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Australian Grand Prix: Vettel saves F1, Ferrari blushes

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | HARISH SAMTANI
Published Mar 27, 2017, 2:40 am IST
Updated Mar 27, 2017, 7:01 am IST
It was a fair fight where both teams and their drivers gave it their best and as a result F1 won.
Ferrari’s German driver Sebastian Vettel (centre) celebrates on the podium with Mercedes British driver Lewis Hamilton (rear left), Mercedes Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas (right) and Ferrari engineer Luigi Fraboni after winning the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on Sunday.	(Photo: AFP)
 Ferrari’s German driver Sebastian Vettel (centre) celebrates on the podium with Mercedes British driver Lewis Hamilton (rear left), Mercedes Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas (right) and Ferrari engineer Luigi Fraboni after winning the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on Sunday. (Photo: AFP)

Sebastian Vettel should be complimented not just for pulling off a convincing win but also for saving Ferrari and F1 the blushes. It’s been a while since he won a race — last victory came at Singapore in 2015 — such was the dominance of Mercedes thus far. The top teams proved that money talks and bull**** walks as can be seen by the obvious struggle and DNFs by the teams down the ladder. It will take at least half the season for them to sort out glitches while the big boys will be upping the pace as races progress.

The new regulations allow for more simulator testing through the season unlike the restrictive and downright silly rules of recent years. One doesn’t have to be a genius to know that if more teams and drivers get on the podium it’s bound to bring back energy and spectators back into a sport that was slowly but certainly losing it.

 

The quality of racing was generally good. Pole-sitter from Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton, took off with a perfect start and seemed set to dominate the proceedings. But he obviously didn’t have the pace that he had demonstrated during qualifying and couldn’t take advantage of the clean air in front to cushion himself from the hard charging and rejuvenated Vettel.

Pit strategy eventually prevailed and Ferrari employed their guile to get the German on the leaderboard and the former champ made nary a mistake and took top step on the podium.

 

It was a fair fight where both teams and their drivers gave it their best and as a result F1 won.

What is important to note is that this is going to be a see-saw battle all the way till the end of the season and some non-state players will claim podiums and toss things up further.

The likes of Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen will have their fair share of glory sooner than later as the circus heads to the traditional circuits in Europe later. Although history favours the driver who draws first blood to win the title I have a strange feeling that this year it’s not going to be over until the fat lady sings!

 

McLaren remain a ghost of the past and their revival and hope to be a competitor with any mettle is vanishing quicker than the mega bucks they have invested lately.

It’s heart-breaking to see the talent of Fernando Alonso totally wasted and being consigned to the dustbin of has-beens.

Vettel’s resurgence in a superior vehicle confirms the fact that even the Good Lord himself will confirm that even he can only be blessed if he has a quick car.

Force India did extremely well under the circumstances as both their drivers finished in the top 10. Mexico’s Sergio Perez came home a strong seventh with some superlative overtaking moves. Force India’s consistency over a couple of years has gained the team respect in the pit lane.

 

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