The dust has settled, the engines have fallen silent, we have all got our rest, and it’s now time for an intensive third degree that inevitably follows every race. But this is different, isn’t it? This is after all, the evening of the first race of the season.
And if Melbourne was any indication, we are in for the ride of our life this year. Starting right at the top though, Button proved his mettle, and the fact that McLaren has one of the most competitive and best looking cars this season. His blistering pace ensured that teammate Lewis Hamilton was always a step behind, and his radio conversations with the team radio radiated confidence, even with young Sebastian Vettel breathing down his neck.
The grand finale had a McLaren vs Red Bull vs McLaren vs Red Bull fight, and what a brilliant fight it was; edge-of-the-seat variety. The middle ground was held fast by an incredible combination of Fernando Alonso (gosh, he shined), the erstwhile Ice Man Kimi Raikonnen, and Paul di Resta. Let’s not forget the aggressive Kamui Kobayashi and Nico Rosberg, who made some brilliant moves, as did Daniel Ricciardo.
There were those light moments too that kept me laughing (Only F1 offers such entertainment, I tell you). Like the time a puzzled Kimi Raikonnen asked, almost plaintively about the blue flags waving behind him. “Those aren’t for you,” his engineer replied promptly. Or when Vettel asked, very businesslike, about the team’s strategy. Pat came the reply, go fast, fast, fast!
Twitter had it good with instant updates. But it was Adam Hays-Nicholls’ tweet that sent a shiver down my spine. “With that Rothmans-style Williams livery and the yellow helmet, Bruno Senna looks an eerie sight,” he tweeted. And so he did. Senna had a tight grip on the race, refusing to bow out and pitting to fix at a punctured tyre at the end. But let go, he did; just like teammate Pastor Maldonado, who crashed at the very last lap. In Maldonado’s case though, the fault was entirely his (Gah!). But if you actually look at it, it has been a pretty great start for a dismal Williams that was plagued with ill luck, the past few seasons.
All I can say is, this race had 6 cars retiring, with two accidents, and one team that failed to qualify! The F1 overtaking rule could also bring us some incredible moments. It also seems like, this season, there is are other talented racers in technically strong cars that could put Vettel’s mettle to test. Though if I might say so, I did sigh a huge sigh of relief when Vettel came a second. F1 would have been boring if it was just a repeat of last year. Though I might add, Lewis Hamilton should get his attitude in order. Post-race interview had a depressed, letdown Hamilton in a very blah mood. Not good considering this is just the beginning. Here is the complete list of who did what, and scored how much.
Seems like 2012 will definitely put Darwin’s theory to test. Only the fit shall survive.
Watch out for: Post first race, here are some racers who promise us great moments (don’t hold me to this, though. It’s my opinion).
Besides the Button-Hamilton-Vettel-Webber combination, I’d say, Alonso showed great promise in a dull car. Maldonado and Senna seem to have the potential to bring Williams out of the gigantic dump it is in. The Ice Man has much to prove and he is gunning it, but giving him a good fight are Kobayashi, Rosberg, and Ricciardo.
On to Sepang, folks!