Grand Prix 2019 Australian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Greenlantern101

Super Hero And All Round Good Guy
Contributor
Mercedes just tweeted that Lewis car has a chunk of its floor missing. No idea why or when.

That explains why he couldn't keep up with Bottas.
 

Angel

🧸
Contributor
Angel Interesting point given his margin of comfort to get 1 extra point against potential reliability issues. This could be contentious were the championship decided by 1 pt
Exactly. Thing is I can see why he wanted the point, I can also see why the team didn't want him to go for it. So this extra point could end up creating friction in the teams it seems.
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
Mercedes just tweeted that Lewis car has a chunk of its floor missing. No idea why or when.

That explains why he couldn't keep up with Bottas.
Hmmmm. It's never that he's been beaten is it? Although to Lewis credit be said afterwards that there was nothing wrong with the car.

If this is true by the way we should all be miserable. It means that both Mercs would have been 30 seconds plus in front of the field and that it's the car that was dominant yesterday not driver performance.
 
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rufus_mcdufus

Champion Elect
Lewis's car looked really jittery in both qually and the race, whereas I didn't notice it with Valtteri. Was the floor damage the cause of this?
 

F1Brits_90

Race Winner
F1Brits_90

Edit - sorry F1Brits_90 couldn't resist
he's got a point & nice to know im famous :D :spank:

but to be fair his performance in 2018 & was criticism was justified, finishing 5th in the championship & no wins in that Mercedes when your team won 11 times & the title 3 races to go was dreadful when & he was lucky to have this drive by fact that he signed that contract in the mid season break as if he waited til the October then Ocon would be in that seat
 

olegg

Race Winner
he's got a point & nice to know im famous :D :spank:

but to be fair his performance in 2018 & was criticism was justified, finishing 5th in the championship & no wins in that Mercedes when your team won 11 times & the title 3 races to go was dreadful when & he was lucky to have this drive by fact that he signed that contract in the mid season break as if he waited til the October then Ocon would be in that seat
I'm not sure this public statement will be helpful to Bottas in his championship race.
And especially in his fight for a place in the team against Ocon.
 

Ruslan

Podium Finisher
Well, that was a sleeper. Mercedes outqualified Ferrari by .704 seconds and finished the race 57.109 seconds in front of them (57.109/58 = .985 seconds a lap). Now towards the end Leclerc was a half second a lap faster than Vettel before he dutifully fell into line....but....it was clear that throughout this race that Mercedes was more than a half-second faster. That is painful. I don't believe for a moment that the Red Bull-Honda is the second strongest team on the grid. But, it is clear that Mercedes has a much stronger car than Ferrari. I don't know how that gets corrected anytime soon. This is going to be a long season.

A few comments:
Bottas/Mercedes/Hamilton - Good job by Bottas. We shall see how Bottas holds up through the entire season, but I don't think he is going to win 11 races this season. I still doubt if he will hold onto his job for 2020.

Max - actually that was a very nice pass that Max pulled off on Vettel. When Max is good....he is very, very good.

Vettel - Sad. Are we seeing the return of the Sebastian Vettel of 2014?

Ferrari - Maybe they were too quick to get rid of Arrivabene. Always a danger when you put an engineer in charge of something (my apologies to all the engineers out there, but I having worked for engineering companies....I have seen many "management" examples).

Leclerc - Didn't really show the pace of Vettel in qualifying or most of the race. Only towards the end of the race did he show (much) more speed than Vettel. I have not checked the lap times to if that was due to him showing speed or Vettel getting slower.

Team orders - What a bunch of weenies! First race of the season, one driver is going a half second faster than the other, and they are contending for 4th place...and you put in team orders. Really? This is embarrassing.

Magnussen/Haas/Grosjean - Good job. Best of the rest. Grosjean is cursed. I think he has had the worst luck in F1 for a while.

Hulkenberg/Renault/Ricciardo - Another great drive with no drama from Hulkenberg. Ricciardo had some drama. He probably should have reconnoitered the track before the race and learned where it was safe to drive on the edge of the track and where it was not safe. More significantly, the Hulk out qualified his higher paid teammate. This team duel may be the most interesting contest of the season. I am not sure who will win it.

Raikkonen/Alfa/Giovinazzi - Raikkonen looked very solid and fast. Alfa is clearly good (but I don't think as good as Renault or Haas). Giovinazzi was kind of a disaster all weekend. We shall see how things develop.

Stroll/Team Stroll/Perez - Well, Perez showed Stroll in qualifying who was in charge....but disappeared during the race for reasons that I don't know. Stroll brought the car home in the points, which was a good job. Keep in mind that Perez was stronger than Hulkenberg when they were teammates.....so Stroll has a real challenge to prove himself.

Kvyat/Toro Rosso/Albon - Kvyat has always had a lot a talent, if a little inconsistent. Clearly the best Russian driver we have seen. He showed his ability today. Finishing ahead of a Red Bull? Maybe he should have that seat.

Gasly - So far he has been ghastly. He was the one car in the train of cars that was clearly faster than the rest, and he could not pull off a pass. It is early in the season. He showed a lot of ability last season, so we shall see.

Norris/McLaren/Sainz - It was nice to see a McLaren in the top 10 in qualifying. Looks like they simply did not have the pace after that.

Williams - Sad.

The new wing regulations - I think they are an improvement. The cars actually were running nose to tail for extended periods and staying close to each other. The lack of passing I suspect was due to the track and very few of the cars being really equal (except for the case of Gasly, who should have been passing people). We shall see how it works at the next race.

Fastest lap: That was about the most interesting part of the race.

The season: This looks like a Mercedes stomp. In fact I am willing to make the prediction right now that the team championship will be 1) Mercedes, 2) Ferrari, 3) Red Bull, 4) Renault, 5) ???. Yawn. I am not going to Montreal or Austin this year.

Budget caps: If I am right about how this season goes......then is there any corrective solutions to the current boring F1 other than a budget cap?
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
I really like Daniel Ricciardo but I can't find a great deal of sympathy for him losing his front wing. People have said "the new wings were at fault" but I disagree. Ricciardo was half over the edge of the track and driving on the grass. The clue is in the last sentence. He wouldn't have damaged his wing if he had stayed on the track.

As for the new aero, I posted earlier that I thought in general the changes have worked in so much as we did get cars following each other quite closely and didn't hear too much about cooked tyres or the like.

We may get a better idea in Bahrain.
 

sobriety

Pole Sitter
I wonder if Ferrari have "Mercedes'd" themselves by building a car with a higher ultimate pace in perfect conditions, but a smaller working window, whereas Mercedes have gone the other way, we'll see over the course of the season...
 

Angel

🧸
Contributor
I hope we get a better race in Bahrain! If we don't I'm not sure how many races I'll bother to watch this season.
 
Leclerc - Didn't really show the pace of Vettel in qualifying or most of the race. Only towards the end of the race did he show (much) more speed than Vettel. I have not checked the lap times to if that was due to him showing speed or Vettel getting slower.
I think that it's a bit of both, Vettel was very very slow at the end of the race, and I don't believe that it was just to a poor set of tyres, considering that he was complaining about not having enough power my take is that they had some reliability issue and gave him less revs to take the car to the end, on the other hand Leclerc was flying on the hard tyres whereas he was just about ok on the red ones.

The fact that they were faster on the hard tyres rather than on the mediums IMHO shows that they didn't have a clue of what was going on, had they knows they would have put Vettel on hard tyres rather than on the yellow ones.

My impression is that Ferrari didn't know what was going on, it was embarassing to watch because in qualy they weren't so bad, IMHO yesterday was one of the occasion when Ferrari completely loses the plot
 
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