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F1 2014 Opens with Australia
F1 2014 Opens with Australia
We have finally reached the highly anticipated 2014 Australian Grand Prix, where the teams brought their newly reworked cars and motors for a 57 lap run around the streets of Melbourne. With a long list of new regulations, plus changes to the teams’ driver rosters, nobody knew what to expect for this season opener. As for us race fans, an unpredictable race nearly always makes for a great one.
With little surprise, Mercedes-powered teams largely populated the top 10 spots on the starting grid, with Lewis Hamilton on pole, Nico Rosberg on P3, Kevin Magnussen on P4, Nico Hulkenberg on P7, and Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas on P9 and 10. Team Red Bull continued to surprise us with the performance of both their drivers, with Sebastian Vettel starting back in 13th, and Daniel Ricciardo all the ways up in 2nd.
The race began with a few complications, particularly both of Marussia’s drivers Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi stalling on grid. Further, Romain Grosjean had to start the race from pit lane, due to additional car modifications being made. Once the cars all gridded for a second attempt at a start and were rolling under green, it did not take long for the first two retirements to take place. While under braking for the first turn, Kamui Kobayashi suffered a mechanical problem in his rear brakes, sending his car into Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen. While Raikkonen was able to continue on to the race finish, Massa was not so lucky and was out for the remainder of the race.
Unfortunately, more retirements followed during the race shortly thereafter. Both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel had to call it quits after only a couple laps, due to engine problems. But the race continued on, with Nico Rosberg having a stellar drive and taking his car to the finish line first by more than twenty seconds over Daniel Ricciardo. While the fan favored Ricciardo brought his car to the finish in second place, the driver was disqualified due to concerns over his car’s fuel flow and means of measuring it. This ultimately bumps Kevin Magnussen up to 2nd, Jenson Button to 3rd, Fernando Alonso to 4th, and Valtteri Bottas to 5th.
For the season opener, we are excited to see how many surprises Formula One had in store for us. It’s also a refreshing feeling to see a more mixed up set of results than what has been the norm for the last few years. We have a rookie driver on the podium, Williams back in the top 5 (along with other notable teams performing better than previous years), and cars that appear to be more difficult to drive. No doubt, this season will be one to follow as we witness the teams trying to find their way around the new powertrains and aero regulations, and drivers learning how to best control these new cars.