F1: Australia, Malaysia and China Thoughts

Here’s what I think quickly about each of the first 3 flyaway races of the season in F1.

Austalia

  • The DRS wasn’t very successful in the first race, not long enough to make it work as desired but it did add some overtaking at least, but not enough.
  • Red Bull far ahead of everyone else, good if you’re a fan of them but bad if you like close competition, something we rarely see in F1.
  • Great podium by Petrov shows Renault will be right up there challenging for podiums, although probably only for the beginning of the season until Ferrari and Mercedes get their acts together.
  • McLaren make massive improvement from testing.
  • Lotus not as compeitive as expected, stuck in a division all their own. Too far behind established teams yet far ahead of Virgin / HRT.
  • HRT embarrassingly don’t qualify for opening race, Virgin very slow.
Malaysia
  • Vettel and Red Bull domination in qualifying and race continues.
  • Great podium for Heidfeld, fantastic starts for both Renaults.
  • Webber strong recovery, Red Bull still strong without KERS.
  • Williams absolutely useless, once again fail to live up to expectations, neither car finishes.
  • Lotus much stronger, able to stick with Toro Rosso.
  • Jenson gets strong second place, while Hamilton and Alonso tangle and both lose out in final standings.
  • Di Resta strong performance for first earned point, second race beating Sutil in qualifying and race. (let him past in Australia due to team order from what I understand)
  • DRS more successful, tyres making very exciting racing
China
  • Strategy decision costs all 2 stoppers (vettel, massa, alonso). Vettel lost out to Hamilton, could not defend against better grip / traction.
  • Strong result for McLaren who didn’t have the fastest car
  • Lotus beat Perez and Maldonado, great result. Partly due to Williams’ struggles and Perez’s mistakes and penalty but still very strong pace.
  • Virgin fortunate to not be further embarrassed by HRT moving ahead of them in pace.
  • Massa beats Alonso again, looks to be getting back to 2008 form.
  • Paul Di Resta unlucky not to score after personal best 8th qualifying position.
I think it’s been a good start to the season and each race has been better than the last. I’m glad we don’t have to worry about Vettel winning every race now and I hope Renault can keep up the pace along with the top runners. I think Turkey will be another great race and I’m looking forward to it.
The interesting thing about the China race is that it was won on strategy and not by the fastest car. Of course, strategy can only take you so far, and that’s why unfortunately we didn’t see Nico Rosberg or a Renault win today, but who knows what can happen in future races, this is F1 where practically anything can happen.
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