The 2014 season gets off to an average start

2014 Australian Grand Prix rate the race result

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The first race under the new 2014 regulations was not an instant classic. But it had some high-points and produced a memorable podium – although the long after the chequered flag came the disappointing news that the crowd favourite had been excluded from second place.

The new rules were welcomed by some and criticised by others. But many took the view that we’ll get a better idea of how F1 2014-style will work after a few more races.

For the first time ever over 1,000 registered F1 Fanatic users voted in the Rate the Race poll immediately after the chequered flag. They gave it an average score of 6.8 out of ten, which matches the average score for the previous six years of F1 races. However it was the second-lowest rated Australian Grand Prix of the last seven seasons.

Whether the race scores will go up or down through the rest of 2014 remains to be seen. Here’s what you had to say about the Australian Grand Prix.

2014 Australian Grand Prix talking points

New rules

Pretty lacklustre I thought. With all the promise of impending chaos it was nearly business as usual. Some uncertainty in the opening laps with retirements, but after that there were few real position changes of note and nowhere close to a battle for the lead. The only real excitement was from Bottas, and an honorary mention for Magnuson getting a podium on his debut. 5/10 for me. I hope the other teams can reign in Mercedes soon or it’s going to be a pretty boring year.

The F1 ‘revolution’ fail to bring us more competition. Yes, I know, it’s just the beginning. But, as we’re asked to vote for this first race, the truth is that nothing changed for better. The race was boring. There were no true racing competition aside from a 5 pilots-race, for a good part of the time, and even that I believe it was due more to the lack of reliability of the Ferraris.

Well, all in all, a bad beginning, not so catastrophic as said before tough, but still lots of work and improvements to make. Sad but true, the F1 is at this very moment failing, not at technological and efficiency level, but at the competition level. And for that contributed Hamilton and Vettel’s absence as Ferrari’s lack of competitiveness.
Ricardo Ferreira (@Yes-master)

It’s a good thing they changed the regulations. Now we don’t get the boring racing where everybody just follows everybody with fear of using too much of their tyres. And there’s no longer a car out in front with a 0.3 seconds advantage over the rest.

Now we’ve got racing where everybody just follows everybody with fear of using too much fuel. And we’ve got a car out in front that’s at least a second quicker than anyone else. This is much better.
Eric (@Baron-2)

View from the track

I was there… sitting at the back of turn nine. To be honest I am quite disappointed. the race wasn’t exciting apart from Bottas and his charge…. which was actually a result of his mistake without which he should be much higher.

The cars were more reliable that I was expecting them to be and the noise is quite exciting without tearing apart your ears. You can hear much more which gives you more insight on the drivers driving style and where they struggle. Also the clutch noise is almost gone.

It was very apparent that Lotus struggles, the engine and gearbox noise was just not right. Actually it was very similar with Sauber. Somehow they didn’t look quick. Mercedes of course in different league, Bottas was also very quick. I was quite disappointed with Ferrari as they just couldn’t get the hammer down. Alonso just couldn’t get past Hulkenberg which was easily overtaken by Bottas. I got an impression that everyone was taking it safe. No dare overtaking moves and no big drama. Actually V8s were more exciting from my perspective.

Being at the same race last year, this year it was nowhere near as exciting. Could be worse but could be much better. Maybe the fact that we lost Hamilton, Massa and Vettel so early has something to do with the end result.

Only the first part was not bad. After first 25 laps only Bottas kept it running.

Congrats to top three, they were all faultless. Also great drive from Button.

The racing

Loved the unpredictability. Who thought Hamilton and Vettel would retire in the initial laps?

Hope Ferrari can sort out the issue bothering both cars today. Raikkonen has to come to terms with the car rather quickly. It was disheartening to see him not able to put up a challenge today.

Good start to the season.

Other than Bottas passes, it just wasn’t a fun race, actually I stopped watching and concentrated on something else, only hearing the TV. So, the racing isn’t improved from previous years, lots of retirements, no strategic uncertainties… It is still early, only the first race, let’s wait and see

I’m slightly miffed at those expecting a tight race with lots of passing… It’s because of these folks that the regulations get mixed up every other year, causing this exact situation.

I thought the race was fantastic with heaps of tension, mystery and still some very close racing and good passes. Bottas’s drive was great, the people at the track (including me) loved Daniel’s drive, and there was a turn 1 crash with cars flying to keep TV’s switched on waiting for the next one… while the rest of us intrigued ourselves with who made best on the new regulations.

New talent

Ninety minutes of watching the best drivers in the world fighting tooth and nail with cars everyone is still learning about, whilst the cream of the young crop float to the top, resulting in the freshest podium we have seen in years? I thought it was awesome.

I liked it. It wasn’t a super race, maybe not even a great one and certainly not one I’d watch again, but it was a nice race. I liked the fact that DRS was not so overpowering and we saw some good overtakes (especially by Bottas), some good battles (Ricciardo-Magnussen) and a couple of strategic moves that decided the outcome. Had Hamilton not retired, I think we would have seen a better race for the lead but that’s something to live with.

First half was interesting whilst the field settled down, Bottas was great with his storm through the field, although he was out of position. The safety car seemed to kill the race dead though. There wasn’t too much happening in the final 35 laps. There were some cars catching others, but although they got slightly closer, nothing came of anything.

Australian Grand Prix Rate the Race results

RaceAverage out of ten
2010 Australian Grand Prix8.638
2009 Australian Grand Prix7.937
2013 Australian Grand Prix7.698
2012 Australian Grand Prix7.662
2008 Australian Grand Prix7.609
2014 Australian Grand Prix6.889
2011 Australian Grand Prix6.751

2014 Australian Grand Prix

    Browse all 2014 Australian Grand Prix articles

    Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

    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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    24 comments on “The 2014 season gets off to an average start”

    1. I’m very surprised it got such an average response, actually.

      There were many races last year that I thought were complete bore-fests that got north of 7/8 on here, some people even reviewing them a ’10’ (which I did question, and was usually jumped on for it).

      I think it’s a very fair result. The race died midway through, and in actuality, it was very similar to last year’s racing.

      Still, early days!

      1. People set their expactations for this race far too high. I had a feeling that it was going to be quite boring/spread out.

      2. I’m surprised it got the rating of 6.8. It was an awfully boring race; can only hope that things improve in the next few. Hopefully Ferrari are more competitive, Massa, Hamilton & Vettel don’t retire and people can actually race and pass other than just following each other around.
        If not F1 is in real trouble of losing a big chunk of it’s global fan base.

    2. I think the race received lower rating among fans because two big players being Hamilton and Vettel failed to finish. So people will hate on the regulations. Ferrari with Alonso and Raikkonen looked like ‘fuel-saving the entire race’ for the average F1 fan. Again a reason to hate on 2014. Rosberg has few fans compared to Hamilton and Alonso. So the ‘succes-vote’ was also smaller than at other races. People loved the drive from Magnussen but it wasn’t a spectacular one to watch. Only Bottas put on a show for the eye.

      So I understand the low rating, but I strongly disagree with it. Within these new regulations it might turn out as one of the average races in 2014, but still beter than almost any of 2013.

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        19th March 2014, 13:08

        Totally agree. I thought it was a decent race. Not great but much better than a lot of last year.

        No doubt it would have at least an 8 if Rosberg had retired instead of Hamilton and he went on to win instead.

        Don’t forget there are a lot of Ferrari fans as well and as they appear to be well off the pace, that’ll lead to a lower score as well.

        If Bottas hadn’t hit the wall, I think it would have squeezed an extra point out of people as well as he would have got right up there.

        1. I agree, a lot of people seemed to vote down based on the new rules rather than the race itself.

          1. Surely the F1 rules impact the race. I don’t see how they can be separated when rating a race.

      2. @ardenflo I think you have a great point and it almost comes across as people wanting to cling to their religion (drivers in this case). As a big time Hamilton fan I can tell you that the race was still great and fun to watch.

    3. I find it interesting because if I remember, lots of people were saying things like “I miss F1 in the early 21st century with the V10s.” And yet, people nowadays are calling this boring. Well, then what were those days? Because besides the noise, that’s exactly what you have. Except that we actually get overtakes instead of people following each other around with positions barely changing even in pitstops. Watch just one of the races from 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 or 2005 and you’ll get what I mean. And we have a car out in front which is a second quicker than the next best machinery. It’s almost like re-living it all over again.

      1. ……2000 all the way to 2004! Ah yes, I remember we had great sound back then but the whole fiasco was being dominated by Shekelstones golden boy Shoemaker!!!! Shekelstone and the Toad working together back then to keep Ferrari on top of the garbage pile was still a borefest, and now we have Shekelstone and the Toad working together to keep Ferrari off of the top of the dungheap!!! Funny how things change at the whims of Shekelstone and Toad!!!!

        1. That comment was painfully unfunny.

      2. Mr win or lose
        19th March 2014, 20:19

        Although not perfect, racing was “real” back in those days. There was no tire or fuel saving, so everyone way going flat-out all race long. The main problem was the relative lack of competitiveness in this Schumacher dominated era. The speed differences were larger than today, and combined with a higher attrition rate, this meant that there were fewer battles for position. But the 2003 season was great in my opinion. It had exciting races and an intense championship battle. Unfortunately, in 2004, Schumacher dominated again and the season was pretty dull indeed, but dominance is something the rules can’t really prevent from happening.
        Some people will argue that F1 was more a game of chess back in these days. As a chessplayer, I always liked that aspect of racing. Besides, the strategic behavior was a result of overtaking being very difficult, not the cause. Possibly the only thing F1 lacked was DRS and slightly more rapidly degrading tires, to make overtaking a little easier.

    4. Calling these drivers the best in the world is wrong.There are dozens of drivers in other championships that would beat these drivers on equal footing as many sports car, rally and touring car drivers have shown not mentioning
      drivers beating them in lower class championships

      1. It’s been a while though since we had a field so full of talent. There are of course still a few rotten but golden apples (if you know what I mean).

    5. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      19th March 2014, 13:58

      I think it’s a little unfair to be highly critical simply because it’s only the first race after unprecedented rule changes. Give it some time for the teams to figure out how to go racing with these new regulations, for the fans to get used to the new look and sounds, and then get rid of double points, and we’ll have a pretty good first year of Hybrid-ness.

      I quite enjoyed the first race. There were some good battles :)

      1. I must have been watching a different race to you. Didn’t witness very many battles other than cars following each other. Only person making a move was Bottas – and we all know that was a result of him being out of position in qualifying. Button made all of his passes in the pits. Daniil Kvyat made his pass on Kimi when the Ferrari driver had braking issues approaching the turn.
        If I’ve missed something, let me know – as I I’ll make a point of picking up on your feedback during the Malaysian GP next week.

    6. I found it boring. Not terrible, just bland.

      People were hyping that the unteliability would bring thrills… Well, it didn’t. We lost what could have been a very battle between Rorsberg and Hamilton. We missed Vettel coming from the back like Button. We got stuck with a slow Alonso and a slow Raikkonen. Yay! Unreliability!

      It wasn’t all bad, though. Magnussen, Bottas and Kyat (however it’s spelled) were a pleasure to watch, so was Button.

      I have nothing against the new rules (although I admit I kinda do miss the sound of the V8), but I hope unreliability will not make us miss more possible great performances.

    7. Were we watching the same race? Some epic overtakes, not just Bottas, the suspense of “will he make it to the finish”, the squealing of tyres and roar of the crowd (haven’t heard that in F1 for best part of 30 years), a few differing strategies, actual differences between engines (sorry… power units), great performances from the local hero and the new boys, the resurgence of McLaren and Williams both placing better than they managed throughout all of last year, a few retirements among the top teams to throw the cat among the pigeons championship-wise a bit… what more do you want? OK so it would have been nice to see Rosberg and Hamilton have a scrap at the front, and the two Williams fulfilling their pre-season promise, but there’s plenty of time for that.

      First race in years I haven’t struggled to stay awake through. The glory days are back. Can’t wait for Sepang!

      1. Please let me know what the epic overtakes were – I clearly missed them!!!!!

    8. Pretty much sums up my experience. Actually, having just been up for 30 hours (since the start of FP3), I actually slept through most of the race. It just wasn’t very exciting. But I’m definitely looking forward to the next few races to see what the racing actually will shape up to be.

    9. I don´t know if I expected more, or simply I disliked it, but the race was a huge disappointment. The start was dramatic, and then Bottas storming from the field making those incredible overtakes at turn 3, spiced up the progress of the race. However, after the safety car and Bottas´puncture, the race was static. I expected that the Hulkenberg-Alonso-Vergne-Kvyat-Raikkonen train would turn into a massive fight-overtake action, but it just stayed like that. Static. (Also mentioning that they were so close to each other, the DRS detection point was applied from Alonso to Raikkonen).
      I´m starting thinking that the fuel-saving strategy will take most of the action in this year, like Pirelli that last year. Or is it that the drivers don´t dare to fight? Bottas did it the whole race, and took the chequered with enough fuel, apparently.
      I know it was the first the race, but sincerely I think that this race showed so many things how the season will take form. I hope Malaysia is exciting.

    10. Not great, absorbing for me, I gave it an 8…just.
      However…the engine noise needs to be sorted, it terrible.

      1. I’d like to take the medication you’re on to have rated that an 8!
        There’s a lot more than the engine noise that needs to get sorted to improve the spectacle.
        In short RACING has to return to the picture.

        I often mistook the entire race for that of multiple formation laps being run – thought that Charlie Whiting had finally lost his marbles and forgot to press the start button

    11. I rated it 6/10 because I found that, aside from the start, the race was quite boring. People complained about Vet dominating with a large margin so I’m not surprised people found Nico winning by 30+ seconds equally boring.

      I did like the new engine sounds though.

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