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Old 18th March 2019, 17:35   #46
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Default Re: Formula 1: The 2019 Australian Grand Prix

Will be interesting to see what happens in Bahrain. The difference in the Ferrari and Mercedes configuration for downforce is getting a lot of attention. People speculating that the Ferrari has less "overall" downforce, but which is more evenly spread. If this is true, you'd expect that a curvy track with few straights will hurt them more but they should be better on tracks with more straights and clear start-stop points. Then too, if braking is hard, gives the car behind an overtaking opportunity under braking.

I'm very disappointed at the quantum of the gap. Frankly, if this is the real performance differential (which is likely) then the season will be a tough watch as it'll be a procession. F1 viewership is declining rapidly and worryingly. We really could have done with a Honda or Ferrari leading the way in the early part of the season. As things stand, the silver arrows are miles ahead (literally). Ferrari commands the greatest number of fans in the world - and I can't see them tuning in to watch Seb finish 4th and 5th every alternate Sunday.

Honda - I said last season to a friend that I felt it was McLaren and not Honda that were the issue. Seems I was right. There's no evidence of McLaren having done much better, but Honda are at the front again (top 3 is good enough for them given what people expected). The RBR will also be a great car on aero, so with a competent power unit, they should be worth a watch. Hopefully they can up their game further and hopefully the Merc romp was not a sign of things to come. Will watch Bahrain with interest...
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Old 18th March 2019, 17:43   #47
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Default Re: Formula 1: The 2019 Australian Grand Prix

It seems not much has changed at the front of the field. It still remains to be seen if Ferrari can solve their issues (balance? PU?) and if Honda will be reliable enough for RB to go through the season without incurring penalties.

Outstanding race from Bottas. Damage to LH's car would explain some of his gap to Bottas, but I think Bottas still had some pace in hand and would've probably handled any threat from LH yesterday. However, he should be prepared for LH to come back roaring at the next race. If Mercedes are too far in front of the others, then the only thing to hope for is a Rosberg-2016 like season from Bottas to keep the title race interesting.

Ferrari seemed lost and on top of that seems to have made a tactical blunder by stopping Vettel quite early in the race. Leclerc was faster than Vettel in the second stint, but some way away in the first stint (including an unforced error) when they had the same tires. But, he can only get better with time.

It was a good day for RB and Max, but not so much for Gasly. Like at Ferrari, it seems there won't be an immediate challenge to the main driver from the newcomer.

Haas seemed to be the best of the rest at least in qualifying. The midfield is quite tight and I think who qualifies and finishes where will be circuit-dependent and any small mistake or bad luck will dramatically change the outcome. For eg:, Kimi started 9th and finished 8th, but if RB hadn't made a blunder in Q1 with Gasly or Sainz had not lost time with Kubica, Kimi might well have gone out in Q1.

All the rookies seem to have had a decent race weekend. Good in qualifying and a clean race from everyone.

Sad to see Williams at the back end of the field. They seem to be even further behind the midfield pack than the midfield pack are behind Mercedes (just my feeling, could be wrong).
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Old 18th March 2019, 19:41   #48
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Default Re: Formula 1: The 2019 Australian Grand Prix

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Originally Posted by nair View Post
Leclerc backed off to around 4 second gap before finishing the race less than half a second off Vettel just to prove a point. There is some issue with the Ferrari engines. Vettel asking why they are so slow and the numerous reports of Ferrari lifting and coasting, and being in safe mode raises serious concerns. Hopefully they will fix the issue and be competitive starting next race weekend.
Ferrari having engine issue was not my point; they were anyway not in podium places, so why not let the faster guy go in front?
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Old 18th March 2019, 21:18   #49
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Default Re: Formula 1: The 2019 Australian Grand Prix

If Australia is any indicator of things to come then the season will be done by the time the second leg starts post the summer break. Lewis has typically had about 0.3 or 0.5 second advantage over Bottas during the race when he's had a car without any issues. I'm expecting normal service in Bahrain where Lewis will probably be about 30-40 seconds ahead of the RBR and Ferrari. It's looking like a really boring season already unless Ferrari can brush this race aside as a one off. Already looking forward to 2021.
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Old 18th March 2019, 22:58   #50
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Default Re: Formula 1: The 2019 Australian Grand Prix

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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Ferrari having engine issue was not my point; they were anyway not in podium places, so why not let the faster guy go in front?
I agree. I was agreeing with you. Leclerc backed off and then closed the gap again just to show that he was faster.

The engine issue is something else I wanted to bring up, not related to your point. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 19th March 2019, 08:56   #51
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Default Re: Formula 1: The 2019 Australian Grand Prix

If Ferrari does not up their game fast, then we are in for another one sided and dull season.

Generally speaking,one feels that F1 is headed on the wrong path the last few years. During 90's and early 2000's the midfield teams could win at least some races during the course of a season , but off late its almost always one of the top three teams.The gap between the teams is so vast that its become a 2 tiered competition.
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Old 19th March 2019, 09:16   #52
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Default Re: Formula 1: The 2019 Australian Grand Prix

Flawless race from Bottas. Once the move was done ahead of turn 1, there was no looking back for him. Put the foot down and got the job done.

Impressive race by Verstappen with their Honda PU, makes you wonder what McLaren was smoking all those years.

The defense from Hamilton is expected, Verstappen ruled out a late charge due to his excursion off track.

Ferrari challenge this year, looks very sad. Normally you see them at the top the first half of the season and then wilt away. It was appalling to look at the procession to 4th and 5th place. Once Gasly pitted, there was enough gap for Vettel to pit and swap to Softs, why weren't they doing that? And it looks like, only Vettel was struggling and he was pulling Charles Leclerc along with him
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Old 19th March 2019, 17:09   #53
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Default Re: Formula 1: The 2019 Australian Grand Prix

Absolute dismal race for Ferrari. Watching a honda powered Red Bull just whistle past was like adding salt to the wound. Bottas looks like a completely refreshed guy. He was on fire!! Hope to see more of this form during the rest of the season. As witnessed last year LH44 hates it when he's languishing 20 seconds behind the leader and trying to ward off a car hot on his heels.

Lando Norris is a star in the making. He was absolutely amazing on Saturday. This year is going to be quite a cracker of a season especially with the mid-field so closely bunched together. Cant wait for Bahrain!
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Old 19th March 2019, 20:55   #54
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Default Re: Formula 1: The 2019 Australian Grand Prix

The abysmal pace of Ferrari at the opening Grand Prix, and most of the people have already declared Mercedes as champions. It's a long season and anything can happen.
Much is being made of Bottas win, it's not the end of the season yet :

http://twitter.com/i/status/1107990945625227264
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Old 20th March 2019, 01:36   #55
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Default Re: Formula 1: The 2019 Australian Grand Prix

Not exactly the start that Mattia Binotto hoped for. The lack of competiveness that Ferrari displayed in qualifying just compounded during the race. They never looked a threat to Mercedes. What a drive from Bottas and I hope he keeps thumbing his nose at Toto. That was a dominant drive from him. His body language and confidence is what he lacked in 2018.

I think that the fastest lap point system is one of the best rule changes introduced this year. Without it Bottas would have turned his wick down and simply cruised to the finish. I think it should be given a couple of points more. In the closing stages we had 4 drivers take a shot at it.

Quite early to pass judgement but I am not sure the rule changes have brought in the overtaking moves we hoped to see..it sure bunched up the highly competitive mid field but drivers seems to make heavy work of the actual overtaking. I think given their aerodynamic excellence it's the Red Bulls who might benefit most from this. Melbourne is a track that is difficult to overtake so lets see how the car fare in the tracks that are more conducive to overtaking.

Drive on,
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Old 20th March 2019, 10:12   #56
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Default Re: Formula 1: The 2019 Australian Grand Prix

This has been one of the most disappointing starts to the season as a Ferrari fan. I was especially disappointed with Ferrari strategy. Leclerc was doing well, i think he should have been allowed to overtake Vettel and try to put pressure on Max or go for that fastest lap point. What is disappointing is that this is the first race and not like Vettel was looking for championship points like in the end, Ferrari should have ended on podium with Leclerc's car doing well.
Also Haas is doing really well. I am impressed with what they have achieved in the last 2 years and great to see giving Renault a tough time.
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Old 21st March 2019, 09:19   #57
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Default Re: Formula 1: The 2019 Australian Grand Prix

I am still sitting on the fence with regard to the performance of the red cars. Sure, the media hype after the tests didn't help. But Australia is a bit different. We cannot really read much into it. Sure, there was a goof up somewhere.

Last year, Ferrari had the best car during the first half of the season. But even then, the victory at Australia was because Mercedes shot themselves in the foot and Ferrari was at the right place at the right time.

So, I would give it two or more races to totally understand where the team stands. Give that benefit of doubt! Maybe I am being naive - but I still want to believe this.

But if there is no improvement in the immediate rounds next, then we can kiss this season Goodbye. Because Mercedes is notoriously good when it comes to inseason development. And God help others if they have a super strong base to start with. It will simply be a two tier championship.

I didn't like the fact that Ferrari employed team tactics for positions outside the podium though - for what joy was it? Eclair and Finger should be allowed to race! Nice to see Bottas coming good though after a very poor 2018 - hope he can keep it up. Because one can almost feel the Lewis juggernaut starting to roll.
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Old 21st March 2019, 10:57   #58
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Default Re: Formula 1: The 2019 Australian Grand Prix

Again a boring race.

Mercedes continues to dominate.

I hope Bahrain gets a revamped or more aggressive Ferrari.

Let us hope for small mercies. I wish F1 becomes more competitive. Many power plants but again the same pedestrian procession.
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Old 26th March 2019, 00:30   #59
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Default Re: Formula 1: The 2019 Australian Grand Prix

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I am still sitting on the fence with regard to the performance of the red cars. Sure, the media hype after the tests didn't help. But Australia is a bit different. We cannot really read much into it. Sure, there was a goof up somewhere.

Last year, Ferrari had the best car during the first half of the season. But even then, the victory at Australia was because Mercedes shot themselves in the foot and Ferrari was at the right place at the right time.

So, I would give it two or more races to totally understand where the team stands. Give that benefit of doubt! Maybe I am being naive - but I still want to believe this.

But if there is no improvement in the immediate rounds next, then we can kiss this season Goodbye. Because Mercedes is notoriously good when it comes to inseason development. And God help others if they have a super strong base to start with. It will simply be a two tier championship.
The problem Ferrari find themselves in is multi-fold.
1. Relative performance to Mercedes, is worse-off compared to last year same time. Sure, Vettel lucked into the win last year in Australia, but even otherwise they were running solid P2/P3 behind Hamilton. They were almost assured of being on Podium, not this time.
2. B-Spec Bottas. Last year, Bottas had a terrible start to the season, not entirely his fault though. He would have lead the championship standings after Baku if not for that DNF. This time Bottas means business, and he will surely want to keep James off his radio.
3. Redbull. Ferrari found themselves behind Max Verstappen in Australia. If they don't get their act together pretty quickly, forget wins, they will be fighting just to get to the podium.

What Ferrari will be hoping for - Bottas builds on the momentum, and Mercedes drivers take points off each other, thus preventing either of them from creating a big lead. Secondly they won't mind some help from Verstappen, if he beats one Mercedes driver once in a while.
Personally, i don't have much hopes on Ferrari coming good. Yes, they will win races, but not to the extent of winning championship. They blew their chances last two years when they had everything going for them. It's hard to see how they can do better than that this time. I would actually bet on Verstappen being the one to challenge Mercedes drivers.
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