Carlos Sainz Jnr, Toro Rosso, Albert Park, 2016

Rate the race: 2016 Australian Grand Prix

2016 Australian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

What did you think of today’s race? Share your verdict on the 2016 Australian Grand Prix.

F1 Fanatic holds polls on each race to find out which fans thought of every race during the season.

What were the best and worst moments of the race? What was the main thing you’ll remember about it? Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

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

Rate the 2016 Australian Grand Prix out of ten

  • 1 (0%)
  • 2 (1%)
  • 3 (0%)
  • 4 (0%)
  • 5 (1%)
  • 6 (6%)
  • 7 (24%)
  • 8 (48%)
  • 9 (16%)
  • 10 (4%)

Total Voters: 881

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1 = ‘Terrible’, 10 = ‘Perfect’

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159 comments on “Rate the race: 2016 Australian Grand Prix”

  1. As a Toro Rosso fan, this was the most frustrating afternoon in a long while. And I regularly watch Arsenal..

    1. It was Max Verstappen’s fault for his disgusting attitude!

      1. His attitude was terrible, but I totally sympathise.

      2. I bet you wouldn’t get frustrated if you drop from 4th to 10th thanks to a horrible strategy.

        1. Max seemed to think that he was perfectly entitled to team orders. Then he started to swear and have teenage tantrums, crashed into his teammate, and then finished it off with a spin. Horrible attitude and driving from Verstappen.

          1. Archit (@architjain07)
            20th March 2016, 7:15

            +1..he did no good to his reputation today! Once he was behind Sainz Jr., could have just overtook him instead of swearing in front of millions!

          2. Not to be pedantic, but how was he supposed to avoid Sainz? Sainz locked up badly, Verstappen was three tenths behind. I’d like to see you manage to swerve away from that…

          3. I guess the massive promotion he has been receiving since he got into F1 got into his head.
            He did not have the pace to pass his team mate who was struggling as much as nearly everyone to pass on this track, yet he kept asking to be let through. That was not a good attitude.

          4. You’re missing the point. He was not frustrated not to get ahead of Sainz. He was frustrated because both him and Sainz couldn’t get past the Grosjean train. He wanted to see if he could overtake Bottas himself. Anyway, he was undercut by Sainz during the second series of pitstops, which also explains why he wasn’t too happy.

          5. Yeah, he should do his talking on the track… Not radio, like Lewiz.

          6. @f1infigures Max has shown that he is an excellent overtaker. Why could he not just pass Sainz himself and then have a go at the cars ahead, instead of crying and whining about team orders. He could have at least asked for team orders politely, instead of swearing and ranting like a baby.

          7. Max was a complete pirmadonna. But he’s young and I think experienced people around him will help him improve his attitude.

            Hunger and ambition are welcomed but lack of class is not.

          8. He’s only 18

          9. Do we know what happened during his pit stop? We saw him coming in and tires not ready. Later we heard him complaining about not being pitted earlier. Perhaps team had another plan for him but he came in anyways. Would be interesting to hear why they pitted their second driver on the road ahead of their first when undercut is working well on this track. In any case, wrong of Max to demand to be let through.

      3. @Uzair Syed, I agree with you; I wasn’t happy about Verstappen’s attitude either.

        1. And after Verstappen refused to do the same thing in Singapore last year and before that declining to yield the place in Monaco after he was given a shot and failed to overtake a car that Sainz was stuck behind I don’t think Sainz is in a mood to give Verstappen any gifts.

          1. well said!! if he wanted pass Verstappen, he should have made a move stick, instead he swore at his team and then so nearly took both of them out of the race, we have seen lesser incidents that result in punctures, I thought Sainz was going to slow after that hit.

    2. It’s really time some of you learn to put certain things into perspective with the right context.

      Why was Verstappen raging like he did today?

      Well… perhaps because his teammate put one over him by pitting and undercutting him while he was the lead car, only to learn that when he does box, there are no tires ready for him. Take into account he said he had been complaining about his tires for several laps.

      He emerges from the pits after an abysmal stop and suddenly sees the second driver of the team had undercut him and is now miles down the road.

      Honestly, there is no driver on the gird that would accept such blunders from his team. He knows his 4th place has gone up in smoke, and that as long as Carlos doesn’t get in trouble, he sails home to beat him. Suddenly an opportunity presents itself. Palmer shows up down the road on older tires. He pulls up to his teammate who had consistently failed to overtake the slower Renault and sees that once again, lap after lap, Carlos is not getting it done.

      Asking the team to move Carlos out of the way was justified from a tactical perspective, unlike Singapore last year when Carlos did the same. If anyone was watching the timing screens, Verstappen was smoking Sainz today. Letting him have a go made more sense, and the team saw that and gave the go-ahead. Of course Sainz was having none of that considering the history they share. What also is an important factor is the timing of when it happened in the race. In Singapore it was towards the end, with tires that had seen some action. However today there were still several laps to go. So plenty of time to give Max a go and have Sainz attack Palmer after the pass had been made.

      So that is the end of that. Yet I cannot help but be disappointed in both of them. Verstappen for not keeping his cool and swearing all the time, acting like he is better than his teammate, and Sainz for not respecting the team agreement on servicing the leading car first.

      This was a torrid day at STR. They really need to sit the drivers and engineers down and talk all off this out. The need to get as many points as they can at the start of the season because that old Ferrari PU isn’t going to get updated. Tripping over each other isn’t going to do them any favors.

      1. Sainz eventually passed Palmer, after about only 5 laps – not many when you consider how hard Hamilton found it to pass slower cars. who knows if Verstappen would have taken less or more time to overtake Palmer, as it is irrelevant because Verstappen had to first pass Sainz and he could not do it. Verstappen is a great racer, a great talent, but today he was a sore loser.

      2. byt the way, you saying he was “smoking him” is you taking it out perspective. Sainz was close to slower cars trying to pass, so could not go faster, at the end of the day, who crosses the line first is what matters, Rosberg finished ahead of a faster Hamilton, and Sainz finished ahead of a same speed but complaining Verstappen. Hamilton has no excuse either, he fluffed the start bad.

        1. Whether or not it was reality, clearly Vestappen thought so, which goes some way to explain his temper.

      3. @force-maikel
        “Asking the team to move Carlos out of the way was justified from a tactical perspective”

        I really wonder what fact makes you think that. Every driver said it was virtually impossible to overtake, there is simply no indication that Verstappen could have done it sooner than what Sainz did. Palmer is used to hard defending drives and arguably has some skills. Maybe Verstappen is a better overtaker, but then he should have passed Sainz. I pretty much dislike team orders.

        I see two facts: first Verstappen came in without notice (the seemingly only reason of the delay in the pits), and second Verstappen ran into his teammate, risking both cars.

        As much as I like both equally, I can’t see anything but errors from Verstappen. Hopefully he will learn from it. Both are great future drivers for sure.

        1. Can you source every driver saying that please?

    3. Double point finish you call a frustrating afternoon. Wait until the others start to develop heir engines and look where STR is then.

    4. Not as frustrating as an Alonso fan…

  2. Take that F1 naysayers! What a bloody race, fight for the win, STR scrapping like hell and points for RoGro and Haas! Utterly perfect!

    1. What a great race for Grosjean and Haas.

    2. Rated it 9, maybe I got a bit excited but it was trully a good show. On the other hand, for the tv viewer I think new radio rules are hurting a bit because more communication added an extra spice for the “tv show”

  3. 8/10 – Amazing start, kind of ruined by strategical errors but great recovery by both Mercedes driver. Love the new tyre rules. If this continues I’m sure we’re in for an exciting season ahead.

    1. We have been raging about new qualifying format. But good point regarding tires, it adds something to the race and this race was really promising for strategy opportunities, it worked great. This at least is a great novelty.

  4. 2016 is already as 2015 in a way, Merc slips still wins, apart from that I think today was a good omen for the season. Reliable Ferrari should be even more competitive elsewhere. Haters, Haas hasn’t put a foot wrong.

    1. @peartree But Mercedes really need to fight for the win this time. Even Hamilton who theoretically the one capable of lapping the circuit fastest this year having hard time passing midfield teams. Without red flag and great call on mediums the result could be very different. And I mean that as a good thing.

      1. @sonicslv I know. Everyone but the Ferrari’s and RB’s went for the medium, I guess no one believed they could actually fight merc on equal terms, but I guess it’s possible, I wonder what would happen on a track with less reliance on power.

  5. 8/10 from me! Great race, the gap between all teams has closed! Thank God Nando is fine that crash was really scary….

    1. I was at the track & they showed Nando walking away from the car first so we knew he was ok. Then they showed the car and the crash and I was so thankful by then that I knew he was ok. Haven’t seen a wreck like that in a long time. Aside from that, what a fantastic race! Passes for the lead on track, overtakes a plenty, team mate scrapping and a thrilling end to see if Dan might be able to pull something out of the hat. I gave it a nine, maybe that due to missing F1 so much but it was a great race.

  6. 8.5 I gave it a 9. It wasn’t quite as thrilling as the 2014 Australian GP but it was a great race. I’m gutted that Ferrari didn’t take it – they *should* have switched to mediums at the restart. Arrivebene, what were you thinking?!??! Great job by Jolyon Palmer, Romain Grosjean in the Haas and the 2 Toro Rosso boys who provided the best excitement. So relieved that Alonso & Gutierrez walked away from that shunt. Great opener.

    1. @mortyvicar Why they should switch to mediums? Without the benefit on hindsight, using supersofts is also very reasonable strategy. Remember the only one used mediums this weekend is Mercedes and that only for 1 lap before red flag. At first I also questioning the Mercedes decision to use mediums because past years showed getting off the cliff at the end of the race is bad thing, and mediums is the best strategy only apparent after 10 laps after the restart where people on mediums can keep their pace compared to the softs and super softs.

      1. Because they were in front and the evidence of the last season is that the Ferrari is kind to its tyres. They needed to avoid making additional stops. Even if Mercedes passed them on softs it’s arguable they could have made up ~23s in less than 40 laps. I called for mediums at the time – admittedly only in earshot of my TV – and it would have been the right call, no hindsight.

        1. @mortyvicar The Mercedes is super fast in clean air and if they did get passed, 23s is very possible. Not to mention the risk of another safety car. I say it’s 50-50 chance and Mercedes win this one.

    2. @mortyvicar Arrivabenne? He’s the team principal, he makes 0 strategic calls. His job is motivating the employees and assigning them their positions. He doesn’t choose the strategy or whatever. That’s Jock Clear and Vettel’s race engineer.

  7. Same 8 from me. Nice start, underdogs leading until the blunder with tires.. And Verstappen venting up :)

  8. What a race! What a beautiful race! Great race for Rosberg, Great race for Grosjean and Haas, incredible! Great race for Hamilton to come back to 2nd, Great race for Ricciardo! Solid race for Massa! I am typing too much, but this is the feeling F1 can give!

    The only bad bit was Alonso’s crash, but he’s ok.

    1. I’m going to say something I’ve never ever said before.

      The Australian commentators were AMAZING.

      They just bounced off each other. Webber wow, please Sky, give him a job asap.

      1. I believe Mark is a co-presenter on Channel 4.

        1. @ultimateuzair Awesome! Thank you.

  9. Well! that was good! I don’t think the end result today shows just what an interesting race we had in our hands before the red flag: I’m liking this new tyre allocation system. It was all mixed up, with Hamilton using his ONLY set of mediums.

    The start was fabulous, and after the pits it was all guessing game. Sadly, the red flag appeared and Ferrari showed us who was going to be the winner: Rosberg. Not sure about the reasons but it was the wrong decision.

    But the most important thing is that the field appears quite close together! There were some nice battles, interesting strategies and a good race. 8/10 for me!

    1. @fer-no65 It’s quite impressive to see to see how close was the whole field, even backmarkers seemed quite close. Wehrlein showed us a Manor can run into the midfield not only due to a great start then dropping places rapidly, he sustained the pace for a while. I was expecting to have cars fighting (or not) further back. We should have nice battle for points this season with so many contenders.

      Tyre allocation system worked very nicely and should provide very interesting strategic opportunities in race to come. Quite a mess for qualifying, but that should be solve for next race.

  10. Good race. But still only 7 for me. I was expecting a few more moves given how close the cars are in performance.

    Looking forward to the season; we seem to have a very large mid-field and many potentially great races ahead.

    1. Yeah, we actually got very few overtakes.

      1. The rules (lower nose, cleaner nose, less exhaust blown diffuser) have had the cumulative effect of putting us back in 2008 where overtaking is very, very difficult. If we didn’t have DRS, we’d have even less overtaking, which is kind of terrifying.

        If you don’t have at least a 1 second a lap advantage over the car ahead of you right now, you’re not passing.

    2. 7 for me too, better than average but apart from the start the podium moves all happened in the pits, not from on track passes.

    3. @coldfly, @paeschli The anticipation of an overtake is 50% of the enjoyment.

      1. @xtwl

        Only if you know there’s a chance that the guy behind will pass the car in front.

        We saw it with both Toro Rosso’s: if the margin is too small there’s no chance of getting past someone else.

        There was absolutely no chance Vettel was going to pass Hamilton unless Hamilton screwed up.

    4. I didn’t mind getting only a few good overtakes today @coldfly, at least we had a few guys having a go at it. And we saw nice defencive driveing too.

      1. @bascb, probably the only 2 reasons I was not as excited in my scoring today:
        1) The Merc could not pass the STR, the STR could not pass the Williams, which could not pass the FI, which could not get past a Haas. All seemed to concede except for the guys with the toys at the back ;-)
        2) I am very excited about this season and want to keep my 8’s and 9’s powder dry for the 20 races that come later.

        PS – and maybe because for the first time in years I was not there myself.

  11. 8/10.

    Thanking God that it wasn’t as bad a race as Qualifying was yesterday! 2016 should be a good season…

  12. That was some sexy racing 8/10

  13. 8/10. Good enough. Happy after disaster of yesterday.

  14. 9/10 – but I’m kinda furious with Ferrari right now – a VET win would have done so much to bring hopes up for the season.

    1. Ferrari BrainTrust™ have never recovered from the loss of Ross Brawn. Throwing away 1st place was pretty embarrassing today. It was so obvious that mediums were the right choice: they needed to go to the end without further stops!

      1. I think Ferrari needs to move their strategy back to the pitlane from Maranello. They made that change after the spectacular blunder in Abu Dhabi in 2010, but it really hasn’t worked that well for them ever since.

  15. Great race, good racing action, nice mix of strategies. Well worth watching. Here’s hoping for more of that to come!

  16. The first 20 laps were incredible. The red flag ruined what could have been a more interesting race than the actual outcome we had. Still it was way better than any other race 2015.

    1. ”Still it was way better than any other race 2015.” – I disagree with that. 2015 had a few better races than this, for example, the US, and the Hungarian GPs just to name some.

      1. Yeah, this race was like a Hungarian GP before the red flag with a potential to surpass even that. But after the red flag, it was pretty much like every other 2015 race unfortunately.

  17. Very entertaining race. Worth getting up for and an exciting start to the new season.

    Feel sorry for Vettel. Drove brilliantly and was caught out by the red flag and the team making what turned out in hindsight to be the wrong strategy call.

    Rosberg continues his winning streak, which I hope is a good omen for the rest of the season. Interesting that Hamilton had such problems getting past cars in the early stages.

    Max Verstappen is young. He’ll learn to keep his head cool more over time. Looking forward to a good scrap between the Toro Rosso team mates this year.

    Congratulations to Haas on scoring points on debut for pulling off the risky ‘no-stop’ strategy. Got lucky with the red flag, but Grosjean showed he had the pace to deserve that sixth place throughout the entire second half of the race. Well done to all involved.

    Very relieved to see everyone is fine after that horrible Turn 3 accident – drivers, marshals and fans. Had terrible flashbacks to 2001 for a few moments. I think it’s really hard to place blame on either driver. It’s just one of those slight mis-communications that results in major problems.

    All in all, it’s fantastic that we have so much to talk about after the opening race of the season and can leave that qualifying nonsense firmly in the past.

    1. I was so disappointed by Verstappen, but you totally get the frustration. Better tire choice at the red flag/better pit stop call/telling Sainz to let him past and finishes fifth. Really needs to control that though, or Sainz may get the better of him on a psychological level.

    2. You summed up the race quite well :)

      Voted 8/10

    3. I was so sad for Vettel. Poor guy.

  18. 8/10

    Had the red flag come one lap earlier, it would have been a completely different result for Lewis Nd FI who pitted that exact samelap of the incident. That start from Ferrari was awesome…. Bring o. 2016. The strategy options are superb with 3 tyre options.

  19. It’s amazing how quickly my cynicism seeps away the second Vettel barreled away into the lead at the start.

    The battle for the lead might not turn out as exciting as I would’ve hoped but Grosjean’s sixth is just as great as Weeber’s fifth at his debut for Minardi many, many moons ago.
    And if Palmer is indeed the weakest link at the race just now, we could’ve had much worse couldn’t we? Because that was some pretty damn fine racecraft he’s got there.

    I’m hugely optimistic for this year.
    A 9 for the race.

    1. @fihar Palmer the weakest link in the race? I think at the moment Guiterrez and Haryanto showed weaker performance than Palmer (nothing really stands out). Still, like Martin Brundle said, this year has the strongest lineup across all the teams.

      1. They bowed out way too early for me to make any judgment.

  20. Not bad, not bad at all! 8/10 for me. Ferrari showed that they have the race pace today.

  21. 6/10 – I think the medium tyre was the wrong choise for this race as too durable..

  22. I enjoyed that, 8/10.

    Some good racing through the field, Ferrari seem closer to Mercedes on pace, The field in general seems a bit closer & the addition of a 3rd tyre compound has opened up strategy a bit which was nice.

  23. A 9/10 from me, only thing missing was a double podium for ferrari with VET out on top. Great drives by Ricciardo, Grosjean and Palmer, poor Kimi…

    We’re in for an interesting season though!

  24. 8. Mercedes nailed that strategy, no wonder they used the mediums a lot during the winter. I would like to know what was up with Toro Rosso because Max said that he was asking to pit like crazy while the guys pitted Sainz first. They clearly knew that they could not keep Lewis behind, I think that if they pitted Max first, and avoid the mistake in the stop, Max would have finished higher…

    1. Toro Rosso have a habit of making wrong calls like that. Considering the level of their car it’s not good enough.

    2. Probably because sainz locked his tires and oversteerd his car every lap.

    3. I seem to recall that the W05 was optimized for the medium tire. Wouldn’t surprise me if that’s still true.

  25. Amazing race until the red flag, the Ferrari decided to ruin it for us.

    10/10 before and 6/10 after the red flag so I gave the race a 8.

  26. 7/10, great effort from Grojean to pick up points on Haas first GP. Easy Dotw. Missed the first 19 laps.

    Unimpressed with the RTL coverage I had to watch it on, but at least it was free to air and available in the hotel we are staying in.

  27. 5 because Rio didnt crash

  28. A propr season opener 8/10

  29. 9. That was insane from the start until the red flag happened. However there was enjoyable battles, like the Renault and Toro Rosso battle.

    I would give it a 10 if the big crash didn’t happen, and if Vettel won the race.

  30. Fun to see real racing again. We didn’t have rain to mix things up, instead there was a red flag, some reliability issues and varied tyre strategies. Haas were way better than they qualified, Toro Rosso were way worse, so plenty to keep me awake in the wee hours.

    1. I think giving a bit more freedom on what tyres to choose really helped bring more variable strategies on the board @scalextric, it felt like no one was on tyres that did not fit the car because they just did not have the option do run others, instead it was left to the teams to choose the right strategy (good job Mercedes, probably too for Red Bull, lucked into it a bit but pulled it off for Haas) or not (Ferrari, McLaren?, STR)

  31. wow, what a race! Heart rate was way up there a bunch of times. Now its 3:15 am… sleep is not going to come easy. F1 yessss!

  32. 8/10 for me. After the stupidity of yesterday, a reminder of why we follow this great sport 😄

  33. I was debating between an 8 and a 9 but because Alonso survived I went for a 9 as a testament to Formula One car safety.

  34. Gave it an 8. Nico ran a fantastic race, bided his time and then took the race win. Really enjoyed the race and the midfield battles. Fernandos crash scared the crap outta me. Good to see he’s ok. It’s also too bad that both the McLaren and Torro Rosso have the engines they have. I know the Rosso has 2015 Ferrari engine. Both chassis looked capable of even more, especially the Rosso. Joylen Palmer was pretty immpressive also. Max should try to be calmer when things pile up against him during a race. Last but not least, thanks to Grosjeans drive, Haas scoring 8 points on debut borders on phenomenal.

    1. Forgot to mention, even though I’m not a big fan, Kimi’s retirement saddened me. The ferrari looks to be really close to the Merc.
      One thing you couldn’t put a finger on yesterday, who were the strong midfield teams because of the lousy qualifying format.

      1. @jabosha, I think RBR would be happy to swap engines with STR.

  35. Does anybody know if drivers are allowed to change tires when the race was red flagged? I have the feeling RIC only got to 4th by not pitting and was therefore on very old tires, but when the race started he pulled away from the Toro Rossos on apparently fresher tires. I wonder if it is allowed, why not everybody pitted?

    1. The NBC commentators said it’s allowed. That’s why R8main didn’t have to stop, either.

    2. @vvans Yes, redflag means you can make any changes to the car as long as it stay on the pitlane, because the parc ferme rule has ended when the race start. In theory you can even change gearboxes or engines if you capable of doing it. You can bring the car to the garage too, but then you restart at the end of the line.

    3. Stupid of Toro Rosso not to change tires then. They could have had podium with Max

      1. Toro Rosso did change tyres during the Red Flag, they just chewed up the new ones (softs) after the red flag very quickly.

  36. I’m just coping my comment from FB:

    The race was 8/10 for me. Red flag kinda spoiled the fun, as did Kimi’s DNF. Gutted for my man, Alonso, but Macca was VERY strong today. Awesome scrap between the STR kids, i can see a war coming uip there. Rosberg beat Hami fair and square. One down, 20 to go. Can’t wait!

    A massive, massive cg to Haas. These guys are awesome. Great job folks, welcome to the sport!!

  37. Archit (@architjain07)
    20th March 2016, 7:21

    8.5/10.
    Vettel with a flier! Raikkonnen having his piece of bad luck again! Grosjean taking another step towards 2017 Ferrari seat and Haas showing the way for future teams.
    Hamilton showing his never-say-never driving skills holding Vettel only to benefit Rosberg. IMHO Rosberg didn’t do anything spectacular but didn’t mess up as well! Just kept his nose clear!
    Verstappen grow a nerve and show your skills on the track rather off of it!
    Good thing Alonso is fine! Heck of a season ahead! Cheers!

  38. 8/10 Aside from Mercedes, Ferrari and Manor the field is really close today. This means we can expect lot of good battles ahead. McLaren performance also encouraging considering Button loses out in red flag and one of the drivers who make mistakes to resume with super softs, and Haas can hold into that 6th place ahead of STR, Williams and Force India!

    Also my condolances to those who swear to quit watching F1 in 2016.

    1. Also my condolances to those who swear to quit watching F1 in 2016

      Lol.. I gave it the full 10. Not worth waiting for a better motor race, there was interest all the way through.

  39. Great season opener! Lots of battles throughout the field and a lot of strategic racing aswell.

    8/10

  40. As Keith says, we should score based on the race not our own preferences.
    I gave 9 but would have given 10 if the scrap for 2nd place was for the race win, Vettel’s mistake included.

    How can one not rate this race very highly? We had it all, I’m struggling to find a type of action missing from the race.

    1. @bakano, a pass for a podium position?

      1. There were passes for podium positions just not at the end. The delay Vettel suffered on the left front wheel during his last pitstop robbed us from it.
        It is true that the last podium positions were defined by the pitstops but there still uncertainty until the penultimate lap.

        1. WEll, and I would say Vettel sure had a good go at it non the less (ending up on the grass) @bakano, @hohum, he just did not pull it off.

          1. @bascb yes he still had a go! Me saying that the pitstop delay robbed us of a scrap is that he would catch Hamilton sooner (regardless of Hamilton’s mistake) and have more time to mount an attack or at least more laps to attempt to pass.

  41. 9 from me. Fantastic race!

    RoGro well deserved P6 was my highlight of the race

    MV really annoyed me this race, but that’s kinda what we expect from teenagers. He has time on his side to grow up and is an amazing racer already!

    Big thumbs up for NR, SV, DR, NH, CS as well

    My 2 disappointments of the race were the Williams and the Sauber. Maybe it’s a one off but if it’s not those teams are in for a long season as far as their respective goals are concerned

    Finally sorry for KR and FA bad luck. FA especially was running in the points early on and coudd’ve had a positive start to the year with Mclaren. Happy he’s ok though

  42. Reasonably liked it, gave it a 6/10. The less restricted tyre-choice can add a bit of fun, especially with a safety car/red flag in the mix, but unfortunately that went the wrong way at the front today and turned a fight for the win between Vet/Ros into a fight for second between Ham/Vet. A bit worrying sight for the season were faster cars on faster tyres hardly being able to follow/overtake even on a track like Albert Park. That said, Ferrari is closer to Merc in race pace, there is a good, big, tightly packed midfield including a new team… it´s good.

  43. Gave it a 10. Simply because I do not believe with these regulations we could ever get a better race.

    Amaaazing start by Vettel, Kimi followed suit. Then Merc tangle. Lewiz going to the back… Then massive fights allover the place… Like Battle of the Fins, Lewiz on Toro Roso.. Unable to pass.
    It all looked like a great schorching thriller Mercedes unable to get near first place…
    Then came big shunt, amazement to see shaken Fernando walk away. And then? Ferrari put on super softs… It was obvious to me right away, TV commentators were questioning it instantly… Is Medium a boogie tire for Ferrari? Considering how much Mercedes struggled to overtake anyone, medium tire would suit Vettel just fine.

    So race went cracking on and resolved to the usual 1 2 3. In a good way. What clinched it for me was 6th place for Haas and Grosjean… Congratulations to them.

    Naturally now they are gonna change the rules and change everything for 2017.

    But for first race, a cracking show!

  44. In four words: We had it all!

    Drama, thriller, battle for every single position… All the opposite than yesterday, bring on 2016.

  45. 7/10 . solid, nothing spectacular with the on track action and the red flag tire change meant the race was done a third of the way thru.

  46. A good race, nothing spectacular, nor boring! Better than last year’s season-opener for sure.

  47. 8/10
    Definitely the race that F1 needed to make us forget the failure that was qualifying.
    It was a really exciting race, as always when the Mercedes are out of position there are different strategies and interesting battles. A bit of a shame that the red flag and the strategy gave track position to the Mercedes and from that point onwards it was very difficult for Vettel to recover.
    As always great action in the lower part of the top 10, Verstappen is great for entertainment, in spite of (or maybe because of) his radio comments.

  48. I’ll raise my hands and admit that I was wrong. I thought heading into the season that it was going to be yet more Mercedes dominance and complete DRS-fests but I don’t think we got that today. We had some great battles on the track and plenty of interesting strategies play out (some better than others) so I think the three-compound thing is good. 8.

  49. I gave it 8/10; it was a good race, lots of positives. Great start for the Ferrari’s and bad start for Mercedes gave us a good prospect for a fight. Also, Wehrlein getting 14th at start, well done. So the first part had a lot of good things.

    Slightly disappointing to see how hard it still can be to overtake, though too much of that isn’t good either – DRS not being too powerful was a positive. Palmer also had a good race, Grosjean drove a very solid, mature race to get Haas good points in their 1st race. The red flag gave Mercedes an opportunity and they took it, while Ferrari let theirs go to waste, after having already showed Kimi is a rear gunner only, so I guess good they aren’t the dominant team. Still, they are a lot closer, which is good.

    The podium was well done, saw a hug between the two Merc drivers and HAM being happy with recovery to 2nd; The Alonso crash was scary but seeing him get out quickly and being unharmed was great; would have liked to have seen more of the Manor(s), and Saubers perhaps (FOM tv directing remains a weak point), basically everything behind 12th disappeared from view again, but oh, well nothing new there – that’s what we have external timing for.

  50. An average race, flattered by Mercedes’ bad starts. Strategy will always be frustrated by a red-flag, so it made seeing them unfold much less exciting.

    There were a couple of good battles, and the results are nice for Haas, especially. Ricciardo also did well for his home crowd. Unfortunately Ferrari fails itself and the fans with a first race retirement and dubious strategy.

  51. 7
    Real shame Ferrari botched their strategy, otherwise could have been a 9 :-(

  52. I can’t help but think we’d have had a much more interesting race without the red flag

    No doubt as after Monaco 2011 there’ll be knee-jerk calls to change the red flag rules to prevent drivers from changing their tyres during a stoppage, but if they were to do so they’d have to include exemptions from when drivers have to change from wet to dry-weather tyres or vice-versa because of changing weather conditions.

    1. However, if Mercedes had made a bad call, and Ferrari a good one, everyone would have been saying that the red flag created opportunity for “change” and someone else to win…………..can’t win either way.

    2. @keithcollantine I think any team that did not switch to the mediums made a mistake right there. With these new tyre rules there’ll often be a tyre that allows to go the entire distance and it’s interesting to see teams dare use it. So I agree we would have had a better race without the red flag, but I also think also opens a massive window for strategy where a team can gamble and that again can bring excitement to a race. Obviously not always as it didn’t today.

    3. Regardless of what outcome we could have, there is no doubt that the red-flag gave a free pitstop to everyone, which of course negated some possibilities and later drama as without some of the front drivers would need an additional pit-stop (Hamilton for sure).

      I am in favour of preventing tire changes in red-flags when the track conditions don’t change (dry to wet, wet to dry)

    4. @keithcollantine Because of all the debris on the track and the consequent risk of tyre damage, tyre changes had to be allowed during the red flag. If one car had to change one damaged tyre, they all have to be allowed to change for parity. Or imagine if someone missed seeing minor damage to a tyre. I can imagine a situation where that wouldn’t apply of course, but would you trust the FIA to craft a rule that got that distinction right?

    5. Of course the red flag scenario favours those who have not recently stopped. But I think almost everytime they consider to red flag a race, they will deploy the safetycar first as they have done yesterday. In this phase it would be a huge gamble not to pit (Bottas for example did).
      Apart from that it doesn’t really compromise anybodys strategy.
      If the race wasn’t red flagged, we would have enjoyed at least ten laps under the safetycar and HAM probably lucking into victory when all cars ahead of him were running out of tyrers.
      Just a shame that no other front running team got the strategy right at the restart. That cost us great racing. Or that the mediums were so Bridgestone 2010…

  53. Start 2nd. Fall to third. Over take no one and win. Sundays still need worked on. Unless starting from pole, a driver should have to overtake to win. I rate the race 7/10 as some of the midfield battles were good and show potential for some great races in future but the front end was a bit boring for me

  54. Alex McFarlane
    20th March 2016, 9:54

    8/10. Enough drama, suspense and incident up and down the field to maintain interest to the end and make up for the qualifying horrorshow.

    The only real downside is the age old problem of actual overtaking, but it’s not a problem unique to this era of F1.

  55. Rosberg literally cruised to a win without effort. Everyone around him fought for position. It felt like he was ready to accept whatever position he found himself in.

    1. He was..especially since he found himself leading the race.

  56. Race was a 7 but I threw an extra point in for Seb & Mark hamming it up during the post race podium interview. Good to see.

  57. 7 Really good race, fun and some action. I think Ferrari had it, yeah hindsights a great thing BUT Ferrari are here to stay, there pace was good all race. Friday cost them with limited running on the medium.

    Ricciardo was solid and RBR will be dark horses later this season, never ever write RBR off.

    Finally, congratulations Haas F1!!!! I’m really glad to see them come in and do well, this may be the model for new teams going forward.

    After the farce that was yesterday, today was very good. This is a stupid sport at the best of times isn’t it!

  58. 6/10. Above average but not something I’d want to watch again in a re-broadcast or tell friends they had to see.

  59. 9/10. I actually really enjoyed that. The race was amazing before Alonso’s crash, and than turned into a slightly less exciting but still good strategic battle. Overall there was good racing going on all through the field. Slightly dissapointing that the track layout doesn’t allow for much overtaking. Still, great race!

  60. Well all in all i rate it 7 since no mclaren progress whatsoever in this first race of the season, button in 17th position just makes me wonder how mclaren are gonna be this season. Its really disapointing where mclaren is at the moment tumbling down in the last places of the field something which is astonishingly disappointing of a team of this stature…no comment

  61. 9 0ut of 10. That’s why I l9ve this sport because the potential is huge for excitement. Being from Canada I’ve only ever had about 5 minutes of pre race and then the podium. I LOVED the extra coverage of pre race, post race and the paddock shows. Beautiful. Those Toro Rosso kids and Palmer are legit talents.

    I called for mediums like everyone else but could Vettel have had the pace to hold Rosberg off? Either way Ferrari threw away maybe a win and definitely a P2. Can’t wait for Bahrain.

  62. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    20th March 2016, 14:00

    After qualifying I was expecting a bit of a bad race but that was quite good. The only strong negative for me was that after a mixed up start we still ended up with the predictable Mercedes 1-2 anyway.

    It was good to see Ferrari actually fighting the Mercedes, instead of just trailing them. Renault did well, a rookie and a year-out driver a lap down after the first lap but both finishing 11/12 is decent. Impressed with Haas taking points on their debut and Toro Rosso looked particularly strong.

    Williams though seem to have fallen backwards and were a little anonymous. McLaren’s progress doesn’t appear particularly good and Raikkonen’s still suffering the gremlin of technical failure. Gutierrez is still a liability.

    I’m hopeful that this year won’t be another ‘Mercedes walkover’ and that Ferrari/Vettel can keep up.

  63. When Kimi retired it pretty much sealed Ferraris fate of a win. Had Kimi passed Nico, Ferrari could have kept him out there till he was on rims possibly backing Nico up.

    You know you watched a good race when your going over so many possibilities of what could have happened.

  64. 8/10. Interesting start to the season. Loads of unforced errors from drivers and teams always spices up the action and augers well for the season ahead as they eventually get on top of their stuff. Really hated the C4 highlights with all the lengthy commercial breaks.. Grrrr……

  65. That was a good race. 8/10.

    On another note can’t say max verstappen did his reputation any good but I understand where he was coming from.

  66. 8/10 Never a dull moment! Too bad about the red flag, but I was so happy when Alonso walked away from that nightmare crash that everything else was gravy.

  67. Very good race, especially considering Australia has been a bit dull in recent seasons. The new tyre rules, although very confusing on paper, actually worked a treat!

  68. As exciting as it was, I’m still annoyed that we got Merc and Vettel on the podium again.

  69. Better than expected, solid 6/10.

  70. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
    20th March 2016, 19:17

    Nice race, I gave it a 7. Jolyon Palmer was very impressive. Looks like the Mercs are a fair bit ahead of Ferrari. Alonso was pretty lucky to walk away from a horrible crash.

  71. Who does sabotage Kimi ? Same kind of problems always with Ferrari… year after year. Otherwise this kind of situations, year after year; can not be true. Also Ferraris doing and strategies seem to be a joke.

  72. Can’t quite put it into words, but I felt something was missing. The race was good, but I wasn’t overly excited even though I usually rate them higher than the average. 8/10

  73. First half of the race was damn good.
    After the red flag, it was not to so tense anymore, but still entertaining (thanks to the Toro Rosso boys).

    So for me a good 8/10. Im looking forward to an exciting 2016 season, the field seems much more closer than the years before, I can even see Manor taking some points this year.

  74. This was a good race, I rated for 6, but I didn’t want give this. I think this is 8, this race really was good.

  75. Cracking start to the season I have to say. Very entertaining. 8/10

  76. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    20th March 2016, 22:52

    Gave it a 7.

    Very solid season opening race, hopefully a sign of things to come, especially considering Albert Park doesn’t produce the most exciting racing.

  77. 7/10. STR were very entertaining! Smells very much like 2015 to me. Yeah Ferrari have improved a lot but Rosberg was never going to loose that one

  78. 6/10 Thanks to STR it was entertaining, a petulant VES was hilarious, a great drive for GRO and the debut of Hass, but too bad the result of the race was the same… Hopefully, SF and RB will make the upcoming races more interesting…

  79. Alonso’s crash was very scary but since he walked away it was a great season opener.

  80. I gave the race an 8.
    It was entertaining with a lot of good dices throughout the field.Ricciardo had a good race with a number of good passes.
    I am sure if Vettel didn’t get the start that he did,the race would have been over after the first couple of corners.
    I have not embraced the way the driver interviews are done on the podium these days but the byplay between Vettel and Webber on the podium was most entertaining ;)

    Very glad also that Alonso walked away from that massive crash.

  81. I gave the race a 6. When after the Grand Prix the TV presenters were saying it was great I thought it was just another bit of hyperbole on their part, so I was still surprised when the most votes on here are 8s.

    My enjoyment of the race may have been lessened because I accidently found out who the winner was before I saw the highlights, but even taking that into account I still don’t think it was that good a race.

    The main points were the bad starts for both Mercedes with the Ferraris taking the lead and then Alonso’s big crash which caused the red flag which in turn led to Ferrari making a mistake with tyre strategy and handing the victory back to Mercedes.

    The main highlight of the race was Grosjean getting some points for Haas on their debut, the circumstances of the race helped him but he didn’t just scrape into the top ten he finished sixth which would still have a been points finish under some previous points systems, a great achievement.

    I don’t know if it was the fact it was the first race of the new season meant that some found it more enjoyable or not, but overall I thought this race wasn’t that much different from an average race from last season, there was some on track action but nothing that really stood out.

    I suppose that if I didn’t know the result beforehand then for the first part of the race at least I would probably have thought there was the prospect of a good battle for the lead but when the different tyre strategies became apparent after the restart it was obvious that Rosberg was going to take a comfortably victory barring any reliability issues.

  82. As a longlife F1Fan I must say that this was not the most exited openingrace I’ve ever watched, so no glory, we re not in de high scores. One minor thing about the red-flag. they exaggerated with the ‘securty’ issues. the circuit WAS clear and the carwrecks were of the track. A virtual Safety Car would have been enough. imo that was not necessary

  83. I thought this was a decent race and so gave it a 7. There was good racing throughout the field, a number of different tyre strategies which added an extra level of intrigue and for once the race wasn’t ruined by DRS making overtakes too easy.

    It’s a shame that the few people who might have been tempted to try Formula One for the first time would most likely have been put off by the farce of qualifying…

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