We’ve had a late start with our first GP review for the year – just like the Melbourne Grand Prix itself which started at 3:30 PM local time. We were fortunate to be live at the event and the recovery process has only just finished (I pity the drivers in that heat!) Â Our summary points below have the benefit of hindsight, but we’ll try to remain objective:
Lewis Hamilton – Unstoppable. Clinical. A really great performance.
Kimi Raikkonen – Very unlucky in qualifying. Had great race pace and pulled off lots of great passing moves. But he also made some mistakes, so he doesn’t get top marks for this round.
Felipe Massa – Very lucky the front of his Ferrari is very strong after making a mistake in the first corner and sliding off. As for his move on David Coulthard, it looked 50/50. It was somewhat ambitious, but at the same time David could have squeezed him a little less. Just a racing incident.
Heikki Kovalainen – Somewhat embarrassing that he’s gone from a mid-field car to one of the top cars, then finished behind one of the mid-field cars he used to drive… But I guess the McLaren pit lane speed limiter is partly to blame..? The thing is though, the same sort of thing happened to Mika Hakkinen in 1998 and has happened to McLaren drivers a few times since. They all seem to get a box full of neutrals, then suddenly the car is back to life and continues through the race like nothing happened. What gives?
Fernando Alonso – Very lucky to end up where he did but he did well to put the car in a position to take advantage of others misfortune. Looks like he’ll barely get a podium this year though (maybe Monaco?).
Nico Rosberg – Williams looked very quick in Australia and Nico finally got a result he deserves
Nick Heidfeld – Great to see another good driver getting results he deserves
Sebastien Bourdais – Performed better than I expected. I mean, with all his Champcar championships we know the guy can drive, but he just seemed to be another cursed driver when it came to F1. Thankfully he proved us wrong in the first race.
Sebastian Vettel – This guy was magic in qualifying. This guy continues to impress us. We’ve always rated Sebastian Vettel and still believe he’s a big name for the future (as do Ferrari now it’s rumoured )
3:30 Start – Starting the Grand Prix later for the benefit of European audiences was brilliant not only for them, but because it meant that half was through the race we got to enjoy some shade over our grand stand! Â Qualifying started at the normal time the day before and the sun was brutal. So thank you to the organisers.
Melbourne Grand Prix in General – I’ve never been to the Melbourne Grand Prix before and I was extremely impressed. I’ve been to the Adelaide Grand Prix and the Indy 300 on the Gold Coast. I was much more impressed with the Melbourne GP than I was with the Adelaide GP. The facilities were extremely clean and best of all the transport was a dream! Even after the race when the crowds were at their worst it took less than half an hour to get on a tram to the city. Very very impressed (I was expecting to be disappointed but was pleasantly surprised)