2012 Australian Grand Prix Results

Well, well, well. It seems as though it won’t be a Red Bull runaway this season. However, we may just see McLaren go on a tear. After locking out the front row, the duo from Woking went straight to work on the rest of the field and romped out to a huge lead. This would prove to be insurmountable in the case of Jenson Button, who had an absolute serene day at the front of the pack, only being closed in on during the safety car period. Lewis Hamilton, who started on pole, came under pressure midway through the contest from Sebastian Vettel, starting from sixth, and was passed in the pit stop rotation resulting from that safety car. Mark Webber put up a good fight for fourth, which is his best finishing position ever in his home race, but was never really close enough to challenge for a podium.

The biggest movers of the day had to have been the Ferraris at the start, with both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa jumping right up into points positions. However, while Alonso was able to keep a reasonable pace with the front runners for awhile, it all proved too much for his car and he eventually fell off the pace and claimed a “best of the rest” fifth. Massa meanwhile ended up being swallowed up by backmarkers and was run into in the closing stages, having to retire the car. Other big movers were both Kimi Raikkonen, coming up to claim seventh from 18th on the grid after some closing lap incidents in front of him, and Sergio Perez, who started dead last in 22nd and finished eighth. He probably could have made up more positions but his one-stop strategy made for some dodgy tires at the end of the race.

The biggest losers from this race were undoubtedly Mercedes and Williams. Both of the Mercedes team were expecting to run faster, with Nico Rosberg even saying that he thought he had a car that could challenge for the win, and Michael Schumacher starting in fourth. Neither of the cars finished in the points, as Schumacher damaged the gearbox and Rosberg obtained a punctured rear tire from Perez on the last lap. The Williams team also came away disappointed as their main man Pastor Maldonado started in eighth and had a great fight going with the Ferrari of Alonso for most of the race. They had the pace in their car and it was a shame that Maldonado ended up smacking the wall on the final lap.

All in all, I would say that this was one of the better opening rounds of any season I’ve watched. It was incident filled, but not to the extent that it caused too many stops with safety cars. There were some good fights on track and there are some great stories that are about to burst forth. For instance, the battle between the midfield teams is amazingly tight this year, with both Saubers scoring points and the Lotus and Williams looking mighty respectable. In fact, if you look at the Constructor’s points, Sauber is ahead of Ferrari right now! Whether that will last is to be seen, but if both of their drivers continue to end up in the points and Ferrari has to continue relying on Alonso to secure all of their points, there are a few teams that will eventually garner more points than the squad from Maranello. As a bonus, we won’t even have to wait that long to see how this season continues to shape up, as the Malaysian Grand Prix is next weekend already! Mark your calendars, it’s going to be spectacular!

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Mark Webber

5. Fernando Alonso

6. Kamui Kobayashi

7. Kimi Raikkonen

8. Sergio Perez

9. Daniel Ricciardo

10. Paul di Resta

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