Sunday, March 28, 2010

2010 Australian GP Review: Jenson Button does the impossible and wins a thrilling race

Jenson Button winning races during the 1st half of the 2009 season was such a common sight that when he signed for McLaren for this season, no one believed that he could win a race soo early this season and though Button was a bit lucky that Vettel was fastest man on track had to crash out due to technical issues but it was still a very impressive performance from the British driver who had to prove a point that he won last year’s title not only because of the car alone but also show that he is Hamilton’s equal if not he can be better too.

Kubica was the surprise package of the race and it was nice to see both him and Renault back in the podium. Though Renault were expected to challenge the big 4 towards the 2nd half of the season, this early podium is good for the team and it will surely make them break rank with rest of the teams in the mid field as most teams there as of now are more or less have the same package.

Ferrari leads the championship and it was good to see Massa once again hit the podium while teammate Alonso after a first corner incident started at the tail end of the grid and fought really hard to finish 4th. Though Alonso leads the driver’s championship but in reality there is not much between the 2 Ferrari drivers and the likes of Button, Hamilton and Vettel challenging him is very high.

Red Bull should be very disappointed with this result as for the 2nd race in a row Vettel had the fastest car on the gird but thanks to the car once again he failed to win and this time did not even score points. If this continues it may become like last season where Vettel will be left with too less time to actually challenge for the title while teammate Webber just tried too hard in front of his home fans and though he managed to score 2 points by coming in 9th, it was a race where Webber had he kept his cool could have managed a podium finish.

Nico Rosberg finishing ahead of a 41 year old Schumacher is not the reason for which he signed up for Mercedes and though Mercedes is slightly behind the pace of Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren as of now, they should catch up very soon or else have the likes of Renault hustling them.  Today was a day that proved that though Rosberg was a decent driver but he is still not world championship material yet as though his car was not as good as the others, he did have some favourable grid position at various time during the race and him finishing 5th is just not good enough.

Force India at the start of the season wanted to become the best mid-field team and so far they have shown that they can do it but with the emergence of Renault they need to work harder while Williams though maybe slightly off so far but expect the grove based team to increase its performance as the season progresses. It was good for Liuzzi to score points as though he is a very talented driver, Sutil was always thought of as the leader of the team and now he is under immense pressure to perform.
Another disappointing race for both Sauber and Toro Rosso, while Sauber continues to have reliability issues but if they don’t start performing there is a real danger in the team winding down before the season gets over while Toro Rosso is way better than the new teams but still is somewhat behind the likes of Williams, Renault and Force India while based on the issues Sauber is having now, Toro Rosso is well ahead of them.

No miracles were expected from the new teams and though it was disappointing to see Virgin ask for the FIA permission to redesign their fuel tank as it was too small and this ofcourse does not go too well for the people who back CFD while Lotus and Hispanic Racing managed to get one car finish the race for them. It was a good drive from    Heikki Kovalainen in whatever equipment he had as he was pretty impressive through the race and more drivers from him could see him back among the big boys while Karun Chandhok managed to finish his 1st race in his short F1 career which is pretty good for the rookie.

It was a very exciting Australian grand prix and the wet tracks at the start of the race too played its part while with Button winning the race and also Kubica coming in 2nd has thrown the season wide open and though it is still early days, one thing is certain, Ferrari will be strong through the season while Vettel maybe the next great driver but then unless Red Bull can deliver a car which can go through the race distance, he may well join Ferrari sooner than expected.

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