The new Formula One season finally got under way today. I was gutted the Bahrain GP was cancelled (not because the race is good but because I’ve been missing seeing Fernando racing) but I understood why it happened. So my excitement for Australia was even more than usual, even though we had to get up at 7am to watch it. What with the new rules and regulations plus tyres I was hoping for a good race.
Now I must admit, the race wasn’t the best but I did enjoy watching it. Fernando got a bad start, dropping to 9th, but managed to claw his way back up to 4th. If he hadn’t be on the outside for the first corner, who knows where he would have been? Vettel won, and was dominant throughout, Hamilton came second despite his knackered floor and Petrov got his first podium which was very well deserved. Petrov really impressed me today and although it’s just one race, he seems to have stepped up to the mark in Kubica’s absence.
There were some good battles as Fernando fought his way back up and I enjoyed the battle between Jenson and Felipe as they squabbled for position until Jenson cut the corner and got a penalty. I think the DRS/flexible rear wing is intriguing but I don’t entirely understand why you can only use it in certain circumstances; I get the safety aspect, obviously, but it would be intriguing to see it used whenever they want to use it (within safety rules). I thought the new tyres were great and I liked that the tyres go off quicker as it makes for interesting strategies and pit stops (Canada, in particular, will be intriguing as it’s notoriously hard on tyres).
Perez, the new Sauber driver, managed to do 58 laps with just one pit stop. Though they’ve since been disqualified because of a problem with their wing (it doesn’t conform to regulations). I’ve got no idea if that helped with tyre degradation (or lack thereof) but I doubt it. It could well be Perez can save his tyres. They didn’t seem to go off and he was doing good pace and, for me, was the driver of the day. I know he’s been disqualified, but I thought he was hugely impressive and I doubt he got the car into 7th just because of the wing. It’ll be interesting to see how he does in the next races, but he’s shown huge signs of promise today.
So although the race wasn’t a cracker, it was good enough. I think tracks with long straights could see more of the overtaking we saw at the start/finish line of the GP today and the DRS/KERS combination could be really interesting if allowed to be used more. The Red Bulls are undoubtedly the ones to look out for, particularly Vettel who seems on fire, but I think if Fernando can qualify well (first three rows) and get a good start he’ll be in with a chance. I can’t wait for the Malaysian race and I just hope it doesn’t get washed out like it did last year!
PS: I forgot a sport I watch from that list the other day, I also watch Baseball. I knew I’d forgotten one.