Australian GP team-by-team analysis

Alonso couldn't find a way past Massa

Alonso couldn't find a way past Massa

Fernando Alonso comfortably out-qualified Felipe Massa on Saturday but never looked likely to beat his team mate on race day.

And while Vitantonio Liuzzi scored point for Force India for the second race in a row, Adrian Sutil seems to have better pace so far.

Take a closer look at how each of the team mates compared in the Australian Grand Prix.

Compare the performances of the drivers in each team. You can get a more detailed breakdown of their qualifying and race statistics including a graph of their lap times by following the ‘Compare…’ links below.

McLaren

Jenson Button

Jenson Button, McLaren, Melbourne, 2010

At first Button thought his early switch to slicks had been a mistake. It turned out to be the decision that put him in a position to win the race. On lap eight he was over two seconds faster than any other car on track and he was 4.3s faster on lap nine.

It was a necessary move to pit for slicks. I was struggling for grip on the inters, and the rears were destroying themselves very quickly, so we figured it must be time for dries. As I drove down the pitlane, I could see it was soaking wet and I feared it was a massive mistake on my part. When I left the pits, I went off the circuit and just thought, ??Oh no!?
Jenson Button

Compare Jenson Button’s form against his team mate in 2010

Lewis Hamilton

Much has already been written about McLaren’s decision to bring Lewis Hamilton in for a second pit stop which almost certainly cost him a podium finish.

Although the gamble to bring him in didn’t pay off it did look as though he’d finally found a way past Fernando Alonso when Webber took the McLaren driver out with two laps to go.

Hamilton had made life difficult for himself by failing to reach Q3 on Saturday – he was over six tenths of a second slower than Button in Q2. And he lost precious time immediately after his second stop by running off the track, without which he could have attacked Alonso sooner and with fresher tyres.

Despite all that, he’s right to be proud of a performance which featured several well-judged passes on other front-runners:

This was probably one of the drives of my life.
Lewis Hamilton

Compare Lewis Hamilton’s form against his team mate in 2010

Mercedes

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2010

Michael Schumacher

Much closer to Nico Rosberg in qualifying than he had been in Bahrain. But made surprisingly little progress after falling down the field early on after being hit at the first corner.

Read more: Alonso fourth, Schumacher tenth in their battle from the back in Melbourne

Compare Michael Schumacher’s form against his team mate in 2010

Nico Rosberg

A solid run to fifth, much like his racat Bahrain. But getting passed around the outside of turn 11 by Hamilton must have hurt his pride. Kept his nose clean, though, and was the highest-placed two-stopper in the race.

I had a bad start in the wet and after that we lacked pace and I struggled with the option tyre. The rear degradation was pretty bad so we decided to go for a second stop and get some fresh tyres to try to attack the group ahead. Even with the tyre advantage, it would have been difficult to pass once we caught up and therefore it was good to make up a couple of places when Mark and Lewis had an incident, so I’m pleased with that.
Nico Rosberg

Compare Nico Rosberg’s form against his team mate in 2010

Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel

He took pole position and led comfortably until a wheel problem threw him into a high-speed slide at turn 13. You couldn’t have asked much more of him, though it was odd he waited a lap longer than everybody else to change to slick tyres.

I felt that something was wrong one lap earlier than I went off. I had some sparks coming up from the front left wheel; we didn?t know what it was and so wanted to pit. Then, a couple of corners before, I had huge vibrations building up and as soon as I touched the brakes, I had some sort of failure going in to Turn 13 and ended up in the gravel. There was nothing I could have done, I lost the car and that was it. It?s a shame as I think we had the race in total control at every stage, even though the conditions were difficult. But to win you have to finish. It breaks my balls not to get the win, but there?s still a long way to go in this championship.
Sebastian Vettel

Compare Sebastian Vettel’s form against his team mate in 2010

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2010

Mark Webber

His race started promisingly. Despite losing a position to Felipe Massa at the start he soon passed the Ferrari driver and caught his team mate.

But it started to go wrong when he delayed his switch to slick tyres until lap ten. He then went off, letting Fernando Alonso past, and ran wide at turn 13 as well losing a position to Hamilton.

Webber was another driver who took an extra pit stop later in the race. This allowed him to jump past Rosberg, who also pitted, but left him behind the Ferraris.

He was on course for at least sixth place when he ran into Hamilton, earning an official reprimand from the stewards.

Leaving the pits I couldn?t get second gear and went wide. I knew I had to make the moves on track. We then decided to pit which worked out okay. At the end of the race we caught the leading guys, but then we had the incident. I apologise to Lewis about that. I lost all down-force in the front of the car when I got close to them, the car lifted and I slid into the back of him.
Mark Webber

Compare Mark Webber’s form against his team mate in 2010

Ferrari

Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Melbourne, 2010

Felipe Massa

Alonso out-qualified Massa by over seven-tenths of a second – the biggest gap between any pair of team mates apart from the Renaults.

Despite that Massa was able to keep Alonso behind for much of the race. However he wasn’t able to do anything about Robert Kubica.

I was able to close on Kubica but I never had a real chance of passing him, while behind me Fernando got very close on more than one occasion, making the most of a few errors.
Felipe Massa

Compare Felipe Massa’s form against his team mate in 2010

Fernando Alonso

Having comfortably beaten his team mate in qualifying Alonso collided with Button at the first corner, falling to the back of the field. It was a strange incident which made you wonder if Alonso couldn’t see Button in his mirrors, or thought he could intimidate him into backing down.

In his recovery drive he picked off the new cars then passed Pedro de la Rosa and Rubens Barrichello.

Although he’d been much quicker than Massa on Saturday he couldn’t find a way past in the race, but acknowledged he’d been keen not to crash into his team mate. He defended his position from Hamilton very carefully at the end of the race – though without Webber’s intervention it looks like Hamilton was poised to get by after Alonso locked up at turn 13.

When I found myself behind Felipe, maybe I could have gone a bit quicker, but we know it?s very hard to pass in Formula 1 and between team-mates, one should not take any unnecessary risks. If we had managed to get past Kubica, then it might have been a different story, but it wasn?t possible, apart from the fact I also had to defend my position against Hamilton and Webber, who were on fresher tyres than us.
Fernando Alonso

Read more: Alonso fourth, Schumacher tenth in their battle from the back in Melbourne

Compare Fernando Alonso’s form against his team mate in 2010

Williams

Rubens Barrichello

Barrichello also lost places with an extra second pit stop. Although he recovered the place lost to de la Rosa he wasn’t able to recover the position lost to Vitantonio Liuzzi.

It was a good race, but we should have finished in seventh really. We took the chance to change tyres when we did and go for it. I thought everyone else would also come in, which is why I went for that route.
Rubens Barrichello

Compare Rubens Barrichello’s form against his team mate in 2010

Nico H???lkenberg, Williams, Melbourne, 2010

Nico H???lkenberg

Taken out of the race by Kamui Kobayashi on lap one. H???lkenberg was very enthusiastic about the Melbourne circuit which he hadn’t raced at before this weekend.

Compare Nico H???lkenberg’s form against his team mate in 2010

Renault

Robert Kubica in the pits

Robert Kubica

Steered clear of the lap one mayhem to take fourth, and gained another place during the pit stops to run third. Vettel’s retirement put him second.

Kubica lapped consistently in his long stint on soft tyres and neither Hamilton nor Massa were able to pass him.

This was a classic example of a driver getting the most out of inferior equipment and coming home ahead of several better-equipped drivers who should have been in front of him.

I managed to jump Massa in the pits and I came out ahead of Button, but it was my first lap on slicks so I could not hold him off. I thought I would pit again later in the race, but the team said we didn?t need to if I could look after the tyres until the end of the race. I tried to take care of them as much as I could, which wasn?t easy because I had Hamilton behind me and then Massa, but in the end my tyres lasted and we managed to get this great result.
Robert Kubica

Compare Robert Kubica’s form against his team mate in 2010

Vitaly Petrov

It was Petrov’s turn to fall into the Q1 trap, being eliminated along with the cars from the three new teams.

But as in Bahrain he stayed out of trouble at the start and picked up a lot of places. That was all for nothing when he spun off shortly after swapping his intermediates for slicks, while the track was still damp.

We made a change to slick tyres at the same time as most of the field, but when I was on the slicks I got caught out in the braking zone for turn three and got stuck in the gravel.
Vitaly Petrov

Compare Vitaly Petrov’s form against his team mate in 2010

Force India

Adrian Sutil

Comfortably out-qualified his team mate but retired early on with engine failure.

Compare Adrian Sutil’s form against his team mate in 2010

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India, Melbourne, 2010

Vitantonio Liuzzi

Scored points for the second week in a row but the signs are Sutil has better pace.

Compare Vitantonio Liuzzi’s form against his team mate in 2010

Toro Rosso

Sebastien Buemi

Taken out of the race on lap one by Kamui Kobayashi.

Compare Sebastien Buemi’s form against his team mate in 2010

Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, Melbourne, 2010

Jaime Alguersuari

Did a remarkable job keeping Michael Schumacher behind but finally cracked a few laps from home. If it hadn’t been for that he’d have scored his first ever point.

I think on the one hand I?m quite happy as I had a long fight with Michael (Schumacher) which was nice. I was under a lot of pressure, but I was able to keep him behind me for many laps until I made a small mistake at Turn 13 with a few laps to go and he managed to pass me.
Jaime Alguersuari

Compare Jaime Alguersuari’s form against his team mate in 2010

Lotus

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus, Melbourne, 2010

Jarno Trulli

Did not start the race after a hydraulic power pack failed on the grid and the team were unable to replace it in time.

Compare Jarno Trulli’s form against his team mate in 2010

Heikki Kovalainen

Led the Virgins before they dropped out and brought the car home for the second race in a row, two laps down.

Compare Heikki Kovalainen’s form against his team mate in 2010

HRT

Karun Chandhok, HRT, Melbourne, 2010

Karun Chandhok

Gave the HRT F110 its first race finish, five laps down.

Compare Karun Chandhok’s form against his team mate in 2010

Bruno Senna

Covered four laps before retiring with a hydraulic problem.

Compare Bruno Senna’s form against his team mate in 2010

Sauber

Pedro de la Rosa, Sauber, Melbourne, 2010

Pedro de la Rosa

The Sauber’s kindness to its tyres had been talked up by some pre-season but its performance at Melbourne suggested this claim was wide of the mark. De la Rosa dropped out of the points two laps from home as tyre wear became a serious problem. Like the top four finishers, he made only one stop.

We underestimated the tyre degradation. In the end I really had no rear tyres left. For the last 15 laps it was just a question of how to keep the car on the track. I was absolutely helpless when Michael and Jaime came in the end to overtake me.
Pedro de la Rosa

Compare Pedro de la Rosa’s form against his team mate in 2010

Kamui Kobayashi

Suffered a huge crash on the first lap when his front wing came off and lodged beneath his front tyres. He ricocheted off the turn six barrier and ploughed into Buemi and H???lkenberg, eliminating both.

He believes the wing failed of its own accord but it was his third such failure during the weekend. The first occurred when he hit a cone, the second appeared to fail of its own accord. FIA technical delegate Jo Bauer inspected the car during practice.

It looks as if I touched a kerb or another car in turn three. Everything was very close and I don?t really remember anything major, but on the data it looks like there was something. I had no worries about the front wing, but a few corners later it went off and got stuck under the car. At first I had no idea what had happened. I had no control any more.
Kamui Kobayashi

Compare Kamui Kobayashi’s form against his team mate in 2010

Virgin

Timo Glock, Fernando Alonso, Melbourne, 2010

Timo Glock

Made it as far as a pit stop this time, but didn’t get to the end of the race:

It was a real shame that we had a problem just 15 laps from the end of the race when I started to feel that there was something wrong with the way the car was feeling. I came in and we found a problem which we now know to be a camber shim having worked loose, and this was causing the suspension to move around on the left rear. Had we not had the suspension issue I think we would have been looking good for our first chequered flag.
Timo Glock

Compare Timo Glock’s form against his team mate in 2010

Lucas di Grassi

Stopped with a hydraulic problem.

Compare Lucas di Grassi’s form against his team mate in 2010

Qualifying

Team Driver Lap time Gap Lap time Driver Round
McLaren Jenson Button 1’24.531 -0.653 1’25.184 Lewis Hamilton Q2
Mercedes Michael Schumacher 1’24.927 +0.043 1’24.884 Nico Rosberg Q3
Red Bull Sebastian Vettel 1’23.919 -0.116 1’24.035 Mark Webber Q3
Ferrari Felipe Massa 1’24.837 +0.726 1’24.111 Fernando Alonso Q3
Williams Rubens Barrichello 1’25.085 -0.663 1’25.748 Nico H???lkenberg Q2
Renault Robert Kubica 1’25.588 -0.883 1’26.471 Vitaly Petrov Q1
Force India Adrian Sutil 1’25.046 -0.697 1’25.743 Vitantonio Liuzzi Q2
Toro Rosso Sebastien Buemi 1’25.638 -0.451 1’26.089 Jaime Alguersuari Q2
Lotus Jarno Trulli 1’29.111 +0.314 1’28.797 Heikki Kovalainen Q1
HRT Karun Chandhok 1’30.613 +0.087 1’30.526 Bruno Senna Q1
Sauber Pedro de la Rosa 1’25.747 -0.030 1’25.777 Kamui Kobayashi Q2
Virgin Timo Glock 1’29.592 -0.593 1’30.185 Lucas di Grassi Q1

This table compares the best lap times achieved by each teams’ drivers in the latest stage of qualifying both their drivers reached.

Race – fastest laps

Team Driver Fastest lap Gap Fastest lap Driver
McLaren Jenson Button 1’29.291 +0.785 1’28.506 Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes Michael Schumacher 1’29.185 +0.696 1’28.489 Nico Rosberg
Red Bull Sebastian Vettel 1’31.556 +3.198 1’28.358 Mark Webber
Ferrari Felipe Massa 1’29.537 -0.170 1’29.707 Fernando Alonso
Williams Rubens Barrichello 1’29.210 No time Nico H???lkenberg
Renault Robert Kubica 1’29.570 -13.562 1’43.132 Vitaly Petrov
Force India Adrian Sutil 1’43.223 +13.538 1’29.685 Vitantonio Liuzzi
Toro Rosso Sebastien Buemi No time 1’29.713 Jaime Alguersuari
Lotus Jarno Trulli No time 1’33.638 Heikki Kovalainen
HRT Karun Chandhok 1’35.045 -46.195 2’21.240 Bruno Senna
Sauber Pedro de la Rosa 1’30.587 No time Kamui Kobayashi
Virgin Timo Glock 1’34.230 -2.377 1’36.607 Lucas di Grassi

NB. Drivers in italics were not classified finishers (did not complete 90% of the race distance or more)

Race – average laps

Team Driver Average lap Gap Average lap Driver
McLaren Jenson Button 1’36.837 -0.515 1’37.352 Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes Michael Schumacher 1’38.033 +0.909 1’37.124 Nico Rosberg
Red Bull Sebastian Vettel 1’44.770 +6.773 1’37.997 Mark Webber
Ferrari Felipe Massa 1’37.087 -0.031 1’37.118 Fernando Alonso
Williams Rubens Barrichello 1’37.880 No time Nico H???lkenberg
Renault Robert Kubica 1’37.044 -31.377 2’08.421 Vitaly Petrov
Force India Adrian Sutil 2’05.632 +27.763 1’37.869 Vitantonio Liuzzi
Toro Rosso Sebastien Buemi No time 1’38.066 Jaime Alguersuari
Lotus Jarno Trulli No time 1’41.592 Heikki Kovalainen
HRT Karun Chandhok 1’46.003 -46.458 2’32.462 Bruno Senna
Sauber Pedro de la Rosa 1’38.114 No time Kamui Kobayashi
Virgin Timo Glock 1’44.031 -46.398 2’30.429 Lucas di Grassi

NB. Drivers in italics were not classified finishers (did not complete 90% of the race distance or more)

Over to you

What’s your take on how the team mates compared in Melbourne? Who impressed and who disappointed? Have your say in the comments.

2010 Australian Grand Prix

Images (C) Ferrari spa, Renault/LAT, Williams/LAT, Bridgestone, www.mclaren.com, Getty Images/Red Bull, Force India F1 Team, Lotus F1, Virgin Racing, BMW Sauber F1 Team, Motioncompany

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102 comments on Australian GP team-by-team analysis

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  1. Dennis said on 30th March 2010, 0:04

    Yeah Alonso had a bad start and if it were any other driver than Massa he probably went for it and got to second position, he seemed a lot faster than the Brazilian who was struggling throughout the race making multiple little errors (including the one where he almost crashed into Alonso, who wisely slowed down a bit). But Massa beat him here, good team effort. Weird thing is that although Massa ended up before Alonso, Alonso is the one that had the best race IMO. Same with Button and Hamilton. I think Hamilton drove a great race where Button took a risk that worked out well, still amazing effort though. Bad luck for the Hulk too but Rubens is still too quick for him, lets see in 5 races!

    • I agree about Massa I thought that apart from his great start he had a shocker. His rear end was sliding around so much at times I’m surprised he wasn’t arrested for ‘hooning’

      • DanThorn said on 30th March 2010, 7:52

        If Massa can put the fact that Alonso went from the back to right on his gearbox in well under half race distance out of his mind, then he’ll be very happy to have finished third even though he wasn’t happy with the car and has never really enjoyed Albert Park.

        • Roger Carballo AKA Archtrion said on 30th March 2010, 8:18

          Absolutely agree. The fact that your teanmate is last at the first lap and behind your rear wing after half race distance…. mmmmmm.. it looks weird to me… I mean, if I were Massa I wouldn’t feel much of a truly winner here. Don’t you think?

          • Wateva said on 30th March 2010, 9:46

            Well he is not the winner. He had a bad race, and its all about making the most out of a bad weekend. I dont see anything worrying in that, I rather think he should be pleased that with his pace and errors he was able to score a podium!

    • Jasper said on 30th March 2010, 16:44

      I’d really like to know what Alonso’s thoughts were on the first corner collision. Button was half way down his inside and Schumacher was level alongside on the outside. Was Alonso busy looking at Schumacher on the outside? Was it the mirrors? Or was it the fact that even if Alonso had seen Button he couldn’t move over to allow him a little space because Schumacher was on the outside. You can’t really blame any of those three drivers really, it was just a racing incident 3 into 1 didn’t go on that occasion.

  2. Prisoner Monkeys said on 30th March 2010, 0:10

    But as in Bahrain he stayed out of trouble at the start and picked up a lot of places. That was all for nothing when he spun off shortly after swapping his intermediates for slicks, while the track was still damp.

    Petrov, I think, is the only rookie driver who has really shown any flashes of inspiration – he’s easily the best starter. In two races, he’s picked up more places and anyone else off the line. His error at turn three was the same as the one Button made. Give him a bit of time, and I think he’ll do well.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th March 2010, 0:22

      Is he doing anything special at the starts, though, or is he just qualifying poorly and then driving past wrecks?

      • Petrov started 18th but was 11th after the 1st corner, passing De la Rosa, Liuzzi, Hülkenberg, Buemi, Kobayashi, Alguersuari, Alonso and later on moved to 10th because Schumacher had to pit (new frontwing).

        So I’d not call it wrecks and he already passed Kobayashi, Buemi, Hülkenberg before they crashed.

        I have to add, Petrov is driving a Renault, not the slowest car to start (or race) with. If he would finish he should be in the points or just outside on 11, 12th position normally.

        • Dennis said on 30th March 2010, 11:18

          Well that depends. Petrov may start well but he made a mistake this race and last race was just bad luck/taking the curbs too hard. Also, he got stuck in Q1 whilst Kubica made it to Q1. About his start, Alonso spun and took Schumacher with him in his fall, Hülkenberg got crashed into by Kobayashi and went out with Buemi too so those 5 places are not that surprising. It’s too early to judge, I don’t think we can really blame Petrov for his mistake during this race. It was slippery and he’s a rooky driver. Also Kubica is known to be one of the fastest drivers in the field so it’s not easy for him.

      • polishboy808 said on 30th March 2010, 1:43

        I think that actually he has had some good starts, sure he started behind a few slow cars, and he had a quite good car so it should have been easy to have a good start, but in Bahrain, he started in a decent position and, without any accidents, still gained positions, if he could finish races, he could get points after china (because of experiance), mostly because of his starts. So yes, I think his starts are something special.

    • Patrickl said on 30th March 2010, 12:39

      Of course he’s ruined his qualifying in both events. Sitting very far down the grid in what is essentially a fast car is a very easy recipe for having a good start …

  3. Adam Tate said on 30th March 2010, 2:02

    Interesting that many people claimed Massa as going kind of slow, when his fastest lap and his average lap time were both faster than those of his team mate.

    • yes, but it would be hard for alonso to set the fastest time between the two, as when he was lighter, he was stuck behind him. But good start to the season for massa though.

      • DanThorn said on 30th March 2010, 7:54

        Don’t forget that Alonso also spent 15 or so seconds facing the wrong way at turn 1, which is a pretty big outlier.

    • Dennis said on 30th March 2010, 11:40

      According to the teamboss Stefano Dominicali Ferrari has a rule that the 2 team members can’t pass each other in the final stint. Enough said :)

      • Invoke said on 30th March 2010, 12:15

        Do you have a source for that info Dennis? If it’s true and the teams continue on the 15ish laps, change tyres, drive to finish routine that’s expected, then they are bound to hold each other up. I can’t see it happening myself.

        • Dennis said on 30th March 2010, 20:29

          “During the final stint, we have a certain internal code of practice that unless there is an obvious situation, then the situation has to be respected,” said Domenicali.

          http://www.ferrarif1world.com/

          He might mean that during the final laps or something. It’s a bit amiguous, what does he mean with the “final stages of the race” or “final stint”?

  4. I say give Rosberg another shot with Hamilton when the mercedes car is equal to the mclaren because that car is far from 100% complete. Rosbergs gamble did pay off though letting hamilton charge off and stopping him getting involved in any “shunting”.

    I still think Lewis would not have been able to get past Alonso even if the shunt never happend because Alonso was defending him so well. It might of resulted hamilton shunting into Alonso at some stage with him being over aggressive in every part of the track. it wasn’t like his tyres were that good nere the end to outbrake Alonso every corner…., Monza 09 all over for hamilton.

    • Mike said on 30th March 2010, 4:53

      Yeah I agree, Hamilton was faster, but it’s been said you need 3 seconds to pass, and Alonso, I think he is a stubborn driver.
      Hamilton probably would’ve had a crash anyway but with Alonso instead…

    • Patrickl said on 30th March 2010, 12:44

      Hamilton had realisticly passed Alonso when Webber rammed hamilton off. Alonso really lost the corner and was standing almost still.

  5. GOVIN said on 30th March 2010, 2:56

    Hello Keith,

    I have been reading your blog for quite a while and it is always a splendid work from you. This is the first time I’m giving my comment.

    I being a Melburnian (a F1 fanatic too), was there at Albert Park and was sitting at the Pit Exit stand. My heart broke when I saw Fernando chuckesd out to the very end of the Grid. I would say Ferando was more cautious in his driving not attacking too much.
    From his driving,it was clear that he was not struggling to go past Felipe, instead he was keen on getting as much points as possible ( His post qualifying interview he did mention that his main aim was to finish the race with points and not have a DNF). But Felipe was making more mistakes and also almost collided with Ferando more than once.

    Fernando aggression was evident when he was attacking others and defending his position when Lewis attacked.

    Sympathy to Vettel – This guy is going to be the challenge for all other Champions in the coming races.

    Great Drive by Jenson & Lewis too

    Aus GP for a thrilling fun.

  6. MEmo said on 30th March 2010, 3:12

    Rosberg “was the highest-placed two-stopper in the race”… Yeah! But thanks to Webbo. He would´ve been the third best placed two-stopper actually…

  7. José Baudaier said on 30th March 2010, 4:50

    Barrichello said he should have finished 7th and if he had a few more laps we would.

  8. I am becoming more impressed with Rosberg. In the past he was rather an unknown – we had an idea of his talent but he was overshadowed by the faster teams. Now he is partnered with the greatest racer ever to live, and he seems to be doing quite well so far.

    • Hotbottoms said on 30th March 2010, 8:57

      I must disagree with you. Schumacher hasn’t been driving for three years and yet he’s only 0.1-0.2 seconds or something slower than Rosberg in the first two races. I’m expecting hard times for Rosberg this season (at least compared to his team mate).

      • Patrickl said on 30th March 2010, 12:47

        Are you only looking at fastest lap times or something?

        Schumacher was over 50 seconds behind Rosberg on the finish. That’s almost a second per lap on average.

        You could argue that he was set back by the first corner incident, but so was Alonso and he was right behind Massa.

        • Hotbottoms said on 30th March 2010, 13:32

          Yes, he was set back by the first corner. In Bahrain Schumacher was one second behind Rosberg on the finish. Maybe the gap is a bit more than 0.1-0.2 seconds, but my point is that Schumacher is almsot as fast as Rosberg already in the first two races.

          I don’t really understand what you are trying to say with your Alonso-Massa comparison. Alonso was set back by the first corner incident also and he was behing Massa on the finnish, but doesn’t that only implicate Alonso was a lot better and faster than Massa?

          I never said Schumacher was faster or even as fast as Rosberg in Australian GP.

          • steph said on 30th March 2010, 14:04

            Alonso managed t escape Jaime after the pits though I thnik whereas Schumi got stuck.

          • Patrickl said on 30th March 2010, 20:29

            “I never said Schumacher was faster or even as fast as Rosberg in Australian GP.”

            I’m just saying that 0.1 to 0.2 is nonsense. In Bahrain it was, but in Australie it was more like up to a second per lap.

            The Alonso example should be obvious. They were both at the back. Alonso gets to the front Schumacher doesn’t.

            Most of their initial loss was recovered by the safety car anyway.

          • Hotbottoms said on 31st March 2010, 9:46

            “The Alonso example should be obvious. They were both at the back. Alonso gets to the front Schumacher doesn’t.”

            It’s just silly to compare drivers from different teams just by looking at their lap times and how many points they scored and ignoring everything else in the race like the fact that they had different cars and the other one got stuck behing the slower car, the other didn’t.

            That’s like saying “Jenson Button is better driver than Sebastian Vettel because he won the race, Vettel didn’t”.

            As steph said, I believe Schumi got stuck behind Jaime. Should he have managed to overtake Alguersuari whereas Alonso didn’t? Maybe. But the fact he was behind a slower driver makes plain lap time comparison useless.

            You admitted 0.1 to 0.2 was true in Bahrain. Should we now assume that in one race Schumacher has become 0.8 to 0.9 slower (than Rosberg) or that Alguersuari had a big effect on his race?

          • Patrickl said on 31st March 2010, 11:48

            The point is that Schumacher was struggling all through the race to overtake even the slowest backmarkers.

            It also shows that the track did certainly lend itself to overtaking.

            Schumacher’s car was plenty fast since his fastest lap was plenty fast.

          • Hotbottoms said on 31st March 2010, 12:23

            I believe nowadays fast car isn’t necessarily the same as a car that is good at overtaking. How many cars did Rosberg overtake?

            My guess is that if Schumacher wasn’t set back in the first corner, he’d been 6th in the race and about 1-2 seconds behind Rosberg, which was kind of my original point. Do you disagree?

  9. Scalextric said on 30th March 2010, 6:02

    Over here in the colonies, we heard that Red Bull were expecting more rain as Button pitted. AS I recall. This explains why they were relatively late to pit, and when they eventually did, Vettel got first dibs followed by Mr. Webber.

    • US_Peter said on 30th March 2010, 7:04

      Yep. I remember SPEED playing that radio transmission just about while the other teams were all pitting. Something like “We’re expecting more rain in ten minutes, so make the tires last.” or something to that effect. Needless to say it didn’t take them long to figure out they’d made the wrong call.

  10. bear in mind that Fernando is the cleverest of the lot. In all his interviews he hints at scoring points regularly as its a long season and by jolly he has ..

    He is a true champion who will maintain his point scoring momentum and turn on the heat when it really matters.. It was also important to allow/protect Massa to score points for the constructors..

    He did not even once hassle Massa for the 3rd position (+2 points)

    • Umar Farooq Khawaja said on 30th March 2010, 12:17

      Totally agree there U2. Alonso was covering Massa’s rear after he got behind him. You could tell he was way quicker but never tried to make a move on Massa.

      I figure if Alonso had passed Massa, Hamilton would have passed Massa too.

      I think it was probably a case of Alonso tempering his natural aggression… probably because he wants to show Ferrari that he puts the team ahead of himself. I doubt he would do the same thing at the sharp end of the season if he’s fighting for the championship.

  11. totally agree with GOVIN .. well said mate !

  12. Zatarra said on 30th March 2010, 7:45

    Let me just say that I love this site :) One of the first to be checked by me daily for the F1 info. Keep up the good work !!

  13. steph90 said on 30th March 2010, 7:46

    Kubica got a bit of luck in the pits when massa was stuck there.
    Massa was only a 7/10 and made too many mistakes particularly defending…again. However, I don’t think he deserves so much stick for his race when he had issues all weekend and by the time he caught Robert the track was drier. He done alright considering he wasn’t happy. Yes, Fernando completely outclassed him on this GP but he hung on to 3rd and Massa has made a charge through the field before :P
    Petrov is a good starter but as much as I like him, it has only been two races.
    Senna did climb to 14th in the early stages but wish I had seen that rather than just taking Brundle and Legard’s word for it.
    As it seems popular to compare Lewis to Senna (something I hate as a driver should be known in their own right) I don’t think the comparison is that close as Lewis seems unable to think things through with tyres etc. He isn’t one of the smartest drivers on the grid which I don’t especially care about but it is his big flaw. He complains at the team which is fair but he is dependent on them and they have saved him before- Monaco 08 for example. I’m bored of the whole row issue but it does show an area Lewis is possibly lacking.

  14. F1Yankee said on 30th March 2010, 7:50

    webber has always been under-rated, in my opinion.

    • GeeMac said on 30th March 2010, 9:55

      Agreed, much like Nick Heidefld. And look where he ended up… :(

    • Patrickl said on 30th March 2010, 12:49

      Webber has always been underperforming though.

      He seems to be close to Vettel’s speed, but he still is slower. The only thing that kept him in front of Vettel for most of the 2009 season was his consistency. With his absurdly erratic drive in Australia, he obviously lost that too.

  15. MYS said on 30th March 2010, 7:56

    “Hamilton had made life difficult for himself by failing to reach Q3 on Saturday – he was over six tenths of a second slower than Button in Q2. And he lost precious time immediately after his second stop by running off the track, without which he could have attacked Alonso sooner and with fresher tyres.”

    What a load of -ve spin and nonsense. Anyone who watched Q2 knows Hamilton was sent out on the wrong tyre pressures and that cost him Q1 and even with that and being sent out again on fuel for only one run and encountering traffic Hamilton was only six tenths behind golden boy Button.

    Interesting to see Button at the top of all your tables ;) Fans or honest pundits who know their F1, as I suspect you do, will tell you that given this year’s driver line up, Button wouldn’t be ranked higher than six, if that, among the talent on the grid. Having a load of ppl propagating a distorted version is very damaging to the credibility of F1, even if you feel really clever while doing it. Try some honest sport reporting please and leave empire building to the politicians

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 30th March 2010, 8:42

      Try some honest sport reporting please

      That’s exactly what you’ve got here. Everything above is based on solid facts.

      You just don’t like certain facts and your criticism of what I’ve written is limited only to the negative comments regarding a driver you like, while you’ve ignored the positive comments about him I made.

      For example:

      Interesting to see Button at the top of all your tables

      The tables are in car number order. Button has car number one.

      • GeeMac said on 30th March 2010, 9:58

        Well handled Keith!

        • Leon said on 30th March 2010, 12:47

          Yep….some people really do live in a house full of distorting mirrors don’t they ?

          No other rational explanation.

          Hey ho Keith, that’s what you get for telling it like it is, eh ?

    • VXR said on 30th March 2010, 8:59

      The sixth best driver won the race. Meanwhile, in another silver car at the back of the field, seven times world champion……

      I personally don’t pay too much attention to so called driver rankings, whether they come from so called ‘fans’ or so called ‘pundits’. The fractions that a driver can bring to the speed of his car from a ‘talent’ point of view, pale into insignificance when it comes to what actually happens out on track. One wrong decision and all your ‘talent’ means nothing. 2010 will be the season where decision makers come to the fore. So maybe the ‘seven time world champion’ isn’t out of it yet.

    • F1Yankee said on 30th March 2010, 9:28

      you make me LOL

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