The 2010 Australian Grand Prix Review

The Australian Grand Prix was a much improved spectacle than in the desert of Bahrain. As the drivers lined up on the grid (excluding the Virgins who started in the pit lane) there was a great threat of rain, the clouds got darker and darker and most of the teams’ tactical brains started working hard. The rain ended up only being light and for a short time but it was enough for the Intermediate tyres.
Hamilton’s Qualifying performance wasn’t up to his best but he did manage 11th, so the rain could help him to better results. Button, in the other MP4-25 lined up in 4th, much better than his Bahrain performance. The Red Bulls took the front two grid slots just as Brawn GP did 12 months ago, with Alonso in his Ferrari F10 in 3rd.  Brazilian Massa took 5th behind Button in the other Ferrari. And both Mercedes GP cars followed with Nico Rosberg leading Schumacher.

2010 Aussie GP Start


 As the lights built up and turned off the drivers slowly took off, Massa had a great start and leaped up to 2nd by the time they reached turn 1, Vettel kept his lead going through the first corner as his team-mate, Webber,  lost out to Felipe. Button tried to take the inside line up past Alonso but the Spaniard couldn’t see him and ploughed right into him, and then span into the 7 time world champion, Michael Schumacher! That left the German with front wing damage. As a result of all that, Alonso fell behind not only everyone on the grid, but behind both Virgins and the Safety car! Button took avoiding action and got through without any damage. Hamilton jumped from 11th to 8th, but the surprise gain driver was Kubica; he qualified in 9th on Saturday but by turn 3 he was up into 4th.  Both Mercedes GP cars were able to leap frog Button, so the current world champion now had to deal with a fiesty Hamilton behind him and a slow damaged Schumacher ahead of him. While the big guys were duelling it out there was action at the back, Kamui Kobayashi’s Sauber had already had trouble this weekend with a front wing failure in FP1, but then it happened again in the race itself. He tobogganed into the wall at turn 6, skimmed across and ploughed heavily into the Toro Rosso of Buemi and the Williams of Hulkenberg, taking himself, Buemi and Hulkenberg all out in under 3 seconds.

Kamui crashes at the 2010 Aussie GP

 This brought out the safety car for the only time in the race. Schumacher had to come in and change his front wing, which put him to the back of the pack alongside old rival Alonso, who was trying to make his way back up.
By lap 5 the Safety car came back in and the race restarted. Vettel got away cleanly and so did Massa but Webber got very loose on the exit of the final corner, opening up a chance for the Renault of Kubica to have a look into turn 1. Webber made sure he couldn’t make the move stick, but Kubica had another go into turn 3, although Webber prevailed and kept his 3rd place.
Nico Rosberg split the Renault and Red Bull from the two McLarens as Hamilton and Button kept dicing around the track.
As the front runners battled it out, the back of the field were having some fun with Alonso and Schumacher; the Virgin of Di Grassi had one battle with Alonso which ended quite quickly but then when Schumacher tried to come through Di Grassi thought he would re-pass him through turn 13!
Back at the front, Hamilton finally got around his team-mate, Button, and set his sights on Rosberg’s Mercedes. Then Massa made a mistake which let Webber through and Kubica had a sniff of a chance, but he didn’t make it which lead Rosberg to try and have a go at Kubica!

Lewis Passes Jenson at the 2010 Aussie GP

 Button then decided to change to Slicks way earlier than anyone else, which would make all the difference to the outcome of the race.
Nearly everyone thought this was a crazy choice for Jenson to make, especially as when he exited the pits, he got to turn 3 only to lock his wheels up and go straight off the road! However, he then went on to set “Purple” sector times on the next two sectors of the lap, which indicated he had made the right choice.
This brilliant choice made the race win for the Briton, enabling him to benefit from Vettel’s wheel problem (which caused him to crash out of the race), and Robert Kubica’s Renault holding up Lewis Hamilton and the two Ferrari’s.
Jenson brought his MP4-25 home on the last lap to cross the line first, just like 12 months before with Brawn GP…this means that British drivers have won the Australian GP for the last 3 years in a row! With Hamilton in 2008, Button in 2009, and Button again this year.

Button Wins The Aussie GP Once Again

My verdict of the race is: Amazing, brilliant and eventful! What a race to kick start the 2010 season. The McLarens seemed a bit faster around Albert Park than they did in Bahrain, which obviously feels good for a McLaren fan like me! Red Bull really need to fix their cars before they lose too many points and start to fall behind in the Championship. Well done to Massa for getting on the podium once again. Lewis could have had 3rd place if Webber hadn’t gone up the back-side of him! He could have even had 2nd place if McLaren hadn’t brought him into the pits when they did, but it did seem like the best choice at the time. Nico Rosberg brought his Mercedes GP car in 5th ahead of Lewis, with Schumacher in 10th. What is going on with the German legend then? Still just rusty eh?

With thunder storms forecast for Malaysia, it looks like we’re gonna have another exciting race (if it goes ahead). FP1 and FP2 have just finished, so I’m off to watch it on BBC iPlayer!

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