Australian Grand Prix – Race

As I said in my Qualifying notes, the provisional grid is: SV, LH, MW, JB, FA, VP, NR, FM, KK, SB, MS, JA, SP, PR, PM, AS, RB, NH, HK, JT, TG, JD, VL*, NK* (*Outside the 107% time = Did Not Qualify)

Formation lap: The top 10 drivers are starting on the same tyres on which they set their best qualifying time, as per previous years. Most of the other cars are on the soft (options) too.

The grid forms up and we’re ready for the first race of 2011…

01/58: MW beats LH off the line but LH re-takes P1 into Turn 1
VP up to P4!
Williams in the gravel
FM holding off JB
No use of DRS until lap 3

02: SV, LH, MW, VP, FM, JB, NR, KK
JA in the pits … as is MS
MS has lost his rear right tyre – wheel’s still there but tyre is gone

03: SV fastest lap 1:33.006 and has a 3.2sec lead over LH
Race control: DRS enabled
JB still attacking FM – will KERS and DRS help him pass the Ferrari?

04: SV f/lap 1:32.713

05/58: LH f/lap 1:32.582
JB still attacking but FM is making the Ferrari very wide

06: SV f/lap 1:32.342
Almost contact between FM and JB
MS is still down in P22

07: Pit-car for FM telling him to push the brake balance backwards because the brakes are too hot
Yellow flags … clear again

08: FA is catching up to the FM/JB battle

09: First pit stops are expected in the next lap or two
LH f/lap 1:32.310
Pit-car radio from MW says the rear tyres are starting to go off

10/58: SV, LH, MW, VP, FM, JB, FA, NR
JB almost alongside FM but he’s on the outside so FM just keeps him out wide
SV also reports his tyres are going off

11: PM has pulled off the track at Turn 9
JB had to use the “escape road” which means he’s got to let FM pass
FA going to pass FM so JB will have to let both Ferraris past?

12: MW first to pit – hard tyres

13: FA pits – soft tyres – stopped for 3.7 secs
Pit-car from JB – he thinks he was ahead of FM going into the corner
Incident involving cars 4 and 6 under investigation by the stewards – that’s JB & FM

14: FM pits – BBC say that means JB will get a drive through because he can’t now let FM pass him

15/58: SV pits – 3.4s stop
Drive through penalty for car 4 (JB) – well played by Ferrari

16: LH stays out at the head of the field
FA f/lap 1:31.904

17: LH pits – soft tyres – 4.2sec stop
SV f/lap 1:31.548
HK locks up and cuts across the gravel and grass

18: JB serves his drive through penalty
SV f/lap 1:30.800
Yet to pit: JB, SP & TG

19: JB pits for real this time
White flags for the slow-moving TG

20/58: SV, LH, MW, VP, FA, FM, SP, NR; retirements: PM

21: TG has made it back to the pits

22: HK has parked the Lotus on the grass
MS pits again – that’s the 3rd stop – he’s driven straight into the garage and retired

23: RB steams down the inside of NR and there’s contact; RB spins

24: Damage to NR’s Mercedes … and he pulls off the track to retire

25/58: RB pits for a new nose + front wing

26: JB uses DRS to pass KK for P7
Incident between RB & NR is under investigation – that was 100% RB’s fault if you ask me

27: MW pits for 2nd time

28: FA pits – soft tyres – slow stop – yup, 5.4sec

29: Drive through penalty for car 11 (RB) for causing the accident with NR

30/58: SV, LH, VP, FM, MW, FA, JB, KK; retirements: PM, MS, HK, TG, NR
RB serves his drive-through penalty
FA f/lap 1:30.097

32: Looks like just MW & FA are 3-stopping
FA f/lap 1:30.081
FM pit stop #2

33: LH runs wide – David Coulthard spots that the McLaren’s undertray was damaged before he went off

34: KK pits
Lots of sparks off LH’s undertray – I doubt he’ll be able to finish the race like this, but if he did would the car still be legal?

36: Pit-car for SV asking about grip

37: SV pits from P1 – McLaren team getting ready so he has to turn hard around them
LH pits, as does VP and JA
Pit-car for LH tells him there’s 21 laps left and they don’t want a pit stop

38: JB pits – looked good – 3.8s stop

39: SV about to lap PR

40/58: SV, LH, MW, FA, VP, FM, JB, SP; retirements: PM, MS, HK, TG, NR
SP f/lap 1:29.962

41: FA right on MW’s tail

42: MW pits from P3 – that’ll let FA put out a gap – slow stop – 7.4s
MW runs wide in Turn 3 on the new tyres

43: Pit-car for SP telling him to “try to get Button”, in case the driver hadn’t thought of that 🙂
FA pits from P4 – rejoins well ahead of MW

44: MW really on a charge – purple (fastest) Sector 1 and Sector 2
MW f/lap 1:29.686

45/58: SV, LH, VP, FA, MW, FM, JB, SP; retirements: PM, MS, HK, TG, NR
Pit-car for FA reminding him to use KERS

46: FA f/lap 1:29.608

48: MW harrying FA
JB closing on FM; uses DRS and passes the Ferrari for P6

49: FA f/lap 1:29.597
FM pits from P7, handing the spot to new boy SP
Somehow SP has only done 1 pit stop – how are his tyres still finding grip?

50/58: SV, LH, VP, FA, MW, JB, SP, KK; retirements: PM, MS, HK, TG, NR
FA f/lap 1:29.487

51: Pit-car for LH asking him to look after the car because it’s damaged (i.e. the undertray)

52: FM f/lap 1:29.451
RB pits and retires the Williams

53: FM takes a look at SB for P9 but the Toro Rosso driver isn’t going to let him past without a fight

54: FM all over SB’s gearbox – SV is closing in on the battle to lap them

55/58: FM passes SB with the aid of DRS
SV, LH, VP, FA, MW, JB, SP, KK; retirements: PM, MS, HK, TG, NR, RB

57: FM f/lap 1:28.947

58/58 = final lap: SV crosses the line and takes the flag
LH brings the McLaren home in P2 … but how will the car fair in scrutineering
VP finishes P3 in the Renault
FA P4
MW crosses the line then parks the Red Bull at the pit exit
P6=JB, 7=SP, 8=KK, 9=FM, 10=SB
P11=AS, 12=PR, 13=JA, 14=NH, 15=JT, 16=JD

Provisional result: SV, LH (pending scrutineering), VP, FA, MW, JB, SP, KK, FM, SB, AS, PR, JA, NH, JT, JD;
retirements: TG, RB, NR, HK, MS, PM

Post-race interviews:
SV: “Obviously it was a good race”; not an easy race; lot of things to learn today; smooth race
LH: we can be very proud of ourselves; longest the car’s ever lasted; great achievement; the plank and part of the floor is massively damaged
VP: very happy to be here; team did everything perfectly
SV: very good race today; long year – anything can happen

Next race = Malaysia in 2 weeks (April 08-10).

One Reply to “Australian Grand Prix – Race”

  1. The good news for McLaren and Lewis Hamilton is that his car passed post-race scrutineering, however the two Saubers fell foul of technical rules 3.10.1 and 3.10.2 in relation to their rear wings. The team plan to appeal the decision but right now that means Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi will not be classified as P7 and P8 respectively. […] The ruling means Ferrari’s Felipe Massa moves up to seventh, Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi to eighth, Force India’s Adrian Sutil to ninth and team mate Paul di Resta to tenth, the Scot thus scoring on his F1 debut. [source: FIA]

    Revised result: SV, LH, VP, FA, MW, JB, FM, SB, AS, PD.

Comments are closed.