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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-28-2010, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by gerkebi View Post
Absolutely. Ironic, given all the talk about Button being a wanker and the team being totally focused on Hamilton. Yea Jenson!
+ 1, I think it was a great drive from Button, who IMO outclassed Hamilton in this race.
No surprise Hamilton was upset, but its doubtful he could have finished the race on one set of slicks without losing position. After all, he did radio about his second set of tires going off.
Still, a very cool race after the Bahrain sleeper.
I can understand trying to do your best at your home GP, but IMO Weber crossed the line into something befitting bumper car driving instead of a Formula 1 GP, and deserves disqualification, or at least a severe reprimand.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 06:03 AM
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Definitely a great race. Maybe we should pray for a sprinkling of rain at all of them, eh?

I think Hamilton's ultimate problem is that he's always been the wunderkind - at every stage of his career. Being groomed for greatness put him in a bit of a bubble and I don't think it taught him the valuable lesson of how to deal with adversity. He expects that things will go his way because that's what he's accustomed to. When things don't work out, he reacts the way he reacts. He's an exceptionally talented driver. I just think he has some maturing to do as a competitor.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 08:41 PM
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Australian GP Winners & Losers


Planet F1 | Formula One | News, Standings, Results, Features, Video
Australian GP Winners & Losers
Sunday 28-March-2010 14:45

Star of the Race
Jenson Button, McLaren, 1st

Time for a lot of pundits and critics to eat humble pie and realise they were wrong. That would include virtually all of the BBC team, in particular Eddie Jordan. 'Jenson's move away from Ross Brawn and Mercedes was wrong. Jenson's move into Lewis Hamilton's team was wrong - he is always going to be second best in Lewis's team.' That was the general tenor.

We always knew that Button had the ability to race at Hamilton's pace, but what was most impressive about the whole weekend was Jenson's ability to outqualify his team-mate. Jenson's smooth driving style rarely puts enough heat into the tyres in cool conditions and so to outqualify him by getting heat into the option tyre was impressive.

It was for that same reason that he developed early understeer, because he couldn't get the intermediates warmed up and so he had little to lose by going to slicks two laps earlier than anybody else. It was an inspired gamble.

That same driving style helped him preserve the tyres for 50+ laps and go 20+ seconds clear of the Ferraris at one stage. Hamilton was never going to beat him today.

Overtaking Move of the Race
Lap 26: Lewis Hamilton on Nico Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton was inspired form today. He was inspired to drive a fantastic overtaking race. He was also inspired to make ill-judged comments about his own team, (More of this below) but the on-track action was scintilating. If anything he showed more caution at attempting passes on Alonso and Kubica than he did on his own team-mate in the early stages of the race.

He'd already taken Button, Barrichello, Webber and Massa - for which he was rewarded with a shove toward the pitwall and a broken frontwing. He'd also expertly dodged out of the way of Webber's late braking into Turn 3 which could have ended his race a lot earlier.

Coming up behind Nico Rosberg he powered around the ouside of Turn 11 and took the line for Turn 12. It was an amazing piece of driving at a place where nobody overtakes, not least when they are evenly matched and fighting for P4. Perhaps that was part of the reason he got so angry later on - all that work to be demoted by a team call.


Robert Kubica, Renault, 2nd
In many ways this was the fitting reward that should have come Robert Kubica's way last year. In the 2009 Aussie race he had the bad luck of an accident with Sebastian Vettel that robbed him of a podium; in 2010 he took advantage of an accident that promoted him above Button, Schumacher and Alonso. What was even more fortunate was the stewards inability (as was predicted by a colleague) to work out the rules during busy pit-stops.

The rule is that cars must have 30 metres (reduced from 55 for the Melbourne pitlane) of clear space before cars are allowed out of their pitbox. Renault let Kubica out just as a Sauber trundled past on its way in. Thus he was able to get ahead of Felipe Massa, whose team were observing the new rules more keenly.

Kubica took full advantage of his gifts - and another impressive qualifying performance - and drove a faultless, mature race. It was good to see him back on the podium.

Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 3rd
Considering how shaky he looked in various phases of the race, this was a bit of a result for Felipe. In the press conference afterwards you could see it written large on his face, he couldn't quite believe that he'd held on to third. He was attacked by or under pressure from Webber, Hamilton and his team-mate throughout the race yet came out in P3 at the end.

His position was helped by mid-race coaching from race engineer Rob Smedley who was giving him the equivalent of telemetry over the radio especially for the last two corners. And his start was so good it made him look like he had traction control on the run down to Turn 1. If ever there was a demonstration of how to get it right off the line, this was it.

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 4th
A real rescue effort from Alonso on a day when P7 looked like the best he was going to get. Though BBC commentator Martin Brundle chided him for not being aware of a car on his inside going into Turn 1 it's very difficult when you've got Michael Schumacher on your outside and you've already had a difference of opinion the day before.

As it was, Alonso carved his way back to the front very quickly and didn't lose time stacked in the pitlane when the big rush came to change onto slick tyres. There's little doubt that he could have gone quicker than Massa, but it's doubtful whether he could have pressured the unflapable Kubica into a mistake. He was also impressively moan-free afterwards about his first-lap misfortunes.
(So we have the answer to one of the PF1 Predictor questions - who will Schumi tangle with first? Answer: Alonso)

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 5th
Nico won the qualifying battle with Michael, but it was a lot closer this time round. He drove a sensible race, kept his car out of trouble and took advantage of Webber and Hamilton's late-race collision.

Tonio Liuzzi, Force India, 7th
Good points for Liuzzi, but he never looked as fast as his team-mate all weekend.


Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, DNF
It's hard to see Sebastian Vettel losing this race had his car held together. But it didn't. Yet again a reliability issue cost the team and from a 1-2 start to the race, to end up with a solitary 9th place is pretty dismal. It would be interesting to know if Sebastian thought he could do the distance on his set of soft tyres

Mark Webber, Red Bull, 9th
The traditional line is that Mark Webber is very unlucky for his home race, but for the 2010 race he made most of his own luck. His start was a lot worse than Vettel's and as a result he lost P2 to Massa. After his pit-stop for slick tyres he lost a place by running wide onto the grass at Turn 1. He was overtaken by Hamilton on Lap 15 and tried to get the place back, missed his braking point by a mile and almost took the McLaren off as he headed into the gravel. He punted the Mclaren off the track three laps from home with a rookie error and lost more places, but he still did better than his team-mate.

Lewis Hamilton, Mclaren, 6th
Come back Anthony, all is forgiven. Lewis Hamilton might not like the tyre choice that his team made for him, but it would give them more options if he wasn't so good at destroying them. Looked at from a McLaren team point of view it was the logical choice to bring Lewis in. At the time, Kindly Tyre User Jenson Button was leading the race and looked like he might last 50+ laps, Tyre Eater Hamilton was in third place. But then Webber and Rosberg pitted for tyres, which meant they might leapfrog Hamilton if he had to come in for a final stop having trashed his own - like he normally does. So Mclaren brought him in to be the leading driver of the two-stoppers while Button led the one-stoppers. Whichever was the right choice, they were going to win.

Lewis, having driven his butt off might be excused for being a bit pissed off, but his father is usually there to counsel him against expressing it directly. What we saw was the undiluted, un-PR cool approach of the real Lewis Hamilton and it's not pretty. Thus we got the sight of ex-F1 Racing Magazine editor and all-round nice guy, Matt grey-doesn't-suit-you-mate-we-prefer-the-funky-shirts Bishop, who is now McLaren press chief lurking in the background of his interviews to keep a watchful, almost-paternal eye on their protégé.

Melbourne Traffic Cops and God
So many people work hard to make the Aussie GP a PR success, it's a pity that some idiot takes all the focus away from the carefully prepared events; the shark wrestling, the alligator tossing etc... and the sun doesn't shine. The way the world looks at Australia, as carefully profiled by the Paul Hogan adverts, is that it's a sunny, laid-back place to enjoy a holiday - not somewhere that's full of jobsworth policemen eager to prosecute motoring offences. Nobody would argue that he shouldn't pull over an F1 star and give him an ego-deflating bollocking but actually impounding the car for what Hamilton did is...well, he should wait for the journalists hire car race back to the airport.

Vitaly Petrov, Renault, DNF
Poor qualifying, great start, shame about the race.

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, 10th
Michael took a distressingly long time to get past Jaime Alguersuari in two phases of the race. It's impossible to know what other damage was done in his first corner impact, apart from the nose, but let's hope it was significant. Because the Mercedes looked like it was struggling to get past the Toro Rosso. It wasn't helped that after he overtook the Virgin VR01 for position, DiGrassi was able take him back.

Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard on the BBC
Eddie Jordan came up with a great quote about having drivers involved in the stewarding of F1 races. "It's a legacy Max wanted to put in place," said EJ ignoring the fact that Max Mosley had always resisted getting drivers involved.

We also started to get some Blundellisms, which has got to be good news. Talking about Jenson Button's champion's speech: "Jenson, you went up in mine and everyone else's imagination" (estimation). Or try: "I think it's mind games: little pieces of time"(at a time).

Meanwhile David Coulthard couldn't remember if he was a Red Bull PR or a pundit, describing Mark Webber's failure to brake in time and crashing into Hamilton as "a racing incident". Yes, it was an incident that happened in a race. But Webber had already messed up his braking once with Lewis and got away with it. Twice...? Letting that one go has surely redefined what you can do in the 2010 season without troubling the stewards to investigate it.

Andrew Davies
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