Formula One: Australian Grand Prix Overview

19/03/14

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It’s an odd notion to write a race overview when the final result is still being disputed. You certainly get your money’s worth when it comes to F1!

In a truly controversial manner, we saw crashes in qualifying, the bookies’ world title favourite retire in the third lap and a first-ever podium finish snatched from Daniel Ricciardo due to disqualification.

So, where to start? Well, let’s not overlook the prowess Nico Rosberg displayed in his Mercedes, finishing comfortably with a 25-second lead ahead of the rest of the pack. The German was pumped up from the off as he displayed some nifty work to get himself in front of his team mate, Lewis Hamilton, before the first corner.

Overlooking Hamilton’s technical problems this time round and focusing on his pole position qualifying outing, Mercedes look like a force to be reckoned with. Hamilton remains confident about his chances and was calm despite his early exit.

The reigning champion, Sebastian Vettel, didn’t feature among the points as he struggled to get to grips with his Red Bull car. After failing to make the top 10 in qualifying, it would’ve taken a flawless drive, which has become characteristic of Vettel in recent years, for a place on the podium but the German has struggled so far in the early throes of the season. Rest assured, there’s still plenty of time yet for Vettel to settle.

His teammate, the Australian, Daniel Ricciardo, delighted the home fans by finishing second and snatching some points for Team Red Bull. However, the celebrations were cut short as the F1 stewards revealed his car breached the new fuel-flow rules and he was subsequently disqualified. The new rules state that cars can only use 100kg of fuel throughout the race, roughly 50kg less than they were previously using. Red Bull immediately announced that it would appeal the decision.

FIA Formula One technical delegate, Jo Bauer, said Ricciardo’s car had consistently exceeded the maximum allowed fuel flow. The FIA were also disgruntled at Team Red Bull’s failure to heed instructions given to them before the race to change their fuel-flow sensor, which they said was faulty, to correctly ensure that they were not going over the limit.

This comes as good news to Team McLaren who saw Kevin Magnusson, the 21-year-old Dane, take second place on his F1 debut and the experienced Jenson Button claim third due to Ricciardo’s disqualification.

Both Ferrari’s finished in the top 10 with Fernando Alonso ranking 5th and Kimi Raikkonen finishing 8th, despite crashing in qualifying the day before. Raikkonen did not hide his disappointment after the race and maintained that despite both cars finishing in the points, Ferrari cannot be happy with their lack of pace.

So, take a deep breath, read over the new rules and let us know your thoughts about Red Bull’s disqualification. Is it justified? Should they have listened to FIA, were they too arrogant/complacent and equally, should the driver be punished for a constructor error?

Show your support this season and let us know which driver or team you’re rooting for? Have you followed Lewis Hamilton from McLaren to Mercedes or are you a Scuderia Ferrari fan through and through despite the personnel?

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