The 2011 Australian Grand Prix race for Formula 1 race cars was held today in Melbourne, Australia. For those of us in the eastern United States, the race was in the middle of the night. This was the first race of the 2011 Formula 1 season, after the Bahrain Grand Prix was cancelled.
The event was interesting right from the beginning as the HRT lost their appeal concerning the application of the 107% qualifying rule and, as a result, the team was excluded from starting the Australian Grand Prix. This has to be a disaster for the team. Formula 1 is very expensive. The cost of getting their equipment and team members to Australia would be high and going home without getting the car in the field would be embarrassing for the team to explain to their sponsors.
For the most part the race got off to a good start with no serious offs on Turn 1. From a time perspective the person that suffered the most was Schumacher who wound up with a destroyed rear tire and had to pit to get a new tire. He was not a factor in the race after that and DNFd around the mid-point.
There was some excellent racing between Massa and Button for 5th and 6th early in the race which was great to watch. The drivers use of KERS and the movable wing is interesting to watch.
Rosberg in the other Mercedes-Benz had his car damaged, leading to him having a DNF after being hit with some enthusiasm by Barrichello in a Williams.
Vettel, who was on the pole, got off to a great start in the race and he just kept going. He won the race going away. Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren, was behind Vettel.
Vettel Wins the 2011 Australian Grand Prix!
The surprise of the race was Petrov finishing in 3rd in the Lotus Renault. This was an excellent finish for the team and a spectacular finish for Petrov.
The leading Ferrari was Alonso in 4th. Australian native, Webber, was 5th in the other Red Bull. Button was 6th in the other McLaren. The rookie Perez from Mexico was 7th in a Sauber, just ahead of Kobayashi in the other Sauber. Sauber have made great strides this year and I think that they will get even better results as the season goes on.
The results of the finishing order in the race is as follows:
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull|
|5||Mark Webber||Red Bull|
|10||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso|
|11||Adrian Sutil||Force India|
|12||Paul di Resta||Force India|
|13||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso|
|15||Jarno Trulli||Team Lotus|
|17||Jerome d’Ambrosio||Virgin Racing|
|18||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing|
|21||Heikki Kovalainen||Team Lotus|