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?