Australian Grand Prix 2014
Formula One, 16 Mar, 2014 FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX (Melbourne)
Best Race Team McLaren
Best Quali Team Mercedes
9 DNF's of 22 starters
|2||1st||N. Rosberg||25 ()|
|2||11th||A. Sutil||+1 Lap|
|10||12th||E. Gutiérrez||+1 Lap|
|4||13th||M. Chilton||+2 Laps|
|4||DNF||J. Bianchi||+8 Laps|
|5||DNF||R. Grosjean||Mechanical Fault|
|5||DNF||P. Maldonado||Mechanical Fault|
|2||DNF||M. Ericsson||Mechanical Fault|
|6||DNF||S. Vettel||Mechanical Fault|
|18||DNF||L. Hamilton||Mechanical Fault|
|20||DSQ||D. Ricciardo||Fuel Irregularities|
* indicates fastest lap
Qualifying - The Grid
Australian Grand Prix – Post-Race Report
Heading into this race all of the teams had huge concerns about reliability so a cautious approach was required. After a difficult wet qualifying in cars packed to bursting with new technology some drivers faced a difficult race out of their expected positions.
The start highlighted some inexperiences from McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen as he spun up the wheels flicking the car to face the wall, Magnussen did however manage to straighten up the car.
Vettel qualified down in 13th with technical issues and struggled from the start with power issues. The defending champion had to retire the car after only a couple of laps.
As the race rolled on technical issues started to show, Mercedes Lewis Hamilton experienced technical issues from the start, dropping back through the field before finally retiring from the back of the grid.
The rest of the race rolled on with solid driving from all drivers. The oversteer and understeer shown in practice and qualifying made way for precision and consistency. There were a few mistakes as Valtteri Bottas hit the wall causing a puncture bringing out the safety car to clean up the debris. Lockups were seen (and heard) from several drivers, most notably Kimi Raikkonen who allowed Bottas to pass.
As the race turned to a battle of attrition dictated by the fast paced and reliably running Mercedes of Nico Rosberg the reliability concerns started the shine through. Ferrari reported electrical issues with both cars whilst Lotus were forced to retire both cars. The remaining Caterham of rookie Marcus Ericsson also retired.
In the closing stage of the race the McLarens came out strong with rookie Kevin Magnussen hunting down the Australian Daniel Ricciardo for 2nd place. The charge eventually amounted to nothing as Ricciardo started to pull away in the final laps.
Edit: In a shock twist, Ricciardo was stripped of his podium finish and disqualified from the race due to fuel-flow irregularities.
Australian Grand Prix – Pre-Race Report
Australia always proves to be a true test of the Formula One teams preparation for the season. Teams face a tricky decision of whether to go for utmost pace or aiming for a solid reliable finish.
Last year saw Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen take the win from seventh on the grid after tyre efficiency and reliability triumphed over the outright speed of pole sitter Sebastian Vettel.
In 2014 it’s looking like Mercedes are the clear favourites with fellow mercedes powered car McLaren and Ferrari running close behind. Red Bull look to have dropped off in performance after several major setbacks in pre-season testing at both Jerez and Barcelona.
The Australian Grand Prix won’t give us a clear indication of the actual standings on pace, but it will give us a good idea on reliability and also allow a potentially slower car to pick up some key points before the major players get back on the scene.