Teams and cars are on a trip to Malaysia, but we want to go back to the Albert Park and talk about drivers who deserved a glowing report and those who didn’t deserve it. We don’t have to forget that the Australian GP is an “anomalous” race; it’s a street circuit with nonabrasive asphalt and the weather can change within few hours. In fact, by mid-week the temperature was 45°C and cooled down to 15° on Sunday. Furthermore, since it was the “first day at school” for drivers and teams, they still have to learn how to use the new Pirelli compound. In the past season, it took seven races to see a double winner.
All the aforementioned items could have influenced the on-track performance. Only after some GP, we’ll have a more precise overview of the situation. What is certain is that we have 5 first actors who will strive for the world title and some outsiders like Force India and Williams, who can disturb their struggle. We’ll see how many of them will continue to make car upgrades until the end of the season, considering that 2014 will be the year of the new turbo engine.
LOTUS (…and Kimi Raikkonen). They can drink Champagne, as they deserve it. Despite the car was less fast than before, the team managed to get a good result and made the most of the strategy. They’re not a surprise, considering also that during the past season they finished almost every race on the score zone. Kimi is a world champion, so he hardly misses points. The budget available for the team is lower than the one available to Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes. So, it will be interesting to see until when they’ll manage to make car upgrades.
FERRARI their objective was to finish on the podium in Australia. They’re now heading the world championship. Anyway, it is important to stay grounded. They’re very performing in the long run, even though they are not so good in qualifying. They didn’t miss a shot and I think we don’t have to blame Massa’s pit-stop. The chain of command inside the team has already been established. The second driver has to “sacrifice himself”, so the team’s strategy to delay Felipe’s pit-stop in order to make him pit only twice, it’s comprehensive.
RED BULL after holding the stage during free practices and qualifying, the situation suddenly changed. They were able to recover during the race, but later they slowed down their racing speed. Once again Webber had some issues in the starting stage. Team and driver will have to concentrate all their efforts to solve this issue.
FORCE INDIA they showcased to be the first among secondary teams, having enough strength to bother the 5 top teams, thanks to an interesting car. Along with Lotus, they played on the two pit-stop- strategy. They were successful in Q3 with Di Resta. On the contrary Perez didn’t manage to get the Q3.
MCLAREN the result achieved in Australia doesn’t mirror the team real skills. It will be necessary to wait until the next GP to see the necessary upgrades. In the past, Button showcased he could mange tyres very well. But it’s too early to judge their performances, as well as Williams’, which has many issues in terms of reliability and performance.
MERCEDES they still have many issues in terms of reliability. They moved team’s improvements to the background; Hamilton’s fifth place is good. The Englishman’s race was only compromised by the aggressiveness expressed towards Alonso. The Mercedes’ driver had to change his strategy as a consequence of tyres degradation. By the way, it has to be said that everybody has to look out for both of them, because Rosberg behaved like a leader.
This year championship will be a point struggle, so what is important is to seize every chance and avoid rivals to take over. This season is expected to be full of uncertainty, so let’s get ready to see some disruptions in terms of performance and winners.
Now, we’re heading to Malaysia, where the team will use a new rubber, the P Zero Orange hard, besides the usual medium. Weather conditions will be so different if compared to Australia; humidity and heat will change the situation. Sepang is a very fast track and the downforce level has to be higher than the one required by the Australian circuit (in Australia a low downforce was demanded). What is more, particular weather conditions such as high temperatures and showers will impact on everyone’s performance.