Formula Racing

Australian Grand Prix - The Race Review

Raikkonen Lotus Storms To Win Down Under
By Armaan Ebrahim


Kimi Raikkonen and Lotus perfected a two stopper to make their win look like a piece of cake at the Australian Grand Prix. Starting only 7th on the grid, the Finn managed to get a flyer of a start to put himself in 4th by the end of the first lap. From there on the Iceman very methodically looked after his tyres while putting some solid laps to close up on the Ferraris and Vettel who had a stunning first lap but couldn't hold that pace. The top four pitted around the same time to change from the painfully degrading soft tyres to the mediums and this is where the Lotus driver made the difference by putting in a brilliant second stint that lasted longer than his rivals, thus setting him up very well for the win.

Coming in 2nd was Ferrari's Fernando Alonso who by no means got it easy and had to make some bold moves to get past his rivals, after being out qualified by team mate Filipe Massa by the smallest of margins, because he apparently forgot to use his DRS (drag reduction system) on his flyer. This starting position set up a superb battle between the two team mates and Sebastian Vettel until the second round of pit stops where Alonso and his crew made brilliant call to pit earlier and undercut Massa as well as Vettel. At one point he looked good for a win but the Lotus was just too strong in front! Overall a positive result considering this was his first podium in Melbourne since 2007.

The final step on the podium went to reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel, who probably was a bit disappointed especially after he and his Red Bull blew everyone away in qualifying. But that pace disappeared in the race and it seemed like that car was too hard on its tyres. Filipe Massa had a much stronger start to his 2013 campaign and finished a solid 4th even though he looked set for a podium in the first half of the race.

Mercedes had a bitter sweet weekend with Rosberg pulling out due to a technical problem while running strong in the points. On the bright side Lewis Hamilton made a solid debut for the German manufacturer and brought the car home in 5th. He was followed by the slow starting Mark Webber who dropped from 2nd on the grid to the mid field at the start and then had to fight his way back.

Sahara Force India must have gone home satisfied after getting both its cars in the points to finish a fine 7th (Sutil) and 8th(Di Resta). I personally think the star was Adrian Sutil who made a very strong comeback with the squad after a year away. The German led the race twice and seemed to be in a very strong position at one point for maybe a podium or a 4th place finish at the least. I was hoping for it to rain so that he wouldn't have had to use the rapidly degrading soft Pirelli tyres which eventually cost him a couple of places, and by the end of the race he just about held his position ahead to team mate Paul Di Resta. Overall 10 points in the bag for the team and equal on points with Mercedes. This will most definitely be a confidence booster and should push everyone in the team to keep working hard and achieve these results consistently.

The next stop is Sepang Malaysia, which is one of my personal favourite tracks to drive on. It’s been a great start to the season and I can't wait to see how it pans out. Who are you going to put your money on?

Germany GP

31st July 2016

  • Driver Team Time/Lag
  • Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30:44.200
  • Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing + 6.996s
  • Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing + 13.413s
  • Nico Rosberg Mercedes + 15.845s
  • Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 32.750s
  • Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari + 37.273s
  • Nico Hulkenberg Force India + 70.049
  • Jenson Button McLaren + 1 lap
  • Valtteri Bottas Williams + 1 lap
  • Sergio Perez Force India + 1 lap

Belgian GP

26th - 28thAug 2016

  • Practice 1 Fri 26th Aug 2016

  • Practice 2 Fri 26th Aug 2016

  • Practice 3 Sat 27th Aug 2016

  • Qualifying Sat 27th Aug 2016

  • Race Sun 28th Aug 2016

standings

Formula One World Championship 2016

  • Driver Points Team
  • Lewis Hamilton 217 Mercedes
  • Nico Rosberg 198 Mercedes
  • Daniel Ricciardo 133 Red Bull Racing
  • Kimi Räikkönen 122 Ferrari
  • Sebastian Vettel 120 Ferrari
  • Max Verstappen 115 Red Bull Racing
  • Valtteri Bottas 58 Williams Mercedes
  • Sergio Perez 48 Force India Mercedes
  • Felipe Massa 38 Williams Mercedes
  • Nico Hulkenberg 33 Force India Mercedes