So the first race of the season has come and gone and it and it fair to say that we have a rough idea of what lays ahead for the next few races at least. We say that because traditionally the first race of the season tends not to be the most reliable guide as to how the rest of the season will go. We will treat it purely as a snapshot of this weekend.
Firstly, we received a few tweets asking us if we are doing a race report. We are flattered that people are interested but the plan is not to do this after every race. There are a few reasons for this. The one thing we don’t like about F1 is that it takes up a Sunday, we don’t want to have to sit in our flat in our free time. Secondly, there are lots of journalists actually at the race, who have contacts and have spoken to all the right people who do reports. There also seems to be no lack of people sitting in their bedrooms writing reports. It’s not for us and are happy to leave it to the people attending race. If there is anything new or fresh we can bring to a post race blog, then of course we will add something when we can. If you have a specific question, drop us a line on twitter.
I thought it was a fairly successful weekend for the team and we are pretty much where I thought we would be. Getting a car to the end and being not too far off the chasing pack. Looking at the data from FP1 & 2 I did think Pascal was going to take us off the back row but alas it was not too be.
Surprise of the entire weekend had to go to Rio Haryanto out qualifying Pascal Wehrlein. Pascal had looked really strong in pre-season testing and all weekend until qualifying. The abysmal qualifying format used in Melbourne did not leave room for the right of reply if you messed up your first qualifying lap and Rio got the job done. I hope this is the last of the nonsensical questions of Rio’s driving ability. We were a little way off the next group of cars but once again the qualifying format did not allow us to see the true picture and thankfully they are reverting to the old system in Bahrain where we should get a better guide as to our single lap pace.
Pascal had a good race after an incredible start. He was able to keep up with the Saubers and if he had not pitted just before the red flag he could have possibly managed a lower points position. Rio was unfortunate to have to retire due to a technical failure but more than held his own whilst in the race. Both drivers can be pleased with their efforts and the team will be happy to have got one car to the flag.
The 6th place for Haas was a poor result for MRT who may have hoped to score some lucky points and hold them off for the rest of the season. Haas made all the right calls and Grojsean drove amazingly. Hopefully we too will get a lucky rub soon but I think it’s fair to say we won’t see them for dust soon. Renault too also look further ahead than we anticipated. It looks like it might come down to us and Sauber for that all important 10th place. We’ve done it once before with less resources.
Onward in high spirits to Bahrain.