Australian Grand Prix – Race

[My notes from Qualifying] [Drivers and races]

Provisional grid: LH, JB, RG, MS, MW, SV, NR, PM, NH, DR, JV, FA, KK, BS, PRe, FM, SP, KR, HK, VP, TG, CP, PRo*, 24=NK* (*assuming PRo & NK are allowed to race).

PRo and NK were not allowed to take part in the race after failing to meet the 107% time
JV, VP and SP are starting on the prime (medium; white band) tyre; everyone else is on the option (soft compound; yellow band)
SP is starting from the back of the grid (P22) following a 5 grid-spot penalty for a gearbox change

LH leads everyone away on the formation lap
Long hold as they wait for the rear of the grid to form up

01/58: JB takes P1 into Turn 1
Coming together in the midfield
FA attacking PM for P7
Radio from MW reporting he has damage

02: JB, LH, MS, NR, SV, RG, PM, FA, MW, FM
BS & NH in the pits
SV forces his way past NR for P4
NH parks off track
PM hits RG and breaks the front suspension – RG out

03: JB, LH, MS, SV, NR, FA, PM
Great replay of the first lap
Replay of PM passing RG – looks like RG was at fault

04: JB fastest lap 1:33.131

05/58: JB, LH, MS, SV, NR, NR, FA, PM, MW, FM, SP; retirements: RG, NH
JB f/lap 1:32.984
PM off across the gravel; recovers but he’s lost a place to MW

06: SV runs wide in Turn 1 – that’ll give NR a chance to attack

07: FA putting pressure on NR, with MW closing on the Ferrari

09: SV picking up his pace and closing on MS

10/58: JB, LH, MS, SV, NR, FA, MW, PM, FM, SP

11: MS runs wide in Turn 1 and seems to be limping; SV steals P3

12: Radio from MS – gearbox (3rd gear) problem?
FM pits – very slow approach to the box – option tyres
MS pits too … and retires the Mercedes

13: NR pits in the other Mercedes – options

14: FA pits – prime tyres
KK slow – holding up KR
KK pits

15/58: JB, LH, SV, MW pits, PM, KR, SP, JV, FA, NR; retirements: MS, RG, NH
MW takes prime tyres

16: KK f/lap 1:32.895

17: JB pits, followed by SV
JB primes; SV options
MW f/lap 1:32.355

18: LH pits; options; rejoins ahead of KR
MW f/lap 1:32.262

19: FA battling with JV for P6
KR & SP pass LH – didn’t see how 🙁

20/58: KR pits, as does JV
JB, SP, LH, SV, FA, NR, MW, PM, KR, FM

21: LH passes SP to re-take P2
SV tries to use the 2nd DRS zone to attack SP but can’t make it stick
SV has another go and takes P3

22: LH now 11.4 secs behind his teammate
SP holding off FA

23: SP now the only one yet to pit
FA finally makes it past SP for P4

24: JV f/lap 1:31.978
Radio from JB says he’s picking up vibrations “not from locking”

25/58: JB, LH, SV, FA, NR, MW, PM, FM, KK, KR; retirements: MS, RG, NH
LH f/lap 1:31.740
KR takes P9 from KK

26: SP pits at last; option tyres

27: LH f/lap 1:31.593 – closed the gap to his teammate to under 10secs

28: MW right on the tail of NR

29/58 = half distance: FM pits – primes

30/58: JB, LH SV, FA, NR, MW, PM, KR, KK, PRe
PM has closed up to the NR/MW battle
Radio from KR asking why he’s seeing blue flags – answer is they’re for the car behind him 🙂

31: PM attacks MW but holds off

31:JB f/lap 1:31.565
JV off across the gravel – manages to dig himself out and continue
MW attacks but NR cuts the corner – he’ll have to yield … but pits instead – smart move or penalty?

33: MW f/lap 1:31.098
Radio from LH says rear tyres “dropping off fast”

34: DR closing on BS for P16

35/58: FA pits – primes – that could (in theory) be his last stop

36: SV slowly closing in on LH

37: JB pits … followed by LH! McLaren pit crew deal with them calmly
VP parks his Lotus on the main straight – he’s still on track, so expect the Safety Car
Safety Car deployed
SV pits – that’s lucky timing for them but sucks for the McLarens

38[SC]: SC slows to walking pace as it catches up to a tow truck – get the truck off track and let the SC past!
Someone (??) locks up as they nearly rear-end another car thanks to the SC going so slowly – race control should be screaming at the tow truck to get out the way!
Live timing data shows SV in P2 – that’s not right 🙁

39[SC]: JB, SV, LH, MW, FA, PM, SP, NR, KR, KK
Pit-car radio for MW reminds him after the restart there’s 2 laps without DRS enabled, which will be “a good opportunity”!?

40/58[SC]: Lapped cars may now overtake – that’s HK, TG & CP
HK pits – that’s odd timing

41[SC]: Radio for SV says he can use more fuel (i.e. turn up his max pace) … or is that a hoax to make the McLarens worry?
HK is pushed into the garage and retirement
Lights off on the SC – in at the end at this lap

42: Green flags = restart
LH takes a look at SV
KK takes P9 from KR into Turn 3

43: PM closing on FA

44: JB f/lap 1:30.567
JB has opened a 3.4sec gap over SV
Radio from KR says KK’s rear wing is broken

45/58: JB, SV, LH, MW, FA, PM, SP, NR, KK, KR; retirements: HK, VP, MS, RG, NH
JB f/lap 1:30.232
On-board camera view of KK’s wing shows it’s an upright – will the stewards call him in?

46: JB f/lap 1:30.220

47: JB f/lap 1:30.014
LH f/lap 1:29.865
BS and FM locked together
BS has broken his front suspension?

48: JB f/lap 1:29.828
BS & FM both in the pits
BS takes new tyres and goes out again; FM pushed into the garage

49: Incident involving cars 6 & 19 (FM & BS) will be investigated after the race

50/58: JB, SV, LH, MW, FA, PM, SP, NR, KK, KR; retirements: FM, HK, VP, MS, RG, NH

51: MW f/lap 1:29.810
MW closing on LH, who in turn is hard on the heels of SV

52: SV posts a personal fastest lap

53: SV f/lap 1:29.690
SV still 3.2sec behind JB; LH 1.1sec behind the Red Bull
KK attacks NR; passes the Mercedes but NR takes P8 back

54: SV f/lap 1:29.587
SV closing very slowly on JB but he won’t get close enough to attack for P1

55/58: JB, SV, LH, MW, FA, PM, SP, NR, KK, KR
BS pits again – into the garage

56: JB opens his lead a fraction

57: JB f/lap 1:29.187
PM still sitting under the rear wing of FA – will he attack in the last lap and a half?
CP makes his 4th pit stop

58/58 = fnal lap: SV, LH & MW all post personal fastest laps
DR looks like he’s going to make a move on his teammate JV
PM touches the grass and slams into the wall!

JB takes the chequered flag! 🙂
NR sneaks past SP
4-car battle over the line – DR takes P9 on his home race!

Provisional result: JB, SV, LH, MW, FA, KK, KR, SP, DR, PRe; JV, NR, PM, TG, CP, BS, FM, HK, VP, MS, RG, NH.

SV tells Charlie Whiting he saw someone with a yellow flag running on the track!
Bit of a lacklustre celebration from LH – disappointed at not getting P2?

3 Replies to “Australian Grand Prix – Race”

  1. Post-race update from FIA site:

    Caterham’s Heikki Kovalainen will drop five places on the grid for next weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix after falling foul of the stewards during Sunday’s race in Melbourne.

    Kovalainen, who retired on lap 39 at Albert Park with suspension issues, was handed the penalty for overtaking cars whilst under safety-car conditions.

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