It has been a long while since my last update and I’ve been busy with all sorts of major life events since I last wrote (yes I got married, and yes, we did go to Singapore GP for our honeymoon – more on this later!) as well as facilitating a major lifestyle change (my husband is going back to uni!). Long story short, I’ve been busy, so busy in fact that I’ve not even missed F1 that much. Until this weekend that is, where I got decidedly giddy at the thought of watching the Australian GP. Needless to say, I was up at 4:50 AM Sunday morning to watch the race live. And boy was it worth it!
A few thoughts, which I suspect largely mirror the general consensus following this first race:
#1. Holy S*** was Alonso Lucky!
For those of you who’ve not already seen the footage, Alonso had a spectacular incident after colliding with Esteban Gutierez. Alonso’s car hit the rear left wheel of Gutierez’ Haas car when he tried to overtake, continued to collect a bollard before skidding sideways at high speed into the gravel pit where his momentum saw him flying upside down for a handful of metres before colliding with the wall. In the words of Gene Haas: “Alonso went for a heck of a ride…”
— sutton-images.com (@suttonimages) March 20, 2016
Thankfully, and rather miraculously, Alonso walked away shaken but otherwise fine.
#2. The Ferrari has speed! And it tried to cook Kimi’s head.
Yes, Kimi’s Ferrari had a problem and he parked it outside the Ferrari garage where it started spewing fire at the back of his head. Thankfully a marshal was quick to react and ran over with an extinguisher and Kimi walked away as nonplussed as always. I’m still not sure he was even aware of how much fire was coming out of the overhead air box.
— Race Capture (@race_capture) March 20, 2016
#3. Both Mercedes’ drivers bogged down on the start.
Not that it mattered much as they still finished 1st and 2nd, but both Merc’s were alarmingly slow off the start, especially compared to the two Ferraris which both jumped up ahead from 3rd and 4th on the grid respectively.
— MERCEDES AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) March 20, 2016
Rosberg held firm in 3rd place but Hamilton got caught out and was running in 7th position for a good proportion of the first part of the race. The winning results were thanks to their strategic decision to go to medium tyres during the red flag race stop while Ferrari crucially decided to stay on supersoft. As Arrivabene said to Sky: “We tried to go aggressive and it was absolutely the wrong decision”. Indeed.
#4. Haas might actually have some serious potential.
Let’s face it, normally a new team doesn’t score points on their debut. Even if they have taken over an existing team, it is extremely difficult to take away points in your first race. But Haas have got themselves 8 points from Grosjean’s 6th place. I can’t wait to see what the rest of their season will shape up like, but so far, so good!
#5. The new qualifying format was a flop.
By gradually eliminating cars throughout the qualifying sessions at 90 second intervals, the sessions were supposed to get more exciting and have more pace. Which did work somewhat for Q1 and Q2 but resulted in zero cars on road for the last minutes of Q3. It did, in plain words turn the qualifying session into a gimmicky 1st and 2nd act with a supreme anticlimax in the 3rd and final session. Thankfully the FIA have announced they won’t be using the new system in the next race and with that their latest antics have been parked with the “double points” rule from 2014.
See you in Bahrain in April 2016!