They want to make Formula 1 a show but in Melbourne they really hit rock bottom. From the yellow flag we went from the first (of three) read flag following Albon’s accident passing quickly through the virtual safety car and safety car. The peak was reached two laps from the end after Magnussen’s Hass went off the track when the race director Wittich had the red flag waved again choosing for a new restart from which came the third red flag for the collision between the two Alpines which eliminated each other.
In the lead Carlos Sainz caused Fernando Alonso’s spin taking third place. For this move the Spaniard will be penalized 5” despite the direction opting to start the race again, cancelling the previous restart. Alonso returned to the grid taking his position (third place with Sainz fourth) as did the others, except for Gasly and Ocon. The race restarted at the end of the two hours of the race with the last lap under the safety car.
It was really too much. There continue to be rules that are not clear and completely different interpretations from grand prix to grand prix. It is time to say enough and impose clarity. The race director was not free of mistakes, in my opinion distorting the order of arrival of the grand prix that has significance on world championship. The most damaged in this situation are certainly the two Alpine drivers who could appeal.
Ferrari could also appeal Sainz’s penalty., instead I saw Vasseur resigned. The Spaniard made a mistake in the in the collision with Alonso but the penalty was senseless because the subsequent restart did not take into account the new order.
Every decision is justified under the word “safety” but today, with these decisions, the drivers were once again put in even more danger. They could have easily used the SC and the VSC as always, without making all these pantomimes. The same experts have groped around in the dark giving personal interpretations.
The race direction was the real protagonist of this grand prix, stealing the stage from the drivers. Clear decisions with non-subjective decisions are needed.
Coming to the race, we witnessed good overtaking. Verstappen and Red Bull’s supremacy is impressive, even of we did not discover this today.
A step forward by Mercedes, even if the problem on Russell’s car is certainly an alarm bell on reliability, also because they are substituting a lot of components on the client cars. They are bringing forward intense work to go to Baku and Imola with many new developments. They have certainly not given up.
There were small step forwards by Ferrari. It was a good race by Carlos Sainz, even if lap times were distant, not only from red Bull but also Aston Martin paying a gap of 3 tenths of a second between the fastest lap and Fernando Alonso’s time. This weekend there were also mistakes in qualifying and starting in certain positions on this type of track is extremely risky as Leclerc’s retirement showed.
The third consecutive podium for Fernando Alonso which consolidates his third place on the ladder but above all for Aston Martin as the second force behind Red Bull.
Gian Carlo Minardi