Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Melbourne, 2012

Rate the race: 2012 Australian Grand Prix

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

What did you think of the Australian Grand Prix? Share your verdict on today’s race.

Did the two DRS zones make for a better race than the single one used last year? Have your say in the comments.

F1 Fanatic holds polls on each race to find out which fans thought were the best and worst races during a season.

Please vote based on how entertaining and exciting you thought the race was, not on how your preferred driver or team performed.

Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2012 Australian Grand Prix out of ten

  • 1 (0%)
  • 2 (0%)
  • 3 (1%)
  • 4 (1%)
  • 5 (2%)
  • 6 (8%)
  • 7 (27%)
  • 8 (40%)
  • 9 (15%)
  • 10 (5%)

Total Voters: 914

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1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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See the results for past seasons here:

268 comments on “Rate the race: 2012 Australian Grand Prix”

  1. 6 – Button had it under controll all through. There was always something happening up and down the field, but we’ve seen much better races.

    1. So you are basing most of the race on Button leading from the start? Did you not see what was happening for most of the race?
      As for Alonso, how on earth can he pull that car so far up the grid!??
      In regards to the double DRS, that first zone didn’t really do anything, but help the car behind get closer for the second zone, so I guess it worked out well, there were certainly no easy overtakes.

      1. This year Bridgestone-like conservative tyre choice will kill overtaking again.

        1. Oh wow. You do realize that last year they also made two pit stops in Australia (except Perez who had one just liek this year.)

          1. I was talking about speed differences of two compounds and between new and old tyres.
            It gave us all that glory of last season.

            Didn’t see that today.

        2. BUT kimi vettel made the tough choice both ran soft for the first stop unlike other who when on the hard tyre to make up the same distance.
          vettel and kimi both had great pace in middle of the race and showed more promises of improving on there place unlike other who when to save the race by going on the option tyres.

      2. Yes. There’s hardly anything better in F1 than a battle for the win, and there wasn’t much of that today. It was great in the midfield, but prefer battles for victory.

        1. Pretty much agree. Although I am rating it a bit better for some nice action I give it a 7.

      3. I agree with you! but it seems that alot of folks are still posting in anger.

      4. i don’t even understand that Fernando is always attacking very aggressively from the beginning & he doesn’t care what are the cars behind & in front of him & in the same time he doesn’t seem very hard on his tyres
        i think that the Ferrari is only faster than Caterham even Williams today looked faster with Pastor but another time Fernando is bringing a phenomenal performance
        with all my respects to all the drivers but i believe that if he was driving a Mercedes or a Lotus today he would probably challenging Jenson for victory

        1. Totally Agree.. This Ferrari is probably faster than the Caterham… look @ Massa he just cant drive it… The Caterham drivers were even catching Massa in the race.. Ferrari are in BIG trouble.. I dont know for how long Alonso can manage to drive a car like this… and bring results such as this which is clearly way above the potential.

          1. I don’t get that “Alonso gets 120% out of the car” stuff… Why ?
            If he drives perfectly, he gets 100% out of the car. That’s it. And if he gets 5th place, that’s because the car is worth 5th place, not because “the car is Soooooo bad but he can get more out of the car than the car has to give”. That is just fanboyism…

          2. @gwenouille, Agreed. No driver can more than 100% out of a car, that’s just stupidity, but probably more often than not when we think a driver is extracting the absolute maximum from their car they’re more likely getting about 95% out of the car. Certainly Vettel came as close last year as any driver to getting 100% especially when you consider that the advantage the RB7 enjoyed was drastically reduced compared to the RB6. Alonso does seem to get more out of his car more consistently than most drivers though, and it may be that the car wasn’t worthy of 5th, but he didn’t get more than 100% to get that result, that just means that drivers with faster cars (I’m looking at you Mercedes and Lotus) probably got less out of their cars’ potential. I’d like to see Alonso in the Lotus or Merc for a little comparison.

          3. Absolute fanboyism… Its like they use Massa’s pace as the yardstick of what actually that Ferrari can do and Alonso’s pace is much more and transcends the car… rubbish.
            truth is Alonso does get the max out of the car and right now Massa is a useless driver… he was killed in hockenheim when Fernando was entitled to be faster than him.
            The F2012 is not the fastest car-true… but saying its only better than Caterham is a cheap attempt to glorify Alonso.

      5. Alonso did a great race as always. But I don’t think it was as bad as many people thought. After all, he was running 4th in Q2 when he went off. I think people thought it was worse because of Massa’s pace. I think the Ferrari will come good once they get enough info on it. They need to sort out the reared grip and the balance on entry vs exit being different, and they need a little more top speed.

      6. @ivz

        He rates the race the same way people rated every race last year that Vettel won. No matter how much stuff was going on in the field, or what happened.

    2. I rated it with an 8. Yes, the result was out of the question right from the moment when Button built a 3 secs gap, and yes the top 5 were the same names we’ve been used to see in the first places.

      But I think it was a very exciting race, even taking aside the fact that it was the first one and we all get very excited about it because it’s been a long time. Alonso getting up to 4th was worth watching, so was Vettel’s efforts to improve his position and the midfield battle was superb.

      It all looks great for a classic year. McLaren and Red Bull seem evenly matched (even if JB has a bit of and edge), Mercedes could well be in the conversation and so could Lotus and Ferrari. Sauber and Williams look very strong, and Force India and Toro Rosso shouldn’t be far off either!

    3. iain (@pitlaneclarky)
      18th March 2012, 19:54

      I think Jenson will win the title this year and will dominate Lewis so much this will end Lewis Hamilton in F1 and off the the brickyard for him.
      Jenson button and Fernando Alonso are the only drivers who can challenge Vettel, in my opinion..

      1. Provided Alonso has a good like Jenson… without a deacent car i dont think so…

    4. I say 7.5 – it had some great moments. I can’t remember a boring race at Albert Park.

      I wouldn’t say it was great because of Jenson, because he didn’t do anything extra special except get a good start and control the race from the front which he is VERY good at. And I’m a Jenson fan.

      There was plenty of overtaking, accidents and general stuff to keep you on the edge of your seat tho. From the front to the back of the grid it was wheel to wheel.

  2. Alex (@smallvizier)
    18th March 2012, 7:42

    An excellent race from Jenson. His speciality is turning in consistent, focused laps in the style of Schumacher or Alonso – but he also absolutely nailed the only overtake he had to make.

    Vettel even more impressive, to me. We’d seen his car was so much slower than the others (at least with low fuel), but he overtook Rosberg in short order, and crucially passed Perez in just a few corners when it had taken Hamilton several laps. Ultimately that quick overtake is what put him in 2nd.

    So gutted for Schumacher and Grosjean. Different reasons, but they will both have craved a good performance. And disappointing from Hamilton who had a race-winning car but couldn’t live with Button; couldn’t build a lead over Vettel before the safety car; and couldn’t overtake him (in at that point a much faster car with DRS) afterwards.

    You could look at the final finsh and conclude that little has changed since last year… McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari at the front. But with Mercedes and Lotus so close and Maldonado putting in Williams’ best performance in some while, this is finely poised for more close racing in Malaysia.

    1. Alex (@smallvizier)
      18th March 2012, 7:43

      Only voted a 7 in the end though because of Schumacher and Grosjean’s early retirements.

    2. Great analysis, I share most of these thoughts.

      1. Agreed. Had Shumacher and Grosjean been able to finish it could have been even more exciting. It would have been fascinating to see if Schumacher could have held onto a top 5 position or if he would have slipped back like Rosberg did.

        A real shame that Mercedes and Williams scored no points today, after such an impressive effort.

    3. I don’t count starts as overtakes. They are getaways or something.

      1. Alex (@smallvizier)
        18th March 2012, 13:06

        Button’s plan for the race
        Step 1: Steal Hamilton’s win
        Step 2: Make a clean getaway

        I can’t write ‘getaway’ without thinking of bank robbers. But on a more serious note, you’re right that making up places at the start uses a different skill-set to overtaking in the race. What they’ve got in common is that you need to produce the goods in a high-stakes situation… Jenson will be happy to have done so.

        1. Don’t forget how many overtakes Jenson has had to make over the last couple of years because his qualifying has been off, the move on Schumacher at Monza last year was breath taking especially taking into account that Lewis had struggled for ages. Jenson used intelligence sensing the tyres would go and wonderful race craft to make it stick.

  3. Exciting race, gave it an 8

    1. it was great race. Top performances from button, alonso, vettel especially. as well as a few notable good performances from others.

      Poor performance by rosberg and massa. Rosberg was mugged by vettel, not for first time he gave up a place where he should of easily had it covered. its day like today which for me show rosberg will unlikely be world champion.

      also disapointed in Vergne who actually moved over to let vettel through while in a racing position. This must be stopped instantly.

      1. If Toro Rosso starts to be Red Bull helpers, something needs to happen ASAP.

    2. I really don’t get why so many people voted 8. Sure the midfield action was chaotic but at the sharp end of the grid almost nothing was happening… After the SC webber couldn’t pass hamilton who couldn’t pass vettel who couldn’t pass jenson. This could have been a race from 2011. 6 imo.

      1. Shane (@shane-pinnell)
        18th March 2012, 22:51

        I gave it an 8 because the midfield battles were great and I love true street circuits. The danger and excitement of a real track, just ask Maldanado!

  4. Incredible race!

  5. 9/10 Great race
    Plenty of battles, a lot of overtaking.

  6. Amazing race, I gave it a 10. Great start to the season. Hope the remaining 19 are just as good.

  7. PJ (@pjtierney)
    18th March 2012, 7:43

    8.

    Good early battles.
    Good late battles.
    Middle of the race didn’t peter out into boredom.

    SC wasn’t bad, just long.

    1. I rated the race an 8 also. Enough battles to throughout but you always had the feeling that Jenson was out of reach after the early gap plus gap after safety car.

      I also thought the safety car period was too long but at least the front-runners did have an opportunity to pounce upon leader.

      1. What was Petrov doing stopping there anyways… that was silly…

        1. His car developed some mechanical problem and that the only place he can park ,close to the wall.As the albert park is a street circuit there arent many slip roads and run off areas

          1. well he could just let it go untill end of pit lane and let marshalls push him back in.
            and I would call it CLOSE to the wall, he barely parked on grass…..

        2. well i would imagine it’s pretty hard two park your car in suited place once it stops rolling….it’s not like he parked intentionally in front of the pits so he had a shorter way to the loo…

  8. Amazing:
    Extremely close racing everywhere

    Disappointments:
    Hamilton not as fiery as I thought he would be
    Mercedes not as fast as I thought it would be
    Red Bull faster than I thought it would be
    That safety car period
    Vettel being gifted a free pitstop
    Grosjean’s collision
    Caterham’s retirements
    Felipe Massa

    Pleasant surprises:
    Williams
    Toro Rosso
    Sauber
    The DRS zones not sucking

    8/10

    1. Vettel was gifted a position. If he had been gifted a free pit stop, he would have finished first. It ended up saving him probably 5-8 seconds.

      1. K. But he passed a few cars in the race, which shows that he can pass cars. While hamilton instead of gainig spots lost 2 places and could’t pass slower cArs or took him so long like when he passed perez. To me the star of the race was alonso gained 7 spots, kimmi gained 10 spots and probably perez but he was helped alot by the sc and did one less pitcstop than the other drivers. Last but not least i was very impressed how fast the mechanics are changing the tires. The ferrari crew was really fast.

        1. The ferrari crew was really fast.

          Well, atleast one part of the Scuderia has improved going into 2012 ;)

        2. Good points. I almost forgot about Lewis not being able to pass. He also couldn’t pass Vettel with the DRS either.

          1. Lewis is pretty ordinary driver now IMO.. i might be wrong. Jenson is brilliant.. I don’t like finger boy Vettel but he is getting better racer with or without the fastest car.

    2. mercedes were fast, just in michael schumachers hands.

  9. Feel bad for Maldonado, he was doing so good and does anybody know what happened to Rosberg?

    1. I believe he ran out of fuel on the last lap

      1. no, he made contact with perez (whom he had passed)

      2. rosberg had a puncture after contact with perez.

    2. SeattleTrick
      18th March 2012, 8:07

      Well, all I am going to say is “karma is a b**ch” for shoving grosjean off.

      1. Aye, a little slower and he still would’ve made it..instead..thwack. Although Grosjean perhaps coulda seen Maldonado was coming through and let off, whislt trying not to be passed by others.

        1. He left more than enough room and Maldonado just drove straight into him

          1. Racing incident. Senna on Massa however, now that’s massa just driving into someone.

    3. Don’t really feel bad for him, that’s two great points finishes he’s thrown away for Williams (regardless of Hamilton’s shenanigans in Monaco last year). Over reaching with his attempt to grab 5th from Alonso on the last lap.

      1. That was my thought in watching him trying hard to pass Alonso. He lost that very important points as we don’t know if Williams can competitive as other teams progress through out the season.

        1. pastor tried so hard, too hard and lost everything… imho he got too excited
          lewis is shadow of old good quick lewis who made nice moves to overtake others, but now he is just waste of space on my screen
          alonso yet again get 120% from car he drove
          shame for MSC i hoped for podium finish for him and for battle agains vettel

          1. Agree with you.. Lewis can’t overtake.. or hesitate to do some calculating moves. I wonder what Kamui can do with that Mclaren car. Alot of overtaking I guess :)

      2. Hamilton did nothing to him in Monaco he was at fault there too.

        1. Yeh I agree, that’s the point I’m making, just carefully wording things in case I annoy Hamilton fans/haters!

      3. It’s more entertaining to see drivers battle to the end. Would you preffer it if everyone above 6th place slowed down in the last few laps so they dont crash? Didn’t think so. It’s a long season and still loads of points to grab.

    4. Rosberg had a puncture after overtaking Perez, whos front wing touched Rosbergs rear left tyre.

    5. As a Lotus fan i feel bad for the move he made on Romain Grosjean,totally incorrect from him.It’s a good thing Maldonado won’t be qualifying that high any more,since Williams will go downhill from now on.He won’t be seeing much action with Lotus,exept when his being laped.

      1. the gros vs mal clash was just racing incident.

        id be interested to see what that williams could do with a decent driver onboard.

  10. Just saw BUT appropriate “the finger”, nice one?

    1. That should be an exclamation mark.

  11. Good weekend overall. Good battles up until safety car. Top 4 battle after the safetycar fizzeled out, quite dissapointing finish really, but, like I said, good weekend overall. 8/10

    1. How is the finish dissapointing you know what happened at the last lap?

    2. @mattynotwo With regards to fizzle out at the front in the end I get what you mean, disapointed with Hamilton, he should have taken the fight to Vettel a bit more, he seemed to accept 3rd as a high points finish to put in the bank.

      1. 1) People moaning about Maldonado putting the fight to Alonso, saying he should have been conservative. 2) People moaning about Hamilton not quite putting the fight to Vettel and perhaps being conservative (it’s just guess work as no-one here has access to the throttle/brake mapping for hamilton and no-one can say, with any conviction, that he wasn’t pushing the car as fast as it could go)….You just can’t win either way.

  12. 8/10. Lots of racing in the midfield, even if it was more pitlane based at the front. Very surprised that Hamilton didn’t make more of the SC restart. The last lap was brilliant, so much happening!

  13. 9, would’ve been 8 but that last lap was amazing. Shame about Maldonado, Grosjean and Mercedes were rather disappointing.

  14. 7 Race was really goods till the safety car appeared. Tyres have become a bit conservative. Shame Mercedes and Lotus didnt look as good in the race as they were in qualifying. Gutted Schumi retired and Maldinado binning it in the last lap

    1. Yeah would have liked to have seen Schumacher on the podium once again; however, I feel it deserves more than a 7.

  15. Great to see so many different constructors in the top 10. And good news for Ferrari that they’ve managed to make a comeback after difficult qualifying.

  16. 7 – I thought the race was not that special.

  17. Great race,, JB won… :-) shame I had to watch it on streaming TV….. was better last year when I could watch it for Free on my TV…..

    1. Also watched it on streaming, I`m now watching the Sky version of “F1 Forum ” ! The Sky coverage seems a little bit boring and I hate breaks !!!!

  18. Marty (@martysomething)
    18th March 2012, 7:50

    Great race to start the season. Button had it under control but it was far from a “sure thing” with Vettel, Hamilton and Webber not too far behind. The midfield battles add to the depth and excitement, though it’s a shame that Grosjean and Schumacher were out of the race early — that would have spiced the entertainment factor up even more! 8/10

  19. Great race. There was always a battle happening somewhere, super happy for the Sauber boys after a less than stellar qualifying. Happy to see Mclaren take the win but honestly kind of expected it. The safety car really messed up Lewis’s race which was disappointing for me. It Nice to see Kimi get up to 7th, wasn’t honestly sure how he would do. Feel terrible for Grosjean and even more really gutted for Maldonado. Never been a Maldonado fan but that sure was tough to watch Williams so close to a good result to lose it on the last lap.

    8/10

  20. *takes mclaren coloured glasses off*

    Pretty good for a season opener! Safetycar killed the race. Would have loved to see if VET would pass HAM in a one on one. Brilliant finish for the last points! Good race for ALO, STR and RAI.

    1. Would have been good to see if Hamilton could pass vetel in a one on one. Oh wait he couldn’t.

      1. Troll… -.-‘

        1. Not trolling. Just a thought. Also Lewis had the DRS thing going and couldn’t get past.

          1. – And he was running out of fuel, meaning he had to turn down engine/shortshift/etc.

      2. @bearforce1 Cheeky comment :)

        1. @bearforce1 – I still agree with you BTW :)

  21. Paul di Resta is a lucky *******! He had a horrible weekend and did not deserve that point!

    1. the reason he got that point was due to him being on medium tyres & both STR were on soft tires… but when softs were new, both STR overtook him & when they were worn out for last 2 laps he caught one of them.

  22. That was a brilliant race from Jenson. I thought it was really interesting that Lewis couldn’t respond to Jenson’s pace…..perhaps Jenson is doing a better job with race setup or is it all down to better tire management?

    Also turns out that McLaren isn’t that dominant so should be a great season trading blows with Red Bull.
    Great job from Fernando! It’s a beauty watching him fight that ill-handling car.

    1. I don’t know if it’s race setup giving Jenson the edge, it could be, but after seeing all the cars, lot’s of drivers seem to be struggling with the loss of rear downforce compared to last season. Take that and couple it with better tire management and that just might be the key to Button’s domination today.

      When the Australian Grand Prix has been the first of the year, it’s winner has gone on to win the championship much more often than not. 2011-Vettel, 2009-Button, 2008-Hamilton, 2007-Kimi. You have to go back to 2006 when Fisi won to break that pattern.

      1. Why go back to 2006 when its broken at 2010?

        1. Also, It was Alonso who won in 2006 Fisi won in 2005

        2. Vettel was on track to win it in 2010.

        3. Seriously guys learn to read……

          When the Australian Grand Prix has been the first of the year,

          ….. `Nough said…

          1. the 2010th season started at Bahrain:)

          2. just realised there is no such a thing as a 2010th season.. well yet:D ..

          3. Lol. Thanks @LexBlair

  23. 8/10…. would have given 10 only if Massa had bumped into Hmilton but he chose Senna shame

    1. he never had the chance, he was battling the end pack.

  24. 8 is perfecrt. Fantastic opening with close racing.

  25. Perfect! McLaren is most beautiful car on track and, today, the fastest! Great start, thx guys!

  26. 8/10 Rather good overall. Plenty of midfield action, some good overtakes, last lap chaos for the lower points positions.

  27. 8/10. Battle out front was intriguing all the way through, but especially after the safety car. Fantastic midfield battles during the race and that last lap was crazy!

  28. I give the race 7. The start was good, there were some really impressive drivers from the midfielders, and the last lap was chaos (Sky cut back to Button crossing the line just in time), but there wasn’t really any shock result and the middle of the race was a little boring.

    1. That was the director, not just Sky

  29. A very solid season opener. 8 for me.

    I was impressed with Vettel’s race as much as I was disappointed with Hamilton’s. IMO Rosberg is failing to use the Merc’s potential and Massa is a one man disaster. Kudos to Alonso for putting the Ferrari 5th while the car hardly belongs to top 10. Also good to see Kimi doing his job, started 17th – ended 7th, very good job. And last but not least, mr Button who did exactly what I expected of him – kept his cool and cruised to victory.

    1. F1fanNL (@)
      18th March 2012, 8:28

      I do think the Ferrari belongs in the top 10. If Alonso didn’t make his mistake yesterday he probably would have made it into Q3. And today you could clearly see his pace was good enough to challenge the Mercedes. I think Ferrari suffer the same problem they did last year, poor (for Ferrari standards) quali performance but reasonable race pace.

      Nevertheless a stunning drive from Alonso once again. Massa though… Oh man, was he bad today. And yesterday…

      1. Brother Lehmann
        18th March 2012, 9:28

        True. Ferrari has had the same kind of situation with poor qualification performance for years now. I think that Alonso was the best performing driver today. Race was good and I hope all teams keep up the good work and will not let the big three (McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrarii) slip away as the season goes on.

      2. williams of pastor looked quicker at the last stages of the race…Im not sure if it got something to do with tires.

  30. 8 from me. Great race by Jenson, more comedy moments from Massa, unlucky for Hamilton and Maldonado.

  31. Had to give the race a 10. It was a phenomenal, exciting race, which is a fantastic way to start the season!

  32. 8 for the start till first pit
    5 for the sc.. the final part of the race was boring
    so 6

  33. Just a side note: Sky F1 coverage sucked (pre- and post- shows).

    1. You’re not kidding.

    2. Disagree I thought the Sky show has been fantastic.
      Loved the pre-race & the post race so far has been very good.

      Also your complaining about the post race show that has only just started & only included an interview with Martin Whitmarsh, showed the full press conference & brief race highlights? How can you possibly say the post race sucked when they havn’t actually even really got it underway yet?

      Also the depth of the extras they had was awesome. Loved all the In-Car’s & the pits channel which featured loads of exclusive team radio comms.

      Id go as far as saying its the best F1 race coverage i’ve ever had access to!

      1. “Id go as far as saying its the best F1 race coverage i’ve ever had access to!” I have to agree with you on that, but I’ll opt for BBC whenever possible.
        I was too harsh with post-show as it haven’t even started properly, but I guess I’m not used to going from checker flag to god-damn ads. Plus it does feels like they get 2nd class treatment on the pit lane versus regular BBC one, but I just might be biased.

    3. Completely agree. Hopefully they’ll improve, though. Wish they’d got Lee rather than Nathalie

    4. I agree, who is the bloke shouting next to Brundle? I might be old but I ain’t deaf! He makes Murray Walker sound restrained. Come back DC , all is forgiven.

      1. That was David Croft, who had been handling Radio 5’s coverage for some time prior to being nicked by Sky. I had really hoped he would have taken over from Legard a few years ago, but the other DC got the job. IMO, Croft is absolutely excellent.

        1. He turned up to 11, with reverb. Just turn it a little so the excitement doesnt sound so confected.

        2. I agree. David Croft is excellent.

          1. having now watched both BBC and sky, still think the BBC do it better. Crofty and Ant seem to be the only ones who’ve made a comfortable transfer to the new format.

      2. Drop Valencia
        18th March 2012, 12:04

        Never heared of Croft before but I think he was very very good, goes well with Brundle.

  34. 8/10

    Great race, the midfield battl was amazing, Kobayashi and Raikkonen were racing hard all race. Maldonado raced really well and even though I’m an Alonso fan, I would have loved to have seen Maldonado pass him. It’s a shame he crashed in the end, he’s quick but just needs to cut out those mistakes. Also the scrap at the end for the final points was great, Di Resta stealing a point after being nowhere for the entire race was great.

    The only disapointment was that the top four never actually fought each other, the gaps between them just stayed static. Other than that, great race.

    1. The gap stayed static because (along with Alonso) they’re the 5 best drivers in the field. They respond to each other’s pressure and don’t make mistakes. So while the party of 5 will generally hold their positions, it’s not down to lack of effort from anyone.

      1. Agree, they are not easy drivers to frighten off the road. I thought it was a fantastic race, in fact I didn’t even realise it was on the last lap until I saw the flag come down, there was so much happening.

  35. 7/10

    So many interesting storylines! Great racing throughout, I would have given it a 8 or 9 had Schumi, Grosjean, Massa and a few others not run into trouble. The fight for the final points positions was fantastic, but it could have been even better!

    Terrible shame for Maldonado, the guy was on fire, he drove the wheels off his Williams and even one off of a Lotus!

    Fantastic win for Button, he looked much like Vettel did last season, but I think Will Buxton summed it up best when he called Button’s performance, “imperious.”

    McLaren is clearly ahead, but Redbull is close, with best of the rest really and truly seeming up for grabs!

    1. he drove the wheels off his Williams and even one off of a Lotus!

      LOL :D

      His last-lap crash reminded me of Hamilton’s at Monza in 2009. Maldonado seems to have a similar die-hard mentality to Lewis, with all of its pros and cons.

      1. Yes! Very much like Lewis at Monza that year. Maldonado really impressed me yesterday, as did the Williams he was driving. Hopefully Senna can have some better luck in Sepang so we can get a clearer picture of everyone’s pace.

  36. 9/10 – Battle until the last corner….Perfect start to the season…
    Great driving by Button..
    Amazing comeback for Raikkonen(Funny when he asked about the Blue flags)

    1. I saw a blue flag being waved on the pit straight when only Button, Vettel, Hamilton and Webber were going past, so there must have been one idiot marshall

      1. I don’t think that it’s the marshalls. They more or less get a “blue flag now” light, from some kind of GPS system. Apparently that system had major troubles today.

  37. A very good race. Proceedings slowed down a bit in the middle but the closeness of the cars (partially helped by the SC period) made it a little more exciting. Feel very sad for Maldonado but I feel he could have stayed put for 6th place instead of chasing for 5th, nonetheless it was a great drive for him and Williams should be pleased with their car.

    Sauber did a fantastic job as well, both drivers drove well, Kobayashi did what he does best :) !!

    Epic photo finish and was thankful Force India got a point.

    Lastly, the return of Kimi which led to some pretty hilarious conversations namely, why are the blue lights flashing, they are not for you and an unheard one where he apparently says Oops when Kobayashi passed him.

    1. I would have loved it if they had aired Kimi saying oops! That’s great. A good drive by him.

      It was also great to see Kobayashi return to his banzai overtaking moves that won everyone over in 2010!

  38. 9 – Not enough action for the leading pack to make it a 10, but midfield is definitely the battleground. Final lap drama at its best.

  39. 10. Hectic. Exciting all the way through the race. Can’t ask for more.

  40. Carl Craven
    18th March 2012, 8:06

    Webber had better race pace than Vettel, could have been his race if he’d started better.

    Up to the safety car the race was 9 after the safety car it was about 6, average about 7.5 in my opinion. Be happy to see races this good every week.

    1. F1fanNL (@)
      18th March 2012, 8:38

      When? Those two laps after his pit stop when he got in clear air and Vettel was right behind Hamilton?

  41. Great drive by Button. I think Hamilton’s problem comes from McLaren’s policy that the leading driver gets to decide when they pit first. Hamilton, being more aggressive on his tyres would pit earlier, allowing Button to progress as normal. However when Button is on top Hamilton has to wait until he can pit which is past his normal pitting point. I think Button’s cottoned onto this to his advantage.

    1. Well he needs to be in the lead then. Lead driver always should get 1st choic

      1. I agree that it is up to HAM to not let it get to that point, here the start should have been better. But I also think the team should have a re-think if it effectively allows Button to shut HAM out from fighting with him, which it does, and put him far enough on back-foot that they lose the 1-2. BUT definitely knows this, and wanted such an outcome. The team should be wary of that, bc. HAM seems not (capable of?) fight his teammate “dirty” like that, if it means they won’t get the best result as a team. I think. But I admit that I have a soft spot for HAM.

        1. Absolutely, Button is a very intelligent racer so he’s worked out where he needs to push in order to control the race (which means managing his teammate too). I would like to see a different policy though as you and @himmatsj say, just to spice up the interteam track battles more if nothing else!

    2. Only team to do otherwise is RedBull, but then they are not letting their drivers to compete against each other

    3. Well, if this is the case, McLaren should rethink their policy. For sure, if both drivers want to come in at the same lap, then the leader gets the call, but if Hamilton wants to pit now and Button will only do so 2 laps later as his are holding on pretty – well it is not fair.

      1. I agree with this, nothing wrong with giving the lead driver first choice but that shouldn’t always mean that he has the first stop, if its a better strategy (as is normally the case) for HAM to pit a couple of laps earlier because he is harder on the tires then that should be how its done. In a related note the double-stop was very impressive, even if it didn’t help HAM stay ahead of VET.

    4. Its possible that McLaren were reluctant to pit Hamilton any earlier… If Ham had pitted before Button he may have had the problem he had last year (Sepang?) where he had to then pit earlier on his next stop, etc etc snowballing into an overly long last stint or maybe a 3rd stop.

      1. I think Mclaren definitively needs to rethink their policy; Lewis is always much harsher on his tyres and Jenson usually always stay out much longer.
        I agree that the lead driver should get first choice of when to come in, but to make the 2nd driver wait till after this is crazy, especially when you could see lewis’s times plummet.
        Lewis lost a total of 4sec in the first pit stop alone and this contributed heavily into his third place, along with the safety car.
        As a consequence Mclaren lost valuable points today, when theycould of probably had a mclaren 1 and 2…..

        Sort it out Mclaren….

        1. Is there any evidence/official statement from McLaren that that is their strategy? To employ such a basic strategy at every race regardless of track conditions and other variables seems odd. A team as intelligent as McLaren surely does not blindly hold to a single rigid strategy. Even if they did so yesterday, Jenson beat Lewis on merit, by driving a better race and therefore deserved the victory.

  42. 9/10
    Nice fighting throughout whole race.
    Gutted by Caterham retirements.
    Glad to see Petrov was consistently faster than Kovalainen (0.5-1.2 per lap).

    Last las was quite exciting.
    Good to see both teams with not ugly cars doing well.

    1. Brother Lehmann
      18th March 2012, 9:46

      Petrovs performance over Kovalainen was due to technical problems that caused Kovalainen to loose both KERS and DRS in the beginnig of the race. I think that Kovalainen will come back stronger in the upcoming races.

  43. 9\10 missing the 10 because the winning overtake was 60 laps before the end of the race. Great season ahead, this showed how F1 should be, abit like 2009, cars should be tight and wheels should spin, F1 cars shouldnt be upside down planes this year we can really see the cars working the tyres instead of gliding, finnally diffuser rules clampdown worked congrats to the Fia 2 years late but better late than never.

  44. 8. Fantastic race! Battles all the way down the field. Disappointed that Grosjean went out, but such is life. Good to see Kimi getting in the points though. Alonso or Perez for Driver of the day I think, what with Alonso and his dog of a car, and Perez starting on the last grid position. Bring on Sepang! :D

  45. 8 for me, was thinking about 7.5 but the final lap action just pushed me to the 8. Very enjoyable!

  46. 7 – A good race but far from being a great race. Looks like McLaren & Red Bull are going to be the top 2 teams during the Spring. Looking forward to Sepang International next Friday.

  47. Liked the race, great overtake from Vettel on Rosberg.
    Horrible day for Nico and the brazilians, Fernando was amazing.
    Button deserved the win.
    A shame for Pastor.
    Lewis disappointed.
    And Paul di Resta had a really weak weekend and did not deserve the point at the end…

    1. Couldn’t agree more. Your brief assessment is spot on.

  48. drs once again produced a significant number of stupidly easy passes, worldfeed did not pick them all up but sky’s onboard feeds picked up a lot of them. this stupid system really does need to be banned, or at least the regs changed so the lead car can defend.
    once again all the best racing, most exciting racing & best, most exciting overtakes were done well outside drs zones.

    1. Agree totally with you, too many false over-takes.

    2. It must be really cool to have all the different viewing angles with sky. Though I have enough trouble keeping up with what is happening with just one perspective.

      Interesting point you make about the DRS. I couldn’t from the broadcast see what effect the DRS was having on the race.

    3. Because it was so much more fun when the cars just trundled round behind each other with no changes to the order, right?

      1. but there was plenty of real racing well outside the drs zones so it was never going to be a procession.
        also ditch the 2 drs zones & we would have seen some better racing in those areas.

        passing shouldn’t be made too easy yet this is exactly what drs all too often does.

        i would rather see some great racing with less overtaking than poor racing because of unexciting & ridiculously easy drs passing.
        as ive said before i’d rather 1 real overtake than 10 drs passes.

        drs isn’t racing, its an rtificial gimmick that produces, bland, unexciting, unintresting, dull & boring passing & destroys the actual racing!

  49. Star of the race: alonso, kimmi. Biggest loser/s: hamilton and mAldonado( what an idiot, throw away 8 points trying to gain 2 points.). I said it here yesterday. Button will own hamilton this season. You just could see hamilton body languague after the race. Button is getting into his head.People are complaining that hamilton lost a place because of the safety car, alonso too lost a place he was ahead of webber before he pitted and after the sc he was behind him. Last but not least maldonado got what he deserved. Drove really well but didn’t used his brain and threw away 8 very important points for williams. MAssa is a joke of a drive and rosberg is pretty mediocre at best, senna also a bad paid driver. Caterham hasn’t done much.

  50. Great race, lots of impressive drives, BUT, VET, ALO, MAL, PER. Hilarious radio from Kimi. Close fights all over the race. I give it an 8

    1. One thing I’m looking forward to this year – lots more radio from Kimi!

  51. 8/10.

    Mainly because the racing was very tight all among the field, and I barely can name any driver who was not repeatedly involved in something interesting to watch.

  52. Fine race. Even Ramesses the Great would have liked it!

  53. I loved Kimi’s radio message to check if the blue flags were for him – and his engineer then explaining the whole blue flag system to him! I half expected Kimi to come on the radio a few minutes later and ask what this button marked “DRS” does!

    1. ;-) He did very well, despite being a little rusty regarding blue flag rules.

      1. @palle True, I’ll be interested to see how well him and Grosjean can do in Malaysia if they have a straightforward qualifying and clean first few laps. Could be challengers for the podium?

        1. I saw too much rookie in Grosjean today, just before the accident, which unfortunately took him out, he seemed like a sunday driver, who was surprised not to have the road to himself. I think he needs at least a race more to be able to capitalize on a good qualifying. But it will be interesting to follow Lotus this year.

  54. I went for a 9 as it was an amazing race that while Button had it cased, there was so much action behind him… Alonso 5th from 12th in a sketchy car…( with amazing race pace!)… Kimi came from 17th to grab 7th… so many great stories and horror stories… back that with the added excitement of uncertainty before the first race… what car has the best race pace… treating their tyres well… yes… a solid 9… 8)

  55. NOt a bad race to start the season off at all :D

    Shame about Schumacher and Grosean’s early exits.

    Hamilton and Rosberg just seemed to fade in the race

    But the hightlight for me was BUtto’s win, and the great fight from the back and then last round scrap of Kimi and the saubers !

  56. F1fanNL (@)
    18th March 2012, 8:21

    6.

    Great to see Button win and Vettel and Hamilton on the podium but disappointed Schumacher and Grosjean had to retire and that Vettel passed Hamilton in the pits in stead of on track. I agree with Vettel he probably had a good chance of overtaking Hamilton without the SC because he made his tyres last longer and would have had to do a shorter stint at the end on fresher tyres compared to Hamilton.
    It would also have been interesting to see where Schumacher and Grosjean could have finished. Especially when seeing Räikkönen go through the field like he did and Schumacher usually having a slightly better race pace than Rosberg. Especially at the end of the race.

    The SC killed it for me. I don’t understand why Petrov didn’t just drive to the end of the pits like any other driver would have.

    1. i dont agree that vettel would have been able to pass hamilton on track, why? because mclaren on the primes were faster than red bull on the options, and with the straight line advantage mclaren had over red bull i wouldnt have thought that red bull would have been able to get a run on the straights.

      also the mclarens had more pace in the last stint that i recon lewis burned up his tyres in the turbulent air of vettels car, i think Vettel should be prasing his luck with the saftey car.

      1. @harvs – The poster above you meant that Vettel had a pretty good chance of jumping Hamilton in the pitstops without the SC. He was hovering around 1-2 seconds behind, remember.

        1. no i dont mean that, who ever pits first has fresh rubber and passing by doing an extra lap is highly unlikely unless the other teams pitstop crew messes up

          1. @harvs Regardless, Vettel was a lot closer to Hamilton than his car should have been. We will never know what would have happened.

          2. @harvs Its not the matter of rubber alone ,if Lewis got stuck in traffic on the lap after pit stop and vettel get a clear track on the lap leading to the pit stop assuming Lewis have pitted a lap earlier ,then vettel could have made up that 1-2 sec gap

  57. I´m gonna give this one a ten.
    Bloody brilliant.

  58. Rated 10. IMO personal driver preferences shouldn’t come into this, but only how exciting the race was. So, although I’m disappointed by another bad start by Webber, and by the fact that Williams were left with nothing because of what must be one of the stupidest mistakes ever in the history of F1 by the PM idiot(not a slow idiot though, just a reckless, irresponsible, dangerously error prone idiot), the Australian GP was great. Lots of action, but overtaking was not too easy.

    1. Drop Valencia
      18th March 2012, 12:11

      Bit harsh on PM, he was obviously giving it 110% chasing FERNANDO in a FERRARI and made a mistake.

      1. Not harsh at all. It’s the last lap, he’s P6 after a brilliant race, the best position Williams could’ve finished in 18 months, and he throws it all away for what? He didn’t catch Alonso for many laps before why risk everything on the last lap? Bottom line is: He didn’t use his head. He never does. He makes too many stupid mistakes. Which makes him an idiot. Great shame too since he clearly has some serious speed.

  59. 9 from me. Would be 10 if not safety car.

  60. i gave it a seven, Button was great from the start and left hamilton and the field for dead early. vettel drove well, his overtake on rosberg was good stuff (Keith – In future, anyone who mentions vettel and ‘can’t overtake’ in the same breath, should have user id revoked for 30 days LOL). Webber was as usual slow at the start and like vettel got a huge benefit from the SC.
    Highlights for me
    Alonso – fantastic drive and result in clearly a car that isn’t up to speed.
    Perez was good value
    Maldonada was great for 57 laps, it was a shame he had that mistake at the end….but thankfully it appears Williams may feature more in a GP season then they have the past few years.

    It would have been great to see Schuey and Grosjean get more race time as I believe both were really in the mix for a good result, but that’s racing.

    Only 7 days till malaysia….yippee.

    1. @karlos

      (Keith – In future, anyone who mentions vettel and ‘can’t overtake’ in the same breath, should have user id revoked for 30 days LOL).

      COTD! :D

  61. Times like these I have to admit to being a hypocrite… and loving it.

    Button drove a Vettel-like race and I have no problems. Pretty much my only issue was that yet again (almost all) the cards fell in Vettel’s favour, but I guess people make their own luck.

    Hopefully we’re in for a hell of a year!

    1. F1fanNL (@)
      18th March 2012, 8:40

      Stunning race from Button, never saw it coming. ^^

      1. I was tempted, don’t think I wasn’t! :D

      2. Carl Craven
        19th March 2012, 1:24

        I saw it

  62. 8/10 great race, would have liked Hamilton to have won. Shame to see Schumacher out, really wanted him on the podium. I found Croft’s commentary sometimes too much when he was effectively shouting; I found Edwards yesterday on the BBC to have great enthusiasm but also clarity.

  63. 8.
    Entertaining from start to finish. No battle for lead, almost, so not higher.

  64. I really do not understand why Mercedes fizzled out in the race, considering that they were pole-contenders with both their drivers. Fair enough, Michael was driving better than Rosberg at the start of the race so would have gotten around 5th if he finished, but I though they were going to fight for the lead!

    Also, massive stuff from Maldonado. Whatever said and done, people always said he was the most un-deserving driver in F1. Me included. I guess he proved us wrong.

    Also, Red Bull were better than I expected, and Lewis worse off. Pity that Grosjeon was knocked off pretty early, so we never could see what the Lotus could do. Raikkonen was also held up so we had no chance to see their ultimate pace relative to the front runners.

    With Malaysia being a track with long straights, I think Mercedes will be pole-contenders once again, but will be interesting to see how that race pans out.

  65. andy,, Frome somerset
    18th March 2012, 8:49

    Well done to our hometown lad jenson.
    The TV coverage however should have still been with the BBC,had they got rid of a few overpayed people they still could have had the coverage rather than give it to these SCHIESTERS sky.
    Because i pay in cash for all my bills at post office sky would not let me sign up unless i used a credit card -B-STARDS,sky have ruined sport in this country……..

    1. If you want to blame anyone, blame FOM for charging too much!

      1. andy,, Frome somerset
        18th March 2012, 9:29

        I’ve never seen or heard so much hype before a gp,you would have thought the murdochs had never covered a major event before,as for fom don’t get me started on that subject…..

  66. 8 from me, Not perfect, but a thoroughly enjoyable race. roll on next week!

  67. I would have liked to see Jenson and Lewis duel at the front, but they seemed to be driving two very different cars today. Jenson had massive pace, there was never really any challenge from Lewis. I was definitely disappointed with Mclaren’s double pit stop, they practically gifted second to Vettle. If Lewis had not pitted immediately behind Button, he would’ve retained his position on track and a Mclaren 1-2 finish… Good drives by Sebastian, Pastor, Kimi, and Fernando. I Wish Romain & Michael had more of a chance today… next time!

    1. I didn’t get the impression that Lewis lost any time doing that, I thought it was all very slick, what gifted the place to Vettel was the SC which slowed down Lewis’s out-lap more than Vettel’s in-lap.

      1. If Mclaren had not opted to double pit, Lewis would have pitted during the safety car, just like Vettle. Of course they couldn’t anticpate a safety car, but it was an unnecessary gamble. Lewis would have had the extra time, and who knows, maybe even could have come out in front of Jenson. I fail to see the advantages out-weighing the risks of a double pit. Suppose Button had a wheel jam? The race would then be gifted to next in line… Vettle. Silly call with little return on the gamble.

  68. I rate 5. Nothing to shout about. The start was good and then everything else later was rather boring. No fight in the front which was what used to make f1 exciting. Midfield fighting has been around since forever.

    Mclaren looks like the team to beat. Vettel was lucky today but they do seem to have good race pace. Webber is still screwing up his starts and coming back towards mid point. Ferrari only has one good driver and a rubbish car. Mercedes lack race pace but can do well in quali due to f duct. The only amazing thing in the race was kimi. First day and he shows his brilliance.

    Let’s hope for better races throughout the season cause if this continues, we can see a boring season unfolding, at least for some that is.

  69. 8 for me.

    An exciting season opener which didn’t lack any drama. It was brilliant to see just how competitive everyone was. Sauber battling with Ferrari, that was good.

    It was a shame about all the retirements but you have to expect that in the opening race.

    The team of the weekend for me was Sauber without a doubt. Kobayashi displayed some of his over-taking brilliance (but Rosberg negated one of them!) and Perez was incredibly quick. A pleasure to watch.

  70. 8, would’ve been 9 if Vettel hadn’t sneaked ahead of Lewis.

  71. Gups (@weekendsr4f1)
    18th March 2012, 9:27

    7/10. Great start to the season! Fantastic controlled win by Jenson & Mclaren.as a Lewis fan am dissapointed with his race but still a good result! Outstanding performances by Alonso, Maldonado & williams a good start to season(apart from premature end) & Raikkonen. Iceman still has some form! Looking forward to a closer exciting season with more overtaking hopefully!

  72. Sorry everyone I didn’t get 48 points, got 3rd and 4th wrong way round. Forgot my own prediction.

  73. Very good start to the season. Exciting, many competing teams, not a clear dominator. Hope to see more of this type of racing all season long!
    Gave it a generous 9.

  74. Very good start of this season, I would rate this race as solid 7. Today we had a full benefit of having 6 WDCs on the grid, and almost every one of them has really shown something. Well, apart from Schumacher, who only have shown a great start, but had to retire too soon.

    Jenson has shown that he’s in the top form and, given superior machinery, is fully capable of producing 2009-style wins. Good start and great race pace, controlling the race from start to finish.

    Seb has shown that even having one of the slowest straight-line cars, he’s capable of great overtaking moves. Brilliant drive fron 6 to 2!

    Lewis has demonstrated that even in the dominant car you still ought to have a matching talent to win.

    Fernando’s drive today has given some hope that this year;s car may not be a total dog. The car in his hands looked a lot more stable and drivable than on Saturday. Massa was a real embarassment though. Whatever his problem is, I don’t believe he has more than a couple of races to fix it.

    Kimi has shown that, even a bit rusty from the lack of practice, in a Lotus he’s still perfectly capable of mixing it up with midfielders. Will be interesting to see what Grosjean will be capable of doing with this car over the course of the season. Kimi’s radio also was a hoot!

    Speaking of non-champions, Saubers were a real surprise. Like the Ferraris, they looked extremely twitchy throughout the weekend, but visibly improved in the race. Pastor was fantastic as well, until he made a Lewis and thrown away big points, crashing out on the last lap.

    All in all, good stuff. The only worrying thing is: if McLaren boys will keep their game up, with Jenson winning and Lewis scoring valuable points, the championship might be over much sooner that some of us would like. Here’s hoping that RBR will sort out its problems and improve enough to challenge McLaren.

  75. Good race, i gave it an 8. Vettel was quite lucky with the pit stop. Were red bull deliberately making Mclaren pit stop longer by pretending to be waiting for their drivers as the commentators were alluding? I don’t like the new rules abouth the safety car and how the backmarkers can unlap themselves. I can see an accident happening with backmarkers trying to unlap themselves and the front runners weaving to warm up thier tyres.

    1. I can appreciate your safety concerns, but hopefully a routine will establish itself during which drivers will be conscious of those working their way through.

      That said, as a spectator today I wholeheartedly support allowing cars to un-lap themselves.

      TV does ‘slow’ the race down, but trackside with cars approaching at speed it’s sometimes difficult to determine what is a true battle for track position. Particularly when you have cars running uncharacteristically out of order and you’re not in sight of the flag marshal.

      Letting the lapped cars through allowed for an exciting sprint to the finish where live timing was not necessary to follow the running order.

      While F1 coverage has a substantial TV audience, fundamentally each race should be for the enjoyment of the spectators present. When I’m watching the next safety car on TV I’ll be more than accepting of the few extra laps it might take, with fingers crossed that it all happens safely.

  76. Amazing racing, particularly near the end. I know Button will be champion now!

  77. The one guy who voted this race a 1 – Hamilton. :p

    An 8 from me.

    Likes:
    1 – Great racing in the midfield, great racing for 4th, 5th and 6th.
    2 – Brilliant race from Jenson.
    3 – Another brilliant performance from Alonso, as usual.
    4 – Good run from Kimi, he still has it and that’s worth a smile.
    5 – Di Resta salvaged a point for Force India.
    6 – Webber’s pace.
    7 – Maldonado’s girlfriend. ;)

    Dislikes:
    1 – Hamilton’s unnecessarily long face post-race.
    2 – Massa and his driving.
    3 – Mercedes GP and Rosberg’s terribly mediocre performance.
    4 – Mercedes GP reliability issues, shocked.
    5 – Grosjean’s & Hulkenberg’s misfortune.
    6 – Maldonado’s stupidity.
    7 – Vettel’s P2 finish. (Say what you want but I’m not happy with it.)

    The DRS was pretty useless here, I’m not sure if the double zones worked.
    Pirelli will do a good job this year, from what I could see today.

    1. About Vettel’s P2 finish, I meant – didn’t want to see him anywhere close to the podium at least for the first couple of races..

    2. Almost a prefect summary for me.

  78. 9 – the winner was never really in doubt, but the battle in the midfield more than made up for it. The double-DRS zones worked (amazingly), creating enough overtaking but still allowing the leading driver some chance to defend his position. Even besides that, there was overtaking up and down the field, and Perez once again proved unusual strategies can work. He was unlucky to lose his place. Still, Maldonado’s crash did prove karma is real.

    Then there was that manic last lap, which for me bumped this up from an 8 to a 9. It was a race you wanted to keep watching, which is always a positive, and while I’m sure we will see better this season, Albert Park has produced yet another great season opener.

  79. sid_prasher (@)
    18th March 2012, 10:07

    Some great drives….but Petrov’s car breaking down messed up the race…going with 7.

    Button was faultless today, McLaren clearly proved they are going to be the team to beat.
    Great drive by Vettel…even better by Alonso. Disappointed for Schumacher and Grosjean.
    Moldonado earned some respect today but today was a great opportunity to earn some points.
    Decent return for Kimi as well…

  80. 6/10 + 1 for the last lap.

  81. 9 – Superb race with loads of action from start to finish. Cracking last lap, big shame for Maldonado who drove very well. I’m 50/50 with his incident with Grosjean, both drivers played their part in that collision.

    Kamui, Jenson and Seb were the drivers of the day. Mark did well considering his first lap knocks, and good races from the other Sauber of Perez and the Toro Rosso of Ricciardo. As for Kimi, he did alright.

    Ferrari couldn’t have had two more contrasting races, Alonso was superb considering his car and massive pressure from Pastor. Shows just why he is a two-time champion. Massa on the other hand… Pathetic.

    Those saying this year’s Pirellis have been conservative should think again. This race saw some drivers still hitting the cliff and losing bundles of grip and time. Albert Park is an unusual, quirky circuit and depending on which car you have, tyre wear is quite varied. Degradation is about the same as last year I reckon.

  82. I gave the race an 8/10, but must’ve been an 8.5/10 ;). It was great to see the midfield batlling and move on to the top nearly. Great race from Jenson, Maldonado, the Saubers and Toro Rosso. Big disappointment for Massa, but that’s what I’ve had expected. Alonso also had a solid performance, but had some luck and clever moves. Too bad Maldonado crashed, he was the surprise of the race. I felt sorry for Grosjean, he would have driven a good race and it would have been even more exciting then it already was. Also felt very bad for Schumacher (but I’m a great fan of him, so it’s logic ;) ) because he was doing great in 3th place.
    Only bad thing was that McLaren dominated (felt good for them, but not for the excitment).
    Overall, really good race and hoping for the others be as good as this one.

  83. James (@jamesjames123abc)
    18th March 2012, 10:49

    Gave it a 7.

    Shame to see that Lotus and especially Mercedes have poor race pace relative to their qualifying pace. I think the DRS worked quite well in that it allowed a driver to get close through the first zone and then give them a chance in the second zone. The tyre strategies are definitely more varied as opposed to last year.

    1. Lotus had poor race pace? What data did you see?

  84. I rated it a 7 – good close racing in the midfield but the front was quite static, and I was looking forward to seeing Vettel against Hamilton but we lost that because of the Safety Car, and seeing Grosjean and Schumacher out early was a disappointment. I felt sorry for Maldonado and Williams, but if all of the races are as interesting as this then I will be very happy!

    On a side note, I thought Sky did a great job, and I am looking forward to Malaysia with anticipation!

  85. I am constantly being surprised by how good Button is and how he seems to keep getting better. I know it is early days but i might have to put a few bob on him for the WDC.

  86. I’ve given a seven. Mostly on account of the final two laps which provided the most excitement.
    Great to see signs of a revival at Williams. Lotus looking capable of mixing it up as we progress too.
    Lucky boy Vettel.

  87. 9/10
    Probably I’m overexcited as it’s the first race in months – but what a race.
    There were surprises all around, from lap 1 to the final lap (perhaps the most chaotic I’ve ever seen); surprise retirements, problems for some drivers, a great recovery by Perez, Raikkonen, Alonso and the Red Bulls, many overtakes and a deserved winner.

  88. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    18th March 2012, 11:37

    Loved just about every moment!

    8/10

  89. 8. Great race, but Button running away with it in a Vettel-like fashion, the safety car, Maldonado crashing, Massa’s brain fading away and Schuey retiring kind of ruined it.

  90. Good season opener — but a couple of points.

    All this talk about “ugly” cars, on my 31 inch TV screen I hardly noticed the stepped noses at all.

    In Canada, we get the new [Sky?] commentary with Coulthard and some chappie who seems to ask more questions between long silences than give answers; and I miss Ted Kravitz’s pit commentary and above all Brundle’s good insight.

    1. I think it is the BBC commentary with DC, and the other guy is Ben Edwards, he does the season review DVDs, and he does seem to ask a lot of questions!

  91. Perez started dead last and within few laps he was up there, very impressed!
    Disappointed for Grosjean and for Rosberg/Schumacher.
    Massa should be replaced and I would not be surprised if that happens during the season. Perez takes his place in Ferrari and Esteban Gutierrez is being promoted to Sauber. Happy for Marussia that they finished the race without any pre-season testing, hopefully they can find something for their car when the Mclaren partnership gets beneficial for them from Barcelona and onwards.

  92. I gave it 8/10.
    Not much battling at the front for my liking, but the racing further back was more than enough for me. Great drives by Alonso and Maldonado, and the chaotic last lap was good fun to watch.
    Bad points were Schumacher and Grosjean retiring and Massa being rubbish.

  93. Andy Redden (@andyredden-on-f1)
    18th March 2012, 13:45

    8, good action throughout. To be 9/10 needs a good battle of the lead of the race which this didn’t have, although all other areas were good battles.

  94. 7 for me. It wasn’t dull, but in truth, I think qualifying was more exciting than the race. That’s where the start-of-season unpredictability shone through. The race felt very reminiscent of 2011, at the front: McLaren and Red Bull fighting it out for the top four positions with Alonso dragging a poor Ferrari as high as he could behind them. Mercedes could have made things much more interesting but they fell woefully short. Lotus, too, would have spiced things up, but Grosjean made an early retirement and Räikkönen qualified too far back. I was expecting him to finish ninth or tenth, which he would have done without Maldonado’s incredible crash and Rosberg’s problem (I’m still not sure what caused it, as it all happened while Button was taking the victory). A solid return for Kimi; he’ll be in the middle points very regularly this season, I’m sure.

    I must have said this half a dozen times last season, but I’ll say it again: I can’t bring myself to award high marks (8 or above) for any race which lacks a meaningful battle for the lead. After Button passed Hamilton at the first turn, he was never under too much pressure. There were some great battles down the field, including the brilliant scramble over the line for the last points-scoring positions, but it was not a classic. I would probably have given it a 6 if Vettel had won it, but I decided that having someone else on the top step merited an extra point :)

  95. i don’t understand how so much people are giving this race 8…

    1. Probably for the same reason I did; the excitement of the first race of the year, the unpredictable nature of the race, and battles for every point position except the first one.

  96. Decent race but quite far from what could have been, in my humble opinion. Good first 10 laps, entertaining last 3-4 laps. Something happening here and there during and after the safety car period (the weird “pack slowing down behind the platform” moment) and the tire change windows and that’s it. The rest of it – a bit dull.

    There’s definitely something to build the season onto with McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes, Lotus and Ferrari (later in the season) fighting for podium positions and Sauber, Force India, Williams and Toro Rosso looking at constant points finishes, not far behind.

    However, I did not expect to see Mercedes starting the season on the wrong foot (again!) as I didn’t expect Lotus to finish only 7th with Raikkonen (with a bit of good luck following Rosberg and Perez’s coming together). I could have bet they were going to fight for a top 5 finish with at least one driver. So, the two potential revelations of this season are sort-of yet to confirm… However Raikkonen’s almost successful triple-overtake and his charge from 17th on the grid deserves some standing ovations.

    It was good to see Williams back in the game, even for a little while. The car seems fast and the package has potential but I don’t think Maldonado & Senna are the drivers to get the most out of it. Especially with the Saubers, Toro Rossos and Force Indias gunning for the same 6th place in the constructors’ championship, all of them lining up decent to good packages and talented result-thirsty drivers.

    At the top, the McLarens seem to have switched places with Red Bull in terms of performace. Good steady pace from Webber and Alonso. Disastrous race for Massa and I have a strong feeling he won’t finish his season at Ferrari, especially with Jules Bianchi waiting around the corner…

    Sort of disappointed to see Caterham pretty much doing the same thing they did last year. I was expecting them to fight at least for a 10th place / a borderline points finish.

    There was something about the new Pirellis too that had “tame and predictible” written all over it today, but Melbourne wasn’t exactly the perfect place for the rubber to show its true wear and so on. Malaysia should answer some more questions in this matter.

    All in all, looking forward to next weekend. I can’t wait for a proper podium fight between the 8 McLaren, Red Bull, Mercedes and Lotus drivers. Maybe Malaysia will bring that. :)

  97. Just finished watching the 1hr 10mins of highlights on the BBC.

    It’s not the same.

    Who is the new commentator? They didn’t even introduce him.

    1. It’s still better than the embarrassing drivel sky are putting out though.

  98. 7/10;Excited with some disappointment as well…
    I think Mclaren definitively needs to rethink their policy; Lewis is always much harsher on his tyres and Jenson usually always stays out much longer.
    I agree that the lead driver should get first choice of when to come in, but to make the 2nd driver wait till after this is crazy, especially when you could see lewis’s times plummet.
    Lewis lost a total of 4sec in the first pit stop alone and this contributed heavily into his third place, along with the safety car.
    As a consequence Mclaren lost valuable points today, when they could of probably had a mclaren 1 and 2…..

    Sort it out Mclaren….

  99. Ferrari is such a big name and is becoming a shadow with each passing year…..Alonso is a great driver, he is the one keeping Ferrari alive while Massa is clearly struggling since 2011…… I wish Ferrari all the best of LUCK in coming races.

  100. Pretty boring race to me.There was no battle for the lead,the DRS was useless and there were lots of close racing but not many overtakes.I give a 5.

  101. I rate this a 6 – there will be better races to come – for sure

  102. An exciting race from the start. But my expectations of Hamilton making it to the top were ruined at last. Maldanado and Massa offered lot of moments to curse and make fun of. Last lap wall crash of Maldonado and terrific drive through by Di Resta to P10 made a wonderful finish. And it proved once again that Vettel is the luckiest when it comes to SC. He sure was born with a flower in his a**.

  103. I gave it a 7 because it was an enjoyable race, a good opener for the season, however the overtaking opportunities is still an issue, however there was always something going on, on nearly every lap so it was a fairly decent race, just a shame about Hamilton, I hope this is not the begging of the end for the 2008 world champion!

  104. I waited to actually see the race on the BBC to see if the score I wanted to give the race changed, but it didn’t.

    It may be down to lack of sleep or only being able to listen to the race but I’ve only voted a 6. I thought apart from a couple of parts of the race; the last lap incidents, the first few laps, that the race was pretty run of the mill stuff.

    It wasn’t boring, but I don’t think it was action packed either. I think being the first race of the season, and the intrigue and interest that provides helped make it more entertaining than it otherwise might have been.

  105. I was doubting between 6 or 7, but that last lap was amazing: 8

  106. 7. A mark off for that diabolical safety car.

  107. Shane (@f1champion18)
    18th March 2012, 20:19

    10/10 would be Montreal 2011 or Suzuka 2005. This was a good race, with some exciting battles. However, I gave it a 7. I don’t think Button was in trouble at any stage of the race and the action was limited. Perez and Maldonado(despite his shunt late on) were mighty impressive. Malaysia will be interesting.

  108. 8 – Good opening race, though I was disappointed to see just how dire the Ferraris were.

  109. Jenson was immense, Vettel showed he’s the star (not the car!) at RBR and Kimi back where he belongs! Bliss!

    1. I second that! ^^

  110. 9, JB win ^^, and at all most all the time, there was something to watch and a exciting final lap

  111. Hamilton had a poor start and then refused to squeeze Button out on the first turn. He said he on top form but I think he’s lost his mojo at the moment. His podium demonstration takes a bit of understanding as well. He looked fed up!

  112. Turn 1 seemed to be a real eye opener,. Especially since rear downforce is totally different know. Was a bit disappointed that Schumacher dug up the roses at turn one.. he would probably of had a podium finish. Maldanado should of been penalized for his contact with Grosjean. I thought Force India would have a better run,. Sauber did great,.

  113. SetyawanBejo
    19th March 2012, 3:01

    here is the explanation about why McLaren did a double pitstop: (taken from http://www.planetf1.com)

    By Lap 15, both McLarens were running laps in the 1:34s and Sebastian Vettel, now in P3, was catching them with 1:33s. Button pitted on Lap 16 and Vettel followed him in. Lewis Hamilton’s one extra lap on the old tyres cost him dear – a disastrous 1:36.403. This meant that when the cars reassembled after the pit-stops his lead over Vettel had shrunk from 10 seconds to 2.8.

    At the end of Lap 36 both McLarens followed suit. At this stage Button had a 10.8 second lead over Hamilton and so the team were able to get both cars in and out on the same lap. They had lost a lot of time when the tyres started to go off after the first stint and were not going to risk waiting an extra lap for Hamilton again.

  114. Exiting race, finally we are on the way! I’ll give the race a 7. Would have been better if not for the SC. Petrov should have a penalty for stopping in the middle of the straight. Surely he could have rolled a bit further and parked it better!

  115. 8
    Really good start to the new term, good start some interesting battles , couple of crashes ( no one hurt thank goodness ) safety car and the midfield scraps were excellent.
    Not quite enough wheel o wheel at the very front for a 9 or 10.
    Pleased for JB, he could well become a double world champion this year .

  116. 10! Probably not at all accurate, but seeing one of my favourite drivers win and then being under the podium as he received the trophy made it one of (I’m not joking) best moments of my life. I’ve honestly, truly, genuinely never had more fun. Perfect!

    1. @damonsmedley…How wonderful for you!…and I’m not joking either. Way to go.

  117. Didn’t managed to wake up on time for the race. Only watched last 5 laps of it. It was an exciting finish for the midfields, nearly everyone of them was so close, still battling out at the finishing line.

  118. 7…Exciting racing all through the field..The season looks promising, Red Bull and Mclaren will fight for wins, the mid field is what is going to be most exciting with Ferrari, Merc, Lotus and even Force India and Williams will fight for points..

    But this was certainly not 9 or 10, may be because it was the first race of the season, people are getting carried away..

  119. 6 – I thought it was too easy to pass with the double DRS & somehow the race just didn’t do it for me. I’ve seen worse however.

  120. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    19th March 2012, 11:52

    Good race and I must admit to not missing Brundle’s commentary at all. Ben Edwards and DC were very good together.

  121. I’ve said it for the last few years and I still think the start time should be moved back to when it used to be, the sun is to low near the end of the race. Judging from some of the onboard shots it can’t be easy for the drivers, and even from a viewers point of view there were some clips where I couldn’t tell which car it was at first because of the light.

    Regarding the race itself, I thought it was a 7.5 rounded up to an 8. I only saw the BBC highlights and I felt I was missing out and so didn’t enjoy as much as usual so I was tempted to just rate a 7 but decided against it in the end.

    I hoped after the safety car with all the leaders together on track that we might have seen at least some attempted overtakes but we didn’t. I don’t know if this was done to there being no chances or if the drivers were happy with getting a solid start to the season rather than making a risky move, I could see this being the case with Hamilton after last year.

    There was plenty of action down the field to keep us entertained, especially the last lap fight for the last few points.

  122. Arie de Leeuw (@)
    23rd March 2012, 19:09

    There was a lot of action behind but none action for the first and second place so that but because there was a lot of actions on behind ill say 6.
    Kimi made quite a show with the overpassing he made it from 18 to 7 so that was fun to watch
    Also Alonso made quite a nice race with an excelent start.

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