The track was wet, Alonso spun, Hamilton and Webber tangled, some pit twice while others pit once, we finally saw the Safety Car, and Button won his first race for McLaren.
What a race. This is why I love Formula 1 the way that I do.
Why was Albert Park incredible? Several things:
1. It rained. When drivers start out with a wet circuit, the racing line is no longer present, meaning steering off the racing line will not slow a driver down as much during a wet day when compared to a dry day. The rain also brought the pit stop changes and exciting strategy outcomes. Hamilton criticized his team for his second pit stop, ‘Whose idea was it to get me in? It was a terrible idea,” and apparently the McLaren website want to deny it even happened on their commentary log.
2. Albert Park is a lot more dynamic than Sakhir is. You can immediately feel it while watching them on track. It might have less corners, but it has several more straights which are always accompanied by braking zones. Early and late braking is great to see as drivers attempt to overtake one another.
3. We finally saw the safety car. I was wondering when we’d see the SLS. Nothing makes it look better than it does in its F1 colors. A white one arrived at the Beirut (Lebanon) port just yesterday and (don’t get me wrong – it looks spectacular) the F1 version has a lot more sex appeal.
4. Drivers are adapting. I don’t know about you, but it seemed as everybody simply went for it. Everyone looked a lot more aggressive than in Sakhir – passing, crashing, tire spotting, off track moments. That had to do with the rain as well but it looks as though they are getting comfortable, and quick.
5. Strategies were different. At last there were several strategies being executed today. Even Button and Hamilton opted for different ones. It was great to see, great to think and keep track of. Sakhir was just one strategy extended to them all which you could realize while watching passively. Albert Park needed an active mind, one that wasn’t on the brink of sleepiness, in order to catch the various event comings.
There you go Bernie, F1 needs to be Melbourne – a constant Melbourne spectacle.
The Ferrari’s lead the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship with Alonso at 37 points and Massa at 33 with Button’s victory catapulting him to 3rd at 31.
Driver of the day: Robert Kubica
Moment of the day: When tire degradation hit the drivers – causing a strategy panic and pit frenzy.