miles. You don’t sprint that.

If an athlete running a marathon was to start with a sprint and try to maintain it for 26 miles, he probably wouldn’t last the distance. Probably not even a mile.

I think someone needs to publish ‘F1 for Dummies’ AKA F1 for F1 fans.


+1 on JA


I think the point is James that teams have to build a million dollar (pound?) race car to suit a brand of tyres. Maybe the current Pirelli’s would be better suited to the electric car category.


Dont forget that every bit in that car is build to suit every other bit. Tyres are no different.


James don´t get me wrong the last thing I want to see is one particular driver winning every race by a landscape. But what I don´t like is to see tyres holding a driver back and spoiling his race and car potential.

All the top drivers face that problem except Raikkonen


Kimi doesnt give a hoot what tyres he drives on–hes always been a winner and hes seen every type of tyre..


Mercedes and Lewis planned 2 stops. However they needed an unplanned and unwanted third one.

Kimi was very clear on the issue in the press conference. He said it was easy. He could do anything he wanted with the tyres. I regret other drivers can´t say the same thing.


because Kimi was intelligent enough to drive the car in clean air…than massa alonso vettel train driving .5 sec within each other destroying their tyres altogether!


saying that the car that manages its tyres better wins,the fastest car does not win.

i bet vettel wants the pole sitter to drive away and win easy :0)

i just found past f1 better with refueling and bettter tyres.where every driver would push the car to the limit on every lap,not worrying will my tyres last and saving fuel.


What Pirelli have done for f1 is great, since they have come in we have had so many great races

today the super soft just did not work, the point of selecting a softer compound is that you sacrifice life for faster performance, two laps just is not enough so the medium compound is quicker overall, there becomes no decision. the super soft is just a qualifying tyre


I guess my primary objection to Pirelli’s approach is that it’s attempting to engineer an exciting race, and it seems as if managing and deciphering the tire degradation has become one of, if not the racing focus. There’s a sense of artificiality about it.

Sure, tires ripping themselves to shreds makes for great fun, but I’d rather watch a wholly uncompromised race, with tires manufactured to deliver the maximum performance and the maximum endurance, even if it means we don’t see a single overtake. After all, the core of Formula 1 is the constant extension of the performance envelope.


Pirelli expected warmer temperatures in Melbourne.


Interesting race

Red bull very fast in quali trim but did not stand out against the other front runners in the race

Lotus’s long run pace and ability to manage the tyres for a two stop was impressive. The other teams will be concerned, we have a bit of a tyre war

Mclaren again made operational blunders with both jenson and perez in quali which ruined any chance ( other than rain) of a reasonable finish

Think ham should be pleased with p5, merc may have a chance of winning a few races this year but I don’t think they will keep up with development rate to challenge the big teams overall

Not sure on the design of the super soft tyre, what’s the point of a tyre which gives you only two laps of pace. Sutil on the new super soft with 10 laps remaining should have been able to fend off Lewis on the slower and older medium tyre

Having a punt my money would be on alonso for the title, Kimi could be a dark horse but not sure if lotus can sustain the rate of development whilst building a 2014 car but then it’s the same for all, of course seb will be there too


I’m not so sure it will be the same for everyone regards 2014 design.

RBR have only one Newey.

Mercedes have loads of chiefs.

And, Ferrari have a certain Rory Byrne designing their 2014 car already.


One question though, Grant. How much room for development is left on those ‘evolutionary’ cars? Right now, it looks like it’s all about tyre management (to quote Mark Gillan: “That’s where the most time can be gained”). It’s all about setting nice, consistent times on those new pirelli’s.


Agree Fair comment Philippe


I think you tried to make the great qualifying and race of Hamilton look terrible. First, the wrong strategy was from his team, as he is driving and not in front of the timesheets. Second, you don’t know if he did not have the pace, because he was saving tyres to make the 2stop strategy works.

After the team realize the mistake, and see the ground that they were losing for others, was too late and the change for a 3stop strategy did not solve the problem anymore…

It’s difficult to understand why Merc that knows the car from last season (hard on tyres), did try to do a 2stop strategy! And this year the tyres will go off sooner, so instead of being conservative and rely on the performance the car has proved, did this crazy call…

Hope Merc do not mess with Lewis chances as McLaren did last year. Hamilton already showed his 0.5s over his team mate…


I’m a Hamilton fan, and I don’t blame Mercedes’ strategy today one bit. It looked pretty good there while Sutil was holding the leading group up, but seeing Kimi on a two-stopper, and going faster than them, a win was never in the cards. Merc’s pit stops were very good though. They tried something different, and it didn’t come off. Oh well. If it had rained when it was RAI-HAM-ROS, then Brawn would’ve come off a genius.

They still have work to do, but they put in a decent showing today. Let’s recall how far back they were at the end of last year. Today they scored as many points as they earned from the last 7 races of last year.


If that is not a bad strategy, I don’t know what a bad strategy is…

Maybe they were expecting rain or something, but its clear that they tried something “smart” that did not work out and compromised the whole Hamilton’s race.

Look, Hamilton pits were in laps: 13, 31 e 42..

So, the SS tyre lasted 13 laps, the first medium compound 18 laps, and here Merc messed up because Lewis stayed with this set for just 11 laps! Less than the SS tyre..

Lewis was clearly saving tyres (compromising speed) to make a 2stop work, and when his team decided to go plan “B”, the race was gone…

They realized that would not be possible two stops, and Lewis could not maximize the speed of each set of tyres that would be possible in a 3stop from begining.

The last stint was 16 laps..

More pit stop than others just makes sense maximizing each set of tyres to compensate who is staying out and saving tyres. Mercedes did no one of that two options…


@Marcelo Leal

We saw the pace that the Lewis-Merc combo is capable of; Lewis wasn’t the only one to try a two stopper. Indeed, Kimi succesfully executed the same strategy race, yet he sliced through the field in the early laps, won the race and set fastest lap in the final stages.

The problem with the Merc is that its too slow on heavy fuel. Thats an issue that was revealed during testing and still plagues them, maybe speed is a victim of their better tyre management.


Well I think it’s too early to say Mercedes eats tires as last year. If my memory is right both Hamilton and Rosberg were catching Kimi at end of 1st stint and both managed to stop after him. And both were lapping competitively to medium tyre runners. Could be some aggressive engine setting rather than tyre management maybe.

At that point it was looking like Mercedes had both pace and good tyre wear. What happened with their with next set of tyres i don’t know. But at least its clearly not as bad as last year.

I think we need few more races to see clearer.


Mercedes tried a strategy that had it played out, had the potential to get them on the podium. They new they were not going to get there on race pace alone. Strange that Lewis made the fast degrading super softs last until lap 13/14 but could not make the medium tyre last the required number of laps for the two stop strategy to work. The DNF for Nico is not good as he was on to score points.


Matt (who wrote the article), is saying Lewis didn’t had the pace compared to Kimi, which was on the same strategy. Kimi was keeping the pace with Vettel and the Ferrari’s while Lewis was not. That’s the pace Matt is talking in this article.


I am a ham fan but I don’t think they had the race pace. Regardless of the strategy they would not have been able to keep up, for me this performance was consistent with their winter testing form, quick on one lap a bit behind on long run , even Lewis himself has admitted they are a bit lacking on down force


Agreed. With the usual 2 Macca cars, Ham would be 7th, and no one wouldd even mention him/ Merc…


I agree with Marcelo, a three stop would have helped Hamilton a lot. Mercedes cannot choose, same with RB or FI. They are too hard on the tyres.


True, there still seems to be a gap between the top and Mercedes. Race pace looks much more important than quali-speed. Though I am certain that Mercedes will improve, the next race is coming very soon.

Melbourne is a very specific track, so things might look much different in Malaysia. Even though it’s a home game for Mercedes, I would not expect them to take the fight to RB, Ferr or Lotus. You could see today that Hamilton had no real shot against Kimi, Alonso and Seb (they all passed him with relative ease). I’m starting to think that Lewis taking p11 in quali in Malaysia might be a good thing (he could pull off a Sutil and race on mediums and end with the softer compound).


Surely you could’ve gotten another couple of R’s in the headline James. “Relentless Raikkonen Ravages Rivals In Australian Race.”

But seriously, I’m happy to see Kimi on the top step at the first race. And I hope that the E21 can stay competitive throughout the season.


“Relentless Raikkonen Ravages Rivals In Robust Australian Race Rampage.”


Very interesting race for the opener of the season. Bulls have a raw pace for qualy but seems to loose a lot during the race. Ferrari is definitely very nice surprise for the start of the season and what to say abut Ice Man; Fantastic job. He has shown once more that he belongs in history books of F1 racing regardless of winning one title by now. But it is still very early to predict how season will develop. Lets just watch and enjoy!


If Massa hadn’t try to prove a point to his

team mate and allow him to pass instead keep

him behind with all the probability denied

Alonso and a team to claim the win.

Fact,in second stint Alonso was quick, he jumped both Sutil, Vettel and Massa and continue to extend a lead over them, his

pass of Hamilton it showed the expirience how

to do it, and his over all performance of the

race must be considerd as a driver of a day.


“his pass of Hamilton it showed the expirience how to do it”

Exactly. Besides Kimi and Button I can’t see any other driver who would made a similar move. Even RB drivers would have crashed one in each other.

Also, Ham should have been smarter by now. He is making his own (mis)fortune but Alo saved him today.


Ferrari use team orders, people complain. Ferrari don’t, and people are still complaining. Now, I am a Ferrari fan, but there is no need for team orders in the first race, unless there is a clear difference. The reason Massa was holding Alonso up at the opening was because he was stuck behind Vettel.

Why can’t Massa prove his point to his team-mate, and race him?


Driver of the day is Raikkonen. Lotus was the only team to make the 2 stop strategy work.


No miracle could have gifted Alonso the race today. He was beaten by a whopping 13 sec.


Massa should tace alonso….he should care about himself at this stage….


It was funny to hear Brundle’s comment when MAS tried the same move on HAM a few laps later. Something on the lines of “HAM has given up the corner to MAS because he knows how it will end otherwise”.


I believe that Mr. Brundle got it wrong this time. When I watched Ham let Massa pass him easily, I felt Ham had learnt that ruining your tires with late braking is not a good idea. This is what Ham had done with Alonso.

Maybe Mr. Brundle’s sense of the famous British fair play escaped him for a minute.

I enjoy Mr. Coultard’s light touch. He gets that it really is about having fun.


Metronomic…new word for me, thought you made it up. lol. You do a fantastic job on the radio.


He’s been searching for a new word for some time now. “Fluidic” had ran it’s course 😉


was a great victory for lotus and kimi. not surprised that e21 was easy on the tires, but i was quite surprised that it converted a 2 stop strategy into a victory. they did try this approach several times last year and came close, so it should not be seen as something out of the blue. however, i don’t think this temporal tire advantage is a strong enough to mount a championship challenge; they need to find speed in other areas.

ferrari seem like the team with the best package right now. in the tire front they are only second best to lotus. when it comes to race pace, given optimum tire condition, they are faster than the bulls, which i think are second best in that aspect. was funny watching vettel open a gap first few laps and end up getting reeled back by the ferrari’s soon after. maybe all that sandbagging was actually them trying to hide their weakness. but i’m pretty sure they will get on top of that within a two rounds. one thing is for sure, there is another trick bag in town and it is not the bulls stable.

i was very impressed and entertained by sutil’s drive today. kept vettel in check for an entire

stint and seemed cool the whole race. merc and macca need to think hard and long. a dnf in the first race is not a good way start.

all in all, a great start. worth my time.


Do we know the true pace of Lotus. Maybe Kimi was just “cruising” (as JPM said) until he set fastest lap


Strange race.

I wonder after what race the situation will become clear.

I know, we can read much from even only one this race, but something tells me next several races will bring up more of a surprise.


something tells me it will be a monsoon


Kers problem for WEB – Surprise! I do not get why media still care reporting about reliability issues hitting this specific side of the Reddull side of the garage. Where is the news I do not see it!


Webber always seems to be cursed by KERS problems and start problems 🙁


Well done to Max Chilton on his fiest race.


Very good start to the season. The race was anything but boring. Kimi and Fernando will be happy for sure as well as Seb if only a little less so. Kimi and Lotus executed their two stopper to perfection. Ferrari have pace and it looks like this year they will have 2 drivers scoring. Redbull is not far behind at all and Mercs started relatively well. Even if they were modest in their goals here, McLaren will be disappointed. force india can be proud. Let’s see how this changes or not in Malaysia. Marc


Any idea what Massa was angry about at the end of the race?


I think he may have been ****ed by his own team, but we’re not sure..


Massa had a clear track but looks like he couldn’t put in some fast laps when it counted…


He shouldn’t have, he was matching Kimi’s pace to manage the tyres. Problem might have been that Kimi always maintained 2 sec gap to a car in front, while Massa was in dirty air, so no way he could have pulled off the two stopper.


They pitted him a lap too late ( favoured alonso), cost some places


I advice you to check al the info available, Ferrari didn’t favoured Alonso, it was Alonso call, he took thhe gamble and won while Massa was “sleeping”.

I guess Alonso and Ferrari can’t take away the “evil” stigma.


I will make it simple for you all..If Felipe new Fernando was pitting don’t you think he would have gone in first..who would stay out on tyres that were dropping seconds..why do you think he was filthy..he probably wasnt even told or if he was it was too late.He was racing his team mate and Vettel after all and he ended up loosing to both.Do you still think Felipe has any chance at Ferrari whilst Fernando is there…uhhummm !


Or no one can wake up Massa!


They don’t even try or bother to take it away


That was actually 3 laps later, not one.

Lap 20: Alonso pitted.

Lap 21: Vettel pitted.

Lap 22: Smedley to Massa: “Now you’ve got a clear track in front of you let’s see what you can do.”

Lap 24: Massa pitted.

My guess is that they wanted to try something and didn’t work.


Before Smedley told Massa to ‘see what he could do’, Massa said something to Smedley but I could not make out what it was. This may help to either clear up or further muddy the conspiracy theory.

Did anyone make out what Massa said???


Anyone know what Massa said to Smedley in that pit radio? It was clear he was angry, but I didn’t catch what he said.


Massa and Smedley made the call together.


During second stop Alonso pitted earlier than Massa And came in front of both him and vettel.

That’s the reason.


Someone give that man an ice-cream!

Scuderia McLaren

Looks like Adrian Sutil was the right choice for F-India. What a solid and robust drive. Paul Di Who?


Ironically Jules Bianci was probably as good or next best in the Marussia he drove brilliantly beating both Caterhams and his team mate in his first drive for a Rookie-you can now see why it was such a tough choice for Force India.I still would have gone with Bianci as he has more potential and the reality was that Di Resta was just behind Sutil and was asked by the team not to pass him..Still a great drive from Adrian any way you look at it. 3 days testing and 1 year out !


Di Resta was instructed to maintain position and not pass Sutil, thats the real reason Sutil finished ahead.


Yes, Sutil was the right choice, but Paul DiResta had a good race too, he was behind Sutil at the end and did not try to pass. See his tweet to the effect.

Force India are one of the hardest teams to compare teammates anyway, they always seem to run 2 very different strategies, often, interestingly, ending up with quite similar results, but sometimes very good or very bad ones too. I like this philosophy, it makes for entertainment for us the fans.


I must say I thought Alonso could easily have carried out a 2 stopper and won the race. But Ferrari’s focus was to beat Vettel home, hence the extra stop for the security of track position on the same number of stops. I am sure they had expected Kimi’s tyres to be in far worse condition by lap 58 and they’d be mounting serious pressure, but…

Ferrari and Lotus were lapping reasonably similarly on Friday on the used tyres – quite good times (~1m:33s) noticably faster than Red Bull (~1m:34s). That played out today.

Red Bull knew they didn’t have the longevity and you could see their anxious body language and cagey press statements all weekend.

I think Ferrari really need to maximise their scoring while they have the better car over the race distance. Red Bull will eventually get their act together and manage the tyres more efficiently, but until that happens, Ferrari shouldn’t just be looking to just beat Vettel home, they should be aiming for 25 points.


What a great race to kick off the season!

Congrats to Kimi and the team. A popular win and very well played. I’m still a little unsure what happened to Massa. I’ll need to watch the tape and work it out. Good result for Sutil on a personal level. He was menacing the entire race. Good to see Seb humbled. He appeared to take it like a man for once 😉 Look out going forward though. Lewis was in a good place after the event. He interviewed well and seemed genuinely satisfied with the weekend.

I don’t want to talk about Webber’s start. If he hasn’t got it down by this stage of his career, he never will. Rookie stuff that.

Fernando was as consistent as ever. Never looked like doing badly.

Looks like a long season coming up for McLaren.

Too many good drives for DOD. Kimi, Sutil, Alonso, Massa, Hamilton. I don’t know.


Webber bogs down 75% of the time…


DotD is an easy one. Yes, it’s true there were many good drives. But one guy was the only guy to manage a two-stopper, and with great pace in doing so. Even on the two-stopper, he had pace in hand at the end, to see off any late challenge, and in fact set the fastest lap.

Kimi has to be DotD, no if’s, and’s, or but’s. That the sister car finished in between the struggling McLarens, makes Kimi’s drive even more impressive.


I’m so glad for Kimi! I hope Lotus can keep up with the big teams when it comes to development.

Alonso already started with ‘Red Bull have the fastest car’ but it was clear that this is not the case during the race.

In any case, this will be another 2012, which is great for all of us.


Yeah, saw that from Alonso. He could be right of course, but at this race, with the current knowledge of the tires that the teams have, the Ferrari was the better race-day car than the Red Bull. Both were behind the Lotus, or specifically Kimi’s Lotus.

Of course, others on these boards would, if you substituted Hamilton for Vettel, and the Mercedes for the Red Bull, attribute all the blame for going from pole to 3rd on Vettel’s inability to manage his race properly. I wouldn’t be one of those … the RBR is clearly the fastest qualifying car, but in race pace it is not. Or at least not with the current knowledge level they have for the car.


Uh? Vettel has shown he has the fastest car. But he strugled a lot with the tyres. Too much graning. He couldn´t exploit the car´s full potential.


fastest cars dont get points on Saturday


I agree. And that was the reason Red Bull was no the fastest car on race day. Tires are the limiting factor and RB9 is not using them as good as Lotus and Ferrari.

But maybe it is just cold weather. We will see…


But in the RB case there is nothing wrong with the car it self. Soon RB is going to fix the problem with the tyres.


And you still consider it the fastest, why not say mclaren id the fastest if the can exploit the full potential


McLaren is a nightmare of a car. They have bigger problems than just the tyres.


McLaren sure has left the big boy’s table.

Right about now Lewis looks as much a genius as Button did with his 2010 move.


Funny, because it’s in exact reverse order!

Bring Back Murray

It’s now time for changes at the top of McClaren. And fast. They’re suffering from a mighty fall of grace at the moment. Last season was the catalist due to all those mistakes – this season its on raw pace alone.

Whitmarsh must go


Isn’t it funny how Mclaren have progressed since Sam Muchaels joined them last winter? After all, he had no role in the design of last years car..


Very Williamsish looking indeed!


R. Denis must be saying to himself, “Is this really true? Am I going to have to come back?”


Before getting rid of anyone in your organisation you would normally have a replacement lined up. With RD out of the loop, suggestions please.


Alonso may be regretting leaving “Renault”…?


Why? Because Massa is clearly showing us he’s every bit as good as Alonso when given the hardware? 🙂

I couldn’t help myself.


Sebee, maybe over a lap he is. Qualifying has never been Alonso’s strongest point. Trulli and Hamilton both out qualified him often. But in a race

You could see almost immediately that he was quicker than Massa. Massa defended robustly against him, which is fair enough, but I guarantee that it will only be one Ferrari driver in contention after the midway point.

Still, I’m glad he’s there picking up points for Ferrari.

If we assume the thee podium places are the leading contenders for championship honours, then their team-mates are crucial for the WCC, therefore Massa’s target has to be beating Grosjean and Webber


A very entertaining opener, and especially positive after the RBR Q3 lock out. If we have an open championship with three of the four heavyweights fighting to the end, we’re in for a cracker!



Now we have got a season on the go!

As mentioned several times in the past week, perhaps ad nauseum, tire management capability was the decisive factor amongst the top five competitive teams. But who thought that Force India would be one of those teams, comprehensively out-pacing woeful McLaren.

Good move Lewis.

Mercedes continue to look real.

Ferrari are back.

Red Bull haven’t shown us their full race pace.

It looks to be a great close season.

Lotus will not be able to win all the races by taking one less tire stop than all of their top rivals They are going to have to improve on their overall pace.

But for now, the best driver is leading the championship, and that is quite alright with me.



Good to see the Kimster back into the fight for the WDC. It would be nice to see him keeping up the challenge for the whole season.

Go Kimi!

VP of Common Sense

Mercedes continued to look slower than Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus, just like last year. Glory runs in the pre season don’t amount for anything. When McLaren get their act together, Mercedes will be right back to being 5th. A great result for Hamilton today all things considered because they don’t have the race pace to win and the W04 was amongst the worst on tyre wear during the race. Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus are fighting for the championships. Mercedes and McLaren have lots of work ahead to get their cars competitive.


Lot’s of wishful thinking in your post – but you’re entitled to your opinion.

VP of Common Sense

I stand corrected. Mercedes were so kind to their tyres that they went from a 2 stop strategy to a 3 stop. That was their reasoning, right? I could see that if they used more than one set of super soft (because they are supposedly easy on their tyres and could make these ss tyres last longer and take advantage of their better pace) but that’s not what happened at all. Super Soft, Medium, Medium, Medium. And in this process they were much slower than fellow 3 stoppers Ferrari and Red Bull. I know many want Hamilton to be a factor in this WDC but the fact is Mercedes are 4th of 11 and there is a considerable gap to the top 3.


You got that right! Lol!

Merc was next to only Lotus in tyre management, yet we learn here that they were the worst and some Mystic Meg stuff about how Hamilton realized that.


wheres the proof merc were one of the worst on tyre wear?merc did more laps than most on the ss.

VP of Common Sense

Proof? You mean besides Lewis’s radio communications telling the team that the tyres will not last? Their strategy for the race was 2 stops. They knew they didn’t have the pace for a 3 stop race against Red Bull and Ferrari so Merc tried to play the long game and hope for someone else to have an issue and poach a podium in the end, ala Ferrari last year. Hamilton realized very early that they weren’t going to be able to stick to 2 stops because the W04 was tough on the rubber. They’ll probably improve but they have a big gap to close to Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus.


How was the W04 among the worst for tyre wear?

most cars stopped for a first change before Lewis (lap 13) and Rosberg (lap 14). In fact, Button was in the pits as early as lap 4!!!

Of the 19 cars that started the race, ONLY 4 from other teams stopped later than Lewis for a first change:

Felipe Massa Super soft (8) Medium (15) Medium (13) Medium (22)

***Lewis Hamilton Super soft (13) Medium (18) Medium (11) Medium (16)

Mark Webber Super soft (5) Medium (13) Medium (20) Medium (20)

Adrian Sutil Medium (21) Medium (25) Super soft (12)

Paul di Resta Super soft (8) Medium (25) Medium (25)

***Jenson Button Super soft (4) Medium (16) Medium (17) Medium (21)

Romain Grosjean Super soft (5) Medium (14) Medium (18) Medium (21)

Sergio Perez Medium (16) Super soft (7) Medium (18) Medium (17)

Jean-Eric Vergne Super soft (9) Medium (15) Medium (20) Medium (14)

Esteban Gutierrez Super soft (5) Medium (22) Medium (30)

Valtteri Bottas Super soft (6) Medium (18) Medium (16) Medium (17)

Jules Bianchi Super soft (9) Medium (18) Medium (23) Super soft (7)

Charles Pic Super soft (8) Medium (25) Medium (23)

Max Chilton Super soft (6) Medium (13) Medium (15) Medium (22)

Giedo van der Garde Super soft (7) Medium (9) Medium (18) Medium (22)

Daniel Ricciardo Medium (15) Medium (15) Super soft (9)

Nico Rosberg Super soft (14) Medium (12)

Pastor Maldonado Medium (10) Medium (14)

Nico Hulkenberg ————


Thank you for insightful comment.

It seems strange that Mercedes would not have made tire management capability the number one change from last year’s car.

I think they must have made progress in this area.

But now we see that one team, with a comparative advantage in a particular area, strategically decided to allocate resource to continuing to develop this area of the car’s performance.

Lotus look strong now because they put the effort into this area, and with ANY change to the tires, that has put them ahead, apparently, of the rest in this area, so crucial in the early part of the year.

But their one-lap pace will catch up to them!

McLaren, their in-season development is legendary, but they seem quite a bit further back than Ferrari were at this time last year.


Mclarens legendary reputation is because they generally start with a poor car and have to catch up. But recent seasons has seen RBR out develop them easily.

Second point, I don’t think Mclaren are any worse than Ferrari at this stage of the season, look at Massa’s performances to gauge it.

The real difference is that neither Button or Perez are Alonso..

alastair emmerson

Mercedes was not among the worst for tyre wear.


Ys, Mercedes made the ss tyres last longer than anyone else. Hamiltons times got even faster the more laps he did. The problem on the mediums was not wear, it was graining, because they were too cold, not too hot. Hamilton mentioned at RTL he thought they got the tyre pressure too low at the 2nd set of mediums therefore he was a lot slower than Alonso , as the latter drove away from him


Love it when strategies are split and there is a hare vs tortoise type chase in an F1 race. Outright pace vs long run pace.

If this is the season ahead, what a joy.

Happy that Kimi and Lotus are right up there with Ferrari and Red Bull. But had Alonso not been held up by the Sutil, Vettel, Massa train allowing Kimi to cruise up to him perhaps Kimi may not have had enough long run pace. But that’s racing and it was a well deserved win.

Force India the 5th fastest car ahead of McLaren. Who would have thought. Though Force India did end 2012 very strongly. Wonder if Hulkenberg has a tinge of regret.

But I’m sure McLaren will develop the car to match the leaders. Just that it may come too late in the season.

What a start to 2013.


If you say Alonso was held up, then for most part of the last year, he was more or less held by many. And he may have won more than 4/5 races. We can put multiple “May”‘s.

Just forget it. Alonso despite having a fast car was not able to pass Massa/Vettel/Sutil. That is the fact. And Kimi showed how fast he is by setting the fastest lap in the last part of race. So get on with it.


he – kimi


Kimi was cruising, no one had an answer for Lotus today.

Grosjean only struggled because he didn’t get the new parts until Saturday and had no time on set up.


Kimi had a lot left. Fastest lap on dead tyres at the end of the race… Oh he said it all “It was easy”


It’s a pretty fast tortoise


I’m sure Hulkenburg has a little. Though it’s still early days, and we haven’t seen him race that Sauber yet.


Congratulation to Kimi for a fine drive to win the race. Hope his Lotus will race as well in the much warmer weather in Malaysia.

Sutil indeed drove brilliantly and no sign of rustiness being sidelined for a year. I just can’t stop laughing when he being shown blue flag when Alonso was closing in on him.


Apparently that marshal was waving to his parents in the crowd…….


He should have pulled Kimi just for fun of it, and ask on a radio why he is being waved blues 😀


Yeah, the marshalls didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory blue-flag wise on Sunday.


Yeah, what the hell was that? The marshals were waving it at Hamilton too, when Alonso and Vettel were in the process of getting by him.


Hi James, I’m guessing you will be doing your further race analysis later in the week? Looking forward to it if so.

Anyway, that was a great season opener. Didnt have to wait much after we knew the grid 🙂 Thrilled for Kimi. He produced a brilliant drive and managed the final stint very well. Only pushed when he had to, didnt take too much life out of the tyres and had plenty in reserve. I wonder how he knew of the gap to Alonso, pitboard or team radio? As there wasnt much to be heard from the Lotus radio during Sky coverage.

One key point stood out for me was the fact that the track was cooler than what we’re going to experience later in the year. Yet, the Lotus still went well. If last years trend is to go by, this car should go even better in warmer conditions.

I guess its down to the car being gentle on its tyres, this showed in qualy. The Lotus took a little longer to get heat into the inters…. and the outlaps in the race werent as quick as others.

Looking forward to the next race!


Great race, What a season this could be.

Glad to see the Iceman shining in Melb.


I don’t get all the hype of Sutil.

He did the exact same strategy as Hamilton, but in reverse.

Only difference is Sutils stint on the super sorts, was nowhere near as good as the Mercedes stint.

Lotus and Kimi were unbelievable and its nice to see Massa being competitive.


He kept Vettel, Massa and Alonso back for quite a few laps, when they were all on mediums (Sutil’s obviously a lot older). They were getting the DRS everytime, yet he still kept them behind them.

This in a Force India. How can’t you see that that was pretty impressive?


It’s not impressive because it was irrelivent because of where he ended up, if he had done the same stint on the super softs that Lewis did, he’d of been right up there, but he wasn’t.

So I fail to see how by doing something backwards is anything to rave about.

If he’d had had the pace in the first place to qualify better, he’d of had to start on the super softs, meaning he’d of been on the same strategy as the rest front runners and he’d have had an uneventful race without any hype.


Sutil had track position and drove the car nice and straight. Simple as that.


Spot on Dan – he finished where he was always going to finish. That’s his moment in the sun for this year. – just because he delayed his inevitable pitstop so he can get some TV time for his sponsors doesn’t make him a potential race winner as some are trying to make out. In any case his team stuffed up by putting him on the super sorts way too early – they should have kept him out for another 4-5 laps.

Grayzee (Australia)

Right! That’s it, then! I’m going out to get Mark Webber a four leaf clover, a rabbits foot, and anything else that might give him some luck……..cos he sure needs something!. Did he walk under a ladder or something?!

ECU issue while on the grid, KERS not working at the start, a failed jack during the pitstop,then stuck behind Button……..and none of these things happened to Vettel……bring on Sepang, that’s all I can say.


I bet it’s not bad luck.


Looking at the race results there are a few very interesting things:

Bianchi’s fastest lap was 1:30.454s in comparison with Chilton’s 1:32.210s, Bottas 1:30.652, Grosjean’s 1:30.395, Button’s 1:30.198.

Actually Bianchi’s time was 11th fastest in a Marussia. How about that?


Yep-I said this kid was a gun driver last year


Only his fifth day in the car and manages to be a lap ahead of his team mate. Despite the pit stop strategy that maybe favoured Jules a little, I think we are looking at some real talent. He didn’t seem to put a foot wrong during the race either – definitely one to watch.


For the most part, it can be attributed to pit-stop strategy.

Chilton final stop – lap 34 ( fastest on lap 49)

Bianchi final stop – lap 50 ( fastest on lap 52)


It was set on supersofts near the end of the race, that’s how. But still not bad.


well spotted


Bianchi is quick. No doubt about that. But time was set with SS in the end


Impressive! I believe he set it on S/S near the end but still impressive.


Quite impressive especially if you consider that he finished a lap ahead of his team mate. One to watch.


Amazed at what Jules has been doing in that Maurissia..Finished ahead of the Caterhams convincingly and my feeling is that Along with Sutil he should have been given the other seat at Force PDR after 3 seasons is still overrated.


Here we go, hopefully Lotus can stay with the big boys and keep Kimi in the title hunt. I expect Vettel and Alonso to come to the fore sooner rather than later, here’s hoping we have a three-way duel all season long. Kimi’s talent deserves another title, if he can pull it off this season it would be the most popular the sport has had for a long time.


I think the Abu Dhabi Three will between them be the new dominant force this year [instead of RB alone].

We’ll see them on the podium frequently, in different order maybe each time. ..First one of the three to make 5 wins will take the title. No idea who that will be, but there’s a terrific season in prospect.

Merc: early impression [and I’m probably very wrong!] :

Sorry to upset Merc fans, but they are forming the most beautiful looking road blocks for a long time, that gorgeous silver and mint green. They will be up there every practice and quali, and speed backwards in the race


I think the Merc comments are fair, always dangerous to make predictions after one race but I think they’re competing for race wins and possibly third place in the WCC this year (I think Hamilton and Rosberg can outscore Raikkonen and Grosjean).

Also, there were some interesting comments from Ted Kravitz’s notebook, stating that Kimi had some new parts on his car that Grosjean didn’t throughout free practice, which may have contributed to him being a shade behind Kimi in qualifying and a long way off in the race. Kimi seems to be the de facto No. 1 driver this season at Lotus already…


He didn’t mention that Grosjean had different new parts on his car that only appeared on Raikkonen’s on Saturday, and right up to the race Grosjean insisted he was happy with the car. It really did seem like an issue; he was generally outraced last year, but not to the tune of 1s+ per lap on average.

But I also think Lotus have actively tried to position Raikkonen as the lead driver this winter in several interviews. Probably to take some pressure off Grosjean as much as anything. So in that sense, there isn’t anything untoward about any of this.


Hi James,

I don’t think Massa matched the Spaniard at all through the race. Yes, Massa was competitive but slower than Alonso.

Massa was being hunted by Alonso in the first two stints and once Alonso had the jump on him, Massa just faded away in comparison to his team-mate.

Even outqualifying Alonso was down to Alonso not using his DRS in the final lap.

If one were to recall, the Lotus was very strong in Australia last year as well, so it isn’t a huge surprise for them to right-up there.

I think with no trick “aero” concepts to follow this year, Lotus can be genuine contenders and I would love to see a Kimi vs. Fernando duel.

Red Bull is a team that will fight back hard. And I still think they are the favourites for the Constructors’ Title.


Massa was stuck behind Sutil for a considerable portion of the race, don’t forget. Up to that point, he had the measure of Alonso and was pulling away from him at times. The decision to pit earlier was what made the difference. Beyond that, there wasn’t much between them at all.


If Massa can keep his Momentum, it will be Ferrari’s WCC

By the looks of it.


I have to agree Doobs, Ferrari are looking very good for the WCC. 2013 the year Red Bull dominance ends.


Excellent! unfortunately I think Lotus will not match rivals in development potential already after one-two-three races, let’s hope this is wrong point..


James, were Mercedes and Red Bull set up for a wet race?


Gr8 race by Kimi!!

Although Melbourne is not a definite indicator of pace, as per me the teams in terms of pace look like

Qualifying- : 1)RedBull 2)Mercedes 3) Ferrari 4) Lotus 5) Force India nd so on

Race-: 1) Ferrari 2) Lotus 3) Redbull 4) Mercedes/Force India

Eagerly waiting for Melbourne!!


Err! Melbourne is done, sir!:)


hey guys..tat was a typo , meant Malaysia 😛


I think for the race (this race) you have to have it:

1)Lotus 2)Ferrari 3)RBR 4)Mercedes 5)FIndia

Y’mean Malaysia?


Magnificent race, looks like we are in for yet another great season, but team orders are already out there in a disguised manner with Webber’s unexplainable technical issues and Massa’s late pitting…


Webbers issues, as I understand it, were a failed KERS on the grid and a telemetry issue on the grid. He set a fastest lap at one point so I assume the KERS was intermittent. I think everyone suffered telemetry issues at some point over the weekend. The McLaren supplied electronics package thingy is kinda flaky at the moment.

Re Massa, pure conspiracy… Didn’t he say at one time over the radio, “what are you doing to me”?


New season, same old conspiracy theories…


A good fun and interesting race, but, as ever, it tells us little about the season ahead… However, the Merc is competitive, Sutil had a great comeback, abeit slightly spoiled when his luck ran out, Hamilton too almost had a great result, did exceptionally well at tyre management.

Maldo was poor, Bottas promising, but old Webber was “Aussie Grit” as usual.


My first big congratulations goes to Sutil and Force India. Nobody expected anthing very important from them. And they did an amazing job. They finished ahead of McLaren. Who would have thought????

Kimi came up winning with a fantastic job. Great team work and strategy.I hope they can make it last to the end of the season. Way to go Kimi!!!


And yes Ferrari is there. Big turn around compare to last season Oz race. If Alonso is as good or better than last season and the car keeps developing in the right direction they are serious candidate. They need to find the right tyres management and strategy. At least for this week they lead the WCC.When was the last time we saw that? Like 3 years ago or so.

Speaking of tyres I was surprised to see Vettel strugling too much. He never find the right pace

Lewis did all he could but the tyres and the pace aren´t there yet. But I can see Mercedes winning a race in the near future. They need to keep a close eye in reliability.


I fail to understand what was special about Sutils performance. My rant is more on the rule that allows for the drivers starting outside of the top 10 to allow for an extra set of tires and start on a choice of the compound. Any reasons why this was made so? Perez built a name for himself last year failing to qualify into Q3 and speeding through the last quarter of the race on a new set of tires, and he is getting shown up in what he can do against Button in the McLaren. The rule disadvantages anyone starting from 6-10 positions in the race order.


Even worse is the rule that they have to use both compounds but you can see why the rule is in place.

Imagine Sutil’s race if he was able to use mediums for all 3 stints.


Sutil missed out most of the winter testing and an entire season. He drove like bussines as usual.He seems to be in top for. He even got in the mix with Vettel and Alonso leading the race for several laps.

I don´t know about the set of tyres rule. My guess is it´s a little extra help for slower teams so they have an extra chance to score some points. I don´t think any driver wants to start in P11. They would like to be P1 a lot more that´s for sure


Do you really think that if for some reason the driver in P10 is Vettel the driver in P11 has a huge advantage?

It will depend on who is in P10 and who is in P11. Maybe the guy in P10 dedices not to try Q3 for the top 3 places because he knows it´s impossible. So he is saving a set of tyres for the race. Mercedes did this last year several times.


Also, if you are starting on a strategy to pit after the drivers before you pit, you will be leading the race. Its simple. I agree that he was able to keep them behind, but remember Vettel dint have the straight line speed of Sutil’s Merc engine to make a pass despite the DRS.


I said that the rule for Q2 qualifiers that annoys me. It puts the guy in the 11th place in a huge advantage against the 10th qualified driver


They’d all take p11 over p10 though


It’s great to see Kimi and Lotus getting out of the blocks so well. It adds another dimension to an already intriguing season. One can only hope that Lotus can keep up in the developmental race and that both Mercedes and, in particular, McLaren, get up to speed sooner rather than later to make this another classic season.


I thought Mercedes had a decent race. They tried for the two-stopper, but couldn’t pull it off. Even if they had, they would’ve been behind Kimi, he was unstoppable today.

Feel bad for Rosberg with the electrical failure. Finishing races is of critical importance in today’s F1.


Now regards the topic of who has got the fastest car, it appears Abu-Dhabi gave us the first clues i.e.

Abu-Dhabi 2012

1st – Kimi

2nd – Alonso

3rd – Vettel

4th – Jenson

So taking that into account, it appears Lotus have the fastest car but recalling how close that race was, it will be pretty close between the 3 teams possibly with Mclaren joining them later on as the 4th fastest team.

Also the winner of Abu-Dhabi wins the WDC title the following year (with the exception of Lewis in 2012)


Lewis was fasted in Abu Dhabi until his car failed.


End of race was no where as close as Australia 2012, seems like some teams have considerable advantage compare to last year.


But McLaren (at least with Lewis) had the fastest car in Abu Dhabi, no question.


I remember you giving these predictions and some thought that it was crazy…. hope the WDC prediction is true!


goferet’s game is to make a different championship prediction every week at the begininning of the season.

One of them is bound to be right. Alonso, Kimi and Vettel are the only drivers with a shot at it this year.

Would love to see Kimi win it but am crossing my fingers that the team won’t run out of money/development half way through the season.


Ben Edwards said Vettel was told he had no telemetry on the formation lap and now apparently Webber had no telemetry or KERS which hurt him at the start.

Same old problems for Red Bull, Webber has lost KERS all too often

Bring Back Murray

Amazing how they still can’t sort Webber’s KERS problem after all this time isn’t it. Wonder if Webber is going to have another year in him after tihs season…


Well ERS is coming next year and will be a lot more important…no point keeping him if KERS is allergic to him 😛