2018 Rolex Australian Grand PrixFormula 1 

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Morgoth_666
Wolff even said after the race that they were planning on a potential VSC occuring and their computers incorrectly told them that they had the time to spare, or they would have pushed harder before it happened. So they were already turning things down. Definitely seems that if there is a scapegoat to be had it's the preserving equipment rules.

Leaving the pits open after incidents was obviously always going to decide races(and this is hardly the first time it has) from the moment they changed the rule to stop closing the pits. Of course, races were decided by the same things back when the pits were closed until the field was bunched up behind the SC. There is no "fair" way to stop a race while an accident is cleared, short of maybe an immediate red flag and using aggregate scoring. No matter how much excessive effort goes into devising rules... FCY, VSC, Code 60, wave-bys, spit-lap pitting, everything winds up benefiting or hurting somebody unfairly. That's just one of them racin' deals.

Fact was, the pit lane overtake(and maybe laughing at the incensed commentary after it happened) was the most exciting part of another largely unexciting race. Which is part of why series like IMSA still do things the way they do it instead of using code 60s - and why almost nobody uses aggregate scoring anymore. Random un-fair things help make racing fun. Rather like both poor Haases having heartbreaking meltdowns when they were doing so well.
 

Dotini

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At this circuit it was very clear you needed a Ferrari or Mercedes to be up front, as the Renault powered cars couldn't even deal with the Haas-Ferraris until they self-destructed in the pit stops. That was a fine squabble amongst the Renaults, however. But poor Bottas! He could not get by!!
 

Dennisch

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At this circuit it was very clear you needed a Ferrari or Mercedes to be up front, as the Renault powered cars couldn't even deal with the Haas-Ferraris until they self-destructed in the pit stops. That was a fine squabble amongst the Renaults, however. But poor Bottas! He could not get by!!

You are contradicting yourself here. Or is Bottas just not good enough for the Merc? (I think he isn't)
 
113
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BLADErunner80
Albert park is not a good track for an F1 season opener, Something like a 1.8 second advantage needed to overtake is far too high.

VSC is a very good thing badly implemented, keeping the race neutralized with shorter caution periods is great, but it shouldn't be so easily exploited.
Simply closing the pit exit during a caution period could fix future issues, you either won't pit as clearly you will lose time, or if you have to because of damage you will simply be held at pit exit until stewards deem enough time to not gain advantage has occurred, then green light and you can exit pits.
 

Terronium-12

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You are contradicting yourself here. Or is Bottas just not good enough for the Merc? (I think he isn't)

I'm not so sure. Granted, I'm a bit of a hypocrite as I felt as you do now when he was partnered alongside Massa, but I think he has bouts of brilliance...when he's not in his own head. Or whatever it is that makes him drive less than spectacularly.
 

Dennisch

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I'm not so sure. Granted, I'm a bit of a hypocrite as I felt as you do now when he was partnered alongside Massa, but I think he has bouts of brilliance...when he's not in his own head. Or whatever it is that makes him drive less than spectacularly.

Hey, even Maldonado won a race. :dopey:

But Bottas should be (and should have been) fighting Lewis every step of the way. He has the same car. Sure, Lewis can drive like an Alien when he's not socializing on social media, but still.
 

TenEightyOne

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Yep, apologies to @SagarisGTB... I'm blaming a 5:00am start for me getting it completely wrong viz-a-viz the Vettel/Hamilton thing.

Otherwise, what a great race. Without the racing, obvs :D
 

Dotini

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You are contradicting yourself here. Or is Bottas just not good enough for the Merc? (I think he isn't)

I am being a bit contradictory, or maybe ironic is the better word. Bottas had to start towards the back after getting his bell rung in qualifying, so maybe cautious and not fully up to snuff. On the other hand, once you do get behind, even in a factory Merc, passing a line of the top Renaults each with DRS constantly deployed trying to stay with Alonso was obviously too tough for him. A couple weeks rest and an easier course will do him wonders.
 

niky

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After some rumination, the top ten:

Sainz: Those Renaults aren't bad, eh? But still not as good as they should be for the "factory" team.

Vandoorne: Great result. Shows where the McRenault should be in terms of pace.

Bottas: Got greedy in qualifying, paid the price. Even considering how hard it is to pass at this track, you'd expect someone like Vettel or Hamilton to make up four or five places in the first lap. Bottas spent several laps trying to make up one. Not a great performance at all.

Hulkenberg: To be honest, he's lucky to be up there? That Renault just can't hang with the Red Bulls. Luckily, after everything settled down, he ended up where he started from.

Verstappen: He didn't really get the end of the race wrong. It was simply ruined for him by the damage from that spin.

But that spin? That was totally his fault. He was pushing way too hard before it happened, and he'd been caught out a few times before the car finally decided it had had enough and swapped ends to to get his head screwed back on right. Not a great day for him.

Alonso: Forza, Alonso, Forza. When you don't have power, experience, guile and a VSC will do.

Ricciardo: Slow and steady wins the race for best Renault. Oops. I mean fast and steady.

Kimi: Deserved better. Didn't do anything wrong all weekend. Faltered a bit at the end, but this is likely down to engine preservation mode than anything else.

Hamilton: Sour grapes will be sour this week. Not his fault, though. The deltas simply didn't work out due to the VSC timing. His outright pace will be worrying for everyone else. Looks like another Mercedes year.

Vettel: How lucky can you get? This lucky.

-

As for the rest:

Force India: I guess I expected more? But with Renault building up year-on-year and McLaren finally unleashed, it's going to be hard for the FI boys to make headway. Considering the high speeds here in Australia, it's telling that the Mercedes customer teams weren't faster this weekend.

Sauber Ferrari: Wound up where expected.

Williams Mercedes: To be honest, I thought they might even do a little worse, but the multi-year slide into the backfield is embarrassing. I feel so bad for these guys.

Toro Rosso: Who didn't see that coming? Honestly? I think the surprising thing is that only one car failed, and that the second car was only a lap down.

-

Haas: Such rotten luck. On track to get two cars in the points before the failures. But they'll be back stronger in the next race. This is a team to watch.

-

Not a fantastic race, not by any measure, though the midfield action made for some nice moments, but I think it's too soon to get upset about the three engine rule or the VSC. Teams have been tactically abusing the VSC since last year, but honestly, ANY safety car will alter the course of the race. Drivers have been diving into the pits to avoid them for decades, and the VSC DOES prevent the unfair bunching up that the regular safety car created, punishing drivers who pushed hard before it came out. NO system, short of stopping the cars on track, will preserve the race perfectly (and even that would have its issues).

And drivers have been preserving engines since time immemorial. This year will be a learning curve as to how far you can push the engine before it blows... so expect drivers to start taking more risks as time goes on. Naturally, the first third of the season will see them conserve more, until teams have enough data to know where and how hard they can push.

-

Also, the halos... except for the total hash they make of the onboards... not a problem.


-

I'll hold off opinions on the season in general until we get five or six races in.
 

DaveTheStalker

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The overall presentation now without Hobbs and Matchett (and Bob Varsha), simply sucks. And when did F1 cars start going 321 mph!!!!!! That is INSANE!!!!
 

Liquid

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Ever since the permanent introduction of the safety car in 1993 drivers have always taken advantage of pitting under safety car conditions. For drivers who are about to pit or still waiting to pit, the safety car offers "a free pit stop" as all the commentators used to say. I really don't see how Sebastian Vettel pitting under the VSC is any different to Michael Schumacher or Mika Häkkinen pitting behind the safety car.

Lewis Hamilton isn't the first driver to have a wasted pitstop just before a safety car or VSC appears and he won't be the last. It happens; that's racing.

I wouldn't mind a motor race at the next Grand Prix though.
 
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It will be interesting to see how the season pans out. Concerning for me is the way a top car (Bottas Merc) starts down the grid and struggles to even pass anybody. Wow, the rules of the sport have gone backwards since I was young. Imagine a top car back in the 80's or 90's staying at the back. Incredible.

And Hamilton could not even get close to the back of Vettel when he was within spitting distance. Again, this rule about saving power units is ruining all the racing.

Perhaps the sport should sit out one year and have a think about the direction they want to go. Because the need for safety first, lowering financial costs second and catering to fans last is not working.
 
1,409
It will be interesting to see how the season pans out. Concerning for me is the way a top car (Bottas Merc) starts down the grid and struggles to even pass anybody. Wow, the rules of the sport have gone backwards since I was young. Imagine a top car back in the 80's or 90's staying at the back. Incredible.

And Hamilton could not even get close to the back of Vettel when he was within spitting distance. Again, this rule about saving power units is ruining all the racing.

Perhaps the sport should sit out one year and have a think about the direction they want to go. Because the need for safety first, lowering financial costs second and catering to fans last is not working.

Maybe it is just me, but as i remember it before DRS we had plenty of procession races, much more so than we have today. Besides that i agree that F1 is in a weird state with the way everything has to be micromanaged in order to last a race and a season.
 
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I watched the race recorded, and while I'm always excited for "racing" in general to start back up...this was "meh" as usual, with a win achieved in a way it probably shouldn't have been (though it did higlight that strong cars will struggle to actually race on track against each other). At least we'll have another intriguing seasons results-wise, even if the races themselves are sub-par.

Halo does indeed make the cars uglier - but to be fair I never found them attractive in the first place. Bad day for Williams, and comically awful for Haas (shame too considering their surprising pace).
 

DesertPenguin

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The guy that raises his arms to signal the car is not fit to go out, is that his only job or was he a wheelchanger and when his wheel is done he puts up an "all good" signal, but because it wasn't "all good" he put up the crossed arms signalling "problem"?
 
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I hate to say it, but if you're not 100% on your game in a pit stop...take an extra 1-2 seconds loss, and verify what the hell you're doing. Better to lose a couple spare seconds on track then not finish the race. I know everyone is chompin' at the bit to make a 1.5-2.5 second pit stop, but it's almost never worth screwing it up for that tiny jump on track.
 

DesertPenguin

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It's also slightly on the driver's for training to that 2-3 second pit stop and instinctively hitting the gas as soon as the car drops.
 
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Ever since the permanent introduction of the safety car in 1993 drivers have always taken advantage of pitting under safety car conditions. For drivers who are about to pit or still waiting to pit, the safety car offers "a free pit stop" as all the commentators used to say. I really don't see how Sebastian Vettel pitting under the VSC is any different to Michael Schumacher or Mika Häkkinen pitting behind the safety car.

Lewis Hamilton isn't the first driver to have a wasted pitstop just before a safety car or VSC appears and he won't be the last. It happens; that's racing.

I wouldn't mind a motor race at the next Grand Prix though.
Agreed. Watch any Indycar or Supercars race, when they talk about strategy, they always make reference to how pretty much every single strategy has a "danger window" where you can get caught out by a safety car, and there's pretty much nothing you can do about it other than roll the dice. F1 seems to be the only series where the commentary team doesn't seem to understand this.

I'm willing to bet that if the roles were reversed, Kravitz would be going off about how Merc played a brilliant strategy, and Ferrari weren't clever enough to cover it, or something along those lines.
 
1,409
Did Haas say what actually went wrong with the stops? Wheelguns, bad nuts, bad crew?

From a danish paper, and they were expert guessing, the wheel nut was not attached 100% correct. The gunner notices to late. I think there used to be a procedure where they had to attach something after the nut was on, but it seems that was dropped?
 
So I watched Channel 4's highlights program. Where were the highlights? Did an actual motor race break out at any point? At all?
I was happy Ferrari won. But the race was so dull and as a result i had zero excitement at the win. It has also removed any enthusiasm i had for the season. I want to see F1 races where the cars go all out on the edge lap after lap . No managing this or that.
 
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Yup they did, and they pretty much said all the right things by blaming nobody but themselves for lack of practice.

They said they had alot of things going on all weekend where they never had any time to practice it, and both cars's gunmen cross threaded the bolts.

www.motorsport.com/f1/news/haas-blames-lack-of-practice-for-pitstop-blunders-1018839/?s=1
A lot of things going on all weekend, no time to practice...fml that wouldn't work for my missing 5th grade homework!

What were the tire change guys doing all winter for the last 3 months??? Practicing yoga?

Pathetic excuse is pathetic. If it really is down to lack of practice, someone at Haas needs to take a time management seminar.
 
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It's also slightly on the driver's for training to that 2-3 second pit stop and instinctively hitting the gas as soon as the car drops.
They will only hit the pedal once the sign guy flashes the green, the whole crew were in a hurry not to lose any time during the pits due to the exciting prospect of finishing 4th and 5th.

giphy.gif
 
6,063
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BALD_GYE
Albert park is not a good track for an F1 season opener, Something like a 1.8 second advantage needed to overtake is far too high.

VSC is a very good thing badly implemented, keeping the race neutralized with shorter caution periods is great, but it shouldn't be so easily exploited.
Simply closing the pit exit during a caution period could fix future issues, you either won't pit as clearly you will lose time, or if you have to because of damage you will simply be held at pit exit until stewards deem enough time to not gain advantage has occurred, then green light and you can exit pits.

I agree, but this has been a factor since 2015 and the FIA have done nothing about it, despite it affecting several race results.

I was salty at the time (as a Lewis fan) but it's just one of those things and I feel worse for Haas who where due a good result and where on for a massive points haul that could have won the them millions. I hope it doesn't end up costing them constructor places in the end, but I can't imagine they can replicate those results for the next few races.


But I do agree, I don't think Australia is the best opener.
It's not great for people in Europe where the series is largely based, the track is poor for over-taking and the weather is usually fairly good.
You want to open with a bang and you want as many people to see that as possible, and I don't think Aus achieves either of those, especially with the current cars.
 
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^^ I was just wondering whether the Haas drivers were given the green light, or if they should shoulder some blame for going early. There are various systems up and down the grid that dictate how a green light is shown, and it is rarely 1 guy controlling it these days. Some teams have a trigger within each "wheel team" (probably the guy taking the old wheel off the hub) as well as within the jacks and another override as well. As said before, it's better to be absolutely certain than chasing fractions of a second... And Haas will need to seriously review those stop procedures since I think in Grosjean's pitstop there were actually 2 mechanics holding out X's for errors.
 
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Spurgy777
^^ I was just wondering whether the Haas drivers were given the green light, or if they should shoulder some blame for going early. There are various systems up and down the grid that dictate how a green light is shown, and it is rarely 1 guy controlling it these days. Some teams have a trigger within each "wheel team" (probably the guy taking the old wheel off the hub) as well as within the jacks and another override as well. As said before, it's better to be absolutely certain than chasing fractions of a second... And Haas will need to seriously review those stop procedures since I think in Grosjean's pitstop there were actually 2 mechanics holding out X's for errors.

The way the pit crew turned around after the cars left to angrily put up the arm signal to the pit wall suggests to me that the pit crew have no control and it’s just down to someone on the pit wall. If that’s the case that does seem odd to me that they would use a system like that rather than one of the ones you described.