Formula 1

Australian GP review: Mercedes become the new Red Bull

Published Add your comment

Football News
24/7

It was a race that will be forever be known as the first of a brave new era in Formula 1, but as you'll see it wasn't just a new engine era that was potentially ushered in.

No, it may not have been the greatest Australian Grand Prix of all-time but what it was, was proof that no matter how big the mountain you put in front and how lesser time you give to climb it, F1 engineers can get there.

Most expected a bloodbath with only a few cars trundling round on fumes at the end, instead we got 14 cars classified and even the limit of 100 kilograms of fuel was pretty easily overcome.

Melbourne was also about the new faces making their mark as old hands faltered but by the end of it all it was the same old story, as the team who had put the most effort and resources dominated.

Mercedes produced a very Red Bull-like performance all weekend with Nico Rosberg producing the Vettel-esc drive to go along with it, yet, like it so often was with Red Bull, the domination was set to one car.

Of course Hamilton claimed a brilliant pole in the tricky conditions on Saturday but reliability, which has been a growing Achilles heel as the team upped the ante with the W05, again let them down as he was forced out after just a few laps.

As I mentioned Australia really was the start of possibly a bright new era on another front as those drivers either making their debut or having their first taste of life at the front excelled.

Daniel Ricciardo looked like a seasoned pro as he thrashed team-mate Sebastian Vettel all weekend and was always there towards the top of the timings in the wet or dry.

He took a car few expected to even challenge for a podium and stuck it there ahead of seemingly faster McLaren’s and only an apparent act of pigheadedness from his team saw his fairy-tale debut for Red Bull come crashing down like a collapsing skyscraper.

Kevin Magnussen was another star of the weekend, it really couldn’t have been more ironic that the guy most are comparing to the last rookie to jump straight to McLaren, Lewis Hamilton, matched his achievements in Australia on debut qualifying fourth and finishing third.

The Dane, much like Ricciardo, outshone his vastly higher-rated team-mate all weekend though Jenson Button did put in an excellent recovery drive to claim what eventually became third.

The final star was Valtteri Bottas, the Williams driver proved his worth as his high-profile team-mate Felipe Massa was punted out at the first corner, yet for the Finn Melbourne may be seen as a wasted opportunity after avoiding the first corner trouble, making his way through the pack and then only to see his work undone after hitting the wall and causing a puncture.

His recovery drive to sixth however was a tribute to the talent Bottas is in that he was not fazed by his mistake made his way back through, passing some high-profile drivers in the process and proved he could have easily battled for the podium.

As the saying goes however for every star there must be a black hole and several teams and drivers had a weekend Down Under they wish could be sucked away.

Ferrari’s so-so testing really did translate into a so-so first race with Fernando Alonso leading the Prancing Horse as Kimi Raikkonen seemed more uninterested than usual.

Greater fuel consumption and possibly weight seem to be the big things holding Ferrari back though fifth and eighth wasn’t a truly horrible first race result. But for sure improvements must be made otherwise having one of the best partnerships in recent F1 history will mean very little.

The invisibility cloak was seemingly passed among all the Ferrari-powered teams however as Sauber finished the race in 12th and 13th but were hardly noticeable throughout the Australian GP weekend, while Marussia got both cars to the finish but only Max Chilton was classified making it 20 straight finishes for the Briton.

The most improved team of the weekend award has to go to Toro Rosso, the car was nowhere in testing and heavily blighted by its Renault engine but both Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat impressed in the wet in qualifying and maintained their places in the race.

It was a very disciplined weekend from Kvyat and given the scale of moving from GP3 straight to F1, particularly with all the rule changes, his tenth place deserves great credit while Vergne also seems to be rejuvenated despite missing out on the Red Bull seat, as a result, if Renault can continue to improve then maybe Toro Rosso could surprise quite a few.

Certainly however it wasn’t a complete turnaround for Renault, as I mentioned Vettel had a dismal weekend for Red Bull while Lotus actually beat most predictions completing over 80 laps between the two cars before they both retired in quick succession.

While Caterham had a hopeful start getting Kobayashi into Q2 in qualifying before seeing his effort flushed down the drain with rear brake failure into turn one, Marcus Ericsson had a very quiet debut as electrical issues ended his race.

The final team to mention is Force India who also were pretty anonymous apart from Nico Hulkenberg holding fourth early on.

However after creating a queue Jarno Trulli would be proud of the VJM07 cemented its place as the slowest Mercedes car slipping down to seventh, meanwhile Perez took up his accustom 11th place in a rather uninspired debut for the team.

There was much to be pleased about in Melbourne, proof that Vettel is human and the fact Ricciardo looks like a worthy adversary, but looking away from the anti-Vettel angle, the concerns of a dull new era were put to rest with only the loudness of the new engines dissatisfying some.

But as the season progresses and we grow accustom to it there is perhaps only one fear looking ahead to what awaits F1 in 2014, Mercedes domination.

Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/1a2u3KU

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms

Topics:
Formula 1

Article Comments

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author

DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again