F1 2011: Australian GP

Posted by abhinav at 08:25 am on Sunday August 19, 2012

After all the drama with the Bahrain GP being pulled off from the 2011 F1 calendar and the tragic crash of Robert Kubica to the fastest Indian coming back to Formula 1 after an absence of five years there has been a lot that happened even before the start of the first race. Now, with the first race result out, it seems F1 will be keeping us glued to our seats for this season.

We shall start with the new qualifying rule which has come back after a gap of nine years, the 107% qualifying rule. What this essentially means is that to qualify for a race the driver has to be in 107% of the pole position time. This sadly did not work in favour of the Hispania Racing Team (HRT F1), with Narain Karthikeyan and his team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi, both failing to qualify. The Drag Reduction System (DRS) is also a fresh introduction, which basically is a movable rear wing to allow for easier overtaking.

The grid was decided on Saturday with Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari occupying the first three rows of the grid with Renault's Vitaly Petrov being the only exception at sixth place. There was a lot of drama on the track as the five lights went off and the Australian GP 2011 started. From the word go, Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel secured the leading spot followed by McLaren Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton who managed to out manouever Mark Webber and jumped to second. The biggest surprise, however, was Renault’s Vitaly Petrov who started his second season in F1 and managed to slot into fourth place with the likes of Alonso, Massa and Button following behind.

Sadly very early in the race Schumacher was tagged from behind on the first lap by Algersuari, puncturing his right-rear tyre and forcing him into the pits. Schumacher eventually retired on lap 19. Soon after, his team mate Nico Rosberg followed as he got tangled with Rubens Barrichello who attempted a rather ambitious overtaking move on the Mercedes driver.

By the end of the race Vettel took the checkered flag, followed by Lewis Hamilton with Vitaly Petrov coming in third for Renault. This was interesting as Vettel has a poor record of turning his pole positions into a race win. Will he manage to carry this form forward to Malaysia remains to be seen. For now, Vitaly Petrov is the man to watch for.

The drama will continue on April 10th with the Malaysian GP at Kuala Lumpur.

TAGS// formula one, f1, australian gp

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