After the Qualifying session in Melbourne, Australia, we knew that we were in for a splendid season. The race on Sunday confirmed that completely. Jenson Button was able to steer clear of the drama and win the race, starting off the new year in the best way. Now that the race is over, time for the final analysis on the race. However, the biggest thing coming from this event is that we got everything we hoped for and more. Everything else that happens over the course of this season is just adding layers to the cake.
To get back to the race, the first topic will be Sebastian Vettel. The young German was very happy with second, considering the lack of pace he had in Qualifying. I personally think that he chose his strategy right in the race and got lucky when the safety car came out. He also did a great job to stay with Button for the rest of the race, but he probably wouldn't have jumped Hamilton if he hadn't pitted at the exact time that he did. Vettel had a lot to say in the post-race press conference, which make it look as if he is even more mature than he was last year.
There was plenty of chaos at the start of the race, with several of the midfield cars colliding. We saw Mark Webber get sandwiched, Bruno Senna get launched over Ricciardo, and several cars going wide. Amazingly, there wasn't a large amount of debris on track after the incidents at the first corner, however several cars visited the pits and Nico Hulkenberg retired. The first corner was also where Button took the lead from his teammate, and that would be crucial for the rest of the race.
Williams was doing exceptionally well on race day, despite Bruno Senna being involved in almost every collision in the race. Pastor Maldonado came off a good day in Qualifying to drive a fantastic race, keeping up with Alonso's Ferrari. Sadly, Maldonado's charge ended on the final lap when he lost control and speared into the wall. He was okay after the accident, but his post-crash emotions said it all. Even if they didn't score any points in Australia, their promise was shown and for now, that's all that matters. Later on, they will have to step up their game if they want to move themselves up the field, but we can almost guarantee that they'll be up there after a few races.
The final topic is Ferrari, and what will happen to them if they don't pick up the pace. It was actually surprising to see them perform the way they did during the race, but even with fifth place finishes, they will begin to fall back and lose hope of winning the title. For now, they will have to grin and bear their grip-lacking car until Catalunya, where they can make all the changes in the world to the F2012.
That's it for Melbourne, but Kuala Lampur is up next so stick around!