Well, I don’t quite know how to write about this one. As a huge Alonso fan I was extremely pleased to watch the Spaniard cross the line in P1. However, I am very aware that my excitement at the result is very different to the way I felt for most of the race.
I must say that was one of the dullest Grand Prix that I have watched in a very long time. There were hardly any manoeuvres and the new rules added absolutely nothing. Vettel was miles ahead until his car conked out and although I was pleased to see the Ferrari of Alonso in front, his overtake was simple and he quickly got up to 12 seconds in front.
I guess the race started with some excitement. I truly didn’t know what to expect and I can tell you that I certainly felt goose bumps before the lights went out.
Unfortunately, the race began as it would continue with a clean start and very little change. Vettel broke away very well and Alonso did a very smart and professional job taking Massa into turn one. Further back, Button, Schumacher, and Rosberg gained a place and Webber let out a plume of smoke before falling behind.
The Force Indias got in each others way, ruining Sutil’s race but before long the teams had found their positions and they weren’t changing.
We got our first retirement on lap two when poor old Chandhok collided with a barrier ending his debut race. He was soon joined by di Grassi who simply pulled off the track and stopped with hydraulic failure.
The top 10 positions on lap two were as follows:
Vettel, Alonso, Massa, Rosberg, Hamilton, Schumacher, Button, Webber, Liuzi, Barrichello.
I was yawning by lap four when after an early mistake Hulkenberg made the first stop of the 2010 season. Sure there was the odd overtake here and there but it was mainly faster cars out of position.
By lap nine it was clearly a three horse race and the top 10 drivers hadn’t changed at all. Desperately searching for something to say, all the commentators could do was go on and on about fastest lap times.
On lap 12 we got our first scheduled pit stop from Senna. There was really nothing to write about at this stage. Vettel was powering away but the Ferraris were keeping themselves in the fight. I suppose the only other thing worth a mention was Button’s slowness.
On lap 15 we got retirement number three in the form of Petrov and also our first two pit stops from top 10 drivers.
Hamilton and Schumacher entered the pits, changed tyres and rejoined P9 (Hamilton) and P10 (Schumacher). Wow exciting stuff eh?
Now we then entered a period that promised much…but delivered nothing. These first two stops had started a chain reaction. Alonso pulled into the pits on lap 17 followed by Rosberg, Button, and Webber. All four rejoined the track and very little changed.
The only gain was that Hamilton had managed to leapfrog Rosberg with his stop. Erm…wasn’t the point of these changes to stop all this pit stop overtaking?
Vettel and Massa both stoped on lap 18 and rejoined…Vettel P1 and Massa P3…wow! hang on where did they start? DULL!!
Do you want to know what these exciting pit stops did F1 fans? They opened up larger gaps between the drivers! I can give you a manoeuvre report though…brace yourselves.. on lap 19 a slow Barrichello with dodgy tyres was passed by a faster Hamilton.
The race then really dropped off as all the drivers began to look after their engines and tyres. By lap 30 Alonso had begun to close right up to Vettel, but the Ferrari was wrecking it’s tyres in the Red Bull dirty air! What a mess! So Alonso couldn’t overtake Vettel because his tyres would have been ruined…genius F1…genius!
At this stage we lost both Saubers to technical failures which was a shame.
Around lap 34 everyone suddenly perked up as Vettel slowed right down. The Red Bull was clearly sick and had no chance against the superior Ferraris.
Alonso quickly dispatched the young German on the final corner of lap 34 and then Massa got through into turn one. Sure I was ecstatic to see Alonso take P1…but he only got it through Red Bull troubles.
Next came Hamilton, who breezed past the struggling Vettel re writing the positions as follows:
Alonso, Massa, Hamilton, Vettel, Rosberg, Schumacher, Button, Webber, Luizi, Barrichello.
That is how it stayed for the rest of the race. It looked as if Rosberg might just take Vettel right at the end but the Red Bull driver did a great job keeping the Mercedes at bay. The only other thing I can add is that Buemi retired on lap 48 (poor guy!).
So that was it…
Great to see Alonso win and three nice guys on the podium. No animosity between any of them and smiles all around. If this is how the season is going to continue then I’ll be pleased as an Alonso fan, disappointed as a Button fan, but most importantly of all, depressed as an F1 fan!
Roll on Australia.. prove me wrong!
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 49 Winner 3 25
2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 49 +16.0 secs 2 18
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 49 +23.1 secs 4 15
4 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 49 +38.7 secs 1 12
5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Benz GP Ltd 49 +40.2 secs 5 10
6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes Benz GP Ltd 49 +44.1 secs 7 8
7 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 49 +45.2 secs 8 6
8 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 49 +46.3 secs 6 4
9 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 49 +53.0 secs 12 2
10 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 49 +62.4 secs 11 1
11 Robert Kubica Renault 49 +69.0 secs 9
12 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 49 +82.9 secs 10
13 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 49 +92.6 secs 18
14 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 48 +1 Lap 13
15 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 47 +2 Laps 21
16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 46 +3 Laps 15
17 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 46 +3 Laps 20
Ret Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 28 +21 Laps 14
Ret Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 17 +32 Laps 23
Ret Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 16 +33 Laps 19
Ret Vitaly Petrov Renault 13 +36 Laps 17
Ret Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 11 +38 Laps 16
Ret Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 2 +47 Laps 22
Ret Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1 +48 Laps 24