Australian Grand Prix – Race

After yesterday’s exciting Qualifying session, the provisional grid looked like this: HAM, RIC, ROS, MAG, ALO, VER, HUL, KVY, MAS, BUT, RAI, VET, SUT, KOB, BOT*, PER, CHI, BIA, ERI, GRO, GUT*, MAL**.
*BOT & GUT each have a 5 grid spot penalty for gearbox change
**MAL did not set a lap time so will need to appeal to be allowed to race.
[You can find driver/team info in an earlier post]

It’s still hard to predict the cars’ relative performance and reliability, but my GridBids picks for this race are: ROS, HAM, ALO, BUT & MAS.

Air temperature 19°C; track 28°C; it’s cloudy but no immediate threat of rain.

GRO will start from the pit lane after some last minute changes.

Radio for RIC – everyone starting on options (soft compound; yellow side wall) except VET and GUT who’ll be on primes (medium)

HAM leads everyone away on the formation lap .. except CHI has a problem getting off the grid
Drive through penalty for car 8 (GRO) – leaving pit garage prior to the 15 minute signal
Radio for VET – loss of boost pressure
CHI has been pushed into the pit lane
HAM slows down the pace to bunch everyone up, so he won’t have to wait too long before the start
Yellow flags near the back of the grid – start aborted
It’s BIA in the other Marussia, so he’ll be pushed into the pit lane with his team mate
Meanwhile HAM leads the rest of the grid round for an additional formation lap
Race distance will be reduced by 1 lap to account for the extra formation lap
Radio from VET asking if it’s normal he has no boost; engineer says yes – “no K” presumably means no kinetic energy has been stored

01/57: Clean start
ROS blasts past his teammate to take P1
2 cars off in Turn 1 – KOB & MAS
MAG past HAM for P3
HUL past ALO for P5
Radio from VET – “still no K”

02: ROS, RIC, MAG, HAM, HUL, ALO, VER, RAI, KVY, BOT
Radio for HAM – “we need to retire”; “save the engine”
PER pits – puncture
HUL past HAM for P4
Radio for HAM telling him to stay out

03: RAI past VER for P7
BOT inside KVY for P9

04: HAM into the pits; switch off the Mercedes and push him into the garage

05/57: ROS, RIC, MAG, JUL, ALO, RAI, VER, BOT, KVY, BUT; SUT, ERI, MAL, CHI, GRO, VET
VET pits; he’s pushed into the garage too
Replay of the start shows KOB lock up and take out MAS

07: RAI defending P6 from BOT

08: Incident involving cars 10 (KOB) and 19 (MAS) will be investigated after the race – causing a collision
BOT inside RAI, holds the line and takes P6

10/57: ROS, RIC, MAG, HUL, ALO, BOT,

11: BOT loses his rear right tyre carcass; limping back to the pits
Replay shows he tapped the wall
BOT’s wheel rim is on track too

12: Safety Car deployed so the marshals can remove BOT’s rim
BUT first to pit but most will take this opportunity to stop
SC waiting for ROS to come around … but he’s heading for the pits

13[SC]: ROS pits; SC still waiting to pick up the leader
SC leads ROS et al around
Marshals clear the debris

15/57[SC]: ROS, RIC, MAG, HUL, ALO, BUT, VER, RAI, SUT, KVY; MAL, GRO, ERI, BOT, PER, GUT, CHI, BIA; retirements: VET, HAM, MAS, KOB
SC in at the end of this lap

16: Green flag for the restart

18: BOT takes P11 from MAL

19: Radio for RIC – do not need to save fuel

20/57: ROS, RIC, MAG, HUL, ALO, BUT, VER, RAI, KVY, BOT
Radio from HUL saying he’s seeing graining; engineer says it will clean up

21: BBC interview HAM; he says there were engine problems right from the formation lap

22: ROS told to go 0.3sec/lap slower to conserve fuel
Big lockup from HUL – could actually hear the tyre squeal!
Radio for MAG saying he’s doing great job so far

23: BBC interviewed Christian Horner who said anything beyond lap 22 is unknown territory for Red Bull
GRO takes P13 from teammate MAL

24: RAI closing on VER for P7, and BOT lining up KVY for P9

25/57: ROS, RIC, MAG, HUL, ALO, BUT, VER, RAI, KVY, BOT
BOT uses DRS to easily pass KVY for P9

27: Radio from ROS describing graining on front tyres
BOT now closing on RAI

29: just over half distance
Radio for ERI to park his Caterham – “stop the car”, “engine oil”

30/57: ROS, RIC, MAG, HUL, ALO, BUT, VER, RAI, BOT, KVY; retirements: ERI, VET, HAM, MAS, KOB

31: MAL has pulled off and parked his Lotus

32: HUL holding ALO at bay; not having to defend P4 too hard

33: BUT pits from P6; switch to primes; rejoins P10
PER pits too

34: HUL pits, followed by VER; rejoin P9 & 10 respectively

35/57: ROS, RIC, MAG, ALO, RAI, BOT, BUT,
RAI locks up in Turn 9 and BOT steals P5

36: ALO pits; rejoins just ahead of HUL
ALO defends as HUL tries to go round the outside

37: RIC pits from P2, followed by BOT and RAI

38: MAG pits having been in P2 for just one lap

39: ROS pits from P1; clean stop; rejoins still P1

40/57: ROS, RIC, MAG, BUT, ALO, HUL, VER, BOT, RAI, KVY

41: KVY catching RAI – KVY is on options but RAI on primes so KVY has a big advantage
Looking a bit overcast

42: MAG closing on RIC; using DRS to attack for P2

44: Radio for ALO – “no threat from behind”, discounting HUL closing on him

45/57: BOT has VER in his sights
GRO has pulled off and parked – that’s both Lotus cars out

46: Radio from BUT asking about others having to save fuel; “don’t think so” but no-one has any real data yet
Radio for MAG – “protect rear tyres”, “might be racing Jenson at the end of the race”

47: Big slide for VER coming out of the final turn! BOT steals P7 as VER recovers
Replay shows VER put a wheel on the grass under braking

48: Radio for HUL warning him that BOT is closing on him

49: Radio for BUT – RIC is struggling

50/57: ROS, RIC, MAG, BUT, ALO, HUL, BOT, VER, RAI, KVY
RIC posts personal best time, so maybe his issue has cleared
BOT has a look at HUL but backs out

51: MAG all over the rear of RIC
Radio for MAG reminding him to use the overtake button

52: BOT takes P6 from HUL

53 = 5 laps left: Radio for RIC – “doing a good job”, “fuel is good”
Radio for MAG – “yellow G6”, probably harvesting extra energy ready for a final push

4 left: 14 cars still running – ROS, RIC, MAG, BUT, ALO, BOT, HUL, VER, RAI, KVY, PER, SUT (+1 lap), GUT, CHI (+2)
Radio for RIC telling him to keep up the pace and pull away from MAG while the McLaren is saving fuel

3 left: VER locks up; RAI steals P8
Radio for MAG – “yellow G3”

2 left: ROS has a big lead (~24secs); MAG closing on RIC

Final lap: MAG not going to be close enough to attack RIC

ROS takes the chequered flag for Mercedes; that’s the 100th win for a Mercedes engine
Huge cheer as RIC takes P2 – his first podium
(Webber never stood on the podium of his home GP)
MAG P3 – podium in his debut race – first Dane ever to take a podium position
BOT (P6) just scored more points than Williams did in the whole of the previous season!

Provisional result: ROS, RIC, MAG, BUT, ALO, BOT, HUL, RAI, VER, KVY; PER, SUT, GUT, CHI
DNF: BIA, GRO, MAL, ERI, VET, HAM, MAS, KOB

3 Replies to “Australian Grand Prix – Race”

  1. Good news for KOB:
    “Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi has been cleared of any blame over his first-lap clash with Williams’ Felipe Massa in Australia in Sunday.” [source: FIA]

    But terrible news for RIC:
    “Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo has lost his second-place finish in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix after stewards decided his car had run with too high a fuel flow rate during the race.” [source: FIA]

    According to the stewards’ report, Red Bull used a different fuel sensor on Saturday after they found the one used on Friday had produced unreliable readings. However, when the sensor used on Saturday failed to provide results that were satisfactory to them or the FIA, they were instructed to change back to the original sensor within parc ferme on Saturday night.

    Considering this sensor unreliable, Red Bull chose to rely on their own internal fuel flow model, something that the stewards say is in violation of the procedure outlined in the technical regulations.

    Furthermore, Red Bull were warned by the FIA’s technical representative during the race that the fuel flow on Ricciardo’s car was too high. The team were given the opportunity to correct this, but according to the stewards’ report, they chose not to make any changes.

    Tweet from Jennie Gow (BBC reporter): “Just spoken to Christian Horner… seems like it could be about a month until we know the results of the RIC appeal.”

    This means the revised points positions are: ROS, MAG, BUT, ALO, BOT, HUL, RAI, VER, KVY, PER.

    My GridBids picks were ROS (P1), HAM (DNF), ALO (P4), BUT (P3) & MAS (DNF).

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