Australian Grand Prix – Race

The two-part Qualifying session led to this provisional grid: VET, WEB, HAM, MAS, ALO, ROS, RAI, GRO, DIR, BUT, HUL, SUT, VER, RIC, PER, BOT, MAL, GUT, BIA, CHI, VDG, PIC.

It’s dry in Melbourne but the rain has washed away any rubber that had been put down in Practice, so the track will get faster and faster.

Air temperature 18°C; track 23°C; wind 6m/s

HUL will not be starting – there’s a fuel system problem

The front 10 runners will start on the same super-soft tyres on which they qualified; it looks like most of the rest of the grid are on super-soft too, with just SUT, RIC, PER and MAL on the medium compound tyres.

VET leads everyone away on the formation lap
Radio for HAM warning of a threat of rain
Radio for WEB – they expect it to stay dry
BBC report that VET has been told the team have no telemetry!
VET takes up his spot as P1
Grid forms up

01/58: MAS makes a great start
VET leads in to Turn 1
MAS in P2
HAM and ALO fighting over P3 – ALO takes it
ALO tries to pass his team mate but MAS stays P2
RAI around the outside of HAM

02: VET, MAS, ALO, HAM, RAI, ROS, WEB, DIR, BUT, SUT
RAI has another look at HAM … and eventually makes it stick

03: DRS now enabled
MAS fastest lap 1:32.853

04: Replay of the start shows a slow start from WEB but otherwise a clean start for everyone

05/58: VET, MAS, ALO, RAI, HAM, ROS, WEB, DIR, SUT, PER
BUT pits – switches to medium (prime) tyres

06: WEB pits – primes – slow front right change
GRO and GUT pit too

07: BOT pits, as does CHI

08: VET pits from P1 – primes

10/58: HAM, ROS, SUT, VET, PER, MAS, ALO, RAI, RIC, BUT; retirements: just HUL who didn’t start
Only the two Mercedes drivers still on super-soft (option) tyres; the 4 who started on primes yet to pit too

11: MAS past PER for P5

12: ALO past PER too
RAI relegates the McLaren too

14: HAM pits from P1 – primes – rejoins

15/58: ROS pits from P1
SUT*, VET, MAS, ALO, RAI, PER*, HAM, RIC*, ROS, BUT (*yet to pit)

17: Radio from HAM asking about his pace; good enough

18: The primes were only expected to last about 18 laps and SUT is yet to change his

19: WEB pits – 2nd stop – another set of primes

20/58: SUT, VET, MAS, ALO, RAI, HAM, ROS, BUT, DIR, GRO
GRO pits

21: ALO pits, followed by CHI
VET sliding the tail
BUT pits
Radio for SUT telling him to pit at the end of this lap

22: SUT pits followed by VET; SUT leads out of the pit lane but he’s now behind ALO
Radio from MAS asking what to do – told to go for it now he’s in clean air

23: VET dives down the inside of SUT and takes P6
WEB passes PER

24: MAS pits

25/58: RAI, HAM, ROS, ALO, VET, SUT, MAS, DIR, VER, WEB (BUT down in P13)
MAL off at Turn 1 – beached

27: ROS pulling off track, parking the Mercedes

28: Radio for WEB – might be some light rain, in turns 14+15

29 = half-distance: Spots of rain on the on-board cameras
MAS takes a look at SUT but backs off – slippery in the braking zone?

30/58: RAI, HAM, ALO, VET, SUT, MAS, DIR, WEB, RIC, BUT; retirements: ROS, MAL, HUL
Radio for HAM urging him to push; replies that it’s all they’ve got at the moment

31: ALO attacking HAM but the Mercedes stays ahead
Radio from HAM asking if ALO is 3-stopping; yes but told to keep ALO behind
ALO keeps harrying HAM
HAM locks up his front left
ALO takes P2

32: HAM pits – rejoins P7

33: PIC swarmed by the front runners

34: RIC fastest lap 1:31.330 on options
ALO f/lap 1:30.836

35/58: RAI, ALO, VET, SUT, MAS, HAM, WEB, BUT, GRO, VER
RAI pits from P1; had a 15sec lead; rejoins P5
ALO f/lap 1:30.375

37: MAS pits

38: VET pits – rejoins behind HAM
BUT and GRO pit

39: still a few rain drops on the lens
MAS f/lap 1:30.239
WEB pits – rejoins P9

40/58: ALO pits from P1
SUT, RAI, ALO, HAM, VET, MAS, VER, DIR, WEB, PER; retirements: ROS, MAL, HUL
ALO uses DRS to pass HAM
MAS attacking HAM
Radio for BUT – more light rain

41: MAS easily past HAM

42: RIC pits; pushed into the garage – that’s a shame given it’s his home Grand Prix
Radio for HAM – “plan B”
WEB lining up DIR; makes a move and takes P8

43: HAM pits; rejoins P6
RAI easily past SUT to take P1 – SUT’s tyres are 22 laps old

44: ALO f/lap 1:29.649
WEB takes P7 from VER

45/58: RAI, SUT, ALO, VET, MAS, HAM, WEB, VER, DIR, BUT; retirements: RIC, ROS, MAL, HUL
VER pits

46: ALO uses DRS to ease past SUT for P2

47: CHI looking to pass VDG as ALO closes up on them
SUT pits; rejoins P5

48: RAI opening a healthy lead over ALO; 7.8secs

50/58: RAI, ALO, VET, MAS, SUT, HAM, WEB, DIR, BUT, GRO; retirements: RIC, ROS, MAL, HUL

51: HAM all over the rear of SUT
WEB closing on HAM

52: HAM down the inside of SUT to take P5
WEB and SUT side by side but the Red Bull takes P6

53: RAI has a 7.2sec lead over ALO, who in turn has VET 9.3sec behind
SUT is struggling with the option tyres; his teammate was 16sec behind but is lapping 4.5sec/lap faster

54: BUT holding off GRO

55/58: RAI, ALO, VET, MAS, HAM, WEB, SUT, DIR, BUT, GRO; retirements: RIC, ROS, MAL, HUL
ALO slowly closing on RAI but it’s not going to be enough
DIR under 5sec behind his Force India teammate

56: ALO almost rear-ends PIC in the penultimate turn
VER was on the tail of GRO but now PER is between them – what happened?

57: RAI f/lap 1:29.274 – his lead over ALO now over 10secs
DIR close enough to try making a move on SUT, assuming there’s no team orders

58/58 = final lap: RAI continues to open the gap to ALO
Looks like DIR is holding behind SUT

RAI takes the chequered flag; his 2nd victory in Melbourne
ALO over the line for P2
P3=VET; 4=MAS; 5=HAM

Provisional result: RAI, ALO, VET, MAS, HAM, WEB, SUT, DIR, BUT, GRO; PER, VER, GUT, BOT, BIA, PIC, CHI, VDG
DNF: RIC, ROS, MAL, HUL.

P9 for BUT means he’s now got 1001 points in his F1 career.

Why did VET park behind RAI rather than in the P3 slot? Is he so used to parking in P1 he just aimed for the middle spot?

Was the “drivers, please mind your language” warning because Kimi’s about to be interviewed? 🙂
Wow, he’s actually quite chatty!
That’s a lot of air time for Alonso – move along Martin
I guess someone’s asked all the drivers to talk a whole lot more than usual
Well done Kimi – not a single swear word! :p

One Reply to “Australian Grand Prix – Race”

Comments are closed.