March 18, 2012 in Australian Grand Prix
After what feels like years without Formula 1, I was more than happy to drag myself out of bed at half past 5 this morning for the 2012 season opener in Australia to get my Formula 1 fix.
Could someone take the fight to the unstoppable Sebastian Vettel? Does Kimi Raikkonen still have it? How are the new boys going to do? With six world champions on the grid will the title race be close? And could Jenson Button take his second world championship in 2012?
As the lights went out in Melbourne I could barely contain my excitement into the first corner and was pleasantly surprised to see Jenson Button steal the lead from team mate, Lewis Hamilton, with ease.
Button drove a fantastic race and deserved the win, he didn’t seem under any pressure at any point during the race. Lewis Hamilton’s race wasn’t quite as perfect as Button’s, nevertheless he finished third. Though he did have a face like a slapped ass, yes it didn’t go as planned but he finished in third place. That’s not awful.
Meanwhile, Webber’s team mate, Sebastian Vettel was busy proving anyone who has ever doubted his ability to race and overtake wrong. Vettel finished second, however didn’t seem to put Jenson Button under any pressure at any point during the race. While they aren’t looking as dominant as last year, (Though this is only the first race) it’s clear Red Bull aren’t going to let someone else take the championship without a fight.
I really felt for him when he got onto the grass and lost grip during the last lap and hit a wall. Somehow, he did manage to finish in 13th place despite never crossing the finish line.
Kimi Raikkonen’s performance was fantastic, after starting 17th on the grid, the Finn who’s been away from the sport for two years, managed to bring the car home in 7th place. Given a better qualifying position, I think he could have finished higher up.
Sauber’s Sergio Perez had a race reminiscent of his debut in Formula 1 at the Australian Grand Prix last year, he performed well, looked after the tyres and finished in the points. The one big difference being that this time, he gets to keep the points he’s so rightly deserves. (If you’re unsure on what I’m on about, last year Perez and Kobayashi were disqualified after the race due to a technical infringement)
New boy Jean-Eric Vergne narrowly missed out on the points after finishing in 11th, while team mate Daniel Ricciardo finished in 9th.
Talking of people we didn’t see much of, Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi finished in 6th place, just behind Alonso and infront of Raikkonen, he must be feeling pretty happy with himself. I’d love to see the Sauber boys high in the points more often.
Force India had a pretty quiet race, Paul di Resta managed to get into the points at the last minute and finished 10th. While his team mate Nico Hulkenberg was forced to retire at the beginning of the race.
Caterham’s latest addition, Vitaly Petrov retired on lap 37 and stopped on the pit straight, which led to the first safety car of the year, playing into the hands of the likes of Sebastian Vettel.
A new rule for this season means that lapped cars can unlap themselves under a safety car situation. To be honest, I don’t really see the merits of it. If it means that they can get out of the way of the pack, they’ll only find themselves infront of the pack and in the way of the faster drivers anyway. Seems a little more hassle than it’s worth.
Petrov’s team mate Heikki Kovalainen retired a few laps later with a suspension issue. While I’m talking about Kovalainen, I need to say that I absolutely love his Angry Birds helmet.
For once, I’m pleased to announce I don’t really have anything to rant about, it was a fantastic race and I’m so happy to have Formula 1 back on TV, where it belongs.
Talking of TV, I do have a bone to pick with Sky. Yes, we understand that you have 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound, but please stop telling us. That isn’t the reason we’re watching with you, we have no other choice. Also, why must you show us the various different ways to watch Formula 1 before a race, qualifying or practice session? To be able to see that, we’d have to be watching it, ergo we don’t need telling how to watch it.
What did you think of the race?