Race Recap: 2014 Australian Grand Prix quietly opens the new F1 era [spoilers]


Opening of the 2014 Australian F1 Grand Prix

The first chapter of the new Formula One particular era has been written with the conclusion of the Australian Grand Prix, and it integrated a rookie rush, some resurgent and some unsurprising performances, the sound of screeching tires and a couple of firsts.

Outside predictions as to the tempo of the Mercedes AMG Petronas crew were proved as quickly as the Friday practice sessions, with Lewis Hamilton recovering from an engine sensor fault in the initial session to best the second, followed by teammate Nico Rosberg. That didn’;t modify come the commence of qualifying, not even the rain slowing down the Silver Arrows, Hamilton taking pole as the last man across the line in Q3.

The surprises were in the purchase behind him, with new Infiniti Red Bull Racing man Daniel Ricciardo grabbing 2nd spot just 3-tenths of a 2nd down on Hamilton. Ricciardo not only looked like he belonged at the front of the grid the total weekend, but he would seem to have reversed the Mark Webber jinx: 4-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel had auto problems and didn’;t get into Q3, getting to settle for 13th on the grid.

Right after Ricciardo came Rosberg in the second Mercedes, McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen in 4th, then Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari in fifth, Jean-Eric Vergne in the 1st Toro Rosso, Nico Hülkenberg in the Force India, rookie Daniil Kyvat in the second Toro Rosso and the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas rounding out the leading 8.

Practically all of that would change as soon as the lights went out.



The 2014 Australian F1 Grand Prix

Hamilton got an uncharacteristically negative start off, overtaken by Rosberg, Ricciardo and Hulkenberg before the second corner, his German teammate taking the race lead. The rest of his lap was the same, Hamilton obtaining passed by the rest of the leading 10 before race radio confirmed he was down on electrical power he was out of the race on Lap 2 with his V6 running on just 5 cylinders.

Rosberg, who only led 134 laps all of final yr, grabbed the race by the neck and choked it into submission. He had a 2.8-2nd gap on Ricciardo by Lap 5, which grew to a 24-second gap by the end of the race when he crossed the line in initial. The only incidents during his race to victory had been trifles that each happened in the pits: on his 1st cease he nearly hit the pit crew in front of the Mercedes box while pulling out, and on his second stop the left front carbon fiber cover in excess of the brakes, called the “cake tin,” was damaged as a wheel was becoming place on. Otherwise he was unscathed and untouched.

The 2014 Australian F1 Grand Prix

Ricciardo was just as sound behind him, never troubling Rosberg and trying to keep Magnussen in his rear-view when becoming stalked late in the race. He could not have had a better commence to his Red Bull tenure, particularly right after the miserable pre-season testing the staff endured and driving in front of his home crowd. He completed second, producing the 1st time an Australian has earned a spot on the Australian Grand Prix podium. That spot is not safe, although, submit-race inspection obtaining that his fuel flow “exceeded persistently the greatest” fee of 100 kg/hour. The FIA pledged zero tolerance for such infractions, and it only took a few hrs right after the podium ceremony to disqualify him from the race. Red Bull is interesting the decision simply because it stated the FIA-supplied fuel movement sensor gave faulty readings – it had been occurring all weekend and the FIA knew about it – so the staff utilised its very own readings. We’;ll locate out in the coming weeks if the DQ sticks or if he is reinstated.

His teammate had issues go The Webber Way, Vettel losing his KERS before the race began and limping about for 5 laps prior to retiring, but not just before letting his group know what he imagined of the energy unit failure, saying more than the radio, “That is ridiculous, guys.”

The 2014 Australian F1 Grand Prix

Magnussen was the very first of the storming rookies, locking onto third area and hanging onto it with a excellent drive. He presented shades of 2007, qualifying in the highest position a rookie has managed because Lewis Hamilton – also a neophyte with McLaren – did it in 2007, then matching Hamilton’;s third-place finish at the end. It is the first time in the background of F1 that a Dane has been on the podium. His teammate Jenson Button, 11th on the grid at the start, drove his normal scholarly manner into a 4th-area finish, benefitting from a pit-end undercut to nab 2 areas and, finally, a great McLaren.

The 2014 Australian F1 Grand Prix

A crash going into the initial corner on the very first lap had stirred up the pack, Kamui Kobayashi on his return to F1 in the Caterham going locked up his brakes since of what the FIA stewards later called a “significant technical failure,” tapping Kimi Räikkönen’;s Ferrari just before clobbering the back of Massa’;s Williams. Kobayashi and Massa each ended up in the gravel trap and out of the race.

Bottas seasoned the opposite fortunes, the Finn driving a Williams in ways we have not observed since the days of Juan Pablo Montoya. Bottas was into 6th spot on Lap 8 but hit the wall on Lap 10, breaking off a chunk of his proper rear wheel and shedding his tire. He limped back to the pits, but the debris brought out the security automobile for 4 laps. The 9-minute reprieve from complete-on racing gave drivers some leeway with fuel, it also kept us from realizing how effectively Bottas could have carried out. Emerging from the pits in 17th, he climbed back through the discipline to finish sixth.

The 2014 Australian F1 Grand Prix

Ferrari, expected to be in the second-ideal place after pre-season testing, did not have considerably to say all weekend. Alonso certified fifth and finished fifth, his notes of becoming down on best pace, traction, braking consistency in contrast to Mercedes and not being pleased with the car’;s functionality sounding suspiciously like early-season laments from the final 5 years. Räikkönen, acknowledged to be unsettled by the touchiness of the brake-by-wire rear brakes, managed to keep it together and conquer tire graining to boost his 12th-spot grid position to an eighth-place finish.

Hülkenberg, who seems to be able to place any car he drives into the best 10, started and completed 6th. The Toro Rosso duo completed the top 10, Vergne taking ninth ahead of the 19-yr-old Russian rookie Kyvat who drove a powerful first race.

The 2014 Australian F1 Grand Prix

Fifteen of the 22 starters finished the race but only 14 were classified, Jules Bianchi in the Marussia too far behind to earn a spot. Which is a lot more cars across the line than numerous anticipated. Not unexpected: the reception to the sound of the V6 engines. Now that we’;ve skilled their sustained battle chorus, it’;s going to get some time to associate the sound with correct F1 frankly, the automobiles sound like a support series, and the engines are so quiet that you can hear the tires screeching below lockup and when peeling out at the finish of pit stops. Soon after one particular of Hülkenberg’;s notably nasty lock-ups, one particular commenter viewing a live feed wrote, “It sounds like somebody stepped on my cat.”

These moments have been also about the only bit of pleasure during the 57-lap challenge conserve for the opening laps, Bottas’; charge and Button’;s pit-stop maneuver there was treasured small passing for most of the race.

The 2014 Australian F1 Grand Prix

None of that alterations the final standings, although, with the best 10 finishers making up the top 10 in the Driver’;s World Championship standings. McLaren, getting completed third and 4th, takes management of the Constructor’;s Championship with 27 factors, followed by Mercedes with 25, Red Bull with 18, Ferrari with 14 and Williams with 7 By the way, Williams scored a lot more points in this race than it did all of final yr. Great on them.

More than typical, it really is tough to know how the season will unfold after this preliminary outing. The next race to carry on this quite lengthy season happens on March thirty in Sepang, Malaysia. We’;ll be back then.

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