Yesterday’s Australian Grand Prix was won by Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes, at a canter. Here forumula1.com presents a run-down of five things we learned in Melbourne!
1) Mercedes are just as quick as we thought – and just as vulnerable…
Rosberg’s dominant win (for it was such – he disappeared off and then no-one saw him all day) made good on the pervasive pre-season perception that Brixworth and Brackley had knocked out a fast ‘un. Fears of Vettel-like dominance may be assuaged though by Hamilton’s car’s abject failure to complete even a few laps. They are at least as brittle as anyone else…
2) Some parts of F1 2014-spec aren’t exactly fan-friendly
Like: Ricciardo’s disqualification, the subsequent ridiculously over-complicated technical explanation, the stupid and pathetic noise the cars make (like a grandmothers’ Hoovering competition), fuel conservation, dull racing, cars grinding to a halt for no apparent reason et cetera et cetera ad nauseam. Needs to be addressed.
3) The next generation are already stepping up
See Ricciardo, Magnussen, Bottas, Kvyat for details. Much as toddlers are automatically au fait with iPads and leave their elders and betters looking clumsy and Luddite. I’d still back the old horses – Alonso and Button had characteristically consistent afternoons – or maybe the horses in the mid-range like Hamilton and Raikkonen once they get their stuff sorted.
4) Vettel doesn’t like losing
Not that we didn’t know that already. There were rumours of an extremely displeased four-time world champ after his Australian weekend went from bad to worse to abject. Even if you feel you’ve achieved a huge amount, being slapped in the face by an unreliable car and a decisively dangerous-looking team mate doesn’t seem to be on Vettel’s list of favoured activities.
5) The cars and the new regs can’t mask talent, or paper over cracks…
talent like Nico Hulkenberg, cracks like lunacy from Kamui at the first corner. A season to reward those who are unsung? Possibly.