F.1 – McLaren with 5” off the top. Minardi: “What will Ron Dennis think about?”
With the Australian Grand Prix, 2015 F1 World Championship has started and Mercedes has certainly lived up to expectations, dominating far and wide the whole weekend. They achieve the first row and the first double of the season, thanks to Lewis Hamilton, a truly unique star (pole position, fastest lap and win!), before his team mate Rosberg. Third place for Vettel’s Ferrari, which closes the “first” in red, leaving behind Felipe Massa’s Williams, without the Finn Bottas.
This beginning of the season brings us to reflections. On the one side, we get to know all real forces in field and teams’ development of these winter months, on the other, instead, we unfortunately touch the economic crisis, which seems not to spare even the golden world of Formula 1. As we know, Manor (formerly Marussia) attended this first round leaving Stevens and Merhi’s cars still in the pits and, to date, no one knows when they will actually be able to get on track. Lotus has already asked Bernie Ecclestone an advance on FOA prizes (derived from the results obtained in 2014). In the past, this same request came from small teams, after the second half of the season. Force India, in great difficulty even before the start, because of they have to debut the new car only in the last days of winter tests and it seems that they are looking for new financial solutions (perhaps through Mr. E).
In addition to this scene (already quite worrying and the subject of several winter meetings, from which there still has been no concrete solutions), there is also the technical crisis of two manufacturers like Renault and Honda.
In this weekend, Red Bull has made no secret of his discontent with the motoring partner (which also lost Lotus, passed the Mercedes this year). The Post-Australia will be the subject of inflamed meetings. McLaren no response. They were last in Qualifying, over 5″ from Hamilton’s pole, and last in race, with Button and Magnussen forced to withdraw even before the start. With this technology, the Japanese seem highly in difficulties and problems will not be solved quickly.
This scene isn’t definitely the best, since we are talking about two teams that do not suffer the economic crisis, but the lack of results could lose patience to its funders, Mr. Mateschitz and Takanobu Ito, Honda new President and CEO. I’d like to know what will happen in the next few days and, above all, what Ron Dennis will say; he has always been very critical in the past with small teams that were racing to 2-3″ from the pole. According to him, they were not worthy to occupy the starting grid!
After dominating the world scene for four years, what will happen at RB? Rumours starting to speak about the opportunity to greet the Circus. Among other things, precisely Renault would be interested in buying Toro Rosso.
In short, Formula 1 is like a cat on hot bricks. At the first race, it led to the finish line only eleven of the twenty cars attending the championship, with McLaren, Lotus and Manor obviously out of the score zone. It didn’t happen since a long time.
Gian Carlo Minardi