Start, Albert Park, Melbourne, 2019

Rate the race: 2019 Australian Grand Prix

2019 Australian Grand Prix

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

RaceFans has held polls on every F1 race since 2008 to find out which fans thought of each round of the season.

Join in the latest poll and give your verdict on the race: 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest. Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

What were the best and worst moments of the race? What was the main thing you’ll remember about it? Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2019 Australian Grand Prix out of ten

  • 10 (1%)
  • 9 (3%)
  • 8 (14%)
  • 7 (33%)
  • 6 (26%)
  • 5 (12%)
  • 4 (5%)
  • 3 (3%)
  • 2 (2%)
  • 1 (2%)

Total Voters: 316

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1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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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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58 comments on “Rate the race: 2019 Australian Grand Prix”

  1. That was good fun. Not a classic, but promising for the season. Bottas absolutely stunning. Cars seem to be able to follow and there’ll be more action on different circuits. Fastest Lap point seems like it’s giving an extra bit of flavour to the end of the races. A really interesting start to the year.

    1. The FLAP point did add a bit of a spin to the end, can’t help thinking it’s going to be more an unwelcome distraction in more action-packed races though.

      1. I don’t know – I imagine in more action-packed races, drivers will be more focused on getting 2, 3, 5, 7 etc. more points for overtaking than they are interested in a solitary bonus point. In races that are more settled, it becomes more useful and worthwhile. Is this a last-minute FIA rule change that actually works!?

        1. @ben-n Very true, I should have added an unwelcome distraction in the TV coverage, the drivers would of course focus on ensuring those points for position, but there might be one or two drivers in the top 10 not involved in any position battle and free to go for fastest lap. I don’t entirely trust them to cover the right action…

    2. @ben-n @david-br @skipgamer I still don’t like it, In fact if anything I like it less now than I did a week ago.

      I just don’t think it really add’s anything overall & don’t think it warrants a point as I don’t think been fast over 1 lap in a 58 lap race is deserving of an extra point, Especially if they do start playing games with it in future races & we see drivers pit for fresh tyres & getting it almost by default or if its a wet/dry race or something.

      I also just really don’t like the idea of a championship been decided by bonus points. Championship order should be decided based purely on points via finishing positions rather than gimmicky bonus points that don’t really mean anything.

      1. I love the new fastest lap point. It is something new and exciting. It was fun to see Ves briefly get it at the end before BossMan took it away from him. This should definitely be rewarded and encouraged. Change is good, stagnation is death.

    3. @ben-n
      Valtteri almost lapped all but four cars. I don’t see how that is promising. Already accepted the presence of F1.5 in 2019 have we ?
      Very average race. Worse if not for Bottas. Ferrari looked very weak here. A shout-out to the Honda powered cars especially Max and Daniil. Sad to see Daniel retire like that. Even more sad to see Romain retire because of wheel gun 2.0

  2. Not the greatest race ever, but at the same time not too bad either. Overall a decent race.

  3. Hey! Race 6, +1 for Bottas doing so damn well, +1 for the race for the fastest lap, so 8/10 for me!

  4. Good opening race, that. Well done Bottas, so underrated.
    The 2019 changes definitely helped, shame that Albert Park is a bit of a cage. This is promising for the rest of the season though.
    Same for the competitive order. Don’t believe Mercedes will have this advantage. And Red Bull right in there.

    A Honda podium, two Renault-engined DNFs. Ouch.

    1. @hahostolze misinformation is your specialty, only one retirement due to a possible engine failure. Honda podium yes good result, only 6 more races to go for that engine…good luck.

  5. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    17th March 2019, 6:45

    A solid 6/10 for me. Bottas was a joy to watch destroying Lewis, had some good midfield overtakes and battles and some drama with the Ferraris. Solid start to the season, the new aero has worked a bit.

  6. 7 from me, the fastest lap point actually did make it interesting at the end… And no one even pitted as predicted!

    Some nice tight midfield racing was good to see. Another year of Mercedes intranet competition like Rosberg gave us could be good. If nothing else, big surprise, but leaves a bit question for where Ocon fits if there is.

    1. intra-team*

    2. Indeed – strange from Ferrari not to pit Leclerc, but I suppose they were keen not to risk the 5th place with a bad pit stop.

      1. or maybe Ferrari just weren’t sure they would be able to make that point stick? Did they have a fresh set of softs left?

        1. @bascb
          Good point! I had forgot to even consider what what they had left to work with. Hmmmm???

  7. I always like melbourne, this was no exception. About the changes, overtaking is the same or worse, 2cm bigger DRS makes very little difference, it’s just 2 cm, secondary effect of DRS trains is still here, better not to have DRS in these cases. Everything went as predicted, merc still on top RB in 2nd and Ferrari dropping to 3rd, the rest of the field is pretty unchanged, McLaren a bit quicker and that’s it. I don’t know how people still get confused by testing, just look away, bigger wings better for RB, more drag better for Mercedes, not that they need more help.

  8. Solid 6, had quite a bit of potential that didn’t quite come to the party. Verstappen move on Vettel a highlight. Midfield more intense than ever. I think DRS worked how it SHOULD work, it got the cars close enough but to make a move the driver had to put in the work. I’m worried it will be super powerful at the next two races..

    PS – how bad was the tv directing at the end? We didn’t see the last lap of the 7-8-9-10-11 battle and Verstappen got 0.7 behind Hamilton, then dropped to 1.1 behind on the penultimate lap, but we didn’t see it. Shocker.

  9. Superb race from Bottas, that’s a definite marker and wake-up call for Lewis. Verstappen excellent for third, Gasly disappointing – if that had been Max back there, we know how different he would have been climbing through the field, even if it was difficult today. Team orders at Ferrari first race? Hmm. Not so great. Red Bull also looking dangerous for Ferrari’s prospects. Good race as it threw up some interesting clues to how the season might pan out. Actual race action not so much.

  10. Started out as bit of a bore fest.. But really came alive. Card seem to be following closer, looking forward to a more open race track.

    Should be good. Stunning drive from Bottas, but Ferrari…

  11. Jimmie in LA (@)
    17th March 2019, 6:58

    Have to admit I wasn’t totally on board with the extra point
    But was nice to see the top three all saying they wanted it.

    And with that mid-pack support race, made a 6 into and 8

  12. Alex McFarlane
    17th March 2019, 6:59

    Another solid 6. A bit dull in the opening stages but by the end there was enough going on to keep up the intrigue to the end.

    Pleased for Bottas to get the win after a luckless 2018, and nice to see Honda back on the podium after such a torrid return to F1.

  13. Solid race. Bottas impressed me most. Max overtake of the race. Gasly was tedious and should be worried.

  14. Surprised at some of the higher ratings. Very little position changes, with Bottas dominating and while the midfield stayed remarkably close, the overtaking was very hard and there were very few real attempts.

  15. I give it a 9. Bottas winning after winless 2018 season plus Kvyat’s defense from a Red Bull of Gasly.

  16. 7 for the race. +1 for Bottas.

  17. Oh, that track to open the season and renewed again for the foreseeable future…SMH

    6, can’t give it more. Well done 77

  18. Dutchguy (@justarandomdutchguy)
    17th March 2019, 7:19

    Wasn’t the best on track, but there was tension throughout, and some actual fights. Better than last year, by quite some margin

  19. A 6. Decent but not that special. It’s Australia, so more then this wasn’t to expect. Can’t they find a better circuit over there?

    1. Agree. One of the biggest countries on the planet and we hold the race in a parking lot!

  20. 10 for me!

    And before you object – “10” for Australia is never going to be the same “10” as for Spa or Silverstone. In the ranking for Australia only it was definitely 10.
    Great weather, great driving (no kamikaze moves by anyone!.. Ricciardo tried something strange but spectacularly failed), drama (Hello, blown engine for McLaren! And hello detached wheel on Haas! And of course – Ferrari in a minute behind? WHAT?!)

    Valtteri was perfect – totally deserved the win, Lewis was not perfect, but I really liked his reaction after the race – whatever it was he didn’t give even a hint of disappointment!
    I don’t like Max, but he managed to keep his head cool most of the time and had only one trip through the grass! Growing!

    Apart from Williamns at the back – who would have guessed such a result after winter testing?
    That’s going to be a great season!

    So, apart from this BS with “1 point for fastest lap”, which can be taken just by almost anyone from top 3 teams on a 20-lap tyres, everything was perfect!

    Can’t wait for the next race!

    1. @dallein

      no kamikaze moves by anyone!.. Ricciardo tried something strange but spectacularly failed

      That move up the inside is common but being a St circuit he hit what looks like a drain or a concrete path. But he should have known it was there, I don’t think these blokes do track walks anymore.

      1. They definitely do track walks…

        Just watched replay – definitely some kind of concrete path.

  21. Checking the FIA rules about porridge. Well done Bottas. 6 +1 for the fastest lap, which added interest to the last 10 minutes.

    1. FIA Sporting Regulation Change 19.03.18: All competitors are prohibited from consuming porridge in any form durting the whole duration of event.

  22. Lots of close racing, except for P1 and no easy peasy DRS overtakes. Colder tireblankets makes it more difficult to defend right after pitstops increases the entertainment. The FLAP extra points was interesting, looking forward to races where teams really try to go for it – I think Ferrari failed to deliver pressure on the Mercedes and they failed in not trying to use a free pass to pit Leclerc or both to go for the extra FLAP point. I can understand if Günter Steiner wouldn’t risk it, but why not Ferrari?

  23. 7/10 decent australian GP. Leclerc not allowed to overtake Vettel in race 1 tells a story. Why did he ask in the 1st place and why was it denied by the team?

    Max magnificent overtake on Vettel, some good racing in the midfield, Bottas eager to get the fastest lap, Haas again doing a bad pitstop,…..

    Thank god it has started again

  24. Melchior (@)
    17th March 2019, 8:25

    A solid 6 for probably the only race that i will get to watch and therefore vote on;)
    A shout out to the mobile roadblocks Stroll and Giovinazzi for all those lovely extra moves while defending position.
    ALso well done to Bottas who will get my vote for driver of the day.

  25. Australian GP (the race, not the event) can never be more than a 7 due to the difficulty to overtake.
    But I give it an extra ‘Brawnie’ point as they seem to be able to follow closer without ruining the tyres.

    Also great to see the midfield being closer and fighting amongst themselves.
    It’s going to be a great season.

  26. With the point for fastest lap the thing for me is that while it may add a bit of interest to the end of a race I still don’t think that who gets the fastest lap should contribute towards the championship standings & ultimately help decide the championships.

    At the end of the day the fastest lap is a largely irrelevant statistic which isn’t indicative of who had the best package on the day, Especially when you are going to see drivers pit late in the day for fresh tires which will make who gets it even less relevant & even less deserving of an extra point.

    Whatever artificial spice it may add for a few minutes at the end of a race (Artificial spice we’re likely rarely going to actually see BTW)….. Is this really something we want to see contribute towards & potentially decide who wins the championships?

    I’m not sure it is.

  27. If the gaps between Merc/Ferrari/Redbull are genuine and not just down to the specifics of Albert Park then we are in for a major bore fest at the front.
    Proof yet again that testing results mean absolutely nothing and should never be taken as a guide to form.

  28. gave it a 4. Just not good enough. And not because of the failure of the new regs. That remains to be seen, because, fact is, every race in Albert Park that does not include a safety car or rain is a bore fest

  29. The race was about 6. Bottas’s performance was strong. Verstappen’s overtaking was the move of the day. I think extra point for the fastest lap is a good change. But there was very few overtakings.
    It is too difficult to overtake in this track in Albert Park.
    Aren’t there any better track for F1 in Australia?

  30. Gave it a four… good-ish result for a neutral but processional, very little on-track action, only one overtake of any note after the first lap (Verstappen on Vettel) and tyre strategy having a greater role than anything else. Giovinazzi’s defence was good to watch but DRS trains were not.

  31. I may be undervaluing slightly at 6, but the 1 am start time put a damper on my ability to appreciate what action there was.

  32. A 7 for me…not my favourite track…as not easy to overtake..
    Ferrari obviously “sandbagging” still…so the main threat to the Mercedes looks to be Verstappen…especially when they can start turning their engines up…

  33. I could watch Beardy-Bottas spank Hamilton all year and not get bored. That was an impressive drive by him. Also SUPER happy to see a Honda engined car on the podium. Bottas, Verstappen, Magnussen, Kvyat and Norris impressed, Giovinazzi too for being an awesome roadblock.

  34. Close action, no easy overtakes etc made the race worth watching, despite the Mercedes dominance. It isn’t the number of overtakes which defines a good race. If only Ferrari and RBR can challenge Mercedes often, then it will become a great season.

  35. Good this time compared to the last 2 years.

  36. isaac (@invincibleisaac)
    17th March 2019, 16:19

    Gave it a 6. Not the most exciting race, particularly up front, but lots of of close racing in the mid-field. Happy for Bottas to take a good win and good to see Verstappen looking competitive in the Honda. I’m wondering how Stroll made up more places than Gasly and actually got into the points

  37. I don’t like the AUSGP usually. Really, really stupid not using Brabham straight. Whether crazy or not, the race tends to get boring quickly.
    However, I did like The Dark Wingman’s form though. Deserves a well solid 6.

  38. Plum average. 5/10.

  39. A 4 for me +1 for Bottas =5.

    The “action” was non-existent or processional and there were no actual passes. Even VER passing VET was because tyres were degraded for VET.

    The new regs allowed them to stay closer, but there was no chance of an actual pass. Melbourne always sucks for passing so I’ll wait a few races before passing final judgement. But it looks like Pirelli need to seriously upgrade the tyres if there is to be any real action. And of course…that can’t happen in season. Sigh.

  40. The race could have been a classic but would of been difficult to enjoy with channel 4’s awful production

  41. I voted a 5, it was interesting without ever really getting going. Bottas just drove off and drove brilliantly, everyone else was mostly just in a holding pattern with not too many attempted moves.

    Cars seemed to be able to follow a little better, but it did nothing for actual overtaking, they just seemed to get about half a second closer than they used to and sit there instead, just a little too far back to be able to have a go. Whether that was just the track or not, time will tell. It seems Australia does tend to throw up races like that most years anyway so not fair to say changes haven’t worked.

    The new wider DRS (thankfully) didn’t seem to be as overpowering as feared, but again, that could change at other tracks.

    There was some good old fashioned quality racing, particularly between Norris and Giovinazzi, hard but fair. Also to a certain extent between Kvyat and Gasly. The fact Gasly couldn’t just waltz past him on new tyres 2 stages softer in a faster car showed just how challenging it was as much as how well Kvyat actually drove (lock up aside).

    More questions for the next race than answers.

  42. The joy of having first race is start with an 8. Lost three joy point because all Mercedes front row. Gain one for Valtteri start. Gain another one for a Honda passing a Ferrari. Bonus joy point for Valterri letter ‘To Whom It May Concern’. Its 8.

  43. This is a late post but I am trying to get back in the habit of posting in the rate the race and driver of the weekend articles.

    I thought the season opener in Australia was a bit dull, my initial thought was to rate it a 5 at maximum, there was more action than last year and looking back I rated the 2018 race as 4.5 so I think 5 for 2019 is fair.

    My feelings were probably influenced by the fact that for various reasons I have not felt that excited by the new season.

    This is partly due to Sky now having exclusive rights to broadcast F1 in the UK, Channel 4 only have the British GP live and the rest of the calendar being highlights only but on a more restrictive terms than in previous years.

    I have also been busy in recent months so I have not been able to read up on the all the latest goings on in the sport as much as I would like, most of the time I have only managed to read the headlines rather than the actual articles

    On the subject of headlines, I thought the headline on the BBC Sport article for race report for this race was a bit misleading, it stated “Valtteri Bottas wins Australian GP after Lewis Hamilton overtake” this implies an exciting battle for the lead during the race, technically you could say the headline is true but I always view overtakes at the start different to overtakes on the track during the rest of the race, especially when it just a case of the driver in second getting to the first corner ahead of the pole sitter as it is more of a drag race dependent on who made the best start.

    The race was essentially won at the start by Bottas, and despite Hamilton being quicker all weekend it was Bottas who was fastest in the race, I regularly saw fastest lap messages on the screen for Bottas but I do not recall seeing any for Hamilton, it was subsequently reported that Hamilton had suffered damage to his car so maybe that explains it.

    It seemed that Mercedes pitted Hamilton early to cover Vettel and because both and pitted early it left them vulnerable later on when their tyres were old, Verstappen managed to get passed Vettel but Hamilton seemed to have enough left to keep a gap back to Verstappen.

    Vertstappen passing Vettel is a good sign for Honda going forward, and the midfield seemed to be closer which hopefully means the 2019 rule changes were a step in the right direction, so the signs for the rest of the season are positive.

    I was surprised by Ferrari’s performance in Australia, after pre-season testing while I didn’t think Ferrari would be dominant this season I did think they would be quickest early on, you can’t say it was just a case of Mercedes hiding their pace in testing as Ferrari also finished behind Red Bull in Australia.

    However if we look at last year Mercedes were quickest in Australia and it was only the timing of the safety car that denied Hamilton the win, and in subsequent races Ferrari and Mercedes were much more evenly matched, so what happened in Australia may not be a true reflection of each teams pace.

    I had read that the highlights package Sky had allowed Channel 4 to show was restricted in a few areas compared to their previous package and it showed.

    With the new point for fastest lap I thought if a driver who was in the top ten had a big enough gap then he would pit late on for fresh tyres and try to set the fastest lap, no one seemed to do this and I do not recall the Channel 4 team even saying if any drivers had a big enough gap to attempt this when watching the highlights.

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