You could see the Ferrari resurgence as soon as David Croft said “Lights out and away we go!”.
Photo credit : motorsport.com
Seb Vettel stuck to the back of Hamilton’s Mercedes from the get go unlike earlier seasons where Hamilton and Rosberg would’ve vanished into the distance leaving the Ferraris behind. Sebastian kept himself within DRS range even after 16 laps!
Hamilton’s ultra soft tires seemed to degrade a lot earlier than Vettel’s as he dove into the pits on lap 17 for soft tires handing the lead over to Seb who went a lot longer on his set of ultrasofts very comfortably.
Unluckily for Hamilton, he came out of the pits behind Max Verstappen. Yeah, you know you’re in trouble when that happens.
Ferrari’s plan to keep Vettel out and not react to Mercedes paid off as Lewis lost a lot of time stuck behind Verstappen and as a result, Vettel jumped Hamilton in the pit stop and came out to take effective lead of the Australian grand prix.
There was no catching Sebastian Vettel after that as he built up a 10 second lead over Hamilton who in turn was struggling having to keep his teammate Bottas behind him. And that’s how it ended. Vettel took the win with the two Mercedes cars making up the rest of the podium.
Photo credit : Formula 1
Kimi seemed well off the pace with Max Verstappen doing his best to hold on the back of Kimi as they finished P4 and P5 respectively.
After yesterday’s crash in qualifying, local hero Daniel Ricciardo had an electrical issue with his car which meant he couldn’t even get on the grid and started the race two laps late. Subsequently, the issues came back to haunt him midway through the race and he had to call it quits.
Elsewhere, it was a crying shame for the Haas F1 team and especially Romain Grosjean as both cars retired. More issues ensued as Palmer, Ericsson, and the rookie Stroll had to retire their cars too.
On the bright side, Esteban Ocon came home in P10 to take his first ever point in F1 and it turned out to be a very impressive debut by Antonio Giovinazzi who finished P12 in the Sauber.
These were the positives..
- Obviously, the Ferrari resurgence. Their pace is true, no more sandbagging, no more tricks, this is the Ferrari race pace. They just beat Mercedes comfortably.
- Incredible win for Seb Vettel with the Scuderia. You could see how happy he was after all that disappointment from previous years. More than that, just the sheer relief after all of those months of development and hard work to have a car that can finally compete the way it did. Fantastic.
- First point for Esteban Ocon in F1 – that’s always special. He had to fight Alonso for it aggressively as well. So, well done.
- P12 on debut for Giovinazzi. The application shown by the Italian youngster was great to see. Having been shoved into the car as late as Saturday morning without any notice, that was a special performance from Gio.
- McLaren didn’t fully breakdown? I mean, they did have to nurse problems along the way but did we expect either of the McLarens to finish 10 laps? No. Which is why this is in the positives.
These were the negatives..
- Dreadful weekend for Daniel Ricciardo. Never seems to go right for him on home turf. Poor guy had his podium taken away last year, and now this.
- Haas F1 really deserved more this weekend. Especially Romain having put it in P6 yesterday, having to retire with an engine problem like that must’ve been painful.
The race was boring. Let’s face it. Not many people will talk about this because Ferrari and Vettel have grabbed the headlines, and that’s fair enough. But there was no tyre deg, there were no overtakes, nothing.
I’ll address this in another article very soon, but for now I’m just happy Mercedes aren’t running away. Far from it.
(Feature image courtesy : motorsport.com)
Let me know what you thought of the race in the comments below!
– Aditya Bhat.