Grand Prix 2018 Australian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

As a less than convincing set of test sessions drew to a close in sunny snowy rainy sunny Spain, most of the motoring press had Mercedes out in front as the team to beat again this season.The packing cases, cars, freight, PR Stands and all the other guff that makes up the travelling kit of a modern F1 team will by now be well on its way to Australia and in a few short weeks we will find out if the motoring press are correct.

One man who won't be taking his place in the stands at Albert Park this year will be Ron Walker, the former Mayor of Melbourne and the Chairman of Grand Prix Australia who was the key figure in establishing the Albert Park and Melbourne as the countries addition to the GP Calender. Ron passed away on the 30 Jan this year.

Attendance figures at Albert Park have been on the decline since reaching a peak in 2012. The race day attendance last year dipped below 100'000 for the first time in the tracks history. Does this reflect a growing global apathy with F1 or the lack of Australian interest on the grid since Mark Webber retired?

Four drivers will be taking to the grid in Australia for the first time. Two debutants and two who joined mid way through the season last year. Leclerc joins as reigning FIA Formula 2 champion and the 2016 F3 champion but will find himself saddled with possibley the worst car on the grid. Hartley did little to impress in last years Toro Rosso and will be looking to make a stronger impression this season alongside his team mate Pierre Gasly. Gasly, the 2016 GP2 champion settled quickly in to life at Toro Rosso last season and with the works backing of Honda, both drivers will be seeking to maximise their potential. Sergey Sirotkin won the race off to join Williams, replacing the finally departing Massa. A shame for many who wanted to see Kubica take the seat at Grove, Sirotkin will need to do well to shake off the feeling that he's just another rent a drive. His previous single seat results show that on his day he can perform with the best of the younger drivers and the first thing he'll need to do is show a clean pair of heels to Lance Stroll. I remain convinced that despite the money on offer from both drivers backing, Kubica is just one or two driver error DNF's away from stepping up to the race seat while one of the two are 'rested'.

I'm not going to waste finger strokes speculating about the performance of the teams on the grid because I think we all know who are going to be the key players in this area and see little to convince me that anything will change too much from last year but we live in hope.
I'm really late to the discussion but my vague recollection of 2012 is that Red Bull was the class of the field in many races. Ferrari was at no point the fastest car and yet Alonso made it go above and beyond. F1 metrics has named him top 5 since they are doing analysis so that takes away relativism as they use math and big data. I don't like him very much myself but can't deny he's one of the best.

Remember the old adage about there being "lies, damn lies, and statistics"?
Before this argument escalates again I'd just like to say go back and read my post. I said Fernando hadn't achieved anything and that I was tired of everyone (especially him) telling me how good he was and I wish he'd go away. I never actually said he wasn't quick/skilled/talent etc. being bored of someone does not equate to think they are crap. Only a Sith deals in absolutes.

Now over to Rutherford who I'm sure has something to say ;)
Do you guys prefer onboard or ariel view for live overtaking?

Ariel for the overtake, if the cars touch during the overtake it’s good to take a look at the onboard view, so we can see what the drivers hands were doing.
I’m just watching some racing at Goodwood, which is always good fun. However after two cars went into the tyre wall, I realised that what really spoils a race, big time is the blessed safety car. I know they’re a necessary evil, but they faff around on track for far to long, I really hope we don’t see to many of them this season.
On this occasion the cars and the tyre wall were a good 50 yards of the race track.
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Is it just me but does the constant flow of stories coming out from Toto Wolff about 'three way fight for the title', 'we think we might be behind', 'Hamilton is going to Ferrari' etc etc just convince you that Merc are fully aware they are massively out and out in front of everyone before the season has even begun?
It reminds me of an interview of the German head coach ahead of a match against San Marino, "we have to be careful and shouldn't underestimate them, they are a good team".

And you see, if the England manager said that you would know he was telling the truth !!


RasputinLives I seem to remember a similar set of stories from Toto prior to last season. I think you've got it spot on.
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