#51 Edited by cclemon36 (180 posts) -

Aww yeah! I guess that's what you get when you have a good gameplan and a driver who can execute on it. And boom, fastest lap at the very end of the race to boot.

#52 Edited by Ennosuke (59 posts) -

Nice race :) Unfortunately no win for Seb, but the RB had too much trouble with the tires. Amazing Race from Kimi, but also from Adrian Sutil!

Next week we have different type of track layout and way higher temperatures, I hope the RB will be better under those conditions.

#53 Posted by isomeri (1254 posts) -

Kimi's now tied with Mika Häkkinen for 20 race victories. If the season keeps going like this it looks like we're in for some exciting fights. Also, really nice to see such a clean race with only 4 cars having to drop out.

#54 Posted by Pr1mus (3873 posts) -

I didn't see the whole race but i like what i saw. It's such a refreshing change from how things were when i last followed Formula 1 seriously almost a decade ago back when Ferrari was essentially alone with maybe Mclaren able to win 2-3 races a year with a healthy dose of luck. Now there's 5 champions in 5 different teams that can aspire to win races.

#55 Posted by aurahack (2270 posts) -

@cclemon36: Going purple on every lap towards the end was the best final laugh to everyone trying to catch up, haha.

@isomeri: It was also one of the first races I've seen at Melbourne where there was no safety car needed!

@pr1mus: You could make the argument that the same happens with Red Bull to a lesser extent. Then again, I was fully expecting Vettel to dominate this race and was proven wrong the entire way through! It was a really exciting watch.

@ennosuke: SUTIL! Haha, he was my MVP for that race, easily. That he was keeping pace with Vettel and Alonso, sometimes going faster, was nothing short of awesome to watch. I would love nothing more this year than for Force India to pose an actual threat to the top-tier teams.

#56 Posted by Krataur (357 posts) -

That was amazing! Kimi and Lotus looked so dominant. I hope this is a sign of a very strong season to come.

Ferrari also look so much better this year than last year's first race. Just the opposite of McLaren, disappointingly.

And Webber...I love the guy, but I don't understand how an F1 driver can have such terrible reflexes on the starting line.

#57 Posted by aurahack (2270 posts) -

@krataur: Yeah, Webber's start was pretty terrible. I can imagine doing so poorly at the start of his home race must've busted up his morale for the race. Ferrari was surprisingly strong but, more to my attention, Massa was surprisingly strong. He did wonders towards the end of the season last year and it was super awesome to see he's keeping up that performance streak. He was easily outpacing Alonso for a good portion of that race and I loved watching that.

#58 Posted by Ennosuke (59 posts) -

Webber has 197 Formula 1 races now, but he still sucks at the start. Its not getting better, it seems to getting worse. No explanation for this.

#59 Edited by Optix12 (612 posts) -

Its great that Massa is abck in form and can possibly retain his seat again at ferrari. I think Kimi showed that the lotus car is much stronger than what people may have originally thought, not for sheer speed but for keeping those tires alive so damn long. I also wonder what kind of setup they have as almost every time they looked at kimi his car would always send sparks in the air, didnt see that on anyone elses car

#60 Posted by Krataur (357 posts) -

@optix12: Yeah, I noticed that about the sparking. Grosjean's car was doing that, too. They must have just had the chassis lower than anyone else.

#61 Posted by aurahack (2270 posts) -

@ennosuke: As harsh as it sounds, I feel like Red Bull is only keeping him there because they don't have someone to replace him with. The only role he plays at the moment is being support to Vettel and he's doing a pretty so-so job at that. As much as I love the man, I'd be equally excited to see someone take his place and be a standalone threat like Vettel is.

@optix12: As a Lotus guy, it's awfully exciting to see Kimi take it in the very first race. If their plan is to improve upon the pace they had towards the end of last season, it's going to be a real exciting season up at the front of the pack.

#62 Posted by Ennosuke (59 posts) -

@aurahack You are right, his support is not the best. When I look back at the final last year, he blocked Vettel at the start and made enough space for Alonso. But who should be the one to replace him? I think it will be someone out of the RB family, maybe one of the Toro Rosso guys, but they don´t convince me completely.

They should have kicked Webber out after the season finale and replace him with Kobayashi, haha :D

#63 Edited by aurahack (2270 posts) -

@ennosuke: Haha, I couldn't think of a more topsy-turvy start to the season if Kobayashi was to replace Webber. What an odd fit that would be. Honestly, I have no idea who'd take his place. I think it definitely wouldn't be one of the Toro Rosso drivers because while both have had their moments, neither have really maintained a steady performance throughout a season. They both have their constant ups and downs. Other than that, though, I have no clue. It doesn't seem to suit their style to pluck someone directly out of GP2 or something.

... you know, it'd be pretty funny if Massa were given the boot out of Ferrari and RB would pick him up. Not that it would ever happen, but I'd have a good laugh.

#64 Edited by Optix12 (612 posts) -

@aurahack: What if Di Resta, Ricciardi or Sutil have a great season. The first two names as they are pretty young and fresh and Sutil as he has only recently come back and already proven that hes kept his pace up.

#65 Posted by aurahack (2270 posts) -

@optix12: I think the fact that Di Resta barely kept his seat at Force India speaks to the certainty of performance he carries. He's certainly a good driver but I personally feel like Hulkenberg out-showed him last season. Sutil... we'll have to see. His performance in Melbourne was stunning but that's just once race. I'd like to see how he performs around the time Barcelona comes around when the teams are a bit more settled into their cars and introducing upgrades.

#66 Posted by Optix12 (612 posts) -

@aurahack: Very true, i wonder how the upgrade race would pan out.

Also can anyone shed some light, I heard some offhand comment about the super soft tyres, apparently pirelli tweaked them so they would die super quick or so i heard. Im wondering if its for a couple of races or simply just this one

#67 Posted by aurahack (2270 posts) -

@optix12: Although it seemed to be true for Melbourne, (Button was in after only four laps for a tyre change) I can't really say until a few races in. It certainly was an issue last year but I can't say it seems like it's any different now. The pitstop strategies seemed largely the same as they did last season. I don't see why they would make them degrade any quicker-- as they were last season, they barely last 12-15 laps on a good circuit.

#68 Posted by cclemon36 (180 posts) -

@aurahack: Going back to the Webber discussion, I think the past seasons of playing a support role for Vettel have sapped him of his motivation in general. I believe he is a good driver and has the ability to win even, but he is always racing for second place. An old and bitter man. Even Kovalainen got fed up with the politics within McLaren when they were grooming Hamilton into a champ.

#69 Edited by Optix12 (612 posts) -

@aurahack: True. I also never saw the Q2 and Q3 of qualifying so dont know how long Button and the rest of them were on their tyres for.

@cclemon36: At least to the general public Red Bull have almost always given Webber a fighting chance up until the last few races when its pretty clear Vettel is going to beat Webber. Its not like Ferrari where the team orders were very blatant the last few years (with massas pace im not sure he would easily agree to them anymore)

#70 Edited by aurahack (2270 posts) -

@optix12: Both Button and Perez hopped on SS towards mid-Q2 when the track was still wet. It was a mistake that cost the both of them a decent place on the grid.

@cclemon36: I do think he is an excellent driver, too. He could shine were he given the opportunity (and renewed morale) to. Unfortunately, I feel like he's doing the opposite of what Hamilton chose to do. As the unfortunately-gone-from-F1-BBC presenter Jake Humphrey said, "Never sit in the comfy chair". Hamilton saw an opportunity to bring his skills to the test in a team that had something to prove, whereas Webber is letting his skills stagnate in a team focused on a singular performance goal.

#71 Posted by cclemon36 (180 posts) -

@optix12: @aurahack: It could be that Vettel is just out-driving him on every occasion, that must be pretty deflating too. Whatever the reason may be, the bottom line is: he is doing poorly in a top tier car (not Massa levels of bad a la 2012, but still). The new season is still young but I wouldn't want to see a repeat of last year for him.

Apparently there is an explanation to his poor start in Melbourne.

#72 Posted by aurahack (2270 posts) -

@cclemon36: That... seemed like an odd excuse. I mean, it makes sense, but I feel like they'd of said this a lot faster had it actually been that. Regardless, I can only imagine it is no help to constantly be racing in the shadow of a triple-world champion. Here's to a better year for Webber, though I can't say I'm particularly hopeful.

#73 Edited by Optix12 (612 posts) -

@cclemon36: That article is onto more than what they think they are. Hamilton cant hide his ultimate plan of F1 domination by moving to mercedes and using his past contacts to destroy the rest of the pack.

#74 Edited by cclemon36 (180 posts) -

@optix12: I have no reason to think otherwise. I look forward to a Hamilton victory in Malaysia by way of DNF's across the board.

Edit:

#75 Posted by zudthespud (3281 posts) -

This team mate drama bull shit just seems so irrelevant to me. A driver is just another part of the car, there's no point compromising when you're there to win, make the fastest package possible.

#76 Posted by Ennosuke (59 posts) -

Seb again with the pole position! But again I am not convinced that he will also win the race.

#77 Edited by Rokkaku (222 posts) -

@ennosuke: Me neither, and I have nothing against the guy, he's a great driver, but I really hope a group of drivers can all challenge this year. I'm bored of German F1 domination! Still, both Ferrari's are quick this year so there's hope, and it is really good to see Massa coming back to top form, he was robbed of the championship a few years ago.

#78 Posted by Ennosuke (59 posts) -

@rokkaku Ferrari really seems to be quick this year. For a neutral formula 1 fan it must indeed be very boring if at the end of the season Vettel wins the title. But for me it is not, I hope he will win the championship again :D

He was my favorite driver when he was part of toro rosso, I never dreamed that he would be that successful. But as I said it will be tough championship this year. Tomorrow I don´t think he will be the winner, but it is also very difficult to predict someone else, because of those crazy tires and the unstable weather conditions :D

#79 Edited by Corvak (1009 posts) -

@ennosuke: Winning twice would be fine - he is one of the best drivers in the world, he deserves it. I think it'll be much harder to take a clear lead - I hope this is the case, it makes for better races from the viewer's perspective.

I remember the years of Schumacher's utter dominance of the field and it really DID get boring.

Really hope I can make the trip to Montreal again this year.

#80 Edited by aurahack (2270 posts) -

@corvak said:

@ennosuke: Winning twice would be fine - he is one of the best drivers in the world, he deserves it. I think it'll be much harder to take a clear lead - I hope this is the case, it makes for better races from the viewer's perspective.

I remember the years of Schumacher's utter dominance of the field and it really DID get boring.

Really hope I can make the trip to Montreal again this year.

If you do, I'll see you there! I'll be at Montreal in person this year. c:

I'm excited for the race, mostly due to the prospect of rain. It really messed up the qualifying sessions and the track is so unpredictable because of how humid it is in Malaysia. I'm excited to see how Lotus will shape up this race because I'd love for nothing more than for them to be a real threat to the constructor's championship this year. That, and I really hope Sutil trolls the race leaders again.

#81 Edited by Optix12 (612 posts) -

At this rate the season will be a challenge to find webbers saddest face each race.

Do we have a grace period on talking about races for say a day for spoilers? Found another good picture of Webber (in spoiler block)

#82 Posted by isomeri (1254 posts) -

@optix12 said:

At this rate the season will be a challenge to find webbers saddest face each race.

Do we have a grace period on talking about races for say a day for spoilers? Found another good picture of Webber (in spoiler block)

I think that people should be smart enough as to not open this thread after a race if they haven't seen it yet. I don't even open Twitter, Facebook or any news sites if I haven't seen the race yet.

Call me crazy but I've grown to really enjoy the soap-opera going on behind the scenes. Webber looked ready to throw some punches.

#83 Posted by Pr1mus (3873 posts) -

I didn't see the race, i just caught the the closing commentary and they were talking about some controversy in how Vettel won. Is that controversy really just that he Vettel "should" have stayed behind Webber? Because if that's all it was that's no controversy, let the drivers fight on the race track and may the best man win even when they're teammates.

#84 Posted by MachoFantastico (4620 posts) -

One of the strangest races... ever. The mood at the end of the race was bizarre. No one seems particularly happy.

#85 Edited by isomeri (1254 posts) -

@pr1mus: The team (Red Bull) had made a call to save tires, fuel and the cars as both cars had a fair lead from the competition. Webber tuned his car down as ordered, but Vettel basically "went rogue" and started to hunt Webber down. Some of the better racing I've seen in a while ensued from this, but I fully understand why Webber was pissed. The team basically had a deal and Vettel broke it.

There was also some politics with Mercedes ordering Rosberg to stand down even though he had a clear chance to take third place from Hamilton. Hamilton however was a sport about this and even acknowledged at the podium that Rosberg should have been standing there in stead of him.

#86 Edited by Optix12 (612 posts) -

@pr1mus: It was more a case of the teams were scared of tyre wear (first time they have kind of been tested in big heat on full race conditions) and fuel and would prefer to preserve these (like the red bulls) if another team fancies a stab at taking on one of their cars or (in mercedes case) dont want to actually risk cars crashing or them fighting so hard that they ruin their tyres/run out of fuel. If the mercedes were allowed to fight for position i bet hamilton would not give that spot up as easily as rosberg would think, in the process most likely ruining hamiltons tyres (we know he can be very hard on them) making him pit and losing a spot.

#87 Posted by Pr1mus (3873 posts) -

@isomeri: I guess that changes things. If Webber was no longer fighting on equal terms with Vettel because he listened to the instructions it does sound like a dick move from Vettel. I'll have to see it for myself.

#88 Edited by MachoFantastico (4620 posts) -

Is that the first time Red Bull as a team have gone against Sebastian Vettel? Even when he crashed into Mark a few years back they defended him and protected him. I know there is a very negative feeling towards Vettel of late, he was booed in Australia (though probably no surprises there). But seriously, I lost a lot of respect for him today and agree entirely with Mark's attitude towards it. He can apologies all he likes, he was the one who stood on top of the podium and went against the team. I've been fairly critical of Mark Webber at times, but he's helped Sebastian out as a team mate and got zero in return. I loved how honest Mark was on the podium about the 'protection' Sebastian gets all the time.

But most of all, I hated what Sebastian said on the radio about wanting Mark to get out of his way. Vettel burnt a lot of bridges today and lost the respect of many fans I suspect.

#89 Posted by Ennosuke (59 posts) -

When did Mark Webber help Vettel?

Last season when Vettel needed Webber to finish before Alonso in the last races, he was showing his worst races for a long time and than during the season finale at the start he blocked Vettel and opened the way for Alonso. Or lets look back when Vettel won his first championship, Webber was the whole race behind Alonso, but had the way faster car, others had to steal the points from Alonso.

I am also not happy about this win, it feels strange because of the bad mood afterwards. And yes it was the order from Redbull. But I am against this team order stuff, I also think it is very bad what they did to Rosberg this race!

But back to RB, for me it is some sort of excuse of Webber to say "I changed the engine performance he could have changed that and maybe did that. Because it is not like Vettel came out of nowhere, he was really close direct after Webbers last pit stop! He did defend him self for a few rounds, so he knew Vettel were trying.

Lets also look back at Silverstone 2011 and lets see what Mark Webber said regarding ignoring team orders:

If Fernando (Alonso) retires on the last lap, we are fighting for the win. Of course I ignored the team because I wanted to try and get a place

If he would have been the best and most supportive team mate you could imagine, but after all those years he don´t has to be so surprised about it.

#91 Edited by aurahack (2270 posts) -

God dammit... accidentally deleted my message instead of editing it...

Ugh. I'm not retyping all of it. The short of it: it was really gross what Vettel did and especially crushing to hear Webber in the post-race interview sound completed defeated. He wasn't angry, sad, or annoyed. Just defeated. It makes me really scared for his future prospects. His morale must be at an all-time low.

#92 Posted by Berserker976 (340 posts) -

@aurahack:I would say he was pretty clearly both annoyed and angry after the race.

Let's not forget that Vettel has apologized profusely for what he did. He admitted it was wrong of him to do, he said he needed to apologize to Mark directly, I think it's pretty clear he knows he messed up and he feels bad about it.

BUT, I would argue he has no need to apologize. Personally I come to F1 to watch racing, not to watch a computer model played out in real life. I completely understand why it's in the team's best interest to have their drivers hold back due to tire strategy and what not, but it should first and foremost be about the actual racing, driver against driver.

Now I will admit it does suck that Webber was at a disadvantage because he refused to go against team orders and turn his engine back up like Vettel did, but that was his choice, and let's also not pretend that Webber didn't put up one hell of a fight when Vettel was trying to pass him. If he really was that interested in putting the team ahead of his own interests why did he defend the position so aggressively?

In any case, I think it would be hard to argue that it all didn't make for some seriously exciting racing, and I think it's just a little weird to be upset about that.

#93 Posted by aurahack (2270 posts) -

@berserker976: His apology was nothing other than a child realising that setting the couch on fire is a bad idea even though he was explicitly told not to do so. ... Okay, I'm not sure entirely sure that analogy holds up but my point is that there's little humility in his apology. Had he said something along the lines of "I passed him because I wanted to win like any driver does" or something to that effect, I'd of understood his intentions a hell of a lot better. It still makes him an arrogant piece of shit, but it explains his actions. Instead, he disobeyed team orders and the pre-race plan, and effectively pushed his teammate under the rug after all his efforts to secure a victory. Hamilton's/Mercedes' actions were not exactly brilliant either, but Lewis at least had a clear sense of shame towards it. His words to the effect of "Rosberg should be standing here" immediately after the race at least showed some sense of respect towards his teammate.

As for why Webber fought back, I can't imagine it being anything other than wanting to win by the book. He had a plan for the race and than plan was there for a reason, something he tried to show Vettel through that fight. A race is always about who is the best driver and Webber proved it was him through tireless work across 46 laps. That was accomplished through a very specific strategy, one that both drivers agreed to at the start of the race. I don't think anyone can honestly defend Vettel in the situation. Disobeying team orders is one thing but this was, if nothing else, an absolute lack of respect for his teammate.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't mesmerised by the driving they both did during that 'battle', but I would of been significantly happier had that not happened and saw Webber on top of the podium. He deserved it.

#94 Edited by randiolo (1090 posts) -
If only..

#95 Edited by Dookysharpgun (586 posts) -

@aurahack: I have to say, while I agree with you in this case, the team orders in F1 in general have always been a bit...off-putting for me. I mean, Vettel should have laid off, he put himself and his teammate in serious danger, and could have cost them both what they'd worked for the entire race, but as team orders go...I still remember the bullshit order given to let Schumacher pass Barrichello a couple years back (or many, I only really got back into F1 over the last year) I know it was a tight year and the points were needed, but with only two in the difference, and given Barrichello's great driving, that was such an unpopular decision that I think every fan in the world complained.

At times, the orders are cruel and take away a drivers' chance for victory, which is a casualty of the points system in place I guess. However, Vettel did pull a really dangerous stunt and that should be the main focus of any and all criticism of his actions. Team orders or not, we'd already seen Alonso come off a lap into the race when he tried to get up Webber's tail for an overtake, plenty of that seems to be happening this season, it's only a matter of time until something bad happens, so Vettel should be at least given a slap on the wrist for endangering a teammate to show other drivers that this won't stick.

#96 Posted by aurahack (2270 posts) -

@dookysharpgun: I am wholeheartedly in agreement with you about team orders, but I don't think that is really what the problem here is. I mean, it's the underlying cause, but the clear disrespect for Webber is what personally irritates me and I feel like that is the same for most others.

Though you bring up Alonso which I feel silly for forgetting, because I actually think that's the worst situation in the race of them all. To arrogantly pass the pit lane with a completely broken front wing is careless beyond words. There's no way he didn't see the sparks flying from that thing. You could of cooked a full buffalo with the fire it was shooting out around the track. I was fucking terrified when it snapped and blew up into pieces under his car. That none of the chunks flew directly into another driver is really fortunate. I barely thought of it when it happened but the more I think about it, the more I am baffled by how such an experienced, intelligent driver pulled something so unbelievably stupid.

Like, holy shit. That the parts on the side didn't fling into Hamilton's face or something... really lucky.

#97 Posted by Berserker976 (340 posts) -

@aurahack: With all due respect, I don't think we saw the same apology if you thought it came off as disingenuous.

In case we didn't actually see the same one ( http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2013/3/14412.html )

P.S. The very fact that Webber fought back at all shows he was acting a bit selfishly, if he had just let Vettel pass without incident I think he'd have more reason to be that upset.

#98 Posted by XenoNick (1401 posts) -

Overall I found the race to be really enjoyable. Alonso deciding to not replace his front wing was incredibly dangerous. He could've easily taken other drivers out. Was a shame that Button had a lousy stop. The Mclaren was showing some stronger pace this weekend. I don't agree with team orders but they are allowed. The fact that Vettel ignored them and then claim he won by 'mistake' is BS. Was pretty obvious he was lying through his teeth. Webber had called the shots right and told to just bring the car home. Vettel obviously wasn't happy and it seems his actions have lost a lot of peoples respect. I've always said he is a great driver but the way he handles himself sometimes makes me dislike him a lot.

Also this =]

#99 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Love how Hamilton pulled into his old teams pit stop...

Yeah the team stuff really sucks, but I won money off a Hamilton podium finish so I shouldn't complain too much =)