Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, Albert Park, 2018

Rate the race: 2018 Australian Grand Prix

2018 Australian Grand Prix

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What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the Australian Grand Prix.

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Rate the 2018 Australian Grand Prix out of ten

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  • 4 (8%)
  • 5 (10%)
  • 6 (21%)
  • 7 (30%)
  • 8 (15%)
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Keith Collantine
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195 comments on “Rate the race: 2018 Australian Grand Prix”

  1. Hard to overtake so no almost no overtakes, silly Haas mistakes, winner decided by stupid rules. Don’t want to see another race like it.

    1. @ivan-vinitskyy What stupid rule would that be?

      1. Probably the set of rules that combine to mean that you can gain significant advantage under the VSC

        1. @sleepywill @flatsix could they just close the pitlane for as long as VSC is on to avoid such things? In the meantime luck with pitstops, track conditions and crashes always brought shuffling even before VSC.

          1. So when the VSC is deployed because there’s debris on the track, no cars will be able to come into the pit to change tires or for repairs?

            The significant advantage for pitting under the VSC is the same as the significant advantage for pitting under the safety car. In fact, it’s less than the latter.

      2. @flatsix look up what the whole reason for inventing VSC was and tell me this happened today…

        1. @ivan-vinitskyy Sure, and this was the very first time ever in racing since SC and VSC that it had an influence on the result? Or the very first time you noticed it?

          1. @flatsix and that makes it right? Perhaps we need to keep all stupid rules because of your wonderful logic…

          2. @ivan-vinitskyy No, but you noticing and thinking it’s unfair because it hurt Hamilton this once isn’t at all a reason to even consider a change to the rule. You wouldn’t even care if it was the other way around.

          3. @ivan-vinitskyy mercedes used it last year also for spain, and other things, the rules are correct, you just cant stand that mercedes made an error

          4. That’s true @armandf1v, and I think a lot of people have overlooked that Merc were managing their pace, and made a calculation error – they thought they had a VSC pit covered and deliberately slowed the pace of Hamilton to merely maintain the 3sec gap they thought they had under those conditions. They got their maths wrong and lost the win.

          5. To be fair last year in Spain ham still had to overtake on track and he pitted when vsc ended. Vsc brought him closer to vettel where overtaking was much more possible than here. This time vsc directly affected the outcome of the race. All vet hadto do was drive like Hungary…

            They should consider vsc only for the affected sector. There’s no need to slow the entire race down for minor incidents on the other side of the track

      3. Not being able to overtake on track but being able to overtake in the pits. I mean, not enough that the gap built up is lost, losing position too when you’re sat at the front being told to not go faster is ridiculous!

        And that was the ‘action’ of the race.

        1. And extra salt rubbed into the insult by Vettel once again getting to beat Raikkonen, who’d outdriven him all weekend. I think I actually feel worse for him.

        2. Vettel didn’t overtake in the pits though, did he? I thought he pitted from the lead and retained it thanks to the VSC which is a little different.

          1. Well I’m kind of presuming you can factor in the ‘virtual pit stop’ Vettel still had to do in the race and the time that would normally require! The point remains the same.

          2. Vet essentially got a free pit stop. No way under normal conditions can you maintain a lead with only a 10 sec gap to the next driver

        3. I don’t recall Vettel over taking anyone in the pits…wasn’t he already in 1st. He was on the right part of the track at the right time to pit and come out still ahead but overtake he did not.

          1. Way to split hairs. The order of cars from before everyone pitted to after is what he is referring to and trying to pretend anything else is bad faith arguments.

          2. Track position is king. There are any number of examples of drivers staying out on the track in the hope of a safety car giving them a free or cheap stop and retaining position. usually they don’t strike lucky. This time Vettel did.

            It’s not unlikely that there will bea safety car in Melbourne part of the game, and today Vettel played it well

    2. The pace of the Mercedes is, yet again, a damn joke! We all know that Vettel only won because of race circumstances, not Ferrari pace.

      Unless Ferrari and RedBull get their act together, this championship is over. Mercedes is too dominant.

      God F1 sucks since the new PU’s!

      1. Just as it happened so many times in the past with RBR, Mercedes and the very same HAM when they benefited from SC periods etc etc?!?! Then, we don’t know for sure Mercedes’ pace was that good, RAI managed to keep a decent gap behind HAM. Still, things look bad overall for the remainder of the season.

        1. I disagree. Ferrari looked very close to Mercedes. Haas looked to have great pace, and McLaren was pretty good too. I think we are looking at a great 2 way battle for the lead of both championships. Then, constructor wise, we could have a 3+ way fight behind them.

          I’m feeling very positive about this season.

          1. I am with you on this one her doctor…

        2. We don’t know Mercedes pace was that good??!!

          Were you not watching when Hamilton reduced a 3 second deficit to Vettel after his off in about 2 laps??!!

          Did you not watch yesterday when Hamilton smashed everyone else into Oblivion? Hamilton is clearly a great qualifier, but all that craap that he delivers and extra 4 or 5 tenths over his team mate is nonsense. He was barely that much faster than Button, who is FAR from a great qualifier.

          The Mercedes is utterly dominant on pace, yet again.

          1. It was only a 1.8 second deficit after going off. I think redbull had the best race pace but we’re stuck behind other cars.

          2. Yeah he reduced the gap by pushing to and beyond the limit, overheated engine so could only do this for a few laps and by pushing his tyres gave up and another couple of laps would of been 4th. Ferrari were great when experts said they were clear 3rd best and Renault might push them. Great to shut up the doubters and the Hamilton fans.

        3. …..but, guys, there are deeper, much more harmful issues
          damaging F1 than just Safety Car/VSC. Aero is now so
          dominant that following another car closely to plan an
          overtake is virtually impossible among the front runners.
          That’s why this very first race of the the season was a complete
          bore-fest, for me at any rate. It was a high-speed procession
          of F1’s very best, interrupted by a major screw-up by one team,
          not once, but twice. Not a good prospect for the season in any
          way, as far as I am concerned. Surely we all want hot competition
          from lights to flag, right down through the grid, but we just
          aren’t going to get that are we ? OK, it was the seasons first race
          and every team has to be a bit cautious at this early stage,
          but I’m damned glad I didn’t pay for a ticket for this gig !

    3. I’m just glad Mercedes is only going to win 20 races now.
      Honestly, not the first time the VSC earned someone a victory. I don’t think it was the pit lane, it’s the fact that you don’t lose as much time as VSC delta and pit lane delta are closer. Mercedes running well slower than the VSC might be the reason. I think Mercedes must’ve forgotten keep close to the VSC.

      First of all, I found the race hilarious, 8. Alonso and his unenthusiastic engineer make a fantastic pairing. Haas blunders, a bit hard but I chuckled a bit.
      Overtakes, a bit like in past events, DRS only.
      Sainz all excuses on poor races. Drivers making mistakes is great for f1, very rare.

    4. The Safety Car has always been a part of mixing up the results, and in my opinion what we have now is about right. It’s also a perfectly valid strategy to stay out longer in a stint, and have more flexibility to profit from a safety car.
      Yes, Ferrari got lucky today, and everyone has gained and lost (let’s not forget Barcelona last year when Hamilton/Mercedes used the virtual safety car to cut the gap significantly to Vettel, such that Hamiliton could overtake to and win the race).

    5. Looks like a long season ahead of one team miles in front and a second team yapping at the heals with the remainder just playing follow the leader. :-(

    6. You described the rule as ‘stupid’ is only because Ham got undercut by Vet under VSC.
      I’d like to see more mixed up in the future races instead of pole to win every time.

      1. To be fair vsc is supposed to neutralise a race not directly affect it like this one. Spain llast year was different because it didn’t put Hamilton ahead. He closed up but still had to overtake which arguably he could’ve anyways on fresher tires on a more overtaking friendly track.

        1. Didn’t he get an advantage in china though or some other race early in the season, which, without the VSC would’ve let vettel win?

    7. Maybe VSC stands for “Virtual Short Cut”!

  2. 7/10. Decent race, just without much wheel-to-wheel action. It was tense for a decent chunk of the race though. Lucky win for Vettel, but the pace of that Mercedes has me worried for the season ahead. Nice to finally see a McLaren finish in the top 5 and actually be able to hold off cars behind.

  3. GS (@gsagostinho)
    25th March 2018, 7:47

    Nearly no overtakes, faster cars stuck behind slower the whole race and the win decided by a ‘neutralizing’ VSC. Oh, and halos everywhere. Sigh.

  4. The lack of overtaking of cars that were obviously faster was disturbing… It seemed exciting but kinda lame the same time….

    1. GS (@gsagostinho)
      25th March 2018, 8:00

      @rike For me, it’s rather much more disturbing and lame than exciting. Overtaking shouldn’t be easy, but I think this was just ridiculous. Even with DRS, a much faster car is not being able to overtake at all.

    2. It’s great and rare to see 4 cars nose to tail, on the other hand, you just know that barring a mistake, which there were in this GP, rare, nothing is going to happen.

    3. like verstappen and hulkenberg that were clearly faster than Alonso, ricciardo at the end and the same for Hamilton behind vettel. These could have been great battles

    4. it’s the nature of the circuit more than anything though. it’s notoriously low on the overtakes and the 3rd DRS zone is useless other than for closing up the gap for an attempt on the main straight.

      the fact the could run so close without overheating in those temps is encouraging for other races.

      – jmo

  5. Total VSC fail. That’s just plain embarrassing for F1 that a race can be decided in that way.

    1. What about the safety car then? Or red flags? Drivers changing tyres under the safety car / red flag also benefit hugely. Are they just as embarrassing?

      1. @smartez if its in the name of safety then I can understand. This instance it was poor rule writing / loophole that allows drivers to gain time using a feature that was designed to avoid the very same thing. That’s why its comical, not only Vettel gained time, he gained 2 positions.

        1. But was a huge risk by Ferrari waiting for a safety car. It’s the same for everyone, some will benefit one race, others in another race. Made the race more interesting!

          1. What risk did Ferrari take? by staying out I see none. Even under normal SC initially he would still be safe. In fact normal SC would put him 3rd where he belonged. The whole interesting thing is silly. I want it fair rather than interesting. If I can get both then fine but not when one is done at the expense of another.

      2. Safety car, red flags, tyre changes, are simply not comparable. All will result in some kind of sporting battle for position. Pit lane pass of cars on track under VSC, regardless of drivers is just utter nonsense.

        1. John Toad (@)
          25th March 2018, 20:24

          There’s a simple solution to this’flaw’ in the rules:
          Close the pits during a VSC.
          A VSC is supposed to ‘neutralise’ a race, which in my mind means that the cars leave a VSC period in the same relative places and condition as they entered the VSC period.
          To my mind changing tyres under a VSC negates this and the pits should be closed for the duration of the VSC period.

    2. Yup just feels like a cheap win since Vettel just got handed the win

    3. Embarrassing indeed. How difficult is it to quickly recover a stranded car?

    4. Sorry buddy, I fail to see how the VSC decided or handed the result to Vettel, like it was the last lap of the race something?
      I saw Vettel come in for a pretty much long-awaited pit-stop on a much longer stint than most on lap 26, just after the VSC was implemented. He came in for that stop ahead of everyone else on track, and then exited just ahead of Hamilton’s Mercedes, gaining some time due to the VSC conditions.
      However, then I watched Hamilton pretty much follow Vettel for 32 laps within 1second or less, and didn’t make one attempt to pass or lunge at the car in front. He had every opportunity to get by Vettel, he had superior engine modes available to him for umpteen laps, and a much much faster car under him.
      Sitting 32 laps behind your main rival and to within a 1 second gap, is absolutely NOT having a race handed to your opponent by the VSC. If anything Vettel worked extremely hard for that victory, to hold off Hamilton for 32 laps in a much faster car behind.
      Everyone talks about how fantastic Hamilton is at overtaking, he is the best bla bla bla, still I rise, yeh yeh yeh. He lost this race plain and simple fair and square got beaten, it was not the VSC that handed it to Vettel, he had plenty of time and performance to overtake Vettel, others made passes during the race with inferior equipment at their disposal, infact his own team mate in the very same car made numerous passes to gain positions, and against cars that had the same merc power units in the back.
      Hamilton and Mercedes lost this race, it wasn’t handed to anyone, but I mainly blame Hamilton’s inability to pass Vettel for 32 laps as the main reason he finished second, and nothing else!
      Had Hamilton lead the race from start to finish and then lost due to a VSC being deployed on the last few laps, then maybe he would have a valid argument or reason to be aggrieved, but the VSC happened on lap 26, less than have the race distance of 58 laps!

      1. Well said Jenson
        Finally someone speaking facts for once
        I don’t rate either Hamilton or Vettel, but it’s funny how Singapore 2018 Alonso was slated for his win, due to the circumstances of his team mate crashing
        1′ yes it bought him further towards the front but it was on lap 15 and there was another pit stop session and he had to overtake to take the lead and hold off the might of Hamilton
        But as usual sky broadcasting is very bias

  6. I’m waiting for Toro Rosso’s jokes about McLaren now.

  7. A bit straightforward until the SC, but since then exciting.

  8. That VSC managed to wipe the smirk off Hamilton’s face. (He was genuinely unlucky though)

  9. Great race lot of chassis /pu combo’s fighting hard great move by seb ric FA stand outs

  10. 4/10 VSC shouldn’t decide an outcome of a race. Though it is within the regulations, it seems a bit unfair to be honest.

    1. The need to reduce the pitlane speed limit during VSC. I think during practice it us 80kph and goes to 100 during the race. So pergaos reduce it to 80 under the VSC. Not perfect but better than someone gaining time wgen the point of the VSC is to keep it fair.

      1. I really don’t understand why everybody is suddenly hating on the VSC. We’ve seen over time drivers benefit from SC (and VSC), and because one driver took advantage to win the race today, everybody’s suddenly lost the plot.

        Why aren’t you all also complaining about how the VSC took Alonso from the back end of the Top 10 (at best) to 5th, and that it allowed Ricciardo an opportunity to fight for a home podium? I haven’t read one negative comment about how they took advantage of the VSC..

        1. Your forgetting that two of the places Alonso made up were parked on the side of the road.
          Horner said pitting under the VSC was worth about 11 seconds to the cars pitting vs cars pitting in normal race conditions.
          This is the first time it has been clear cut to change the outcome of the race winner.
          The VSC was designed to not change the gaps. It is failing its task.

          1. Michael Brown (@)
            25th March 2018, 13:44

            You can’t account for pit stops though

  11. One of the best Australian Grands Prix that I have ever watched. Overtaking was difficult (as it should be). There was Haas drama, Verstappen errors, a safety car, a few retirements and an unexpected winner. Also, the new TV graphics are clearly an improvement despite a couple of funny glitches (LASTNAME!). 9/10

    1. @girts disagree about the graphics, well the font anyway as it is simply awful & i am having a really hard time reading it.

      also seems as if we have lost some of the data we had before and certain aspects of them take up way more space than is necessary. typical american style dumbed down, bigger than needed mess with the added negative that there hard to read….. thanks liberty :(

      i think the style in terms of colors & such is ok but the font is simply terrible, by far the worst i have ever had the displease to not be able to read!

      1. Hmm, I think the font is a bit too small although I watched the race on a 32-inch TV so it was OK, especially in HD.

        I really like some of the new features, such as the one mentioned by @phylyp (see below) but maybe more time is needed to properly judge the new graphics.

        1. Duncan Snowden
          25th March 2018, 20:10

          I don’t know whether it’s by accident or design (I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of the global audience still watches in SD), but they’re actually a lot better in SD than the old set. Still not as clear as the classic ’90s graphics, but they’d look ridiculous in HD. It’s a tricky balance.

          I think there’s a lot to like about them – the notification of cautions and the “purple sector” indicator, to name just a couple – and I don’t mind the fonts (plural; there are three), but we do need more information about the tyres. I’d do away with the team logos on the sidebar and replace them with tyre compounds.

      2. Quite true, I commented something similar yesterday.

        I understand they need to use the new typeface for branding purposes, but they could perhaps limit its use to trackside and print media, and digital displays where the text is large (e.g. bottom right when showing the timing for a single driver). For smaller text (like the timing tower, timing screens and other screens dense with information) they really ought to use a typeface geared towards easy readability & compactness.

    2. I agree on most of that @girts. We had some great battles, I guess the DRS zones helped keep it close for most of those battles. To me the fact that a VSC handed the win to Ferrari this way is a bit of a damper on the fun, and I felt so incredibly sad for Haas to have that happen with both cars within a few laps.

      Good race to start off the season. We got an amazing lap from Hamilton to win qualifying. We got a great start from Magnussen to pass Max, Kimi having a lunge at Lewis from the start too. Then we had Max really pushing until he overestimated the car, we had Alonso pushing Sainz, we had close battles all thourgh the field.

      1. When you have battles without any change in the order, then these battles are pointless. None of these battles changed anything. It was an awful boring race in my opinion. I like Vettel but a win only by VSC does not make me very enthusiastic. Regret that I only slept a few hours to watch this.

        1. Michael Brown (@)
          25th March 2018, 13:47

          @dutch-1 So? Schumacher vs Alonso at Imola. That’s a fight with no change in positions but it was exciting.

          1. When this was only the “battle” between Hamilton and Vettel, fine.
            But this was almost the complete field that was stuck in “battles” without any change. Only real mistakes or faulty cars made a difference (and the VSC of course). But nowhere places were gained based on skills and/or a faster car.

          2. Schumacher had a chance and I was on the edge of my seat. Hamilton didn’t. I clicked the little red x on my browser with 7 laps to go and went to bed. Would never have done that in the Imola race.

        2. I agree. Solving this can’t wait until 2020. Libert needs to address this immediately by re-assessing some tracks and fixing this ridiculous front wing

      2. I love it when people make excuses for Verstappen or Hamilton making mistakes. Oh, he over/under estimated the car. He was too good for the car, the car wasn’t good enough for him.


        1. @nick101 I do not think that ‘overestimated the car’ and ‘made a mistake’ are mutually exclusive phrases, in this case they are just two different ways of expressing the same thing. Yes, Verstappen had a bad day in the office, he had oversteer, he made mistakes and he struggled with the car – all of those statements are true.

          Although it is true that certain fans always try to find excuses for certain drivers’ errors or simply lacklustre performances, I can assure you that @bascb is not one of them.

    3. One of the things I liked with the new graphics was how they grouped the timing tower on the left into groups of cars that were close/ racing one another.

  12. This didn’t really feel like the start of a new season. It felt more like we just picked up where we left off from Abu Dhabi.

    Personally, I’m in desperate need of new narratives in this sport.

    Another season of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull clear from the rest at the front lies ahead of us and I can’t pretend that I am thrilled by that prospect.

    I really feel we need more competition in Formula 1 and urgently.

    1. Yeah it doesn’t help that cars are even harder to pass this year

    2. @magnificent-geoffrey – that’s a good viewpoint. For the top 3, it definitely feels like an extension of 2017.

      The midfield is different though, with Haas, McLaren & Renault moving up, and Force India and Williams dropping back.

    3. @magnificent-geoffrey I enjoyed watching the race but I agree with you. Unless I am mistaken, Red Bull, Mercedes and Ferrari have won all the races over the last five years ie. since the 2013 Malaysian GP. Barring a freak race, it will be six years at the beginning of 2019. Besides, everything suggests that Mercedes are clearly in front once again and today’s race was rather a lucky exception. So it is probably going to be a challenge to keep my F1 passion alive this year.

  13. A 6 from me…..but that was generous….its no good making cars quicker and putting them on tracks like this…impossible almost to overtake…..and to put out a virtual safety car…and then be overtaken in the pits……made Vettels win a joke in my book…..I class that as virtual cheating, and yes I know its within the rules, but its another thing to devalue the sport

    1. Yup and of course Ferrari’s pit stop helped vettel get past kimi even though kimi looked quicker

    2. Going on that theory, did you class HAMs wins in the Chinese and Spanish GPs last year as “virtual cheating”? Both instances harmed VET and benefited HAM.

      1. Virtual cheating applied to last year as well…its the rule thats wrong…..there is no way when you cannot overtake and hold position on the VSC that you should be able to pit and get ahead of any other car….you should be made to slot in at the position you were in befre pitting…..The sport is losing viewers and fans, and you try explaining what went on to someone who is learning the sport…..

  14. For the lack of better thread yet I’ll ask here how did Vettel come out in front exactly? He was 11sec in front before VSC. This increased to 19sec just before he pitted, came out 2sec in front of Ham. How exactly could 11 become 19? Unlucky based on where each driver was in their zones or a loophole in rules? The whole point of VSC is maintaining the gap, this clearly didn’t happen so I’m quite angry. Not only it robbed us of a deserving winner but also Kimi lost his second place.

    1. Hm, if that’s so, would be good to know where that came in indeed @ivan-vinitskyy

    2. GS (@gsagostinho)
      25th March 2018, 7:57

      @ivan-vinitskyy Since all cars slow down during a VSC, all gaps increase in time but should keep the same relative to each other. So at full speed VET was 11 s in front, but at the slower VSC speed he was effectively 19 s. And given that a pit stop still takes the same amount of time regardless of VSC or not, you effectively make a pit stop less punishing.

      It’s extremely annoying that the race was decided this way, but I myself can’t think of a better solution. You certainly can’t forbid pit stops during VSC.

      1. Yes, exactly. The gaps are the same distance but increase in time because everyone slows down.

      2. @gsagostinho That makes sense although would imply going 40% slower. I’ve not seen it grow by this much before.
        A better solution might be to stop drivers pitting for performance reasons, like change tires when your current tires are fine. Pitting for anything else is fine. Surely it cant be hard to policy that.

        1. @ivan-vinitskyy So let’s say we ban pitting under the VSC and SC. How was that fair to Vettel then? The SC came out, pack got bunched up and he’s yet to pit. When he eventually does he’d go from P1 to P16 or so. But I guess that’s fair cause it wasn’t Hamilton then?

      3. You lower the pit lane speed limit even further during a VSC. Problem solved.

        1. @john-h that would indeed be very easy to implement and should help.

      4. The mechanics should have a delta time to work to on cars during VSC period pit-stops, so they work in slo-motion :-P

    3. To counter Mercedes’ “party mode”, race director Charlie Whiting has a “party-pooper mode” ;o)

      1. @ardy Good one :O)

    4. Loophole, about the size of the pitlane. Under the VSC, you have to drive to a delta in each sector. Except you don’t if that sector includes you diving into the pitlane– you can go as fast as you want.

      1. yes, there already is a pit lane loss time. I guess if you take that time and add 40% then it makes it fair but how do you stop drivers going out too soon? Like FormulaE, someone stands with stopwatch and tells you when you can leave? not sure (

        1. Either lower the pitlane speed limit under VSC or the teams have to hold them in the pits for a predetermined time.

          1. When rules like that were in favor of Mercedes/Hamilton nobody complained

      2. Pitlanes have speed limits

  15. John Toad (@)
    25th March 2018, 7:51

    Like a lot of F1 races , a lot of threats to overtake but ultimately just fast processions.
    Virtual safety car rules don’t seem to be fit for purpose if you can overtake from 5 seconds behind.

    1. It does everything a safety car except without the excitement of bunching up the field

  16. VSC pretty spiced the race up. However, I was shocked at Lewis being able to follow Seb for that many laps. Unless Seb turned his car completely down then that pace was crazy from Lewis.

    1. @krichelle or we’ve just been used to Mercedes making a car for clean air. Maybe now the thing follow other cars too.
      Cant wait for next race to find out.

    2. Merc turned engine up to an unsustainable mode, engine got too hot and haf to bsck off. If they do this to often hopefully will break the Merc engine. Despite all the rubbish coming from pre season Ferrari won which is the best result.

      1. man, hear yourself talk. You want championships decided by engine failures? you think Ferrari winning is best outcome?
        May shock you but some of us still want merit to rewarded.

        1. Your obviously sad hamilton lost. Think of it as the situation in reverse, Hamilton gaining a place in puts on Vette l and you might be less emotional about outcome

        2. It was rewarded. Made up for China last year and Merc had no chance v the Ferrari evenbusing modes for a few laps that hurt their engines. Ferrari won, thats a fact, Hamilton struggled to stay on track trying to push, thats also a fact, Mercs engines were overheating, a fact Merc confirmed. 6 more race weekends on that Merc engine.

        3. Don’t give this sort of fan oxygen @ivan-vinitskyy, they don’t deserve it.

  17. Can’t really judge. All I saw was 45 minutes of split screen with commercials.

    Whoever was responsible for “inserting” the commercials into the Sky feed for ESPN was obviously replaced by a random number generator. Absolutely no regard whatsoever for on-screen action.

    About the only thing I saw was Hamilton getting shafted by the VSC. Everything else happened during a commercial, including most of the radio broadcasts.

  18. That extra DRS zone didn’t make much difference. No overtaking means cars are evenly matched, which promises good wheel-to-wheel racing.

    Gutted for Haas, happy for Alonso, some good battles for top positions. I really enjoyed the race. 8/10.

    1. How do you get good wheel-to-wheel racing if the cars can’t overtake each other?

    2. @ardy Ricciardo was faster by 20 seconds with the same soft tyres as Alonso during a 27 lap stint. Ricciardo was also being held up by Raikkonen. This does not sound like “evenly matched”. Yet Verstappen could not overtake Alonso.

  19. Not the most exciting race. The Australian GP rarely has much overtaking. You get all excited about the first race and it’s always an anticlimax.

    Good to see Fernando getting some solid points.

  20. I thought it was an interesting race, not a thriller, but with tension, and some drama 8/10

  21. 6/10, gutted for Haas and shame the result was determined by a VSC, lucky for Vettel! Great result for McLaren with Alonso keeping Verstappen behind. Sloppy first stint from Verstappan, tidy race from Ricciardo. Midfield battle will be fierce this season.

  22. 4 and only because I like the track. At one point there was HAM less than a second behind VET, ditto RIC behind RAI and VER behind ALO. And nothing happens. Three of the best overtakers in the sport, clearly with a bit more pace, but no, nothing. Twenty+ laps of ‘tension’ that you knew was never going to resolve but just end up with the same order at the end. Not good.

    1. Exactly what I was thinking. Hoped for a real exciting start of the season and then you get this procession. No real battles and not one resulting in an overtake during the race between the top 10 cars. I gave it a 3.
      Change that circuit or change the cars, but this kind of racing is unsustainable.

  23. Good race, I enjoyed it a lot, gutted for Haas, but I do love Lady Luck! 8/10
    (also good form for McLaren)

  24. 7/10.

    Nothing spectacular, but the VSC really spiced things up. Didn’t see that coming. But works for me, happy VET won and kinda delays HAM from wrapping up the champ too many races before the season ends.

    Really shame what happened to Haas, they looked really strong and were in very good positions. I think they have the 4th fastest overall, although barely faster than Renault and McLaren. Hope they can keep it up all season long.

    Nothing new for Williams, Force India went backwards for sure.

    Thumbs down again for Sky attitude towards Ferrari, downplaying their victory ’cause it was all down to luck. Well, it was luck, but there was an opportunity there and they played it perfectly. They didn’t have the same attitude in the past years when RBR and Mercedes/HAM benefited from SC periods etc etc.

  25. Enjoyed the race but hated the coverage. This is nothing against Sky Sports. They are not there just for the American audience. My issue is with ESPN using them as the commentators for the American audience. Race is running and then suddenly it cuts to commercial without warning. A few minutes of this then they return to the race. The problem is that stuff happens you aren’t filled on what it was as Sky is not aware that ESPN went to commercial. Both Sirotkin’s and Ericsson’s issues happened during the first break. Plus we missed the re-start as ESPN was in a full ad break instead of the side-by-side. There was very little pre-race coverage and now absolutely no post race coverage aside from the podiums interviews. I don’t care whether someone thinks that Sky Sports was better then NBCSN. My issue is that ESPN’s presentation of Sky’s coverage is far worse then NBCSN.

    Anyways, congratulations to Vettel. His win still leaves the feeling that the championship will still be wide open. Disappointed with the HAAS team. It looks like the crew let both drivers down on a day that looked very good points wise.

    1. @dragon86 I’m shocked that Liberty allowed ESPN to do this. If they want to grow F1 in the US they better quickly improve coverage.

      Unless its part of a ploy to push people towards an F1 Pro subscription.

      1. Sounds consistent with what my opinion of American F1 coverage has been for years now. I suspect that what you were experiencing was ESPN time shifting the race to fit in extra commercials. I wouldn’t be surprised if the race was already over but not on ESPN who was still lagging behind by a handful of laps. At least that is what Speed always did. To me ESPN likely either did the same, or just took junks of coverage away for extra ads.

        1. @Robbie, Having both watched the race and been on the live chat on this site, I can say for sure that F1 races have not been delayed like that for years and probably ended with SPEED. NBCSN had been using side-by-side, showing both the race and commercials at the same time. They would also catch us up on what transpired during the commercials. Our issue ESPN broadcast is that we don’t get filled in on what transpired during the break. I had to ask on the chat what Sirotkin and Ericsson’s issue were as they fell out during the commercial.

  26. I enjoyed it, Wasn’t great but it was good 7/10 from me.

  27. 2017:
    Hamilton get a couple of wins because VSC or SC…
    People: is not ilegal..

    Vettel wins because of a VSC
    Crofty and people: this is horrendous… This cannot continue.. this rule should b erased bla bla bla 🙄.. quien los entiende?

    1. So… which races did Hamilton win because of a virtual safety car?

      Please remind me– I have them all recorded.

      The problem is, the drivers on track have to obey the VSC delta. The drivers in the pit lane don’t. The safety car, on the other hand, has very specific rules for when you can come in, and out, and yes, they can be exploited if you’re lucky (and quick).

      Vettel won because he was allowed to drive faster than Hamilton. If you think that’s fair, that’s OK. I personally don’t.

      1. I think in China Vettel was on an alternative strategy that looked very promising until the VSC came out and handed the advantage back to Hamilton. Also in Spain Hamilton (and thanks to Bottas) gained a whole lot of time thanks to the VSC, that influenced the result massively. The point is not so much as who gets who on what occasion, but the fact remains you lose some you win some. Some people pretend the VSC was called out especially for Ferrari today.

    2. Phew, I’m grateful we get C4 commentary with Ben Edwards and Karun Chandhok.

      They did say it was a good stroke of luck and then went on providing commentary on the race.

  28. The coverage was the worse… It was really not up to par

  29. Did Ferrari supply the wheelnuts to HAAS ;-)

    1. Seemed more like McLaren quality

  30. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    25th March 2018, 8:12

    Boring race but worth staying awake until 2:12 in the morning just to celebrate Vettel won. Bring on Barhain!!!

    1. Yes bring on Bahrain so Vettel could be put back in place he deserves, 3rd!

  31. I was looking at a 3 or 4 before the VSC brought this race alive. A good ending to an abysmal start.

  32. The race was better than average, lots of tensions here and there. Not a great sign for the Championship seeing Mercedes dominate so much, but the midfield is very promising. Or perhaps it’s just Hamilton being exceptional, as Bottas had a very very dull race, struggling even to pass the Force Indias and the Renaults. Maybe the crash yesterday did some damage to the chassis?

    I will say this though, while Vettel didn’t exactly win on merit, Ferrari definitely deserved to be the team on top this weekend, all things considered. Wasn’t their fault that one of the Mercedes crashed out badly that gave them higher grid positions and more options in the race. Wasn’t their fault that Mercedes/Hamilton chose to come into the pit to cover Kimi rather than staying out and hoping for an event like a safety car. Wasn’t their fault that Ricciardo made a mistake that resulted in a grid drop and Max was sloppy in the race, allowing them to focus solely forward instead of backward.

    Ferrari came to Melbourne somewhat unprepared with the car, with tweaks all over the weekend and their star driver not exactly extracting the best out of it. But Mercedes and Red Bull came unprepared for the Championship, and that came back to haunt them.

  33. 5 Average, could have been better but for a left over Bernie gimmick randomly changing the running order (yes I do mean forced tyre changes).

  34. The race had great battles, they don’t always have to end in a completed overtake to be great battles. Most drivers in F1 deserve to win GP races, things like the pass in pits for any reason, tyre change, yellow flags, virtual safety car are great for spicing up the spectacle of F1, where machinery mostly determines a race result.

  35. SevenFiftySeven
    25th March 2018, 8:25

    Because under vsc conditions, once you leave the pit lane, you’re allowed to accelerate normally before the 1st speed trap checkpoint (where the vsc rule would again take effect) – a rule brilliantly capitalized on by the fast-thinking Vettel and the Ferrari strategists.

  36. Vettel gambled on a sc and reaped the rewards no harm no foul. 5 years ago Hamilton gambled that Merc would be the team to beat in the foreseeable future while they were an also run by the time he made his choice and got 3 WDCs competition free. Now who is lucky?

    1. @philby How far do we regress this one? Vettel was born talented & lucky, into a family with a karting track to manage. Lewis was born lucky, into a family prepared to work harder to make the most of his talent.

      I may have the same talent as both of them, just no karting track or hard working family!

      1. @pSynrg
        Actually I was pretty handy at go karts. At my local go kart track the manager told my father that I was very good and he should consider buy my a kart and start racing, I was 9-10 at the time. It was the early nineties and motorsport was at an all time high Formula 1, WSC, touring cars championships, WRC all enjoyed high competition. Sadly he decided that a racer’s career wasn’t what he wanted for his son. I should go to college and get a diploma and work in an office… 10 years after that I found my self in a karting track with friends from college and one them supposedly was no joke. We raced and I blew all off them out of the water. Ofc they were amateurs, initially I relished my triumph but as an afterthought I pondered on what might have been…

  37. I like this race despite it’s inherit faults. It’s a tricky circuit, demanding, and tougher than it looks to find a good flow, especially to rookies. So extra credit to Leclerc for surviving and a gold star for finishing ahead of Stroll. I like the high level of attrition due to the usual high temperatures which test both the drivers and the packaging of the componentry which more than ever, require cooling and tighter packaging. And look at the reception F1 receives in Melbourne. Definitely special. This race offered plenty of interest, definitely better than a middling yawnfest. 7/10

  38. More self inflicted wounds by F1…
    Cars need to be able to overtake – kill all wings and winglets;
    Onboard cameras with Halo are just ridiculous – Halo will kill F1;
    VSC has always been a bad fix after Bianchi crash – Rules must be thought with time and tested before implemented.
    Vettel’s win was lesser because of that, with or without Mercedes software bug…

  39. Being generous – a “4”. It’s absurd that cars cannot pass. Difficult to call it a “race” in these circumstances.

  40. 6/10 : impossible to pass on this circuit.

  41. Miltiadis (@miltosgreekfan)
    25th March 2018, 8:54

    4/10 for me. No way to overtake in Melbourne, despite the 3rd DRS zone.
    Strategy didnt play a great role in this race, as all drivers adapted an 1 stop strategy
    I got really annoyed by the VSC situation. I am not a fan of either Vettel or Hamilton, but today this was terrible…And its not the first time it happened…
    Austin 2016: Ricciardo loses P2 from Rosberg due to the VSC
    Same race, Massa loses 9 seconds(!) to Sainz & gets jumped in the pits…

  42. 5/10. After the Safety Car period no overtakes happened.

  43. 7/10 for me because the VSC mixed it up at front

    As a Max fan is was a though one. He lost a place at the start, span, and just when he was making up for it on fresh rubber the VSC spoiled it again

  44. Nice race 7/10.

    Actually, despite many “Mercedes is dominant again” opinions here, I find the season start quite promising. We’ve seen that Mercedes engine is not immortal and given the 3 PU per season limit they may use it more carefully in the next races.

    Also it is true that there were not so many overtakes, but this is Australia, it’s been like that lately. What is important, unlike last season, cars are able to keep within a 1-1,5 second of each other for a long time without extreme tyre degradation. I think that could lead to some close wheel-to-wheel battles on other tracks, which is we all want.

    Teams like McLaren and Renault have champion ambitions combined with proper budget and strong drivers, and it has already resulted in nice middle-upfield clashes and they definitely will improve during the season. Kudos to Haas, strong performance from the car and from the drivers, however, I expect their development to be not as quick as of aforementioned teams. Sauber, TR, Williams, on the other hand, show no signs of points coming this season. Mostly poor drivers, problems with reliability.

    Regarding the race itself, I believe Hamilton lost the race largely because of Bottas. Alone in the front, he had no tactics options and Ferrari felt no pressure. SC/VSC is a part of the F1 and some drivers have been always gaining some advantage with it. And the teams always involved the SC risk in their strategy. But today Hamilton had no other options than to response to Raikkonen’s stop. Bottas would have given the Mercedes much more possibilities.

    Happy for Kimi, who finally looked on par with Vettel all weekend, for Alonso, top as always, this time with the proper and promising place reward, for Ric, good recovery, he needed such confidence boost to fight the Verstappen later. Nice debut for Leclerc, though they didn’t show him much and actually I didn’t care much as well. Awful performance for Verstappen. Mistakes out of nowhere, ruining tires in unsuccessful overtake attempts, poor start. Maybe those who already rate him as high as multiple time champions will hold their praise for a while (well, who am I kidding, they wouldn’t).

    Anyway, congrats everyone on the start of the season :)

    P.S. For conspiracy lovers: Ferrari supply Haas with a lot of stuff, what if they’ve also supplied the wheelguns…
    P.P.S. Unbelievable the organizers invited an orchestra to greet the drivers after the race. It is definitely objectification of the musicians, whose only purpose was to associate F1 with classy stuff and make the target audience feel more imporant. What a disappointment for 2018. Liberty should ban the exploitation of those poor, used people and hire, I’m sorry, invite some children instead.

    1. I agree that Max didn’t have his best performance. But according to him the car had a problem from the start already that gave him oversteer midcorner. Also he was catching RIC after his pitstop running 1,5 sec quicker in clean air. Without the VSC he would’ve passed him after RIC’s pitstop.

  45. Robert McKay
    25th March 2018, 9:41

    Fairly tedious, I thought. Not many memorable moments other than the Hass quick-time double retirement and Verstappen’s spin. I was not especially excited for the new season and this did little to increase it, although I think the battle in the midfield is a bit more interesting.


  46. I enjoyed the race.

    Even though there were only a few overtakes, there was always the possibility of some (many in fact) with so many cars closing up an putting pressure on cars in front of them. Kept we well engaged throughout.

    Great drives, some luck (good and bad), and a midfield that is closer than ever.

  47. 7/10
    Nice race overall. Battles for the first 6th position were alive till the end. It’s a shame that Haas retired in that way.
    I was just annoyed with drivers name graphic errors : displaying Hartley instead of Gasly when the latter retired, displaying Lewis instead of Bottas and there was graphic error in lap 38 if I am not wrong displaying something like LastName. Am I the only one who saw that ?

  48. Antoon van Gemert
    25th March 2018, 10:26

    The 2018 edition of the Australian Grand Prix was a race that denied the F1-fans some great fights, due to the very worrying lack of overtaking, caused by a combination of track-layout and the design of the cars. Are the F1 cars just too fast for some circuits, to provide the fans with real and hard racing? This should be addressed and solved as soon as possible, because it’s very damaging for the sport. Yes, overtaking should be difficult but not near impossible! This could have been an epic Grand Prix with hard battles: Vettel vs. Hamilton, Raikkonen vs. Ricciardo, Magnussen vs. Verstappen and Alonso vs. Verstappen. Skip circuits (except for the traditional Monaco Grand Prix) that don’t deliver! Bring back Adelaide!

  49. Extremely good strategy from Ferrari, they were running two and three, so they opted to undercut and overcut when as history shows, there’s always a chance of a safety car or other issue. For me it was text book stuff and certainly keeps the season close for at least another 3 races maybe more.
    Mercedes problems started when Lewis put in such a good lap, Bottas cracked under pressure and crashed, therefore leaving Lewis at the mercy of two hunting Ferraris.
    Ricciardo must be smiling at the thought of a Merc contract next year !

  50. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    25th March 2018, 11:09

    The dirty air situation is killing the sport. Painful to watch.

  51. Liberty have come out and said each race should be a “festival” of sorts and yet this whole race was overshadowed by engine management, talk of taking deliberate engine penalties and just generally playing the long game.
    So much for making every race a festival and a great standalone event that pulls in the interest of casual fans who don’t want to commit to a whole season

  52. Win gifted to a driver having a bit of an off-day, while his team-mate (having a rare on-day) loses out, along with the guy who deserved to win… VSC doing everything it’s not supposed to do… two good drives by the Haas drivers ruined by what appear to be amateurish mistakes… processional ‘racing’ with no tension because overtaking wasn’t possible, even with a huge pace advantage (Bottas, Verstappen, for example)…

    Even the one positive I was able to pluck from it – McLaren looking semi-competitive again – is tainted because Alonso got lucky-dumped into fifth by the VSC.

    On the bright side, the season can only get better!

  53. I give it a solid 8. I feel under current regulations this as good as it can be. If Hamilton would be able to overtake with his faster car, then it would be an exciting battle for the lead. But atleast we saw some racing.

  54. An Excellent race with one exception,

    The whole purpose of Virtual Safety Car as I understand it was to slow the cars down and freeze the running order until what ever danger causing it is neutralized. How can this be allowed to Happen?
    In full safety car, again the order is maintained in the leaders until the restart, with lapped cars aloud some fighting chance to recover but never tampering with the leaders who have pitting options which may send them backwards but NOT to gain places by pitting 15 seconds behind the leader and come out up front.
    The “race” has been tainted in my humble opinion and Hamilton and Kimi cheated out of what they convincingly achieved as “drivers”.
    I can understand that this scenario may not have been envisaged and not captured in the rules so it has to stand but please try to remedy this situation fast.
    I felt cheated waking up early, recording and watching every moment, so I cant imagine what Kimi and Hamilton must be feeling, especially Kimi who has been seen as No. 2, and convincingly beating Vettel, it must be demoralising and doesn’t feel like a sport.

  55. 3/10 That really, really dragged. Looks like it’s yet another season of almost constant 2s gaps between each car.

    What’s up with everyone suddenly getting upset about a driver getting an advantage under VSC? If you run longer, you give yourself a greater chance of getting a free pitstop if a real or virtual Safety Car, that’s always been the case. It’s no less “unfair” than, and probably about as exciting as, using the patented F1 undercut ™ or making a motorway pass using DRS.

    1. People do complain about the ridiculous tyres – which cause the undercut and DRS all the time. People like to see position changes on the track and people are always going to be upset when this doesn’t happen. There is some sympathy for a position change from a clever strategy, but anyone who thought that keeping Seb out today was a strategy is fooling themselves, he never had the gap to get into clean air.

      1. Lewis and Kimi were both gutted at being brought in it seems, so Ferrari were up to something, if not just forcing Merc to react, which as it happened revealed a weakness they had in their ‘software’.
        I’ve got no sympathy for Merc or Lewis until the drivers can call the shots again. Have one-way radio comms, if you must have them at all.
        Lewis will be told when/when not to push and when to pit in the next race, he goes a long with it and is going to sign up to this for the next 3 years, so tough.

  56. sirespondes sos un chupapija
    25th March 2018, 13:44

    Last F1 race for me, F1 died today. Hello WEC, F.E, Imsa,indy,WTCR,F3.

  57. Can’t believe there are so many comments stating the order shouldn’t be influenced by a VSC. Where were all of you last year in Spain or all the other times a Safety influenced a race result? Hypocrisy at its best. Yes, Hamilton deserved the win but as the saying goes, that’s motor racing.

    To me it was 7/10. Some twists and turns here and there and a genuine battle for the lead for most part of the second half of the race. Enjoyed watching it. Hopefully Ferrari and Red Bull can turn the pressure up in the coming races.

    1. In Spain last year though, the VSC caused an amazing duel – not a clearly faster car unable to even make an attempt on a clearly slower car – that’s all people want, good racing, and when they don;t get it, they complain. It’s not hypocrisy, it’s frustration at the state of overtaking in f1

      1. Which otherwise wouldn’t have happened without a VSC having some influence. Still think it is bad? It’s sinply just down to your point of view. Without the VSC in Melbourne, Lewis would’ve just romped away into the distance. Instead we had almost half the race Seb trying to keep Lewis at bay, knowing that the Mercedes was quicker. Sure, Lewis wasn’t able to overtake but there are many factors why it worked for him in Spain and why it didn’t in Melbourne. And none of them was the VSC because that’s the only thing both races had in common. That said, we had a surprise winner instead of another “Mercedes dominates XY weekend”. I can’t see how this is bad at all. It makes for a rather exciting prospect for the upcoming races given how everyone was expecting Mercedes to demolish everyone after testing.

    2. “Can’t believe there are so many comments stating the order shouldn’t be influenced by a VSC” –

      exactly….when it happens at Indy, like last week at Saint Pete, everybody loves the confusion.

      1. Context matters. There have always been races being influenced by VSCs (like Spain last year) or Safety Cars in general. It’s like when rain hits the track mid-part of the race. It’s part of racing, one will win and one will lose. Of course it might create some confusion but hasn’t that always been the case? What about Valencia 2010? It cost Alonso dearly and I don’t remember anyone complaining about that.

  58. Michael Brown (@)
    25th March 2018, 13:52

    7/10, so an above average race. The battles and overtaking were interesting to watch in the first half, but then things dropped off for the next few laps. While Hamilton and Ricciardo made their challenges in the last 10 laps or so, I was disappointed that neither driver could get close enough to even attempt an overtake. They didn’t need to actually pass the car in front, I just wanted to see them get alongside in the braking zone.

  59. A great advantage of not watching it live, I never needed to watch the last 25 Laps as no positions changed. Lewis really needed Bottas with him to cover off Raikkonen, another weekend like that from him and he better start looking for another 2019 drive. Rated the race low, the cars are not designed for a track like that, more passes happen at Monaco.

  60. Not really any worse than most Melbourne races. Was disappointed that rain didn’t affect qualifying or the race.

    I do have hope that the Merc isn’t that far ahead, but there really is about a 0.5% chance that Hamilton won’t win the title.

  61. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    25th March 2018, 14:30

    Gave a generous 5. Lewis was the best but getting on someone’s gearbox at Albert Park is pointless.

  62. To make the races exciting again, drastically reduce the aero, concentrate on mechanical grip. Get rid of DRS. Then we will some real racing happening. Processions are boring.

  63. Voted a 7. Decent enough races for Melbourne, with few overtakes but more than last year. However there were close fights all over the field. With less conservative Pirelli choice this would’ve been even better

  64. That Toto Wolf “ass face” was priceless.

  65. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    25th March 2018, 16:28

    If this was a real fans’ site, there’d be no poll today. This wasn’t a race today and to have one is to suggest that what we saw today was a race.

  66. F1 is dead, rest in peace!! FIA burn in hell!!

  67. I gave it a 3, have to admit it failed to even keep my attention for large parts. No real change in the running order didn’t help, same with the only story of the race (Haas in front of Red Bull) ending in a damp squib.

  68. Sorry guy’s. Fell asleep during the race. Did a good nap however. For that I give a 10.

  69. 4/10. A boring parade for the benefit of the race engineers, with a nasty suspicion of showbiz-car to close the field up. One nice pass (by Ricciardo into the fast right hander).
    I’m fine with the Halos, apart from the lazy/incompetent failure to adjust the onboard camera angles (and the Sauber looks like a toilet coming towards you)
    Bit of human drama with Haas – heat-of-the-moment decisions and all that – I hope they can bag some good finishes before Renault and McLaren catch them.

  70. Strange.. three potential very exiting duos fighting for position.
    VET-HAM for the lead.. RAi-RIC for the podium and Alonso- VER for place 5. And still a quite boring race. The only reason: a track that is almost impossible to pass. Pity.

  71. Maybe you should have it going down to zero.

    Absolute garbage for the reason it should’ve been a classic. We had 1st v 2nd and 4th v 3rd but they might as well have been on different laps. Or tracks.

    I hate this era so much, no noise, no action and middle aged white men in charge of the rules.

    I’m not done with the sport yet but they are pushing loyal fans to the limit serving up this nonsense.

    Like playing football without a goal

  72. John Toad (@)
    25th March 2018, 21:51

    I think I’m going to stop rating the races.
    My scores end up being so much lower than the average that I wonder if I’ve been watching the same race as everybody else.
    This was a high speed ‘Trulli-train’ race with cars circulating quickly within a second or so of each other but very few attempts at a pass.
    Others may find this interesting, or even exciting, but to me it’s simply frustrating.
    I want to see battles for position, which by my definition means:
    Diver A passes Driver B
    Driver B fights back and passes Driver A
    Rinse and repeat.
    To me having Driver A follow Driver B for 30 or 40 laps without being able to attempt a pass is quite boring and, quite frankly, not at all entertaining.
    Liberty need to remember that in the battle for attention there are lots of other forms of entertainment that are currently a lot more interesting and exciting than F1.
    They need to effect changes that makes the spectacle much more entertaining before the last of their audience ebbs away to much more appealing offerings.

  73. A good race, I would say, gave it 8 cause the winner was a driver that performed poorly, with hamilton and raikkonen deserving the win much more, and for the few overtakes.

    For the rest it was an interesting race, looking at the first 16 laps and seeing hamilton get 3 sec gap on raikkonen, so around 2 tenths a lap, trying to understand how much quicker mercedes is, and also haas, renault and mclaren who had a good step forward and finally can keep red bulls behind (not always, ricciardo overtook renaults) on a track where, even if overtaking isn’t easy, it’s definitely possible, not like hungary or monaco.

    Ricciardo and bottas who climbed back a bit from their starting positions but this time they faced the reality of a more competitive midfield and couldn’t blast past lesser cars that easily.

    Vettel being pressured by hamilton towards the end, alonso by verstappen, raikkonen by ricciardo, even if we knew overtaking opportunities weren’t many without a big speed delta.

    I’m sorry for grosjean, magnussen (especially, since they lost so many points), but haas if it keeps this performance should be able to have a very good championship this year, and also for raikkonen and hamilton who deserved at least 1 more place, had raikkonen been in the place vettel was he could’ve won, aside from the fact he slowed on the last stint, maybe lost motivation after becoming 3rd, overall he drove better than vettel.

    Bad race for verstappen and vettel, verstappen only got 6th which is fair, vettel won which sucks (and I’m not a hamilton fan or ferrari hater, I just like races) given the circumstances.

    Also good race for alonso and ricciardo, considering where they started and the cars they had, couldn’t aim for more.

  74. I wanted to give it a 7 but gave it a 6 as we saw none of this

  75. 5/10. I thought about a 6 but to be honest there was not enough on track action to get excited over. The interest that did arise came from the unexpected retirements of the two Haas cars and the VSC incident. There was some relatively close racing but not much in the way of overtakes. Not bad but not great in my opinion.

  76. I really don’t see how 21% of respondents gave this race 8 or more. I know this is the first race of the season but some people are very easily pleased

  77. I wouldn’t say this race was a farce, but overall this is exactly what F1 doesn’t want: The winner won by using a short cut, and faster cars couldn’t over take slower ones. Even with the third DRS zone faster cars still couldn’t overtake slower ones. Why not change the aerodynamic rules to make it easier for faster cars to overtake slower ones?

  78. As Verstappen said after the race:
    “had I been watching I would have switched off the tv”.
    I should have done that, what a borefest.

  79. As race fans we need to collectively stop watching this farcical nonsense. The FIA and Liberty care about ratings and we need to cut off their oxygen by refusing to put up with these boring races. If we keep tuning in then they will never do anything to change the rules. The idea that we have to wait until 2021 is ridiculous, I’m close to calling it quits right now FFS.

  80. I thought it was a pretty dull race and I only gave it a 4.5, the fact that this was the first Grand Prix of the season probably increased my rating, if a race such as this occurred later on in the year I probably would have given it a lower rating.

    In the first part of the race Hamilton was in control with not much happening elsewhere in the field, then with the timing of the safety car Vettel was gifted the lead, and because of how hard it was to overtake he was never going to lose the victory from there. It turned out to be an uneventful follow the leader race where track position is king, decided by the timing of the VSC.

    Although Hamilton was dominant in qualifying I did not know what the relative race pace would be for all the drivers at the front, so beforehand I had no idea how the race would turn out and with it being the start of the season my hopes were high.

    At the start Hamilton kept the lead and after a few laps it seemed that he had the pace to comfortably stay ahead of the Ferraris, the Red Bulls were out of contention to challenge for the lead and with overtaking seeming like it was going to be very hard it looked like it would be straight forward processional race.

    The only danger for Hamilton would be reliability and around the pit stops, his car didn’t let him down but the timing of the stops ending up costing him the win.

    Even before the start it was obvious that Ferrari would split their strategies in the race especially as it was two Ferraris vs one Mercedes after Bottas’s crash in qualifying.

    Ferrari were in a no-lose situation leaving Vettel out longer, there was a big enough gap so third place was never in danger and if his tyres did suddenly go off he could come in and not lose a position, but staying out allowed them to take advantage of any unexpected events which is what they did with the safety car.

    We have seen teams make calls like this many times before, I remember a few times last year especially with Ferrari and Red Bull, the team pits one car early to try and force the rival car in front to also pit early and cover the move which then enables their other car to go longer and try and make up positions that way, it can work even without any sort of safety car and sometimes it also means that the driver who was ahead is beaten by his teammate, which can lead to some questions about why the driver running behind on the road got the favourable strategy, but in fact it was the best strategy for the team as a whole.

    After Raikkonen pitted, Mercedes had to call Hamilton in, although they perhaps could have waited longer then they did and looked at the sector times to see if Raikkonen was closing the gap sector by sector and then bring Hamilton in when it became clear Raikkonen was going quicker, but they made the radio call as soon as Raikkonen went into the pits, not even when Hamilton was near the end of the lap, as was mentioned in commentary.

    From what I have read the other area where Mercedes made a mistake was that they thought they had a big enough gap to Vettel to cover a VSC so actually asked Hamilton to ease off, this just seems like some incorrect data in their software model, a simple mistake which in previous seasons when Mercedes totally dominated wouldn’t have mattered but when things are potentially closer can make a big difference.

    As soon as the VSC was called I thought this would benefit Vettel as he would lose less time making his stop and although I didn’t know the gaps and the time needed but I thought he could re-join the track in the lead and he did.

    I assumed the main advantage gained by pitting under the VSC was that because the cars on track are not going at full speed the time gaps increase even if the distance gaps stay the same.

    However in commentary it was mentioned that when going in the pit lane drivers could actually go faster than the cars still out on track as the pit lane speed limit is quicker, I did not realise this and it seems like one of those loop holes in the rules that need looking at.

    Vettel may have lucked into the win due to VSC but it is just one of those things that can happen.

    I only saw the highlights so I do not know how much and what parts of the race I missed but it did seem like it took them quite a while to clear Gorsjean’s car, something which I didn’t understand was why they initially called a virtual safety car and then a full safety car after a few laps.

    I would have thought that in F1 now, that before any race the officials would have details of accessibility all around a circuit so they knew that if a car stopped somewhere they would know how it could be recovered and so what safety measures would need to be enacted, yellows or some form of safety car.

    It was probably a case that the situation was borderline or developed beyond their initial assessment so that they had to call out the full safety car.

    I don’t know the detail of the rules but when a full safety is called do the drivers have to reduce their speeds to the virtual safety car level until they catch up to the safety car or can they just go at any speed they think is safe until they get to the safety car?

    Haas need to look at their procedures as on the TV footage, at least on the Grosjean stop, you could see mechanics waving their arms saying something was wrong before he set off, so something should be in place to stop the lights changing to green in situations like that, they lost out on a great result for the team and some valuable points.

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