With the Australian Grand Prix over, it was Nico Rosberg who clinched the win over his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton to bring home 25 points to his new crusade to the World Driver’s Championship. Following the Silver Arrows was the prancing horse of Sebastian Vettel, securing third place and 15 points after an error in strategy from Ferrari, with the Italian team adopting a more aggressive strategy over Mercedes, ultimately missing out on the ultimate prize: Victory.
Formula 1: Back with a Bang
Despite having a fairly standard podium, this year’s season opener was not conventional, having a series of twists, turns and tensions. The surprise of the day has to be from Romain Grosjean, finishing in sixth place for his new team, Haas F1. Finishing in the points on their debut has meant that Haas have joined an elite group of teams, being the first new team since Toyota in 2002 to score points in their maiden voyage. On the other side of the garage however, was a different story.
Despite evident success for Haas, complete destruction was on the agenda for McLaren after Fernando Alonso crashed out of the Grand Prix in spectacular fashion. The Spaniard, aged 34, made contact with the second Haas F1 car in the form of Esteban Gutierrez, flipping his car through the gravel trap of turn 3 in what has been described as one of the worst accidents seen in the sport, with Alonso himself describing the incident as the largest crash of his career to date. Surprisingly after the extent of the damage sustained, Alonso walked away unscathed from the mangled and shredded carcass of his MP4-31, despite being clearly rattled and shocked.
Today also marked a day of disappointment for Jenson Button, with the 2009 champion finishing in 14th place after facing a disadvantage following the red flag caused by Alonso’s collision. Despite losing places in this Grand Prix, there have been signs of encouragement from McLaren with their 2016 challenger being visibly quicker than last year’s car, being 5 seconds faster in qualifying this season as opposed to last season, showing large improvements.
Finishing in 9th and 10th place were the two Toro Rossos of Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen, with their team mate battle kicking off in great fashion following great racing between the pair. Verstappen’s immaturity however was particularly evident, losing his cool in the car, having a colourful outburst on the team radio regarding race strategy and team orders, with the 18 year old pleading to be let past by his team mate, claiming to be a lot faster that the Spaniard. This will be an interesting battle throughout this forthcoming season, being the longest F1 season to date with 21 races scheduled.
With a series of notable performances in this race, it will be difficult to decide my driver of the day. It could be Nico Rosberg after overcoming his team mate and beating Sebastian Vettel. It could be Romain Grosjean for achieving what no one else expected, finishing in sixth place, but no. Driver of the Australian Grand Prix in my eyes goes to Britain’s Jolyon Palmer. Despite failing to finish in the points in his debut, Palmer crossed the line appearing cool, calm, and collected. Being the first time racing competitively since 2014, Palmer certainly hasn’t lost his edge, keeping pace and putting up a challenge to the Toro Rosso drivers and out qualifying and out racing his Renault team mate Kevin Magnussen. Because of this, hands down, Palmer is my performer of the day and I can’t wait to watch him race in the remaining 20 races, having a lot of potential and clearly being a star of the future.
Race results from the Australian GP:
- Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 25 points
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 18 points
- Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 15 points
- Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 12 points
- Felipe Massa, Williams, 10 points
- Romain Grosjean, Haas, 8 points
- Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 6 points
- Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 4 points
- Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso, 2 points
- Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1 point
- Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 0 points
- Kevin Magnussen, Renault, 0 points
- Sergio Perez, Force India, 0 points
- Jenson Button, McLaren, 0 points
- Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 0 points
- Pascal Wehrlein, Manor, 0 points
- Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, Ret
- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Ret
- Rio Haryanto, Manor, Ret
- Esteban Gutierrez, Haas, Ret
- Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Ret
- Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull Racing, Ret