Vettel dominates to win in Melbourne

2011 Australian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel dominated the Australian Grand Prix to win by more than 20 seconds from Lewis Hamilton.

A strong drive by Vitaly Petrov gave the Russian driver his first podium finish ahead of Fernando Alonso.

Red Bull kept quiet about the fact that neither of their cars were using KERS. They were worried they might be vulnerable at the start, but both drivers made quick getaways from the left-hand side of the grid and Mark Webber almost passed Hamilton for second.

Behind them Petrov jumped up to fourth and Felipe Massa made an excellent start to take fifth.

But Jenson Button was on Massa’s tail and pressured him hard. He made several attempts to overtake, increasing his efforts once he was allowed to start using the Drag Reduction System, but couldn’t find a way by.

Button eventually got alongside Massa on the outside of turn 11 and was squeezed off the track by the Ferrari driver. Button believed he deserved to keep the position but the stewards did not agree and handed him a drive-through penalty.

Alonso had fallen to tenth at the start but made his way back up the order, passing Kamui Kobayashi and Nico Rosberg. He latched onto the tail of the Button-Massa battle and moved ahead of his team mate.

But with the tyres wearing out quickly the drivers were soon into the pits. Webber was one of the first to come in on lap 12 to switch from soft to hard tyres – but he would need two more stops for more soft tyres before the race was over.

Alonso and Massa came in on the next two laps. Vettel was in on lap 15 and Hamilton two laps later.

Button had to make his pit stop after he had taken his penalty which dropped him down to 12th. He moved back up the order, passing Kobayashi for seventh, but the penalty left him on the back foot.

Vettel eased ahead of Hamilton during the second stint but Webber couldn’t keep the same pace or look after his tyres as well. His extra stop dropped him behind Petrov and Alonso. Without KERS, Webber was powerless to make a pass on the Ferrari.

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The Alonso-Webber battle caught Petrov at a rapid rate but they didn’t catch the Renault driver in time to pass him.

Behind them Button caught Massa again but the second time around he was able to use DRS to pass the Ferrari driver at turn one.

Massa was another driver who made a third pit stop which dropped him for tenth. Late in the race he picked off Sebastien Buemi, who didn’t seem interested in protecting his position.

The Sauber drivers took seventh and eighth place with Sergio Perez taing a remarkable seventh place. Even more impressive, he did it by only pitting once having started on the hard tyres.

The Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta finished just outside the points, ahead of Jaime Alguersuari, Nick Heidfeld, Jarno Trulli and Jerome d’Ambrosio.

Neither Williams nor Mercedes finished the race. Pastor Maldonado retired early on and team mate Rubens Barrichello had an eventful race.

Barrichelo made an excellent move on Kobayashi early on as the pair were lapping Michael Schumacher. But he made a rash dive at Nico Rosberg and clattered into the Mercedes. Both retired, as did Schumacher.

Hamilton’s efforts to catch Vettel were further delayed by damage to his undertray. Vettel ended the race with a comfortable 20-second lead which is an ominous sign for Red Bull’s rivals for the rest of the season.

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2011 Australian Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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120 comments on “Vettel dominates to win in Melbourne”

  1. A good solid start to the season, even if it wasn’t as chaotic as we expected. I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Mercedes or particularly Williams by any means. Brilliant work from Sauber, they’ve amassed more points in the last few hours than they did in the first half of last season have they not? Cannot believe Perez, that was amazing!

    Regarding the DRS I’m going to defend it for now. I honestly hated the concept before the season began, the ‘push to pass’ idea. However it’s actually subtle enough so that the driver still has to work to get the pass. Look at Button > Massa, and Massa > Buemi for example.

    DRS made the overtaking attempts more likely to occur – it didn’t guarantee them, which in my books is a success. Who’s with me?

    1. I agree with you in the DRS. It’s great that it’s not a push to pass, yet gives just enough advantage for overtake to occur.

      Like Vettel said when overtaking Button, although Vettel did not manage to overtake within the DRS zone, it did help him to overtake in the next few corners.

      Just because we don’t see a lot of overtakes in the DRS zone, we should not be dismissive of it.

      1. Certainly not yet. And as DC said, there was no overtaking in the 1st corner before, so actually having people try here is an improvement.

        And it does help them stay close for a longer while. Lets wait what it does in Malaysia.

      2. Ah, yes, Vettel overtaking Button.

        Here’s a picture of Vettel “keeping two wheels inside the line” while he did that (as David Coulthard claimed happened).
        I have no idea why the stewards showed no interest in either of the two overtakes that happened by leaving the track at that corner.

        Now Vettel didn’t gain much in the way of an advantage since Button pitted that lap, but the rules don’t say “much advantage”…

        1. Because there’s a difference between cutting a corner (like Button) and taking a wide line at the exit, which gives you the “advantage” of having to accelerate on a surface with literally no grip anyway.

          Just look at the last 10 race starts at Spa and the first corner. Happy disqualifying!

          1. its no difference if it gives u advantage, which for him it clearly did.

            its a no brainer. well certainly a no brainer when another driver was given a penalty for doing it later on in the lap

          2. later on in the race*

        2. I suppose that it is required to keep two wheels on track when you are riding the apex of the turn in order to prevent you from cutting the corner. I don’t see the reason why you shouldn’t run wide. Does anyone knows what the regulatins says?

        3. You say it wasn’t much of an advantage, but actually, if Vettel hadn’t got past, Hamilton would have come out of the pits ahead of him. Had it not been for Hamilton’s problems it would have been a race winning move.

          And you’re right, it was clearly an illegal move as Vettel wouldn’t have been able to carry the speed to get round Button if he wasn’t going to go wide. Reminds me of Webber on Alonso in Singapore 09, for which Webber was told to let Alonso back through.

        4. Well that picture is taken after the overtake had happened, it don’t really show how far he was off the line when he had just got by, but that is maybe just down to how you define when an overtake has been completed. But it will only compromise his position for the next corner allowing Button to make a move.
          I think the difference is that had it been on a hot lap that line Vettel took would have been slower because he had to accelerate on a very slippery surface and get a bad entry for the next turn. Had Button cut the corner that he did when overtaking Massa on a hot lap he would clearly have gained time because he cut the corner and were able to maintain more speed while driving effectively a shorter distance. Generally there haven’t been any penalties for overtaking outside the track when it is on the outside of the corner, taking the longer way around. As soon as you cut the track, they will punish you. You could call it inconsistency, but then they are consistent with their inconsistency. Which is better then being just inconsistent.

    2. I enjoyed it, though when Button used both the DRS and KERS he shot by Massa like a rocket into turn one, though exciting it looked almost easy.

      1. i didn’t find it exciting at all, i thought that pass one just as boring to watch as raikkonen’s pass on fisi at spa back in 2009 thanks to kers.

        both looked stupidly easy as in bothh cases they just plain drove by the car ahead in the middle of the straght.

        and to coulthards comment of how we never saw passing into turn 1 before, we actually have seen a reasonable amount of passing into turn 1 at melbourne before.

        also buttons pass was made before they had even got to the braking zone for turn 1 so it wasnt even really a pass made into turn 1.

        1. Everything F1_Dave said.

        2. Button had caught Massa at over a second per lap. He should be able to pass. The fact he was on fresher tyres and got good traction out of turn 16 was the main reason for the easy overtake

      2. But he tried exactly the same thing the previous time he was stuck behind Massa, and it didn’t get him by.

        The difference between making the pass on Massa and not wasn’t DRS, it was that in the first period, Button was repeating the same obvious moves in the same places. When he did get by, he showed more aggression and more initiative.

        1. how can you show more agrresion by simply pressing a button and driving by someone in a straght line?

          as soon as he hit the drs button he gained a huge speed boost and simply drove straght by massa before they even got to the braking zone.

          that is not the sort of ‘passing’ i want to see, its dull, unspectacular and boring.

          the whole drs thing is a gimmicky joke. it belongs in mario kart and not f1.

          1. Because he tricked Massa. Who had previously been defending brilliantly. He drove straight on after dummying Massa into taking a defensive line. The DRS boosted his speed and he took what was oin the end a smiple overtake. However this race provided evidence pointing towards the DRS being more of a leveler for the following car, rather than an unfair advantage.

          2. Dave, if that were the case, then every *previous* time he used the DRS behind Massa, he would have got the same result, and would have passed him first time. That didn’t happen – what happened was that the DRS let him keep close behind the Ferrari down the straight, instead of dropping back after the corner.

            In all Button’s previous attempts, he tried to go around the outside of Massa into turn 1 so he’d have the inside to turn 2, attacked from the same point on the track (very wide of Massa’s position), used the same braking point, turned in the same distance, and it was easy to defend against.

            The last time, he did something different – he started the move much earlier, stayed close in beside Massa, and pushed him aside as he was going down the straight. You could see the Ferrari jump to the right as Button crowded him down the straight. So it wasn’t the DRS that made the move, it was a change of tactic from Button.

            And what’s more, it’s a balls-out Hamilton style move that worked, rather than the measured predictability that Button’s overtakes are known for.

    3. Don’t agree with the DRS working, or rather KERS should be disabled then (at least on that straight). KERS seems to be a defensive weapon and rather prevents overtaking than allows it.

      1. Its all about tactics though. If the driver in front can save KERS like Massa was with Button early on it helps to defend. This however can leave them more vulnerable somewhere else when the following driver is using KERS, meaning overtaking in different areas which can only be good. Or the following driver can save their KERS as well to neautralise the defence and regain the advantage of the DRS.

        1. Well, I guess DRS is meant to be allowed in the section which is best for overtaking, so saving KERS for this sector is a natural choice. It’s a repeat from 2009, nothing new. Regarding FFW we’ll see after 3-4 races if it’s any good for the show. I’m not convinced at the moment.

  2. Chuffed for Petrov more than anything, there were times last season when i thought he’d be lucky to have a car this year – great result. Didn’t think it was a bad race overall either, better to come though i’m sure.

    1. Yea, he looked like the cat who got the cream when given his trophy, which looked like was glued to him when interviews on BBCs forum after.

      Well done to him. Credit must be given as most of us here openly slated Renault for keeping hold of him.

    2. Oh yes, Petrov had a great race. At last Renault can be proud of him. I only hope he can repeat his performance in next races, by qualifying consistently and making simple errors not often.

  3. This BBC F1 forum show is basically the punditry team just having a laugh. Really enjoying it, its like an episode of Top Gear at its peak.

    1. Yeah great stuff with Vettel, he is quite funny, and definately a good champion.

    2. Nice to see a relaxed review of the race…

      1. yeah good to see it all relaxed, but they didnt answer many questions, didnt answer any important questions ie red bulls lack of kers.

        and we didnt get to hear from massa or alonso.

        i was a bit dissapointed with the forum this time. usually its cracking

    3. Yup, pretty pleased to have my tweet about the commentary team in there!

  4. So pleased for Petrov. But still waiting for the tiresome ‘if Kubica was in that car, he would have…’ comments.
    Like many people I thought that Petrov was rubbish last year, but he completely won me over this weekend. He was very fast and hardly made any mistakes.

    1. Same here.

    2. Absolutely. As unfortunate at Kubica’s absence is, and i’m sure we’d all have him back if we could, but I hope that’s not all we get this season. If anything this had made Petrov step up to the plate.

    3. haha, definitely less stress, but good job anyway.
      Not sure if already better than Kubica (sorry), but definitely better driving that what BAR, ALG or MAS displayed today.

      Still I think Nick is quicker when in the same car. Strange underperformance for Nick, I believe this was a setup plus some technical issues.

      1. Petrov had a good race, an I hope, particularly for Renaults sake, that this is his comming of age. However, there’s a lot of season left, an Renault will be needing a lot of points to gain that coverted third place. Ferrari does still looked to have pace in the bag.

  5. haha “i was thinking of you all race long”

    brilliant vettel quote

  6. When do we find out that the cars have passed scrutineering and the results are confirmed?

    1. When do we find out that the cars have passed scrutineering and the results are confirmed?

      When Ferrari lodge a complaint.


  7. McLaren might have just missed a trick by not protesting Vettels pass of Button there. Wonder what it would have looked like if Vettel had got a penalty there.

    Nice thing on the red button, although EJ is really spurning a load of nonsense today, just like Keith said in the live blog.

    1. It’s not quite clear because after all, he did not go inside of the corner but the outside.

      In Abu Dhabi last year, a lot of the drivers were running wide off the track, and although the FIA did warn drivers, nothing really happened.

      I don’t see this as too much different

      1. Sure its not clear, but they might have had a shot at it.

      2. Because the whole point of the supposed new ‘severity’ on using off-track sections of the circuit is to stop use of outside portions to maintain speed, overtake slowed-down bunches of cars at the start, or gain extra traction, etc. – inside portions we all know are subject to penalties.

    2. Quite frankly, as long as it’s not Sutil/Badoer @ Spa 2008, it’s ok.

      1. Or Raikkonen a year later

    3. Younger Hamii(Formally Younger Hamilton)
      27th March 2011, 10:09

      There was nothing wrong with Seb’s Overtake on Jenson,Its just a Pity that Jenson couldnt hold off Seb enough to give Lewis those crucial seconds to Nick 1st off Seb.

      Btw i think Ferrari’s Tactical decision with the Jenson-Felipe Battle was Scum,Typical but at the same time pretty Genius.Although i’ve lost all respect i had for Felipe Now.

      Sergio’s Drive was simply flawless and clean.Made no Mistakes and Sauber,when we come to Tracks where the Tyre Wear is much higher like Monaco,Malaysia in Two Weeks and Turkey is going to be i think a ‘dark horse’ because who was predicting a Car making only 1 Stop in the Entire Grand Prix in Australia,NO ONE AT ALL.In Addition,Sauber’s Pace is pretty strong definetely a big step forward from last year,Reliability definetely a stepforward Im Looking forward to seeing Kamui and Sergio score major points in the upcoming Races.

      As for Vitaly,Another Super Drive by him from the start he was incredible Kept Alonso and Webber at bay and pace was good as well.Well Deserved Podium Congrats Vitaly!!!

      Next up is Seb and Lewis,Great Drives by them again.Scampered away from the Field and Lewis,even with a Damaged Floor and Plank still lapped reasonably quick and mostly on Par with Seb.I think its the bad Start that Costed Lewis heavily and Rewarded Seb the Most because if it werent for that Poor Start from the McLarens.Vettel would have been passed by Lewis(remember at the late stages of the 1st Stint Lewis was so much quicker than Seb until he pitted and fitted in new Soft Tyres) and Jenson would have been on the Podium but hey thats racing.

      Looking forward to Sepang in Two Weeks!!!

    4. Yeah for some reason they don’t mind if you go off round the outside even though the rule states 1 tyre (or is it 2?) has to stay within the painted lines. Clearly you can gain an advantage, as Kimi and his multiple excursions at Spa show, especially round Pouhon in 08. It seems like the stewards think taking a longer route when you go off the track is a disadvantage even though time and time again it’s shown not to be.

  8. Please, when are we going to hear news on Lewis Hamilton’s disqualifying procedure?

    1. I think that rule is more aimed at ride-height than an actual failure or damage. He’s suffered enough.

    2. At 2012 just before the end of the world.

  9. Blinding stuff from Vettel, absolutely flawless and he has just increased in confidence from last year, and why not. Looking forward to the team results reviews over the next few days.

    Disappointed in the Mercedes result but Petrov more than made up for it. I was hoping for big things from the W02 and R31. Only one came through, but plenty of races left.

    1. I thought the ominous thing was that ice cool pass on Button, simply drove around him, an although Hamiltons car was carrying damage, probably put the race beyond him at that point as McLaren messed up their pit timming. If Vettle’s learnt to scrap for his wins, although todays performance advantage hardly points towards that he’s looking incredibly good.

      I’d like to see him have to fight Hamilton for the title if Hamilton gets a car thats up to it. Personally, I thought his wins over Fernando at the end of last year were more car based, as Alonso clean out drove him. Would like to see how he copes under serious preassure.

      1. Would like to see how he copes under serious preassure.

        Me too but if RBR can keep up this gap to their rivals on pace we may have to wait a while.

  10. Vettel wow, that was just stunning. I’m not surprised by Hamilton and Webber in their performances though I feel both the Ferrari boys could have stepped it up a notch.

    Highlights: Definitely the Massa-Button battle early on, that was riveting stuff!!

    That and seeing Sauber and STR in the top 10!!! Perez puton the best rookie display in years. I can’t wait to see how Mercedes and Williams react to being smashed by Sauber and STR.

    1. Yes Perez the best rookie performance since Hamilton but in a car that’s not as strong as Hamiltons was, that speaks volumes for Perez

      1. I saw him talking about that in the BBC red button. Apparently they were not planning a 1 stopper ahead, just he had a nice long first stint on the hards and when they started to go bad came in expecting to have to do another stop.

        Then he pushed for about 10 laps to get the most out of the tyres, before he ended up right behind Vettel so he just went it easy and managed to go to the finish.
        Impressive indeed.

        1. He even set the fastest lap at that time of of the race. WOW

      2. Younger Hamii(Formally Younger Hamilton)
        27th March 2011, 10:25

        I agree with you on your statement but the fact that Lewis had higher expectations being in a top F1 Team(McLaren) than Perez would,who is in a Midfield Team(Sauber) and they probably expected him to Finish the race and wouldnt matter if he scored points or not.

        Im not being Biased or im not attempting to I think Sergio has put a great performance but I think his Perfomance couldnt be Compared with Lewis’ One in the same event 4 Years ago.I Just couldnt Compare it because Lewis and Sergio are at different levels of Perfomance

  11. Late in the race he picked off Sebastien Buemi, who didn’t seem interested in protecting his position.

    Buemi had defended the position with an inferior car. Massa was faster and the facts proved it: once he passed, he pulled away. Buemi tried to defend, but Massa was in good form today.

    1. Yeah, I guess Buemi was not really interested in losing a chance of making it to the finish in the points rather than block the one point extra agressively

    2. “but Massa was in good form today”

      Dammit, at least worn us if you are gonna start making jokes. I almost choke on the piece of bread i was eating.

      1. lol, COTD candidate

  12. Actually with Withmarsh saying they really had this package as a basis, and not bringing anything more fancy being a question of manufacturing lead times sounds pretty good for the next few races as well.
    Button was not bad for speed, just got stuck behind Lewis at the start, then lost position just as Alonso.

    And Alonso raced pretty good as well, he also lost when he got next to Button at the start (a bit like last year then). And the Ferrari struggled to get the tyres working for them it seemed, possibly for temperature.

    And Rosberg might have had a bit of a race if Rubens had not budged his exhaust there.

    Sure Seb is ahead, but not having a great KERS. More to come from Ferrari and McLaren. But where is Webber.

    1. I just heard Rubens blaming tyres for his collision with Nico… The guy used KERS and practically rammed Rosberg’s car, but yeah, it was because of the tyres ;/

      1. Rubens has gotta learn to stop slamming into people from behind, hes had 208 gos under his belt and still has rookie moments.

        1. *308 races

  13. All is not well at Red Bull, Webber looked furious post race.

    1. I was trying to work out what he was angry at. Himself for being off-pace, the car not having a setup (do they share setup info? i recall last year someone saying Vettel used Webbers, or the other way round?, in some races) or if theres something else that we dont know about. im not sure.

      But he was clearly miffed. Its one thing to be that far off someones pace when its a rival team, but quite another when its your team mate.

      1. Well to be honest, their strategy was not that much better than it was last year either.

        And they were the first car to have to stop, so far for being more gentle on the tyres. But yeah, he seemed to be just not making it work this weekend.

    2. I’m not sure I saw a “furious” Webber, but certainly his mind was very much elsewhere and he scarpered very quickly after the team photo and never returned, even to give DC a birthday cake which struck me as odd.

      1. He knows his time is up I reckon. If he can’t challenge Vettle what more is there for him to do? There arn’t any more Brawn GP’s on the grid. If Vettle dominaites him like this for the rest of the season I doubt he’ll renew his contract. Then the super interesting fight for the fastest seat on the grid, supposedly without team orders.

      2. After qualifying he was looking over Vettels car for reasons unknown.

        After the race he promptly exited the track after crossing the finish line and got out with no cool down lap.

        In his post race interview with Lee McKenzie he couldn’t have looked or sounded any more disillusioned with his performance all weekend relative to Vettel.

        His actions would suggest he feels that his lack of performance was not all down to him.

        1. I suspect his time is coming faster than he thought. Last year he had his chance and blew it in Korea. I think he will still be at the top at some races as he did last year (Monaco, Silverstone) but don’t think he’ll be a threat to Vettel anymore. More probably Hamilton or Alonso.

  14. having watched that race im now even more convinced than before that the drs should be banned.

    the pass button put on massa was ridiculous, he just plan drove by him in the middle of the straght thanks to the drs and it was a really dull and unexciting thing to watch.

    the damn thing is a stupid gimmick, ive never hated anything in racing so much in my life.

    also disliked so much focus been put on the pit lane again, i hate watching a nice race going on out on track only to then suddenly have to watch a car trundling down the pitlane at 60mph and then sit stationary for a couple seconds. i watch racing to watch car going round at speed on track and not sitting in the pit lane.

    one of the things i hated with refueling was how it shifted so much attention to the pit lane at the expence of on track racing.

    1. Actually that showed how it should work. Button was a lot (seconds) faster than Massa there, just the case where it should be good.

      1. but why should button be allowed past massa just because he was faster?

        if he was faster he should have to work to make the pass not have it given to him with some big speed boost.

        don’t forget that a part of the reason button ended up still behind massa at that point was because he made a mistake and took the penalty.

        massa may not have had ultimate pace but he didnt make any big mistakes and was unfairly punished by button having the drs speed boost while he wasnt able to use anything to defend against it.

        its as bad as that stupid rule in champcar and indycar where the lead driver is unable to move off the racing line to defend his/her position, does nothing but penalise the lead driver simply because he finds himself ahead.

        1. Button out thought him, after being held of previously. Instead of agressivley seeking the tow, he chose the DRS, an Massa assumed Button would attack as he had previously drove off the line mistakenly. It was a completley legitmate, DRS assisted pass by a cerebral driver.

          Try hating stuff less.

        2. what you seem to be ignoring is the fact the the following driver is already put at an even bigger aero disadvantage by all the dirty air. Therefore DRS is just more of a leveller than an unfair advantage. I personally thought it worked pretty well, giving faster drivers the oppurtunity to pass without making it too easy. As I said earlier, what made Jensons pass on Massa was more the better traction he got out of turn 16 due to the fresher tyres.

          1. What’s unfair about laws of nature (meaning dirty air)?

  15. You have got to hand it to ferrari for being quick at telling Alonso to get passed Massa so Button (when he should have given the place back to Massa) would have been behind Alonso aswell. The new communication / strategy worked if the car getting tyre temp didnt.

  16. I’m so happy for Perez. I’ve waited to see him in F1 for over 2 years, and he puts on one of the best rookie displays ever. Great job.

  17. I was really impressed by Petrov. I didn’t even have in mind he was gonna take a podium place in the whole season or even that he was going to finish in front of Heidfeld (god I was wrong!). I was also impressed by Perez and Kovalainen who before he retired was up on 13th place in front of several midfield-drivers.

  18. Younger Hamii(Formally Younger Hamilton)
    27th March 2011, 10:30

    What Irritates me so muchg is when we expect Seb and Lewis to go head to head on Pace from the Car or from themselves.Something Dramatic always happens that enables Seb to easily scamper away with obvious ease he’s Lucky that Lewis keeps having these dramatic situations because i think Lewis would easily beat him and when i mean beat him Prevent him from Pulling away at the start and catch up with him in the 2nd Stint of Races.But im Patient and when that time comes oh we’ll have a big fight for 1st place in our hands with an obvious winner

    1. Vettel made a better get away than Hamilton. Nothing lucky about it.

      1. Younger Hamii(Formally Younger Hamilton)
        27th March 2011, 10:56

        I didnt say there was anything Lucky about the starts and i can even back that up,The McLarens started on the Dirty Side of the grid while the Red Bulls were on the racing line meaning they were on the clean side.They’re most likely to get away much faster but the McLarens are consistently very good with their starts while Red Bull are a bit fragile with theirs.Massa and Petrov had good ones so no luck is involved in that.

        1. the cars are different this year so you cannot simply assume that the starting abilities of macca and red bull are the same as they were last year. Red Bull will have undoubtedly highlighted their starts as a major area to improve and will have likely made it a main area of focus over the winter. Anyway, starting on the clean side is a reward for gaining pole position, so the extra grip off the line was earned by Seb- although as a Hamilton fan i really wish it wasnt!

  19. Whats everyone think of the Force Indias of di Resta and Sutil switching places? di Resta openly said he allowed Sutil to pass him (twice) but didnt go so far as to say he was ordered to or not.

    But it looks like FI have been jumped by STR and Sauber. Interesting midfield this season ;) Hoping di Resta (who seems a really nice chap) can outperform Sutil who at times appears to have gotten complacent

    1. Sutil must have stagnated at Force India. Last year was the time for him to moove on and he either missed out or didn’t leap. FI appear to have gone backwards continuing the trend from last year. I hope Di Resta gets enough over him to get a better seat, his career so far suggests a true talent and I’d love to se him at the sharp end.

  20. Half a minute gap in the podium with no KERS?

    Boring race, and please someboy should explain Webber how to drive that car, 40 secs gap with Vettel?

    This year there wont be competition at all.

  21. I think I owe Petrov a big apology. Really, really strong and smart drive today. I didn’t believe in him, he proved me wrong. Well done!

    Hopefully the season won’t look like one man show. Also I’m really sorry for MGP. And kudos to Button, he unleashed the dragon :)

    1. i think 99% of us, myself included, can be part of that apology. Stunning turn-around from last season.

      1. Good drive, massive improvement. Show us a whole season. Still miss Kubica.

        1. Yeah, thinking what Kubica could have done with this car makes my circuits sizzle.

          1. Who knows, maybe the Reunalt is so fast that Kubica would’ve gotten the pole position with a sub 1:23s lap and win the race dominantly.

          2. Um no, but he might have qualified around 3rd or 4th and seriously challenge Hamilton. But that’s just another what if.

    2. Yep, absolutely fantastic stuff from him. Proved us all wrong, hope he can keep it up.

      1. Yes, that’s the question waiting to be answered. He looks to have found the real confidence and that may be it.

    3. I have to say I’m feeling a bit smug that I jumped on the Petrov bandwagon in Malaysia last year :)

      He certainly made the race bearable for someone who has Mark as her first driver!

  22. So how many races will Rubens demand Rubens to be banned from competing in for reckless driving AND hitting someone, ending their race?

    1. barrichelos maneuver is not even similar to push a car against a concrete wall at top speed; it is not even in the same category.

      Schumacher/Barrichelo maneuver last year was completely different and mucho more dangerous.

      Masa-Button duel could end the same way, this kind of things happen, drive-t was fair.

      1. Barrichello doesn’t shut up about this sort of things recently though, remember the comments on Hammys weaving etc. For someone so keen on drivers etiqute, that sure was a stupid move.

        1. Stupid move? ok, but not even close to the dangerous move Schumacher did the last year.

          Drive-t was enough for him today.

          1. Stupid move, the Shuey thing was awful no doubt, but my point stands. Barrichello has become the grids resident whiner so you’d think he’d manage to keep himself in check.

      2. Yeah, it wasn’t even similar in that Barrichello actually had contact with Rosberg, and basically rammed him out of the race.

  23. Congrats to Petrov for making it to 3rd and Perez for 7th and where were williams and mercedes in that race it was a verry poor result for them.

  24. Good race, I had the pleasure of watching it from the outside of corner 1. Gotta say watching at the track it seems like DRS is a bit underwhelming, seems like a bandaid solution to the lack of overtaking problem. Also does anyone know why Webber stopped at the pit lane exit at the end of the race, and whether Hamilton’s car has passed post race scrutineering? It seemed to be leaving a lot of sparks on the road, and the BBC radio team hinted that the plank on the floor might be too worn.

  25. Ironically it was the KERS / wheel spin on Hamiltons car that almost let Webber through and prevented Hamilton having a go at Vettel

    1. Nah, KERS can’t be activaited below a certain speed, just a poor start really. KERS actually saved his race, in the second phase of the start it got him back past Webber.

  26. With that kind of Petrov and Kubica, Renault could beat today both Mclarens.

  27. well thats another australian gp done.. can’t wait till next year already! I got to sit on the inside of T1.. and it was amazing to watch live.. if any of you haven’t been to an F1 race before, go.. go now!

    The weekend went great.. the city turned it on.. with massive crowds, and weather.. The party atmosphere was amazing.. Bernie’s gotta be stupid to get rid of this!

    As for the race, well it was pretty average.. Vettel was untouchable, and Hamilton did well to get 2nd.. Petrov and Perez were awesome! and Webber just didn’t have it..

    also, i felt slightly embarrassed the mark didn’t complete a cooldown lap in front of all the home crowd, who had come to see him race..

  28. oh no.. sauber??

  29. Button’s DRS assisted pass on Massa demonstrated what I was afraid may happen. A dull, unexciting & reletively easy straght line pass because the DRS gave Button such a big speed boost. Alonso pulled off a similar pass early in the race on Rosberg which FOM missed.

    I found that pass just as boring/unexciting to watch as Raikkonens KERS assisted pass on Fisichella at Spa back in 2009.

    Don’t want to see that sort of passing, I want to watch some good racing, Passing been done on straghts because the car behind has buttons/speed boost’s the lead car doesn’t to me isn’t intresting or entertaining to watch.

    Was also not overly keen on the tyres although it wasn’t as bad as I thought it may.

    Thing I didn’t really like was that I thought that when you had a Worn Tyres/Fresh Tyre situation (Like Massa/Buemi) it made the pass a bit too predictable. Buemi had so little grip that it was clear Massa was going to get by.

    Marbles also looked like they were a problem after about 25 laps.

    Also not so keen on the pit lane been so important again. Regardless of what was happening on track today the talk was always about strategy which I feel took away from what was happened on the track.

    Same as with refueling, The focus on strategy/the pit lane at times seems more important than the actual racing been done out on the track.

    1. I have major reservatons about KERS and DRS but don’t know why people refer to Kimi’s Spa pass as an example. Kimi was on Fisi’s gearbox on the exit of Eau Rouge, well within the tow with the entire Kemmel straight ahead. He would’ve breezed past him with or without KERS.

  30. Does anybody else think that DC needs to decide between being a Redbull ***kisser, I’m sorry, advisor, and a BBC pundit?

  31. Accoding to Badger GP, Sauber have been excluded due to bodywork infringements.

  32. somerandomguy
    27th March 2011, 12:54

    They needed to let the cars use DRS more often, instead of just one turn. Turns 3, 8 and 13 all great opportunities

  33. Ferrari messed up, they totally went wrong with their 3 stop strategy. If the would’ve done a 2 stop strategy (like Vettel, Hamilton and Petrov) they wouldn’t have lost 22+ seconds. So despite their strategy failure (Webber also did 3 stops), they’re in a good form.

    Fastest Laps
    1 Massa (Ferrari) 1:28.947 (lap 55)
    2 [b]Alonso[/b] (Ferrari) 1:29.487 (lap 49)
    3 Webber (Red Bull) 1:29.600 (lap 50)
    4 Vettel (Red Bull) 1:29.844 (lap 44)
    5 Button (McLaren) 1:29.883 (lap 49)
    6 Pérez (Sauber) 1:29.962 (lap 39)
    7 Petrov (Renault) 1:30.064 (lap 55)
    8 Hamilton (McLaren) 1:30.314 (lap 41)

    Full list:

    Total Pit Time
    1:44.700 Barrichello (3 stops + 1 drive through)
    1:17.709 Alguersuari (3 stops)
    1:12.437 Massa (3 stops)
    1:12.176 Webber (3 stops)
    1:12.165 Alonso (3 stops)
    1:02.851 Button (2 stops + 1 drive through)
    51.705 d’Ambrosio (2 stops)
    50.218 Petrov (2 stops)
    49.849 Sutil (2 stops)
    49.747 Trulli (2 stops)
    49.195 Di Resta (2 stops)
    49.009 Schumacher (2 stops)
    48.442 Buemi (2 stops)
    48.256 Kobayashi (2 stops)
    48.092 Heidfeld (2 stops)
    46.639 Vettel (2 stops)
    46.426 Hamilton (2 stops)
    24.865 Kovalainen (1 stop)
    23.716 Rosberg (1 stop)
    23.438 Pérez (1 stop)

    Full list:

    Vettel 0-14, 15-36, 37-58
    Hamilton 0-16, 17-36, 37-58
    Petrov 0-16, 17-36, 37-58
    Alonso 0-12, 13-27, 28-42, 43-58
    Webber 0-11, 12-26, 27-41, 42-58
    Button 0-17 (drive through), 18-19, 20-37, 38-58
    Massa 0-13, 14-31, 32-48, 49-28

    Not exactly sure about the tyre compounds, Webber did his 2nd stint on prime while the others seem to have done option-option-prime and Ferrari did option-option-option-prime.

    1. About Ferrari strategy watching the race I had a few moments of deja vu from Abu Dhabi with Alonso following Webber and forgetting about Petrov. New people, old habits. Now Vettel is the man to beat.

  34. Good start, congratulation to Petrov.Just imagine where Renault would have been it we would have had Kubica. I am disspointed the way Button handled the things.If Red Bull would have carried KERS then I think Webber would have out drag Hamilton. Tough luck for Mercedes they really needs to bounce back hard in Malaysia.

  35. You’re missing the big picture here. Fi has spent 2 desperate years and millions changing rules, cars and circuits to try to encourage more overtaking. So what have the stewards done?
    Ruined all that work by telling all the drivers that if they try to overtake – the other car can push them off with impunity and THEY will get penalised. Charlie Whiting and the Stewards should be shot for not seeing past the end of their noses!

  36. Vettel seemed happier with this win than the one in Melbourne but I think really must really look out now for the rest.

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