Things go upside down Down Under

Things go upside down Down Under

Postby meteorite » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:17 am

Here is the resul:


22 25 Mar 2018 Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne


Pos No Driver Laps Time/Retired Pts
1 5 Vettel 58 1:29:33.283 25
2 44 Hamilton 58 +5.036s 18
3 7 Räikkönen 58 +6.309s 15
4 3 Ricciardo 58 +7.069s 12
5 14 Alonso 58 +27.886s 10
6 33 Verstappen 58 +28.945s 8
7 27 Hulkenberg 58 +32.671s 6
8 77 Bottas 58 +34.339s 4
9 2 Vandoorne 58 +34.921s 2
10 55 Sainz 58 +45.722s 1
11 11 Perez 58 +46.817s 0
12 31 Ocon 58 +60.278s 0
13 16 Leclerc 58 +75.759s 0
14 18 Stroll 58 +78.288s 0
15 28 Hartley 57 +1 lap 0
NC 8 Grosjean 24 DNF 0
NC 20 Magnussen 22 DNF 0
NC 10 Gasly 13 DNF 0
NC 9 Ericsson 5 DNF 0
NC 35 Sirotkin 4 DNF 0

The story is clearly told in the results. The race was exceedngly close - notice that at the finish of about 180 miles of all-out racing, the first four cars al crossed the finish line within a seven-second interval. In short, they were dueling all the way. Not only that, the next five were in a similarly close group. Parity has not been achieved, but they are getting there.

The results were affected by qualifying penalties. Daniel Ricciardo started three places back from what his time warranted, and the replacement of a gearbox after a qualifying crash sent Bottas back,, to 15th. Magnussen and Grosjean were running strongly in fifth and sixth when Magnussen stopped for new tires and was sent out of the pits with the left rear wheel unsecured, causing a "virtual yellow" and drawing an automatic instant disqualification. Grosjewan, taking tactical advantage of the slowdown to refresh his tires, had his left Front come adrift, putting another disqualified car on the verge just beyond the pit exit. The Hess team subsequently traced the cause to a possibly faulty tool that left the wheel nuts cross-threaded - giving them a flat zero instead of the best finish in the teams history that they were poised to claim. To the annoyance of the race leaders, two cars being retrieved meant a real safety car came out, costing them their leads so difficultly built up from the start.

There was worse to come. Sebastian Vettel, who had been left behind by polesitter Lewis Hamilton and the other front-row starter Kimi Raikkonen, came in for his fresh set of tires. But the speed limit in the pit lane is separate and different from the rules that apply to the rest of the racing surface. Vettel roared down the pit lane at his software-controlled limit, stopped for the two-second tire change, and roared out again in front of all the other cars, a lead he still carried across the finish line to the end of the race. Ironially, Mercedes had spotted the same anomaly in the rules and provided for it in their computerized race plan - but they made an error in coding the algorithm that dealt with it - so they found out later. Vettel, beneficiary of the error, was noy about to complain, nor was his teammate Raikkonen, while Mercedes realized they had made a mistake but were stuck with it. So the race was gifted first and third to the Italian entry while Hamilton could not regain his polesitter's lead.

Part of this result was due to the nature of the Melbourne track, where despite its open appearance at Formula One speeds it is second only to Monaco in thwarting passing attempts. And aggravating factor was the unexpected heat with the temperature still sitting at 38 degrees C even as sunset approached, leaving the teams to deal with brake and coolant overheating and much higher levels of tire wear than they had planned. Complicating this was the new aerodynamcs package specified for this season, which leaves a hoy and violently turbulent wake to upset the handling of any car daring to attempt to pass.

So the race ran out, proving once again the on most tracks Mercedes are the class of the field but Ferrari are closing on them fast. Witn the new rules that engine suppliers must supply the same specification engies and updates to their customers as are fitted to the works cars for the race, much greater parity has been established, a situation notably emphasized by the Hess Ferrari engined machines that were very close challenges to the factory cars .

The new ownership and management in Formula One is also showing. The front straight in Melbourne has been renamed in honour of Rob Walker, the "angel" of so many Down-Under driving stars including three-time World Champion Sir Jack Brabham . The grid girls are gone. The bright yet dignified Australian anthem - "Advance Australia Fair" - was sung by a clean-looking young woman in a white dress who did not change the tunes as written or add any flourishes of her own, supported by a formal chamber group who at the end of the race played the drivers up to the podium to a neat jazz rendition of Waltzing Matilda. There were many little touches that suggest Liberty want to emphasize the sport as a serious class act. We can only hope.
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