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Australian Grand Prix Reaction: Race Report

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Bethonie Waring, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Bethonie Waring

    Bethonie Waring
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    Aus GP race report.jpg Sebastian Vettel wins the first race of the 2017 season after a strategy mistake for Mercedes cost Lewis Hamilton the lead of the race.

    There had been plenty of talk of Vettel possibly taking Hamilton on the run up to the first corner, but the Brit kept control of the race throughout the first stint. Mercedes decided to pit Hamilton early as the team was worried about tyre degrading, but he emerged from the pits behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

    Verstappen isn’t the easiest person to overtake, Hamilton found, and he was stuck behind the teenager whilst Vettel built up a strong lead at the front of the field. When the German pitted, he emerged just ahead of Verstappen, keeping Hamilton behind him.

    Hamilton struggled with power fluctuations throughout the race. Some laps he was closing in on Vettel, some laps it looked as if he would fall back into teammate Valtteri Bottas, but he remained second.

    Whilst one Red Bull driver was making things difficult for the championship favourite, the other was somewhere in the Red Bull motorhome. It was a home GP to forget for Daniel Ricciardo, who’s problems started before the start of the race.

    His Red Bull stopped on track on the way to the grid, with the car stuck in sixth gear. The car returned to the pits on the back of a truck, but the team managed to fix the problem in time for Ricciardo to start the race, albeit a few laps behind the rest of the field.

    The car stopped on track again during the race. Ricciardo described it as a “separate” issue from what had happened before the race, and Horner said it was an engine issue. If it is an engine problem, that will be worrying for Renault, who postponed introducing the engine that was run in testing because of reliability problems.

    Like last season, the wheel-to-wheel battle of the race could be found further back in the field. After starting twelfth, Fernando Alonso had made his way up into the pits and was running in tenth when Force India’s Esteban Ocon closed in on him. Ocon was studying the back of Alonso’s car, staying right behind the Spaniard for multiple laps, as Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg joined the back of the field.

    Ocon triggered the move that would have fan’s hearts in their throats. Ocon tried a move around the outside of Alonso, squeezing the Spaniard onto the grass and allowing Hulkenberg to pull alongside the duo. The three ran side by side before the order settled out, with Ocon taking the lead of the trio, and Alonso falling back to twelfth. The tenth position allowed Ocon to take his first Formula One point.

    Alonso later retired from the race, but McLaren fans were given hope that the team may have put the reliability problems behind them, as Stoffel Vandoorne was able to finish the race.

    Final classification

    1. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari

    2. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes

    3. Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes

    4. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari

    5. Max Verstappen – Red Bull

    6. Felipe Massa – Williams

    7. Sergio Perezi – Force India

    8. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso

    9. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso

    10. Esteban Ocon – Force India

    11. Nico Hulkenberg – Renault

    12. Antonio Giovinazzi – Sauber

    13. Stoffel Vandoorne – McLaren

    OUT:

    Fernando Alonso – McLaren

    Kevin Magnussen – Haas

    Lance Stroll – Williams

    Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull

    Marcus Ericsson – Sauber

    Jolyon Palmer – Renault

    Romain Grosjean – Haas

    For more Formula One news and discussions head over to the RaceDepartment Formula One sub forum and join in with your fellow community members.

    What was your moment of the race? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
     
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  2. Erwin Greven

    Erwin Greven
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    Moment of the race was Sebs pitstop. He came back in front of Max and Louey. That was the decisive moment.
     
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  3. yusupov

    yusupov

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    that was THE moment, but -- hamilton getting the better start & vettel staying right on him (ultimately chasing him into the pits). that was when i realized the ferraris are for real.

    after the stop still spent 15-30 minutes expecting mercedes to reveal they'd been holding back. hamilton couldnt even get close. boring race, sure, but thrilling result & implications.
     
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  4. Wolf_XII

    Wolf_XII

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    @yusupov
    Agreed especially if you take into account the power fluctuations in Hamilton's car, could that mean reliability problems down the road or an overdevloped engine?

    Pity about Ricciardo though, must be a bummer to sit out the home grand prix.
     
  5. Filip Carlén

    Filip Carlén
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    Great race, really enjoyable, especially for begin an F1 race which can be quite boring and a lot of waiting. Great to see the Ferraris giving Mercedes something to fight, Ferrari was the fastest car today. RAI got fastet lap and Vettle won, so there is no denial in that the Ferrari is fast
     
  6. stbreaker

    stbreaker

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    I'm sure the Lewis haters will show up eventually, but ultimately it was a bit of strategy that helped some and hurt others. However, everyone seemed pretty satisfied on the podium. It was nice to see teammates that actually speak to each other.

    Seeing all those fans on the track during the victory lap was kinda surreal. I'm sure the FIA will take an extremely dim view of that

    I do think the aero package is coming off a bit ominous when it comes to non-DRS passing. Most of us were skeptical with all the added downforce and looking at Lewis vs Max in particular, it seems like you still can't run close at all.
     
  7. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen
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    You guys must remember that Albert Park is crap to overtake on. Don't judge it until after the next race.
     
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  8. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    Yes, they'll probably fine the organisers but saying that, the spectators were respectful, stayed back, didn't block the cars and just genuinely wanted to celebrate the result which was good to see.

    The race wasn't bad. The following another car issue will always effect F1 cars as long as they rely on aerodynamics there's just no way to totally get rid of it. I do like the new look of the cars though and the 2017 tyres allow the drivers to push more which more than anything else is something I celebrate. The issue may become irrelevant when they start to have to look after their engines but we'll see.

    Well done to Ferrari, they had a little good fortune with Lewis getting stuck behind the Red Bull but they seized the opportunity and got the win.

    I don't necessarily want to see lots of overtaking out front. I do want to see different winners though and hopefully that's what we'll get this year.

    For the first time years I only watched about four or five races last year. I still prefer Sports Car racing but with this result I'll be following the season with more interest.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
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  9. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    Exactly, it's one corner after another and every race I've seen there has tended to be processional. The only thing that's tended to spice it up is safety cars and the occasional visit by the rain.
     
  10. grahamw

    grahamw

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    If that was a thrilling race I must have watched a different one yes Mercedes pitted to early and put Lewis back in to fourth a good pit stop from Vettel and it was game over. The highlight of the race was Danny Riccs car breaking down and the first two corners hardly scintillating.

    I think the Ferrari on the face of it is Mercedes only real competition although today it was poor strategy rather than poor driving. Never heard Hamilton moan so much about tyre deg so clearly something else going on there or he is getting his excuses in early.
     
  11. yusupov

    yusupov

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    no one said thrilling race; it was far from that. i said thrilling result.

    red bull will be contending sooner than later. they always do.
     
  12. Dirk Steffen

    Dirk Steffen
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    Anybody understands the booing on Lewis Hamilton when he was handed the microphone on the podium?
    Any particular event triggered the unhappy fans at Melbourne this weekend?

    I am not a fan of Lewis Hamilton myself (never was) but I didn't understand the booing.
    When this happened last year in Brazil, there was some understandable action on track beforehand but here in Melbourne with our Aussie friends usually in a very cool and relaxed attitude just didn't seem to fit ?

    It was really great to see the emotions around Vettel and the Ferrari team to finally have a really important victory after such a long time.

    Really too bad what happened to Ricciardo :-( I am really sad about that one and a pity that Red Bull isn't yet as sharp as they need to be to give Max Verstappen a good weapon to fight at the front.

    Great showing from Giovinazzi - wow!
    I really, really hope that Valtteri Bottas can find his speed with the new car and show his true potential to fight for the title!

    I am so sad for Alonso that in his late F1 years he still doesn't have the car he needs to fight on his skill level - #MostUnluckyF1DriverEverWithCarChoices.

    Up to the strategy mix up at Mercedes, taking Hamilton's lead I thought it all was a bit bland.
    Funny how Hamilton (as usual) whined over the radio there was no way he couldn't pass Verstappen on the track after being pinned down behind him leaving the pits. Isn't that was great world champion racing drivers do, particularly the ones who compare themselves to their idol Ayrton Senna every chance they get?
     
  13. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen
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    I was slightly surprised about that too. I havent seen or heard him trash talk australians, so its my guess its his extravagant lifestyle, the fact he didnt win (yay!) and that most fans on the track were Ferrari fans.
     
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  14. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
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    It was probably just the crowd being mischievous, Nico was on the receiving end of boos in some GP's last year (which was also stupid in my opinion). My gut feeling though is his radio comments about "no grip, no grip, car's not good, etc" so they probably latched onto that as being a bad loser maybe?

    I wish he would quit the whole "we can't overtake" campaign though, just get on with it Lewis. It's the same for everyone :) This track is pretty much a street course so passing is always very tough, unless the guy in front screws up.
     
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  15. arniesan

    arniesan
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    Nice win for Vettel and the Ferrari team.
    As well as the seemingly oncoming fights between Ferrari and Mercedes, I reckon the bigger fight is going to be between Bottas and Hamilton. :)
     
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  16. Dirk Steffen

    Dirk Steffen
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    I am really looking forward to this. Valtteri Bottas looks like a pretty cool guy who can tough it out with a princess-er-ishley Lewis Hamilton and her devious ways ;-)
    He never has been showing to give way when pull comes to shove, like here on the F1 GP in Shanghai, not giving a millimeter to his future predecessor Nico Rosberg, when Bottas locked Rosberg's Mercedes with his Williams through turn 1 right after the start of the 2014 Shanghai GP:
    [​IMG]Shanghai F1 GP 2014 - Mercedes AMG - Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas having contact by Dirk Steffen, on Flickr

    I liked him from day one ;-)
    I really hope he finds his way with the Mercedes and get up to speed quickly. It was a solid performance in Melbourne, just lacking a little of Hamilton's pace (but we all know after so many years that the Mercedes is build around Hamilton's needs). Bottas can mix things up.
     
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  17. roni istianto

    roni istianto

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    Feeling sad for Alonso. The best driver in the race now... :(:(
     
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  18. Peter Hooper

    Peter Hooper
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    I think the Hamilton/ Bottas battle could be something really interesting this year. Bottas doesn't tend to get ruffled and his cool head and underrated pace could make things very exciting in the Merc team. I thought it would take longer for him to settle but he was coming on strong in the second stint of the race yesterday.
     
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