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Thoughts on the Australian GP

As expected, Raikkonen won with ease, the Ferrari clearly the quickest car on this track and the driver one of the three fastest men in F1. Although the entire world is now expecting a Ferrari walkover this year, I am not convinced. The McLarens were good too and will get better.

Kimi

Kimi Raikkonen getting it done

Of course, the red team will improve their car as well but it is hard to better something that already seems just about perfect; go the wrong way and you could ruin it. And there are those lingering doubts about Kimi’s ability in testing – can he give the kind of input to the engineers that they had from Michael Schumacher? Massa will help with that but again I am unsure of his technical prowess.

I am also not all that impressed with Felipe’s drive through the field. When you have a car as superior to the rest as the F2007, it does not look all that good to be held up for lap after lap by a car as evil-handling as Button’s Honda. I’m sure Michael would have made short work of it.

Enough has been said already about Lewis Hamilton’s excellent race without me adding the same accolades; the lad is a star and will ensure that McLaren win the constructor’s title this year. Alonso is brilliant and will assist in the development of the car until it can beat the Ferraris so Ron Dennis has plenty to smile about at the moment, in spite of not winning this first race of the season.

The BMWs were not quite on the pace of the front runners and Renault were well off it. Both will improve with time, however, and may be able to challenge for the lead in later races.

The Hondas were awful, with Barrichello having the better time of it and expressing himself reasonably happy. Button thinks that the problem lies in the front aerodynamics but, judging from what Flavio Briatore had to say about the Bridgestones being the root cause of Renault’s difficulties, I would suspect that tires also have a lot to do with the Honda malaise. Hopefully, they will find a solution and be more competitive in future races.

Otherwise things went more or less to plan. The Toyotas were a bit better than we’d guessed, the Williams a bit worse. But which would you rather be sitting in for the next GP?

Finally, another word about Scott Speed: until his front tires deflated, he was well ahead of Liuzzi. Gerhard Berger was content with the Italian’s performance in this race – perhaps he will admit that the American seemed pretty “committed” too…

4 Responses to “Thoughts on the Australian GP”

  1. Go Hamilton! He was unlucky to lose second place to Alonso.

  2. I don’t think luck came into it, Mad. Alonso is as good at tactics as he is at driving – he chose the right moment to re-fuel. But you may get your wish anyway; if Hamilton is this good straight away, how good will he be after a few more races…?

  3. Do you think the pit strategy was team ordered or is still too early for that? Alonzo is the more likely candidate to win the championship

  4. Ron Dennis has denied that it was strategy, pointing at the fact that Hamilton was delayed by traffic on the crucial laps. Of course, that doesn’t say anything about whether they would have delayed Hamilton a bit if other cars hadn’t already done it for them. Personally, I think that the team would have made sure somehow that Alonso get the second place behind Raikkonen – it just makes more sense to put your money on the proven champ rather than a rookie, no matter how good he is. It’s a long season and Hamilton will make his mistakes along the way – in fact, he did make a couple in the Australian GP but they were recoverable. Future ones might not be.

    Alonso, however, makes his mistakes with what he says after the race and rarely puts a foot wrong when it really matters.

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