2014 Australian Grand Prix start, Albert Park, Melbourne

The 2014 season gets off to an average start

2014 Australian Grand Prix rate the race resultPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

2014 Australian Grand Prix start, Albert Park, MelbourneThe first race under the new 2014 regulations was not an instant classic. But it had some high-points and produced a memorable podium – although the long after the chequered flag came the disappointing news that the crowd favourite had been excluded from second place.

The new rules were welcomed by some and criticised by others. But many took the view that we’ll get a better idea of how F1 2014-style will work after a few more races.

For the first time ever over 1,000 registered F1 Fanatic users voted in the Rate the Race poll immediately after the chequered flag. They gave it an average score of 6.8 out of ten, which matches the average score for the previous six years of F1 races. However it was the second-lowest rated Australian Grand Prix of the last seven seasons.

Whether the race scores will go up or down through the rest of 2014 remains to be seen. Here’s what you had to say about the Australian Grand Prix.

2014 Australian Grand Prix talking points

New rules

Pretty lacklustre I thought. With all the promise of impending chaos it was nearly business as usual. Some uncertainty in the opening laps with retirements, but after that there were few real position changes of note and nowhere close to a battle for the lead. The only real excitement was from Bottas, and an honorary mention for Magnuson getting a podium on his debut. 5/10 for me. I hope the other teams can reign in Mercedes soon or it’s going to be a pretty boring year.

The F1 ‘revolution’ fail to bring us more competition. Yes, I know, it’s just the beginning. But, as we’re asked to vote for this first race, the truth is that nothing changed for better. The race was boring. There were no true racing competition aside from a 5 pilots-race, for a good part of the time, and even that I believe it was due more to the lack of reliability of the Ferraris.

Well, all in all, a bad beginning, not so catastrophic as said before tough, but still lots of work and improvements to make. Sad but true, the F1 is at this very moment failing, not at technological and efficiency level, but at the competition level. And for that contributed Hamilton and Vettel’s absence as Ferrari’s lack of competitiveness.
Ricardo Ferreira (@Yes-master)

It’s a good thing they changed the regulations. Now we don’t get the boring racing where everybody just follows everybody with fear of using too much of their tyres. And there’s no longer a car out in front with a 0.3 seconds advantage over the rest.

Now we’ve got racing where everybody just follows everybody with fear of using too much fuel. And we’ve got a car out in front that’s at least a second quicker than anyone else. This is much better.
Eric (@Baron-2)

View from the track

I was there… sitting at the back of turn nine. To be honest I am quite disappointed. the race wasn’t exciting apart from Bottas and his charge…. which was actually a result of his mistake without which he should be much higher.

The cars were more reliable that I was expecting them to be and the noise is quite exciting without tearing apart your ears. You can hear much more which gives you more insight on the drivers driving style and where they struggle. Also the clutch noise is almost gone.

It was very apparent that Lotus struggles, the engine and gearbox noise was just not right. Actually it was very similar with Sauber. Somehow they didn’t look quick. Mercedes of course in different league, Bottas was also very quick. I was quite disappointed with Ferrari as they just couldn’t get the hammer down. Alonso just couldn’t get past Hulkenberg which was easily overtaken by Bottas. I got an impression that everyone was taking it safe. No dare overtaking moves and no big drama. Actually V8s were more exciting from my perspective.

Being at the same race last year, this year it was nowhere near as exciting. Could be worse but could be much better. Maybe the fact that we lost Hamilton, Massa and Vettel so early has something to do with the end result.

Only the first part was not bad. After first 25 laps only Bottas kept it running.

Congrats to top three, they were all faultless. Also great drive from Button.

The racing

Loved the unpredictability. Who thought Hamilton and Vettel would retire in the initial laps?

Hope Ferrari can sort out the issue bothering both cars today. Raikkonen has to come to terms with the car rather quickly. It was disheartening to see him not able to put up a challenge today.

Good start to the season.

Other than Bottas passes, it just wasn’t a fun race, actually I stopped watching and concentrated on something else, only hearing the TV. So, the racing isn’t improved from previous years, lots of retirements, no strategic uncertainties… It is still early, only the first race, let’s wait and see

I’m slightly miffed at those expecting a tight race with lots of passing… It’s because of these folks that the regulations get mixed up every other year, causing this exact situation.

I thought the race was fantastic with heaps of tension, mystery and still some very close racing and good passes. Bottas’s drive was great, the people at the track (including me) loved Daniel’s drive, and there was a turn 1 crash with cars flying to keep TV’s switched on waiting for the next one… while the rest of us intrigued ourselves with who made best on the new regulations.

New talent

Ninety minutes of watching the best drivers in the world fighting tooth and nail with cars everyone is still learning about, whilst the cream of the young crop float to the top, resulting in the freshest podium we have seen in years? I thought it was awesome.

I liked it. It wasn’t a super race, maybe not even a great one and certainly not one I’d watch again, but it was a nice race. I liked the fact that DRS was not so overpowering and we saw some good overtakes (especially by Bottas), some good battles (Ricciardo-Magnussen) and a couple of strategic moves that decided the outcome. Had Hamilton not retired, I think we would have seen a better race for the lead but that’s something to live with.

First half was interesting whilst the field settled down, Bottas was great with his storm through the field, although he was out of position. The safety car seemed to kill the race dead though. There wasn’t too much happening in the final 35 laps. There were some cars catching others, but although they got slightly closer, nothing came of anything.

Australian Grand Prix Rate the Race results

Race Average out of ten
2010 Australian Grand Prix 8.638
2009 Australian Grand Prix 7.937
2013 Australian Grand Prix 7.698
2012 Australian Grand Prix 7.662
2008 Australian Grand Prix 7.609
2014 Australian Grand Prix 6.889
2011 Australian Grand Prix 6.751

2014 Australian Grand Prix

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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei