McLaren and Jenson Button ruled the Australian Grand Prix, which was filled with jaw dropping action and excitement. From lights out to the chequered flag, there was never a moment where I was bored. I was on my toes until Jenson crossed the line to win the first race of what is certainly going to be a terrific season. Sebastian Vettel was able to work his strategy out right and he finished second ahead of a disappointed Hamilton.
Jenson took the lead at the first corner of the first lap while cars in the midfield started crashing. Mark Webber, Daniel Ricciardo, and Bruno Senna were among those involved in the first corner collision and all of them were forced to pit, however, none of them retired at that point. Nico Hulkenberg must have picked up damage from the accident as well because his Force India was pulled over in the gravel on the same lap.
Romain Grosjean was running sixth after a bad start, but things were about to get worse! Maldonado cut Grosjean off and the Lotus was forced to retire with suspension breakage. Kimi Raikkonen was now the only Lotus left in the race, which meant he had to impress. He did, in fact, and was running in sixth. Meanwhile, Jenson had pulled a ten second gap over Hamilton out and was cruising up front until the enevitable event took place.
The safety car was out. The reason behind its deployment was Vitaly Petrov's stopped Caterham on the start/finish straight. It didn't seem to be major, but a crane had to be taken onto the track to remove the Caterham, which needed the safety car to come out and guide the field around the stricken car. The safety car allowed Vettel to pit and rejoin in second in front of Hamilton. This move was cruicial for Vettel, because he could gain an advantage at the restart over Button.
However, there was no chance at all. Button went flying off into the distance and Vettel maintained his second position. Later on, Massa and Senna came together putting the Ferrari out of the race, and Senna eventually retired as well. Considering the Williams had been launched over a Toro Rosso and slammed into by a Ferrari, it was a surprise he had managed to make it that far. Now, the team's only hope was Maldonado, who was running in sixth and hunting down Alonso. Maldonado was performing exceptionally well and was en route for scoring more points than Williams itself had scored in the entire season last year in just this one race. Unfortunately, Pastor cracked under pressure on the final lap and speared the Williams into the wall.
Rosberg appeared to be stuck in gear on the last lap and he dropped out of the points, while Perez, Ricciardo, di Resta, and Vergne were neck and neck going across the line, and they finished in the order stated above.
A recap article will be released with a more detailed description of the race, but for now, here are the results:
|Pos||No||Driver||Team|| Laps ||Grid||Pts|
|2||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||58||+2.1 secs||6||18|
|3||4||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren-Mercedes||58||+4.0 secs||1||15|
|4||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||58||+4.5 secs||5||12|
|5||5||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||58||+21.5 secs||12||10|
|6||14||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber-Ferrari||58||+36.7 secs||13||8|
|7||9||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus-Renault||58||+38.0 secs||17||6|
|8||15||Sergio Perez||Sauber-Ferrari||58||+39.4 secs||22||4|
|9||16||Daniel Ricciardo||STR-Ferrari||58||+39.5 secs||10||2|
|10||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||58||+39.7 secs||15||1|
|11||17||Jean-Eric Vergne||STR-Ferrari||58||+39.8 secs||11|
|12||8||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||58||+57.6 secs||7|
|14||24||Timo Glock||Marussia-Cosworth||57||+1 Lap||20|
|15||25||Charles Pic||Marussia-Cosworth||53||+5 Laps||21|
|16||19||Bruno Senna||Williams-Renault||52|| Accident damage ||14|
|Ret||6||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||46||Accident damage||16|
|Ret||12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||0||Accident damage||9|
|DNS||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth|