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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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512 comments

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1

Well done D Ric, great work.

2

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

3

What is it with you guys and the way Lewis dresses?

Why is it such a big deal? What is wrong with rappers?

Would you mind for example if he was dressed like a rock star? Somehow I doubt it....

4

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

5

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

6

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

7
Mistress of Speed

RIC under investigation bt Stewards: fuel flow rate issue!

8

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

9

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

Flow rates are for what reason???

10

I was hoping for a return to the good ol days 😉

But teams might think about turning up the boost that high with only 5 engines per season.

Anyways Red Bull are appealing, with Horner claiming faulty sensors, hope Daniel keeps his podium.

11

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

12

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

13

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

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

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

14

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

15

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

16

To prevent early 80's power figures.

17

James, any update on this?

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

18

Confirmed he has been disqualified, Red Bull are appealing.

19

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

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

20

A lot of people don't seem to understand 'tongue in cheek' when they read it. 🙂

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

21

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

22

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

23

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

24

he started with only 100kg of fuel.....

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

25

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

26

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

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

27

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

28

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

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

29

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

30

Well said.

31

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

32

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

Gutted for ham

33

Great....

34

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

35

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

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

36

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

37

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

38

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

39

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

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

40

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

41
Tornillo Amarillo

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

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

42

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

The reliability should even out over the year.

43

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

44

Hamilton has 24 wins and one Championship

Barrichello has 11 wins and no Championships

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

Check your facts. (and prejudices).

45
Tornillo Amarillo

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

46

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

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

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

47
Tornillo Amarillo

Yeah, maybe Williams can catch up Mercedes soon!

48

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

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

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

49

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

50

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

51

This stuff will cause and accident before long

52

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

53

@ H.Guderian (ALO fan)

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

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

Now this season LDM is going to tweak whose ear?

54

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

55

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

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

56

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

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

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

57
H.Guderian (ALO fan)

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

58

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

59

Kimi to Mercedes? To replace who?

60

Great race! And much better than anyone anticipated.

Once again - an issue for Lewis.

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

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

61

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

62

@ dmitry

Do not add Ferrari in that order mate

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

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

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

63

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

64

Oh, RBR just got disqualified!

Does anyone still think they are fast?

Using more fuel than allowed does not make them faster in fair way...

65

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

66

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

67

They are a team that has always been on the edge of legality and, up to now, have got away with it. Be interesting to see if their 'minder' Bernie can exert sufficient influence to get them off the hook. I get the feeling his power within F1 is on the wane. Feel sorry for Danny though, it's hardly his fault.

Still, when all said and done, news of RED Bull woes always puts a spring in my step 🙂

68

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

69

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

70

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

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

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

71

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

Seriously impressive. Welcome to F1 young Magnussen!

72

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

73

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

74
Alexander Supertramp

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

75

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

76

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

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

77

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

78

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

80

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

81

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

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

82

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

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

Kevin Magnussen beat Jenson Button's ass this weekend.

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

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

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

83

@TL, Perez is highly rated?!?!

84

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

85

Your post reads very aggressive.

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

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

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

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

86

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

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

87

+1

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

88

Paige, very well explained.

89

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

90

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

91

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

92

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

93

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

94

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

95

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

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

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

96

Pfft now that was actually boring and the sound was just making it hard for me to stay awake. As for Vettel and Hamilton's power issues? Well its given their team mates a clean break and I suppose these things happen but I can't see how they will cope with the heat of Malaysia!

It's clear Mercedes are about 1sec faster than Redbull even on a track like Melbourne its not hard to imagine the gap is probably doubled on wide power circuits like Malaysia, its a huge advantage. Ferrari was dissapointing and so was Raikkonen and finally just to note Kobayashi had rear brake by wire failure so I let him off at first I thought he was reckless and its a shame coz it was a good performance in quali by Kamui

97

I was standing at turn 10 on Sunday, and even though it was my first ever F1 race attendance, I have to say I was very underwhelmed with the noise. There was no "wow" factor at all. I felt like I was watching a support race.

The best F1 car I saw on track on Sunday was the 2012 RBR car that DC drove a demo for a speed comparison with a V8 supercar & Mercedes AMG road car. Now that thing had the wow factor! I can only imagine what a field of 20 of them sounds like. Didn't even need earplugs for the new cars.

As for the race, it was so boring after half race distance, I left and watched the rest on TV, but that's the experience from the cheapest ticket available I suppose.

I won't be forking out big $ for a great F1 race weekend experience with these cars in the future. It would be like paying for a snowboarding holiday & getting no snow!

98

I'm with you Tealeaf.

However, keep the faith, it's just Round 1 - long way to go, marathon and not a sprint and all that.............

Having said, as I write this, Daniel has been DSQ, the Bull have made an appeal, so it seems F1 is heading back to the court room to sort out its differences, not on the track where issues should be sorted out!

Controversy and politics, never far away in the crazy world of F1!

99

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

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

100

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

101

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

102

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

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

103
Fernando "150%" Alonso

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

104

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

105

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

106

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

107

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

108

Yeah the tray man can play cricket every race.

109

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

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

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

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

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

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

110

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

111

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

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

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

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

112
Martin (England)

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

113
Fernando "150%" Alonso

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

114

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

115

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

116

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

117

Really? Rosberg get 20+ second ahead and you think that anoother driver would have be able to challenged?

No matter how good are Vettel, Alonso, Raikonnen, Hamilton, etc. nobody can challenge a car which get 20 second ahead. Ricardo did the best that you can do today that is to be the best of the rest.

And Rosberg was probably nursing the car, if he would had needed he could had increased the gap easily

118

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

119

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

120

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

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

121
Yngwie Malmsteen

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

122

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

123

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

124

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

125

You don't think "protect the car and bring home P2" wad heard on the radio possibly?

126

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

127

Amazing variety of views on this

128

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

129

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

130
Yngwie Malmsteen

Ricciardo seems pretty fast!! And for him it's about opportunity + this season is new equipment for everyone so the newcomers won't be so much at a disadvantage. Will be interesting to see how Sebastian deals with this.

It's almost like Alonso Hamilton 2007 but seems like Daniel already has the edge!!

131

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

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

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

132

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

133
Wheres Equin0x?

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

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

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

134

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

135

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

136

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

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

137

I second that. Formula 1 just became great again.

138

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

139

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

140

sorry that was to be post in the former comment

141

When Vettel drove into the pits to retire the car, you could hear his MP3 player. 'Another one bites the dust' from memory 😉

142

@Sebee

"We are the Champions" was ruined by JB 🙂

144

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

145

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

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

146

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

147

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

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

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

149

An interesting race, way more cars finished than I'd expected before the start of the weekend. Hamilton's cars early DNF throws a real curve ball into the story.

Fantastic to see the newbies Magnussen, and Kvyat perform so well, and brilliant to see Bottas power back through, after his 'gentle tap' of the wall.

Happy to see a good mix of teams and powerpacks in the points, and no tyre or fuel issues.

So it all worked out just like we expected after testing.......apart from most of the results 😉

150

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

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

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

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

Magnussen = amazing result.

Bottas = good result, ruing that one big mistake.

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

More later (off to hockey practice) ...

Go Liverpool!

151

Gents did you actually like THIS f1?

152

Dull race. Dull sound. zzzzzzzz

153

Absolutely! Cars that you could even tell from one another, even if they were all black. Cars wiggling with their tails, trying to shake off their drivers in corners that were easily flat out last year, screaming tires, grunting engines, whistling turbos and some nice cutting through the field by some drivers that were out of position.

How can you not love this?

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

154

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

155

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

156

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

157
H.Guderian (ALO fan)

"Raikkonen’s car was disappointing"

What do you mean by that?

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

158
H.Guderian (ALO fan)

@Fernando

Yes. You are correct.

My mistake.

159

@ H Guderian (Alo Fan)

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

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

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

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

160
Fernando "150%" Alonso

is "Alonso and Raikkonen's car" in the comment

161

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

162

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

163

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

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

164

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

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

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

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

165

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

166

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

168

Yeah, absolutely brilliant. Sounds like the 80s.

P.S. Ron is happy.

169

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

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

170

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

171

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

172

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

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

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

173

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

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

174

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

175

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

You just did.

176

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

177

have you never owned a car?

178

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

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

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

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

179

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

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

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

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

180
Fernando "150%" Alonso

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

181

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

182

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

183

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

184

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

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

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

Kimi? Damp squib.

185

Kimi had tyre graining issues and electrical problems because of which he couldn't use Full power available to him.

Having said that, his laps times were very similar to Alonso's until 2nd pit stop.

Perhaps Ferrari could have played it smart by bringing Kimi early in the pits for his second stop (just like Button) as he was suffering from tyre graining. But then That's Ferrari, they will always botch up when it comes to strategy.

186

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

187

Agree that Ferrari are not the sharpest on the strategy front.

And yet again they have come to Melbourne with a car that is off the pace somewhat.......that Manarello engineering and aero department have a lot to think about.

Is Fernando thinking "Oh no, not again, those pesky British teams have produced cars superior to mine - again??????"

188

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

189

magnussen's second!

190

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

Same goes for Button and Magnussen

191

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

192

officials wipe away that smile as they left melbourne.

193

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

194

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

195

A great way to start the season!

196

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

197

it was said

lewis had a cylinder not workin' normal in his

engine; furstyferret you might know more; why not share it with us (not shame for this shame to that, of course)

198

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

199

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

200

Ferrari team, especialy management, is a disgrase to Ferrari brand - when will mr. Montezemolo understand this? More or less second bugdet in a grid and all what Domenicalli can do - talk about future inprovements for a sixth year in a row.

Sorry for Fernando, sorry for Kimi to be sitting in a car of losers.

La macchina degli altri, Montezemolo, la macchina degli altri!

201
H.Guderian (ALO fan)

Basically, Ferrari has three problems:

1)DOM

2)LdM

3)Fry (*huge* disapointment)

202

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

203

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

204
H.Guderian (ALO fan)

Is he (LdM) from cosa nostra??? 😉

205

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

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

206

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

207

Agree. Newsflash for them (Ferrari management) - in Domenicali era drivers never were part of the problem, in fact drivers (Alo) were only stellar part of the team.

Today Ferrari finished as fourth team but actually they were slower than Williams also. Having such a drivers in such a car is a disgrace.

208

Fully agree....it is not acceptable

209

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

210

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

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

I sincerely hope for more racing in the coming event.

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

211

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

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

212

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

213
Fernando "150%" Alonso

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

214

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

215
Fernando "150%" Alonso

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

216

I'd agree it was a dreary race - but to be honest, I fully expected this. Melbourne in the past has produced some great races, but also some processions too. This year's event was similar to 1998 and 2005 in that a radical change of regulations has meant everyone - both drivers and teams - was being over-cautious, with the result of being under whelming for us spectators.

Also, like 1998 and 2005 it seems one car has got an edge in raw performance.

Let's hope Malaysia will be a much improved spectacle, but with data collated from this race the teams and drivers will have so much more information to work from.

217

Positive spin on alonso, but a negative one for his team mate.

Is this andrew benson of the bbc writing here?

218

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

219

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

220

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

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

221

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

222

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

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

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

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

223

A decade ago the teams did 300000 kilometers of testing a season. The big teams were spending close to $400,000 for every lap of racing. I think where we are is an great starting point for a new era. They will pick up 4 or 5 seconds a lap by the end of the season.

I can't wait to get too Montreal and listen to the sounds of 2014 and not hear the scream of the dinosaurs.

224

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

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

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

225

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

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

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

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

-Mercedes are in a league of their own. I can't see other closing the gap in the first round of flyaway races. It will take mighty effort from other teams to challenge them.

And well done to both Kevin Magnussen and Dan Ricciardo. It's great to see the talent being rewarded rather than the big bucks pay drivers.

226

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

On a positive note, happy to see new faces on the podium, and most of the rookies did well.

227

tyre&fuel&power&sound saving...

228

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

229

Australia is a very tough place to pass.

There will be LOTS of overtaking in Malaysia

230

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

Great way to start the season though.

231

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

232

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

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

233

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

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

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

234

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

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

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

235

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

236

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

237

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

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

238

Again, what is this obsession you have with what Lewis wears?

Would you have a problem if he dressed like a rock star, somehow i doubt it...

239

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

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

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

240

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

241
Martin (England)

Ha ha, that made me laugh out loud.

242

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

243

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

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

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

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

244

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

245

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

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

246

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

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

247

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

248

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

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

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

249

Ferrari have already said that Kimi has very soft hands. i.e. he wants his steering to be exactly to his liking. Remember, he was frequently complaining about the steering last year with Lotus as well?

Then it's brakes. It was obvious, Alonso could manage the brakes on his car better than Kimi. Don't know if it's different brake-by-wire settings there, or Alonso just more adaptable.

Anyway, it's going to take some time to iron these problems out, and by that time Alonso (who managed to get along better with what he had) may be gone points-wise.

250

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

251
H.Guderian (ALO fan)

hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!

+1.000.000

Just KIM´s fans saw it that way.

252

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

253

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

254

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

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

255

Congratulations McLaren! The British team is back!

256

Great that McLaren are leading the constructors table.

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

257

Merclaren

258

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

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

259

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

260

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

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

261

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

262

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

263

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

264

Old good Koba is back 😉

265

Well done to Nico, Dan & Kev.

Am so happy Dan got on the podium today, but man is that Merc quick. Lots of work to do by the rest of the field now they can see how far they are behind.

A Williams probably would have been on the podium if they had qualified better, or if Bottas did't clip the wall.

Very good race, hope Dan can keep up the podiums.

266

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

267

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

268

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

269

Easily beat Hamilton ?

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

He made no mistakes this weekend.

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

270

LOL @ Richard

calm down dear comment is necessery here

271

Apologies Richard.

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

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

272

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

273

The "Hamilton's more rough on his car" canard. *rolls eyes*

274

Uhhhh!!!

I didn’t see a mistake, I thought the car broke down through no ones fault?

Also didn't Lewis beat Rosberg in their 1st season together?

But ehh you know best and in your mind, Rosberg already has the championship lol.

Personally I think those two are very closely matched in terms of skill and will give us a season to remember.

As for today's race, Great job Rosberg, unlucky Lewis

275

Uhhhh!!!

I didn't see a mistake, I thought thwarted car broke down through no ones fault?

Also didn't LLewis beat Rosberg in thier 1st season together?

276
The Spanish Inquisitor

The fifth position of Alonso is fictitious, the real position is ninth. Ferrari is the fifth car of the grid. The actual rank is

1) Mercedes

2) Williams

3) McLaren / RB

5) Ferrari

Ferrari’s motor has a lack of power. Nothing to do about this. Impossible to recover this disadvantage whit aerodynamics improvement. The season is over for Ferrari, for Hamilton to. Rosberg’s year.

277

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

278

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

279
H.Guderian (ALO fan)

Exactly my thougts.

Couldn'd say it better.

KIM showed the exact Ferrari position.

280

Season is not over, power can be improved in many ways yet, a lot of parts of the PU cans still be modified. Also, McLaren and Red Bull are not that far away, ahead yes, but not too far.

Ferrari's race was strongly altered by Fernando's problem with ERS at the start and first laps. Without it he would have fought for the podium and Kimi's first stop wouldn't have been that slow. Yes they are te 5th team, but if by the start of the europe races they are 2nd fastest, it wouldn't be a surprise.

Starts are going to be even better than last year, and developement looks way better with the new wind tunnel. Mercedes is a concern anyway, but you know, with Fernando behind the steering wheel...

281

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

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

282

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

284

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

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

Very happy for Ricciardo for his podium.

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

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

Toro Rosso and Force India did really good.

285

Very impressed with the rookies today. Bottas was on fire and made it real exciting. Congrats to Nico and the Merc outfit. A very dominant victory. Congrats to Daniel and Kevin. A very interesting and refreshing podium today I thought. It's great to see that the future of F1 is looking strong, driver-wise. Well done to AJ for not busting out of his suit 😉

Early days but the Mercedes team look mighty right now. The next group is pretty tight so hopefully an interesting season ahead of us.

286

Two stop strategy for Lotus .....

... as anticipated

287

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

288

Witty! Enjoyed that

289

LOL. Very good.

291

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

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

292

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

293

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

294

Yes, but a qualified yes.

Rosberg set the fastest lap of the race on lap 19 (?), with lots of fuel on board. After that he was mostly cruising trying not to overstress anything and saving fuel. So, yes, he could have gone faster.

But then there's the fuel consumption, overall and peak. I would dearly love to know how much fuel he had in the tank at the end of the race. Only knowing this we can know if he really could have gone significantly faster. Without having being called to explain the peak fuel flow rates.

For example, Bottas come-back certainly was crippled with the need to save fuel.

295

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

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

296

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

297
Yngwie Malmsteen

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

298

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

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

299
Yngwie Malmsteen

Thanks!

300

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

301

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

302

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

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

303

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

304

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

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

Kvyat also had an impressive debut.

305

Will this be the season of "Number two" drivers?

306
kenneth chapman

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

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

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

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

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

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

307

Rosberg and Riccardo are hardly "kiddies". I'm happy they drove well but not surprised.

308
kenneth chapman

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

309

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

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