2011 Australia Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Everybody had all winter to catch up to Red Bull. Instead they lost ground. Now, they have a bigger gap to close during the season. If Red Bull does not shoot themselves in the foot like they did so many times last season, when they do catch up, it will be way too little, way too late.
EVENT: The most nebulous event on the calendar, year after year. At least they don't have to worry about a people's uprising. Well, at least not a violent uprising...
QUALIFYING: Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull simply embarrassed ... no ... humiliated the entire field. And he never used KERS.
RACE: Ignore Vettel's runaway, and there were a lot of exciting battles in the rest of the field.
REGULATIONS: Are we the only ones who think the rules governing the use of the movable rear wings are a wee bit too complicated? Even by F1 standards?
TRACK: 140 mph on a street course. Not too shabby...
START: It sure looked like Webber had Hamilton at the start. By not forcing the issue, the race for second was over.
VETTEL: Picked up where he left off last year. Actually, he is even further ahead than last year.
WEBBER: Same car, but was no better than the rest of the field. Are we seeing the return of head case Mark?
RED BULL: They signed all their top technical staff, including the most important cog, Adrian Newey, to contract extensions. Now Ferrari is going to have to work at catching up the old fashion way instead of stealing the technical talent.
PETROV: We said many times last year Vitaly deserved another year. We were right.
HAMILTON: Obviously happy with the results, all things considered.
BUTTON: The two-time defending race champion was not treated very well this time around.
MCLAREN: Considering the lack of winter testing miles and the dismal prognosis heading into Australia, McLaren may be in the best position to be able to close the Red Bull gap.
ALONSO: Must be wondering if it's déjà vu all over again.
MASSA: Fought like a ferocious badger to keep Button behind and then let Alonso by without even a hint of a fight.
FERRARI: Can't wait to hear the next sore losing comments out of Montezemolo's mouth.
PEREZ: Quite a debut by the Mexican rookie. Too bad his team apparently didn't give him a legal car.
KOBAYASHI: A tame race by Kamui.
HEIDFELD: One has to wonder how Nick feels after being upstaged all weekend by his sophomore teammate.
BARRICHELLO: Hopeless, dumb-ass move by Rubens on Rosberg.
ROSBERG: Once again upstaged his teammate. Once again played second fiddle in the press to his teammate.
SCHUMACHER: Which excuses will Schumacher fans come up with this year?
HRT: Welcome to the new, tougher world order. Anybody for an over/under on how many times they get to race?
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Impressive.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The first time Sebastian Vettel ever finished the Australian Grand Prix.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Jenson Button's two race Australian Grand Prix winning streak is over, missing an opportunity to tie Michael Schumacher's three year consecutive winning streak (2000-2). Only one other driver won more than once in a row, Damon Hill in 1995 and 1996.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Fernando Alonso putting the race into perspective, "Once again today, Vettel seemed to be on another planet."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Alonso putting the ever more complicated steering wheel into perspective, "We are professional drivers. Last year with the F-duct, people were doing a lap with one hand. So, I don't know why this year it's a problem to touch one button."
SCHEDULE: With Bahrain canceled, maybe for good, and Japan questionable due to the horrifying disasters there, the exotic races don't look so good anymore. In any case, onto Malaysia. Hopefully...
Copyright © 2011 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.