Featured Articles

F1: Australian Grand Prix Is The Sebastian Vettel Show

Posted in Formula 1, Grand Prix, Racing Coverage by Kurt Ernst | March 28th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

Sebastian Vettel in 2010; 2011 likes like more of the same. Image: Andrew Griffith

Remember how rule changes for 2011, like the re-implementation of KERS and a driver adjustable rear wing, were supposed to make for closer racing this season? Someone forgot to copy Sebastian Vettel on that particular memo, since the Red Bull Renault driver walked away from the field in an uneventful F1 season opener. By the end of the first lap, Vettel had put up a 2.4 second lead on the second place McLaren Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, and Hamilton never got close enough to challenge for the lead. Ironically, the KERS system on both Red Bull cars was de-activated, following problems in testing last Friday. Once the system is de-bugged, will anyone be able to challenge Vettel and Webber in 2011, or will this be another repeat of the 2010 season?

Perhaps the biggest surprise in Australia was the performance of Lotus Renault’s Vitaly Petrov, who drove a flawless race to capture the last podium spot. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished fourth, with Vettel’s teammate Mark Weber capturing the fifth position. It was a bad weekend for both the Sauber Ferrari team (disqualified due to an illegal rear wing) and the Mercedes GP team, who saw both Schumacher and Heidfeld taken out by contact early in the race. Next up is the Malaysian Grand Prix, scheduled for April 10 and televised on Speed TV at 3:30 AM Eastern time.

Our Best Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 Responses

  1. ds440 says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the DRS flappy rear wings were a bust? Slip-streaming seemed more useful. Granted, it’s only been one race, but still. And Red Bull not using KERS and winning I think was also a bit of a shot at the new rules.

  2. Kurt Ernst says:

    ds, I agree that the adjustable wings were a FAIL in Australia, but it will take a few races to sort things out. Given how fast Vettel was, McLaren Mercedes, Ferrari and Renault had best be putting in serious overtime before the Malaysian GP, otherwise 2011 will be the Sebastian Vettel show.

    I don’t have any hope for KERS whatsoever. It had no impact on racing in 2009, and I seriously doubt it will impact racing in 2011. It’s F1’s attempt to keep the Greens happy by using “hybrid” race cars.