Ten points from the Australian Grand Prix

Hamilton gets his wish

Speaking prior to the start of the season Lewis Hamilton conceded that it would be rather boring for F1 fans if he and Mercedes enjoyed a further spell of supreme dominance. Not surprisingly he was happy to take this scenario if it meant another world title, and you certainly can't criticise him for that. If the running in Melbourne is anything to go by he won't need to worry about an end to his winning run, but fans will need to find ways to counter the boredom that comes with a lack of competition.

Sauber's crazy week

On Friday it seemed that Sauber may not get onto the grid at Albert Park as legal wrangling overshadowed their preparations. Giedo van der Gerde's successful bid to force Sauber to hand him a race-seat put the Swiss outfit in a precarious position, but with the Dutchman voluntarily stepping aside for the season-opening race, Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson were free to take their places. The pair made the most of the chance, with Nasr coming home in fifth and Ericsson in eighth.

Having failed to win a single point in 2014, Sauber head to Malaysia with 14 points to their name, enough for third spot in the Constructors' standings.

Magnussen's rollercoaster ride

It seems there is never a dull moment for Kevin Magnussen at the moment. Having been dropped by McLaren at the end of the 2014 season the Dane was handed a temporary reprieve when he was called up to replace Fernando Alonso following the Spaniard's crash in pre-season. 

In a struggling McLaren Magnussen couldn't make it out of Q1, but his weekend would get worse still. A blown engine on the way to the grid meant that Magnussen's race was over before it began.

With Fernando Alonso expected to return in Malaysia, the 22-year-old may have to wait some time for another chance.

Renault drop the ball

Red Bull must be seething at the engine that Renault have dumped them with. Reportedly with the same power as the 2014 edition, it's hard to believe that Renault have failed to cut the gap to Mercedes, it seems almost unbelievable that the gap to the front has in fact increased.

It's only fair when you're winning

Red Bull team principle Christian Horner is getting a reputation for a man prone to having a whine about almost anything, and he was on top form in Melbourne. Horner has taken issue with Mercedes' dominance, calling on the FIA to step in and level the playing field. Not many will argue that the current status quo doesn't make for entertaining racing, but you didn't hear Horner complaining when Red Bull were the ones destroying the competition.

 

Rookies shine bright

Carlos Sainz Jr, Max Verstappen and Felipe Nasr all showed more than enough to suggest they belong on the F1 grid. At just 17 Verstappen looked comfortable before a technical fault forced him out of the race while in points-scoring position. Nasr came home in a highly creditable fifth, while Sainz finished ninth.

 

A battle of attrition

Only 15 cars made it to the grid in Melbourne, with the two Manor cars not running all weekend while Kevin Magnussen and Danii Kvyat broke down on the way to the grid. 

A further four cars weren't able to go the distance, meaning that all but one of those who finished collected points from the season-opener. It wasn't a pretty sight seeing such a reduced field, and hopefully we won't have a repeat any time soon.

What to make of Manor?

Manor rescuing Marussia from administration has been one of the few feel-good stories thus far in 2015, but the team disappointed in Melbourne. Arriving at the track but unable to get out of the garage, one has to wonder how far Manor are going to get. Perhaps the biggest worrying sign was a car bereft of sponsors. With debt from the previous regime still hanging over the team and no bailout in sight, don't be surprised if Manor aren't around at the end of the season.

Nico, Formula One needs you

It was disappointing to see Nico Rosberg fail to really push Hamilton. Credit must go to the Briton for putting together a perfectly measured race, but Rosberg was the one driver who could have made matters interesting up front and he wasn't able to do so. If the Mercedes are going to runaway with the season Rosberg needs to challenge Hamilton, it could be all fans have to look forward to.

FIA, it's over to you

Will the FIA step in to give the challenging pack a lift? It seems unlikely that rules and regulations will be tinkered with at this stage, but Bernie Ecclestone's and his merry men will be watching anxiously as casual viewers look elsewhere for their motorsport fix.

 

James Ho

Comments