Grand Prix of Australia – Race

As expected, BOT has a penalty following his crash in Qualifying – his team needed to replace the gearbox, so he gets a 5-place grid penalty. This drops him to P15, behind OCO.

Revised grid: HAM, RAI, VET, VER, MAG, GRO, HUL, RIC, SAI, ALO, VAN, PER, STR, OCO, BOT, HAR, ERI, LEC, SIR, GAS

VET’s historic car broke down on the drivers’ parade lap – is that a sign of how things will go for him in the race? 🙂

Don’t forget Red Bull have their two cars on supersofts and so they’re expected to pit later than the rest of the top 10

Air temperature 23°C; 38°C; humidity 37%; wind 8.8km/h

HAM leads everyone away on the formation lap
He’s set off quite quickly – he’ll need to slow up or he’ll be sitting waiting on the grid

01/58: Looks like a clean start – everyone’s off the grid
HAM holds on to P1 through the first few turns
RIC passes SAI to reclaim P8

02: HAM, RAI, VET, MAG, VER, GRO, HUL, RIC, SAI, ALO
HAR pits; switches to soft tyres
Radio for VER telling him “we don’t have time for this” – pass MAG quickly

03: DRS enabled

04: VER right on MAG’s tail

05/58: HAM, RAI, VET, MAG, VER, GRO, HUL, RIC, SAI, ALO, VAN, PER, OCO, BOT, STR, ERI, GAS, LEC, SIR, HAR
RIC dives inside HUL under braking; takes P7

06: Radio from VER asking for more power; given the ok
SIR is out, parked in a run-off area; radio discussion sounds like the brake failed
Double yellow flags to protect the car

08: ERI has parked in the garage

09: Radio for VER recommending he save his battery power for the one spot he thinks he can pass MAG
BOT finally finds a way past OCO to move up to P13

10/58: VER spins in Turn 1; recovers but he’s dropped to P8

11: Radio for VER – “make sure you’re sensible now”

12: Radio for RAI – “time to close” (on HAM)

14: BOT now within DRS range (1sec) of PER

15/58: HAM, RAI, VET, MAG, GRO, RIC, HUL, VER, SAI, ALO; retirements: ERI, SIR

16: RIC all over the rear of GRO

17: Radio from VER complaining of oversteer
Radio for HAM – fuel is good, so pick up the pace

19: RAI is first of the front-runners to pit; softs going on; rejoins P3
Radio for HAM – “box box, box box”

20/58: HAM pits; softs; rejoins clearly ahead of RAI

21: VET stays out

22: VER pits; goes from supersofts to softs
PER leaves the door open, BOT almost gets alongside but PER hangs on to P11

23: SAI locks up, runs wide; ALO takes the place
MAG going very slowly after his pit stop

24: Radio from MAG – suspension failure
Replay of his pit stop shows the rear-right wheel wasn’t on properly

25/58: VET, HAM, RAI, GRO, RIC, HUL, ALO, VAN, PER, BOT

26: GRO pits; another problem but he’s released despite the mechanics waving to show they’re not ready!
TSN showing adverts so it’s hard to see what’s happening 🙁
GRO stops at the side of the track – that’s both Haas cars out
Virtual Safety Car

27: [VSC] BOT pits; supersofts going on

28: [VSC] VET pits; rejoins ahead of HAM because the VSC speed limit is lower than the pit lane limit! That seems wrong!
RIC pits; rejoins P4 ahead of VER
Safety Car deployed

30: [SC] VET, HAM, RAI, RIC, ALO, VER, HUL, VAN, BOT, SAI, PER, OCO, STR, LEC, HAR; retirements: GRO, MAG, GAS, ERI, SIR
VER waving at ALO, telling him to pass and reclaim the place that VER took as the VSC kicked in

31 [SC]: SC in at the end of this lap
Everyone is closed up behind VET

32: VER dives inside HUL for P6

33: Race Control announce they’ll investigate both Haas stop for unsafe release after the race

35/58: VET, HAM, RAI, RIC, ALO, VER, HUL, BOT, VAN, SAI, PER, OCO, LEC, STR, HAR

37: HAM moving off line to find cooler air rather than the turbulence coming off VET’s car

38: RIC all over the tail of RAI

40/58: VET, HAM, RAI, RIC, ALO, VER, HUL, BOT, VAN, SAI
Is that a little smoke from VET’s exhaust?

42: HAM sets a new fastest lap 1:26.843 – that’s the first time that info has come up in this race

43: RIC had backed off but he’s tucked up under RAI’s wing again

44: ALO leading a train of VER, HUL and BOT

46: VET f/lap 1:26.785
Radio from HAM – “Can I push yet?” (waits maybe 1 second) “I’m gonna go for it”

47: HAM locks a wheel, loses time behind VET

48: VET closing on backmarker HAR

49: Radio from SAI complaining about a problem with his stomach!

50/58: VET, HAM, RAI, RIC, ALO, VER, HUL, BOT, VAN, SAI, PER, OCO, LEC, STR, HAR; retirements: GRO, MAG, GAS, ERI, SIR

51: HAM f/lap 1:26.444

52: VET 1.2sec ahead of HAM; VET also has fresher tyres

53: HAM now under 1sec behind VET, which means he can use DRS again
PER closing on SAI, hoping for a single point

54: Looks like HAM has backed off, maybe to conserve his engine

55/58: RIC f/lap 1:25.945

57: RAI under 2sec behind HAM, but that’s because HAM has backed off

58 = final lap: RIC still pushing RAI for P3

VET takes the chequered flag

Provisional result: VET, HAM, RAI, RIC, ALO, VER, HUL, BOT, VAN, SAI, PER, OCO, LEC, STR, HAR
DNF: GRO, MAG, GAS, ERI, SIR

That’s VET’s 100th podium, his 48th victory

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