Grand Prix 2014 Australian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

24 years old. Apprenticeship fully served, and finally arrived in one of the two seats that you've been working towards sitting in for years; that of the quadruple reigning champions. And to start with, your home Grand Prix. All you need is for the car and engine combination to maintain its previous stratospheric standards...

At time of going to press, testing has shown little sign that Daniel Ricciardo's dream will be realised. Although, it has to be said, at time of going to press, testing has not been quite as indicative as it could have been. We don't know who is going to be fast and we won't know until the lights go out in Melbourne.

Ricciardo's team-mate, paradoxical pantomime villain and quadrakaiser Sebastian Vettel is going for his tenth race win in a row, although early suggestions are that his assault on double figures might not be as straightforward as some of the previous nine. At Jerez, getting to double figures in terms of laps was a struggle..

Ricciardo will have to make sure he performs well this season to make sure he keeps the dream seat ahead of Daniil Kvyat, presuming the young Russian puts Jean-Eric Vergne's F1 career to sleep in a dignified and respectful ceremony.

Lotus, meanwhile, have very little money, necessitating the parachuting in of Scrooge El Duck as their driver to back up 2012's other panel-beater Romain Grosjean. Their nose looks rather different to anything else out there, and is closest in design to Williams' 2004 walrus nose. Which doesn't save the fears.

McLaren and Mercedes will back up their silver cars with a British World Champion, a Mercedes engine and a plethora of team principals. Button is, of course, the Melbourne specialist. They've got some running in at Jerez; it is unknown whether either are quick, but neither are stationary.

Fernando Alonso's Ferrari hegemony is about to be challenged by Kimi Raikkonen's arrival. Raikkonen won in Australia last year, so he's got form, and this race will be the first to tell us if Ferrari team radio this year will be a story of two passionate racers abusing their engineers, or two old men moaning about their backs.

Sauber's driver line-up is the most boring thing in Formula One since the US Grand Prix of 2005.

Nico Hulkenburg gets ready for his third consecutive last year before he is signed by a big team. A poor Force India will lead to the Hulk crying himself to sleep, while team-mate Sergio Perez comforts him with stories about how McLaren isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Williams have an interesting partnership; Felipe Massa released from the suffocating stranglehold of the Alonso anaconda and partnered with an almost-ripe pretender in Valteri Bottas. They have a new old livery, a new sponsor and new hope. Williams-Mercedes still doesn't sound right.

And, hey, the 2014 Australian Grand Prix has to be the best chance for Marussia and Caterham to actually score a point; only 9 of the other teams' engines need fall apart and 6 of them are made by Renault! Race finishing expert Max Chilton could be the beneficiary. Although he could actually finish 11th if there are only 10 finishers.

So, all that's left to talk about is Melbourne itself. Despite the rugby and cricket last year, the Grand Prix itself has been quite Pommie friendly in the last several years! The yellow lines at the edge of the track bordered by green walls have been a sign of F1 starting for a number of years, and there has been good racing backed up by poor reliability. And, boy, do we expect poor reliability...


Great write up teabagyokel you've actually managed to get my dander up, in a good way of course as in I'm actually finally looking forward to the start of the season.

Nice one buddy, let the games commence.

Ladies and gentlemen start your bickering....
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Champion Elect
To be fair the pattern of huge gaps established by Vettel only really began after Spa last year, a period when Red Bull obviously found something extra over everyone else.
Before that it was much more habitual to See Seb controlling races from up front, gaining a few tenths here and there. It was relentless rather than emphatic.

Road of Bones

MTC Mole
How many will still watching by lap 3 if Vettel has a 2 second lead at the end of lap 1?
Oh, I think we'll all be watching, willing the Renault to do it's best teakettle impression as in days of old, or for the fuel to run out 2 laps from the end, at which point the world will reverberate to the cheers...:snigger:


Champion Elect
...until everyone else runs out of fuel shortly after, i which case Vettel would be declared the winner since the race would be declared over at the end of the previous completed lap.
Well, it could happen... :dizzy:


Race Winner
To be fair the pattern of huge gaps established by Vettel only really began after Spa last year, a period when Red Bull obviously found something extra over everyone else.
Before that it was much more habitual to See Seb controlling races from up front, gaining a few tenths here and there. It was relentless rather than emphatic.

Absolutely Incubus......also the advantage that Vettel had, being able to accelerate earlier than other drivers out of slower corners, is supposedly gone, with the relocation of the new exhaust exit. Sebastian may just not run away with the 2014 season.
I think I'll lose another half an hour of revision time because FP1 has been extended. I then hope that quali and the race will make up for that but if I find that a certain German leaves the rest of the field for dead and the German and Austrian national anthems are playing at the end then I will moan about it on the internet for a bit then tune in to the next race hoping in ignorance that there won't be a repeat


Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Well Oz has always been a circuit JB has enjoyed and if you throw in some mixed weather, it being the first race since Papa Smurf left us and Mclaren's current testing form then if I was made to bet on the result now thats where my money would be.

I'm sure Merc and Ferrari will have something to say about it though although Ferrari's recent Australia results have not been good.

Unfourtunatly for all you haters I'm pretty sure when it comes down to it Vettel will be on the pace although I'm pretty sure we'll have the situation of Ricciardo out qualifying him or something and a whole rain of posts on how people knew Vettel wasn't that great etc etc only for the boy Danial to be gradually demolished all season.
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