Australian GP gets second-lowest rating in a decade

2017 Australian Grand Prix Rate the Race results

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Predictions that the leader into turn one would win the Australian Grand Prix turned out not to be true. And the first race of 2017 also indicated Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton may have a fight on their hands this year.

But there’s no denying the Melbourne curtain-raiser was short of action. It received the second-lowest rating F1 Fanatic readers have given a race over the last ten years, averaging 6.4 out of ten, better only than the 2015 race.

Are spectacular cars which drivers can race flat-out a worthwhile trade-off for fewer overtaking moves? Here’s what you made of the first round of 2017:

I thought it was a good race. Nothing special. Quite typical for a dry race at Melbourne with no Safety Car.

Glad to see that Mercedes didn’t win, and Ferrari won on genuine pace.

Good to see that the drivers can push hard too.

This is Ecclestone’s final laugh. Cars that can’t overtake. This isn’t racing. The result was decided on one pit stop. Ecclestone must be laughing his head off as he sells a destroyed series.

If the rest of 2017 is like this race then it really will be a disaster for Liberty.

If you subtract the excitement of the season being under way and judge the race as objectively as possible, there was very little actual passing or direct competition for positions. Relatively processional. It could be that Albert Park is not conducive to passing with the new car design, that the new aero wake makes following closely through corners harder than last year or a bit of both. This may be less of an issue at other circuits but time will tell.

For the season ahead, it is great to see two teams with such a small performance gap at the front of the field. Hopefully Red Bull and others can overcome the gap to the leaders sooner rather than later.

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Several of you expressed the hopeful view that the racing might improve once F1 goes to more ‘normal’ tracks:

Sadly that was a very dull race that was only partially redeemed by seeing genuine competition at the front. I couldn’t watch the race live and half way through watching the re-run I had actually forgotten I was watching the ‘highlights’ package because there was so little action taking place.

Still, Melbourne is not known for great racing so I’m hopeful that most races will be a bit more exciting. And if we’re really lucky we’ll get a 2010 style season where although most of the racing was mediocre (in my opinion) there was an exciting championship battle to keep us interested.
Keith Campbell (@Keithedin)

One race is not enough to judge how the new regulations have affected the racing but the signs aren’t good so far. There were hardly any on track overtakes with the most significant change in position coming through strategy and timing of the pit stops.

From the start of the race it seemed that Vettel was the quickest and if he managed to get ahead of Hamilton then he could pull a gap and he wouldn’t be troubled, when Hamilton lost track position after his pit stop that is what happened.

From the post-race comments it seemed that it wasn’t a strategy error from Mercedes as Hamilton had to stop then and that they just didn’t have the overall pace to match Vettel on the day.

Again after only the first race weekend we do not have an accurate picture of how competitive each team is, the relative pace of all the cars this weekend may be a one off, and when the teams and drivers get to understand the new rules and cars we may see one team has a clear performance advantage on the others, so I am not getting my hopes up yet that we will have a close championship battle this season.

Hope on the ‘proper’ race tracks that ‘proper’ battles can occur. However, so much aero combined with one-stop strategies isn’t a recipe for engaging racing. Oz is usually boring, but without a safety car and all the mind numbing aero, it was dull to watch. Once Vettel made the pass in the pits, race was over.

According to timing screens the cars are faster, but as usual FOM production methods managed to make them look slow as ever. Would it kill them to kill the helicopter shots?

It wasn’t just the lack of overtaking which was a cause for concern:

Something is fundamentally wrong with F1 and it needs to change soon.

We can’t have a competition where 70% of the entries are there just for colour or noise. And it’s not like this is a knockout event where there’s a final race where only a small percentage of the participants have a shot at winning the event.

The rules must ensure that more than half of the field should finish in the same lap as the leader. It’s a de facto two-tier championship and that is not attractive to viewers or sponsor, it thus renders the competition unsustainable, commercially.

The usual bottom banner displaying times and positions was not there. As a result the race was far less understandable I hope it will be back for the next race. I usually watch it live so got the F1 timing screen on a tablet but not today and I couldn’t have this information. This was quite frustrating.

It wasn’t a great race but it was made even worse by the poor feed quality. There was never any live timing so we couldn’t see what the midfield was doing, they barely showed any replays and strangely even on board cameras seemed non-existent. I hope it was just tech errors, rather than a sign of future, where they expect you to use an app to get all the detail.
Simon (@Weeniebeenie)

But those who experienced the new-look F1 in person weren’t disappointed:

My first race event since I went to Albert Park in 2011. Being as passionate as I am it felt like a dream come true after I got tickets for my birthday earlier this year.

I felt going in that regardless of what happened it would be an amazing experience on Sunday. Watching Ricciardo ground to a halt on the big screen twice didn’t help the cause, but seeing Ferrari back on top of the podium certainly made up for that.

By far the best part of the weekend for me though was getting the opportunity to have a little wander around with none other than Martin Brundle after qualifying.
Little_M_Lo (@Pezlo2013)

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2017 Australian Grand Prix

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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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81 comments on “Australian GP gets second-lowest rating in a decade”

  1. I’d say that was a generous rating, elevated by the outcome and new season hype, rather than how good of a race it actually was.

    1. It wasn’t worse, because 2015 was really depressing, but I’m not surprised the rating was so low, I’m surprised however that you guys didn’t fancy the new 2017 cars better, after all I was called a pessimist.

      There’s a 3 or 4 factors, for the ratings
      -if the order is not to fans liking
      -the winners are very important for ratings as well.

      Truth is that whatever race gets to be 1st gets terrible ratings on F1F.
      Only 2010 scored a significantly higher than avg rating for each correspondent season, and that was because it was not the opener and a much better race than the opener and also because Mclaren won.
      Actually of the ratings above, the worst races besides 2015 and 2017, 2011 and 2014, are 2 weak-ish races where both winners are not particularly loved drivers.
      2016 is an anomaly, it stands out because it gave out hope.

      All in all pretty expected rating. I’m sure that even if China ends up being a worse race, we will generally rate it higher than it’s worth, it won’t get rated below Australia.

      1. So you actually need it dynamic – each user must average 5 over time; so as a user enters a score for each race the previous scores are adjusted to make sure the average stays 5. Then we have a clear understand if the race was above par 5 or below.

        What is the overall average score?

      2. “Only 2010 scored a significantly higher than avg rating for each correspondent season, and that was because it was not the opener and a much better race than the opener and also because Mclaren won.”

        You might find that the opening race of 2010 was Bahrain and Alonso won in his first race for Ferrari. Only time the full circuit was used.

  2. Just goes to show that even F1 fans don’t know what they want. I know this poll wasn’t the entire F1 community, but it is still a decent sample set.

    Fans wanted cars that were “harder to drive” and made passing easier. So we got the last generation of cars and DRS. Then we complained the passing was artificial and the drivers complained the cars handled like crap.

    Then we wanted faster “better looking” cars and now we have the current generation. Which are actually harder to drive because of the Gs they’re pulling, not because they’re sliding all over the track. But now passing will probably be non existent.

    We as fans have to know what we want before we can expect Brawn and Liberty give us the perfect product. That said, we’ll probably still complain no matter what.

    1. I think you’re regurgitating what Bernie and the Strategy group articulated rather than what the fans wanted. In terms of the cars being harder to drive, I don’t think Verstappen would have any issues if these were the cars he first drove as a 17 year old.

    2. +1 Great comment btcamp, especially the last sentence. Nailed it.

    3. As the saying goes: “Try to please everyone and you please no one”.

      1. Good comment @btcamp; still baffles me that so many f1fanatics rated it this low.

        At least I am pleased with the new regulation (albeit not perfect) and had an enjoyable F1 opening weekend, @royal-spark!

      2. Surely, at bottom, we all want close racing, with masses of passing and repassing,
        with cars virtually up the tailpipes of the car in front. But if Aero continues to
        dominate as it does now, we simply can’t have that kind of racing. And if all
        that is true, then the front wings have to go. And as all the designers create all
        current F1 cars to be aerodynamically efficient in clear air, they are, in reality,
        creating cars that will travel very fast except when competing closely with other
        cars designed in exactly the same way.

        So what price the future of F1 ?

        It seems to me that a very fundamental rethink about racing design has to
        take place.

    4. @btcamp Although I agree with your first sentence (there is no universal homogenious F1-fan), I don’t agree with the rest. Who is to say that (1) good looking cars who are difficult to drive can be combined with (2) close racing and overtaking? Why should these be mutually exclusive? Many fans don’t want to choose between the two, but want them both. Maybe that’s not possible or very difficult to accomplish, but that’s very much different from ‘we will complain no matter what’.

      1. Mark Zastrow
        30th March 2017, 16:01

        @matthijs Completely agree. It is not impossible to make a car that 1) looks gorgeous while standing still 2) looks like a killer beast when being put through its paces and 3) is possible to overtake in—IndyCar and CART managed it decades ago.* It simply requires a dedication to less external aero and more ground effects—the things we fans have been saying all this time. But of course, nothing is so simple in F1.

        *I can’t watch this JPM qualifying lap from 2000 and not feel my pulse quicken…

        1. That was going to be my comment as well.

          Champ cars’ chassis, tire and engine choices combined really well during the FedEx era. They were a bit on the unsafe side, as evidenced by the TMS debacle.

    5. @btcamp Nails it properly. you seriously have got the school bully up on the pegs waving your fist in his face here.
      you are exactly right that whatever happens there will always be holes to pick and arguments as to what is better – otherwise sites like this wouldnt exsist, but there seems to be too much Fan involvement in what happens in F1 (which in a sense is right else Burnie woudl have gotten rid of the lot of us without even trying :) ). There is ony one way to make passing the same as the last generation and that is by widening tracks – well thats not going to happen.
      @keithcollantine – heres soe food for the next big artical – it will every member Buzzing. (plus some long speels)

      1. QUICK ONE – can everyone read @geemac first three sentences – im in his boat – i dotn like the fact that ppl are complaining after the issue of a lack of overtaking has been raised so much pre season.

    6. I think that aiming for cars that are “difficult to drive” is a little ridiculous. It assumes a consistent quality of driver over the years, and that it’s only the cars that have become easier to handle. What we actually have is an ever-increasing level of professionalization and fitness in the drivers. I don’t think the cars have gotten so much easier as the drivers have benefited from sports phsychology, fitness, diet, etc. Drivers start very young, and are armed with more knowledge of training and technique than ever before.

      1. The drivers themselves say the opposite, and they actually have the experience to know.

    7. Perfect. Peolple will complaint no matter what.
      After all it’s easy, you can write whatecer you want behind a screen, you don’t have to put your face on it.

    8. It didn’t help that the cars still seemed slow (and certainly not as fast as the 5-second-figure advertised), still didn’t seem especially difficult to drive (though they were definitely a step up in actual difficulty on 2016), mostly only look better than 2016’s generation due to the wider variety of liveries, and didn’t improve genuine overtaking (though they did shed the illusory overtaking, and I for one appreciated the resulting honesty of racing that occurred). It’s not as if all of these are difficult – “look better” in particular would be improved simply with a rawer approach to filming what’s already there – something most televised motor sports manage just fine.

      @btcamp We got DRS not because fans asked for “more overtaking” (that was the previous generation of car design) but because the powers-that-be saw Canada 2010 and decided they wanted more races like that, and opted to artificially induce them. Forgetting that, among a lot of other things, Canada 2010 had relied on conventional overtaking, not any sort of push-button type. We got the current generation not because of any aesthetic considerations, but because they were nervous of the effects (both actual and fan-perceptual) of having the likes of Daniil Kyvat and Max Verstappen coming into F1 and having little in the way of transition trouble compared to even the prodigies of the past.

      If the original complaints aren’t resolved, it shouldn’t surprise if they remain after a fix is attempted. If a headline promise is made and broken, it shouldn’t surprise that people get disappointed.

      (Also, it didn’t help that, like 2015, Manor missed the race due to financial problems, and, like 2015, other people were taken out of the race before the red lights were even turned on. Both are events that reduce the natural tendency to give the benefit of the doubt to an occasion).

  3. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
    30th March 2017, 15:11

    I noticed that the gapping graphic was also missing. Is there any acknowledgement that this was a technical hiccup or have they actually binned it? If it’s the latter then well, that’s very bad.

    1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      30th March 2017, 15:23

      Yes on the UK coverage they said it was a technical hiccup

    2. @offdutyrockstar It’s called the subscribe to our new app glitch.

    3. Radio 5 Live mentioned it a couple of times, and Channel 4 even at one point was moved to mention, “We are continuing to have technical problems with the on-screen graphics,” with a hint of exasperation, in the middle of the race broadcast.

      @peartree It might be called the “subscribe to our new app” glitch, but if they can’t manage something as simple as on-screen graphics, there’s no way I’d be convinced to download the app, even if they were paying me to do so. I’d worry about inadvertently getting malware due to bad programming or something…

  4. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    30th March 2017, 15:17

    Note aside, incredible to realize the site has more than 10 years already, and that I’m here since the 3 or 4 last races of the 2010 season. Congrats @keithcollantine for such a professional effort. Can’t complain about it. We can however keep complaining about the races.

    1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      30th March 2017, 15:21

      Just realized the page actually started in 2005. But as a regular review with the round-ups and all, I think it actually shaped this way in 2008 right?

      1. @omarr-pepper Thanks very much! Yes I started F1 Fanatic in 2005 but it didn’t start to get much attention until about two years later. And Rate the Race was introduced in 2008.

  5. I honestly don’t see what all the fuss was about. Yeah the race wasn’t a classic but we got to see properly proportioned F1 cars again and a win by someone other than a Mercedes driver. Those are two massive wins for me. The race had its moments too: the battle at the front around the pitstops was quite tense and the Hulkenberg/Ocon/Alonso scrap was pretty good. Not every race can be Suzuka 2005…that’s what makes the absolute classics so special. It was a good start to the season and it has teed us up nicely for the rest of the year.

    1. 6.4 isn’t exactly a terrible score, I know people don’t tend to vote linearly but it’s technically well above average and near the ‘good’ zone. I feel that it’s probably a little higher than it deserved.

    2. @geemac it’s a sign of the times. everything has to be AMAZING and we have to have it NOW. anything less is considered a failure regardless of the objective data or the particular circumstance. the notion that some things can’t be quite as good as others seems to have vanished from popular discourse. we receive our news/sports coverage and its analysis pretty much as it happens so there is little time for introspection or reflective thinking – hence harsh snap judgments are par for the course.

      of course we should have light and shade, variety and ups and downs. a picture composed all in gold is just as dull as one all turd brown. however, regarding the race i think there is a general problem with professional sport in the information age which is causing things to appear more homogenised and boring. that is the participants are so much more prepared for unfolding events than they ever used to be. in F1 teams can run multiple strategies through a simulator and fix on the best one: this applies not just to the individual races but to the season-long approach. we have seen extraordinary improvements in reliability in the last 10 years.

      i don’t know what the solution to this is. people can’t unlearn the knowledge that makes it easy to get a car to the finish in an optimal way. but some greater variety in the game might help (different types of circuits etc.)

  6. I don’t agree that it was a procession, the cars weren’t close enough to each-other to be considered one.


    There was a gap in the midfield that I expect won’t be so big in the upcoming races. With Haas, Force India, STRs and hopefully Hulk putting pressure on Williams.

    The 3 drivers that did race together actually offered us the best action of the race (Ocon, Hulk, Alonso). So i’m saving my judgement for further down the road.

    1. Shaun Robinson (@)
      30th March 2017, 15:58

      Shame that they didn’t focus on the battle between Ocon, Hulk and Alonso more.

  7. Faulty’s comment in the article is absolutely spot on.

    1. For those that are interested, last year 13 of the 22 cars entered finished on the same lap as Nico Rosberg. There were 5 retirements, and one DNS. All 16 cars that completed the race did so on either lap 57 or 56. So more than half the field finished on the same lap as the winner.
      This year 6 cars finished on the same lap as Sebastian Vettel, there were 13 cars that completed the race, and they were spread over 3 laps as against the two of last year. So approximately 1/3 of the field finished on the same lap as the winner.

      1. @drycrust, considering that the race in 2016 was red flagged on lap 19 after the Alonso-Gutierrez accident, whereas this year the race ran without a single disruption, it is not an accurate comparison – you’re effectively comparing the field spread over 57 laps in 2017 against 37 laps in 2016.

  8. It Really annoys me. I assume the people complaining Now are the same ones complaining earlier about DRS and pirelli? Next up: we Need a Closer Field! Well Boy have i got news for you: if your car Is capable of Running less than a Second faster than the one in front over one whole lap, how exactly do You plan on having enough overspeed into one turn to get past?

  9. Lack of overtaking opportunities in the track and difficulty in following another car has dampened the Melbourne race.

    Post race Niki Lauda himself said that this is one of the F1 tracks where overtaking is difficult.

    So hope China or Bahrain will produce a good one. Lets keep our hopes up.

    Also one thing I really hope happens is that Ferrari finds something (either some magic from the engine or aero) that can help them fight with the Mercedes even if they are hindered by the new aero regulations. They need to search for a loop hole maybe. Will make the season more interesting.

  10. Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I quite enjoyed the race. OK, I’m a Ferrari fan so I may be biased, but even if Hamilton took the victory I think I would have enjoyed it, as you could clearly see and hear (from team radio) that he was having to work hard to keep a gap to Vettel.

    A close battle at the front is probably the one thing above all that keeps me interested, the downside of that of course is that overtaking at the front is rare precisely because they are so closely matched. Having been a huge fan of the Schumacher – Hakkinen years I would be quite happy to see this season develop into a close Hamilton – Vettel fight for the title, regardless of the number of overtakes (within reason). If I remember correctly, in 2000 the formers had very few direct on-track battles until Spa, and boy was that worth waiting for!

    Also glad to say I was at the highest rated Australian GP, what a race that was!!

  11. What is the solution to allow cars to more easily follow and overtake?

    1. 2016 rules.

    2. Moar DRS!

      Whoa! Keith! You OK? That vein on your forehead looks like it’s about to take over the UK…….. ;)

    3. – Introduce drivers that don’t belong in f1 and let them drive the fastest cars. While the established and talented drivers drive the slowest cars.

      – Change qualifying into a “take a piece of paper from a hat with your gridslot on it.”

      – Turn DRS into a system that releases the rear wing completely unless there’s a driver behind within 1 second.

      – Remove all corners that can be taken at speeds above 60 kph and connect the remaining corners with straights.

      Just a few ideas.

  12. I know DRS is much hated on this site, but it (together with pit stops) was the only thing which prevented the standing at the chequered flag from being equal to the standing after the first 2-3 corners. Remember the processional racing in the 2000s, when the only excitement was the degree by which Schumacher would humiliate Barichello/Irvine/Massa? Now we have the same thing again with overtaking only possible via pit stops, and to make things worse, it seems that with the new tires most races will be one-stoppers. I think Melbourne was utterly boring. I do not think a string of cars running with 5-10 sec gaps throughout the race is exciting, no matter how may G:s they achieve in the corners. The WDC and WCC championships may be highly interesting in 2017, but I fear that the racing itself will be poor. Hopefully, I’m wrong and things will improve at more “normal” race tracks than Melbourne.

  13. Michael Brown (@)
    30th March 2017, 16:24

    According to the Sky commentary there apparently was a big midfield battle but I saw nothing of it.

    I’ll judge the racing after Bahrain as it is a typical F1 track and since it became a night race it has consistently delivered good races.

    1. @mbr-9 There was a big queue behind Alonso but not much of a “battle”, I’d say.

  14. They threw in too many changes at once so any improvements are lost in the noise of the backwards steps the rules took.

    2014 gave us cars that slipped and slided about and they looked tough to handle. We got wheel to wheel racing even with the same cars. The problem was the disparity between teams. As the aero improved they got more stable and tyres became a limiting factor, so we saw drivers holding back saving tyres, and more complex aero restricting passing.

    I think if they’d stuck with the previous aero rules, and just made the power unit and tyre changes we’d have seen a slight improvement in the racing. Still not perfect but we could have established if those changes definitely worked.

    And then the aero needed to go the other way. Undoing the improvements made between 2014 to 2016 to get back to slippy cars, but with tyres the drivers can lean on.

    The front wings seem to be where it goes wrong. Mandating simplicity is hard, but I’d suggest setting a maximum weight for them, with strength and deflection requirements. They’d be forced to have simple surface areas to still meet the structural strength requirements needed within a given weight limit.

  15. For me, it was ‘a lost opportunity’. Only thing Charlie Whiting needed to do is to show blue flag to MV. I know if a driver is fighting for a position then blue flags aren’t shown. However, in this case MV wouldn’t have lost any position he would have remained fifth since he needed to make a pit stop.
    Sky commentator David Croft wants to stop blue flag rule, and passed a number of negative comments about blue flag (I actually muted sound for the rest of the race).
    If blue flags were shown to MV this race would have ended as one of the all time great. We would have had a LH/SV battle from around lap 24 until the end.

    1. Verstappens result likely wouldn’t have changed had he allowed Hamilton past, but he would have been sacrificing opportunity. Hamilton may have made a mistake, a safety car could have been called, or any number of unpredictable things may have taken place that he could have capitalised on by keeping Hamilton behind as long as possible.

      Later in the season he might be fighting for the championship with Hamilton, 7 points could be important so who knows.

      And perhaps most importantly, he’s a racer who picked a fight rather than driving a lonely race. So no he shouldn’t have been blue flagged or waved Hamilton by.

      1. All drivers are racers. we are racing fans and we want to see racing. MV had to pit no ifs and buts, so either let LH pass by or get blue flag so that we could enjoy the race.

        1. As a Hamilton fan it hurt to see him behind Verstappen. But there are no grounds for insisting he should have let Hamilton past. Either within the rule structure or for Verstappens own self interest.

          1. Just read the blue flag rule and it clearly states that it is shown to a car which is being lapped. It’s nothing to do with whether a car is fighting for a position or not. In that respect you are correct. Blue flag rule does not apply in this case.

          2. Just read the blue flag rule and it clearly states that it is shown to a car which is being lapped. It’s nothing to do with whether a car is fighting for a position or not. In that respect you are correct. Blue flag rule does not apply in this case.

    2. @shoponf 100% no! We surely want drivers to fight for position?? Do we not all commend it when a driver in a clearly slower car manages to keep a faster driver behind? Should they just pull over and let them pass because they’re faster? I could understand the arguments for ditching blue flags altogether although I’m still a little on the fence. The idea of blue flagging cars fighting for position though is just ludicrous.

      1. Well headline says it all ‘Australian GP gets second-lowest rating in a decade’ and more racing likely to go the same way. Not much to look forward to!

        1. @shoponf You use this as one example. How many races were good because of battles with a faster car attempting to overtake a slower one? By your reasoning, slower cars should always get out of the way.

          1. I would like to keep the momentum when two cars are racing. When the race started there was clearly a battle developing between LH and SV for P1, and wouldn’t like to see it is being spoiled by a car which is not involved in that battle.

    3. @shoponf I think this is about the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever read. First we introduce rapidly-degrading tires (OK, they’re not degrading that much any more) so the pitstops mix the field and we get a few battles, and then you say that the defending cars should be blue flagged because they delay the faster cars too much. That doesn’t make sense to me.
      Hamilton and Mercedes got their strategy wrong, and that’s what cost them the race.

      1. During the race Martin Brundle commented ‘Hamilton doesn’t get a blue flag beacuse of the race position…'(youtube around 40:20) and that’s what misled me. I have subsequently read the blue flag rule and it only applies when a car is being lapped.
        I agree with you they have got the strategy wrong but I was still looking forward to the battle between LH and SV. Having MV coming into it somehow spoiled the race for me.

        1. @shoponf , What really spoiled the Hamilton/Vettel battle was the need for a mid race pitstop, without that pitstop they would have raced each other for the entire race, sadly though it would have been a one sided Battle due to the huge aerodynamic advantage enjoyed by the leading car. Lest everyone forgets, the call from the fans was for increased mechanical grip to tilt the balance away from aerodynamic dominance, what we got was more of both which achieved nothing and probably has excaserbated the problem, and the tyres still seem to be a poor excuse for a race tyre in that they still have a narrow operating range and wear out differently on different cars.

    4. @shoponf The only thing blue-flagging Verstappen would have achieved is hand the race to Hamilton (and cause a stinking great controversy about why the blue flag was being shown to someone who shouldn’t have had it).

  16. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    30th March 2017, 17:51

    Since the introduction of DRS, the start of V6 Turbo engines and the new regulations this year, ratings never succeeded for this GP.

  17. In my opinion it is becoming more apparent that F1 could have stuck to the 2014-16 formula and just asked Pirelli to make the wider and more durable tyres we see now. This would have lead to the same/quicker pace compared to that we have seen in 2016 while allowing drivers to push more and artificial overtakes being replaced by real ones. Of course, there would be a loss of the strategy element of F1 but that seems to be lost now anyway.

    This would also have been a cheaper option I think as all the teams (especially smaller ones) would not have had to design and create a completely new chassis.

    The main priority on the entertainment side of F1 should be top quality overtakes which could have been the result even in this race if they simply changed the tyres not the aero.

    1. Alex McFarlane
      30th March 2017, 18:48

      I’ve been thinking the same.

      As a poster above said, too many changes at the same time trying to meet conficting goals.

      Biggest complaint was the lack of tyre durability so they should have addressed that one issue for a period, see how it worked out, and then moved onto other issues later.

      1. Yes, that’s how scientists would do it: one change at a time. Unfortunately, F1 rule makers are no scientists.

        1. Hmm, I don’t think they could have done that. I doubt those cars could have just had bigger tires slapped on and it be left at that. For one thing it would have looked silly with the narrow front wing and narrow and tall rear wing, but I think more importantly the cars simply would not have worked I think it is just as likely the cars would have been even slower than they were by slapping big boots onto a car designed specifically for the smaller ones. At a bare minimum some chassis, floor, and suspension mods would still have had to be made, if not lots. Things like cooling can be affected etc etc.

  18. At the moment and as a veteran of 36 years glued to my box, all I’m looking forward to Is Monza and that’s because I’m going. I’ll always go for the craich and the awesome spectacular that is f1 up close. Less awesome without the noise but still great to see the pinnacle of Motorsport.

    On telly, I don’t care for it at all and I pay Murdoch his blood money to get it. I’m so disappointed. But whilst we have old men running the sport we will get old men decision making.

    Get rid of the computers, the front wings and old men. Or die.

  19. i see this way redbull was the best in the moment but not like mercedes, there were always 2 o 3 driver competing for the WDC and even in the years *2011 and 2013* that rbr crushed the rest, the races were closer, so let me explain from 2013 to 2014 people still had fresh memories of the v8 engine and a closer fight, is first race of the hybrid engine, 2014, people are excited, bit disappointed because the engine sound is no so appealing, that lower the rate a bit, but during the rest of the season people see that mercedes is winning basically all the races, losing only 3 races, that boringness is reflected in australia of 2015, lowest rating, during the rest of the season ferrari show some signs of life winning 3 races and being consistent in the podium, which makes people think that maybe next year is the catch up and ferrari will have the machine to make the season interesting, that’s why 2016 australia rating increase, but season was a disaster, mercedes once again crushed the rest and even with the announcement of new regulations, most of the people believed or still believe that mercedes will carry the big gap through 2017 which once again makes the rating go down, if the season keeps going like started, close fight between the merc and ferrari, despite not having so many overtakes(fakes) i’m sure that australia 2018 rating will increase a lot

  20. The chart proves regulation changes have little effect on race quality if anything.

  21. I completely disagree with the direction F1 has taken. We need to see more overtaking – isn’t that the essence of racing? If you don’t want to see overtaking look for funeral processions in your home town. Fatter tires ok if you make the car narrower to compensate. Get rid of the ridiculous over-engineered front wings. That these cars can take corners at outrageous speeds is impressive but boring. I want to see them really test driving ability and have the cars slide around a bit more. That can be quite spectacular. Eliminate any driver who causes a collision and/or ruins some other driver’s race in the first lap. Eventually we should get fewer absurd first-lap crashes. Make the front end bomb-proof so drivers can bump Verstappen out of the way! LOL! Something is making me feel silly right now. I must be tired!!

    1. @danmar

      No, the essence of racing is to see who is fastest within certain conditions.

      I seriously don’t understand peoples desire to see numerous overtakes in a race. F1 has never seen that and probably never will, thankfully.

      For me 1 or 2 amazing overtakes in a race are worth far more than the 80+ drive by’s in a race we got in the passed couple of years thanks to DRS and gumdrop tyres.

      Before everyone jumps up and screams change why don’t we just let the teams develop the cars further and wait to see what the future brings.
      Because as far as I can remember everytime the FIA introduced a massive rule change one team became too dominant and caused the FIA to go in circles trying to resolve the “problem”.

      1. And with overtakes in my 2nd sentence I mean true overtakes. Not artificial DRS or “my tyres are 10 laps younger than yours” drive-by’s.

      2. True, racing is primarily about who is fastest, but for the spectators it’s more interesting if the running order changes during the race. Personally, I don’t care too much about overtaking. As long as drivers have a chance to overtake, then I’m happy.

        In the Pirelli era different tire strategies automatically induced overtaking. Most of the time, these overtakes were rather uninteresting and irrelevant for the race, but still I would prefer those overtakes over a static race. Sadly, in Melbourne overtaking was almost impossible and due to the more durable tires even a significant tire advantage wasn’t enough, which is worrying.

  22. F1 fans are some of the most loyal and fickle fans all at the same time. They are basically just never satisfied and always believe the racing is greener on the other side of the fence (WEC, Moto GP, etc) or in the “I remember when” days. Say what you will about “designed to degrade” tires, they led to one of the most unpredictable seasons, 2012, in recent memory with 7 different drivers winning in the first 7 races, and they forced novel pit strategies.
    “We want faster cars!!!” New rules for 2017 with faster cars…”But now there’s no passing!” Basically it’s like this:

    1. The high deg tyres may well have done that but it also made F1 far less appealing & far less of a spectacle.

      Watching the drivers ‘cruising’ arond managing tyres all day well off the ultimate pace of the car, Not been pushed or challenged all that much just wasn’t that interesting or fun to watch & it was also something none of the drivers were having any fun doing.

      As to 2012, Thats actually one of my least favorite seasons because a lot of the early season results felt totally random & felt like it was more down to lucking into getting your car into the optimum tyre operating range than because you had a fast car or were a better driver.
      I put the word ‘felt’ in bold because I know that it wasn’t as random or a ‘lucky’ as it seemed, But at times it felt that way & it started to feel a bit artificial.

      I also think that a lot of the ‘racing’ that season produced was actually not that great because it was all down to DRS & tyres, Most of the ‘overtaking’ was quite dull to watch due to those factors & none of it proved especially memorable due to how uninteresting & dull it was.

  23. I didn’t think the race was that bad to be honest, It wasn’t great or anything but I didn’t think it was too bad either.

    The thing I really, Really love is that F1 is finally back to using proper tyres that allows drivers to push harder for longer, I hated the way the tyres were been artificially made rubbish the past 6 years. Watching drivers cruising around like there running on eggshell’s well below the limit was no fun to me, It made the cars look slow, Wasn’t pushing the drivers to there limits, Wasn’t fun for the drivers & really took away from the overall spectacle. This year seeing them pushing harder & hearing drivers talk about how much fun they are to drive & how there been pushed physically again is way more exciting to me than what we’ve had since 2011.
    Does this mean less strategy & less pit stops, Probably but that was never an area I was that interested in anyway so it’s no loss to me. I’ve argued in the past that they should ditch the mandatory pit stops forcing them to use 2 compounds & let teams do whatever the want including a no-stop race as was seen regularly prior to re-fueling’s introduction in 1994.

    I also love how F1 has gone back to wider cars, Wider tyres & the lower/wider rear wings, I was never a fan of the narrow cars used since 1998 & even less a fan of the wing dimension changes in 2009, Made the cars look out of proportion, Now they look like proper, fast race cars again.

    In terms of overtaking, I think there is far too much focus on that aspect of things & that the obsession with quantity has done far more harm than good the past 10 years or so be it gimmicks like DRS & high deg tyres, The butchering of some race tracks/corners or rule changes like 2009 that made the cars look a bit dumb with the wing dimensions.

    Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching a ‘good’ overtake & all that but I just feel that too much focus is been put on that 1 element of things & that it’s taking away from other aspects of the sport. Overtaking is an important element & it should be something thats more possible that it’s been but bending over backwards to get to whats deemed an ‘acceptable’ quantity of overtaking at any cost isn’t the right way to go about things.

  24. I watched 5 minute highlights on youtube . Man what a poor race, 4 maybe… But when I watched it live on sunday I gave it an 8. Not a lot happend but s lot was happening.

    You could see cars pushing lap after lap.. New wings are sexy and sharkcfin is not a problem I first thoughgt it woild be. Awesome race.

  25. Considering that F1 said the following when posting the link below, it would seem to me that they are making a conscious decision to hold certain camera angles back:

    ” WATCH: Unseen angles and stunning new footage from Round 1 in Melbourne”'s_Cut__Australia_2017.html

  26. A more interesting stat would be how far off the average rating it is.

  27. Neil (@neilosjames)
    31st March 2017, 6:52

    Part of me is surprised it got anywhere near that high a rating. Thought it was one of the most dismally boring races for years.

    But then, I readily accept not everyone has the same view on things as me.

    1. @neilosjames

      But then, I readily accept not everyone has the same view on things as me.

      Well said!

  28. The tone was set when they showed both formation laps during the “highlights”

    The turbulence is even worse than I had feared, we’re right back to 2004/5 levels of procession. I turned off after it was clear nothing was going to change following the pit stops.

    Don’t expect things to get better folks. This year is going to be a dull one for on track action. I hope they quickly realise they need to fix this AGAIN in 2018. All I want is 2009 cars without the DRS.

  29. If they took away the high aero these cars could be pretty interesting. Good mechanical grip and durable tyres are definate posiives when close racing but the aero makes the cornering speed so high there is no margin left to attack.
    If the car in front is at the extreme limit then how can a following car attack in dirty air, any move would have them off the track suddenly and at high speed. I hope we see less aero soon, after all what is there to loose? in terms of action i think we are at rock bottom (happy to be proved wrong as season develops)? Absolute speed in the corners doesent really make exiting racing, fighting for position does. you only have to watch slower forms of racing to see that.

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