1 down, 18 to go - Kimi leads the 2013 championship!
Season opener didn't disappoint
After months and months of sitting around waiting for the Australian GP to take place, the race has been and gone already, with the teams and drivers already on their way to Malaysia for another weekend of action.
But what did you make of the season opener in Melbourne?
A qualifying session of two halves
I was actually travelling home from a break in Europe during the first attempt at qualifying on Saturday morning (GMT!). I did everything I could to avoid the result, hoping to catch the rerun on Sky Sports F1 as soon as I got home. When I was informed by SMS that the session didn't make it to Q2 and would be run on the Sunday morning I was kind of... well, ecstatic.
The thought of a crazy long Saturday night / Sunday morning, with qualifying at 00:00 and the race a few hours later was pretty exciting.
I suppose predictably Sebastian Vettel took the pole, and did it with flying lap to spare, cooly darting into the pits when he knew he couldn't be beaten. He's a class act on a Saturday, there's no doubt about it.
As a Hamilton fan I was pleased to see Lewis line up 3rd on the grid. The pace of the Mercedes doesn't look too bad at this stage which gives real reason for hope this season.
The Race - It delivered
Melbourne is a race that I always associate with the following:
- Carnage at the first corner
- At least a safety car or two during the GP
- An air of unpredictability
In actual fact, the 2013 Australian GP didn't have any of that. Even the last point - unpredictability.
The reason for that was when Vettel was leading, I thought he'd easily win. Then when Alonso got the lead, I thought he'd win. Then all of a sudden Kimi Raikkonen's two stop strategy put him in the pound seat. So at the time it didn't feel unpredictable, but any race that has three drivers seemingly guaranteed to win it at some stage was surely a good one.
I was particularly impressed with Adrian Sutil who was in his first race since the end of 2011. He actually led a decent chunk of the grand prix and even managed to pull away of Vettel who was on fresher tyres to unanimous acclaim from all watching. His battle with Lewis Hamilton was also interesting considering the bad blood, or should I say frosty relationship between the two off the track these days.
Let's talk about Kimi Raikkonen... He's my second favourite driver after Lewis Hamilton, but he drives for my favourite team in Lotus. If anyone can work out the maths of my net favourite combination please leave a comment!
But anyway, I was so glad he won and I truly hope it wasn't a one off. I hope Lotus can develop all season long and keep him in the hunt as they did so well last year with brilliant consistency. Who knows though! It's way too early.
McLaren - WTF
Let me take you back to January 31st 2013 and a quote Jenson Button made at the launch of the MP4-28:
"It may look similar to last year's car but under the skin it is completely different,"
It's ironic that the general feeling from fans was that they wanted a McLaren that was very similar under the skin to last year's (very fast) car, but wanted it look completely different (i.e. a 50th anniversary orange livery). Very ironic indeed wouldn't you agree?
As it turns out, the car stinks, it looks the same as ever, and it's actually slower than the MP4-27.
McLaren announced today that reverting to last year's car would be a backwards step. How embarrassing is it that they need to answer such questions in the first place?!
Jenson Button scraped 9th position in the Grand Prix and Sergio Perez was beaten by both Force Indias and Romain Grosjean to the last points paying positions. Not quite the start he'd have been hoping for, but encouragingly he finished only a couple of seconds behind the experienced Jenson.
I cannot wait for Malaysia! More questions will be answered, but twice as many questions will be created!
Comment with facebook
"Thanks for visiting our website, enterF1.com. Have you got a suggestion? A potential improvement? Or if you would just like to get in touch with us then please do!"