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Australian Grand Prix (2011) RESULT

Sun, 27 Mar 2011

The 2011 F1 Season starts in Melbourne

Update: The Saubers – which finished a creditable seventh and eighth – have been disqualified for a technical infringement with their rear wing. Which moves the two Force Indias in to ninth and tenth places.

It should all have happened a couple of weeks ago, of course. But Bahrain has rather more pressing problems at the moment than hosting the F1 Circus. So the first Grand Prix of the year is back where it should  be – Albert Park in Melbourne hosts the 2011 Australian Grand Prix.

Until this weekend we’d been expecting Red Bull and Ferrari to be at the top of the heap with McLaren languishing in mid-field. Certainly if pre-season form in Barcelona was anything to go by.

But McLaren found some fairy dust this weekend and miraculously went from nowhere to pushing the Red Bulls. A lot like last season.

Vettel was on pole with Lewis in second. And really, that’s about all you need to know in a race where everyone was treading carefully on Pirelli tyres they don’t yet understand. And the race ended with Vettel in front and Lewis in second. Just as it started.

But on the way the way there were a few highlights. Jenson tried to put a move on Massa but left it too late and had to go straight on, missing the bend but coming back on track ahead of Massa.

Oddly it seems Jenson was told by the team to hang on before giving back his place to Massa to avoid a drive-through, which is what he did. Ferrari reacted by bringing Massa in for a tyre change which meant there was only one outcome – a drive-through for Jenson and the effective end of any challenge by him for a podium.

Petrov was something of a star in the Renault managing a 3rd place finish – his first podium – and Sergio Perez in the Sauber made a nonsense of the claims that the new Pirellis wear quickly and we could see three or four pit stops as the norm this year. He had one tyre change and finished seventh.

Schumacher had a miserable day and ended up retiring, Barrichello had a rush of blood and drove like a rookie, Alonso drove well to grab fourth and Mark Webber did his usual Australian Grand Prix trick and underperformed.

It’s business as usual.

By Cars UK