2017 Australia Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Bernie ... gone. Nico Rosberg ... gone. Manor ... gone. Button ... gone. Mercedes domination ... possibly gone. Massa ... not quite gone. Honda anchor ... definitely not gone.
TRACK: Not the track per se, but the new car regulations. Faster, sure. But not surprising to too many people, passing was a lot harder if not impossible.
EVENT: For the locals, once Ricciardo came to a halt on the warm up lap, the event was essentially done. Though, they got a second wind cheering the Ferrari.
QUALIFYING: Same old, same old for pole, but Vettel gets on the front row, Red Bull fades, Ricciardo is left miserable, Haas impresses, and Alonso surprises.
RACE: Typical Australia/opening race -- high attrition, some odd results, and not to be taken too seriously as a precursor of things to come.
START: No miscue from Hamilton, Vettel is strong, Ricciardo sits in his garage, and Magnussen punts.
VETTEL: A calculated drive by Sebastian. Like others said, reminiscent of Schumacher. What a difference it makes having a competitive car.
RAIKKONEN: Is Kimi back to playing second fiddle?
FERRARI: Ring those church bells in Maranello. You deserve it!
HAMILTON: Lewis, you got competition.
BOTTAS: Valterri, you got to prove yourself.
MERCEDES: Silver Arrows, you got a tough season ahead of you.
VERSTAPPEN: Strangely, quiet.
RICCIARDO: Could a hometown hero have had a worse weekend?
MASSA: Felipe, you're back. And back to a typical sixth place finish.
STROLL: Not a complete embarrassment in his first race. But, Lance didn't disappoint in practice, hitting the wall once.
PEREZ: Once again, Sergio was super impressive with pace and passing.
OCON: While once again, his teammate, no matter who he is, couldn't keep up.
FORCE INDIA: Think pink! Especially when a sponsor pays you $20 million to paint your car pink.
HULKENBERG: Whether the Hulk made the smart move to Renault won't be known for awhile...
RENAULT: ...But the Renault is definitely a better package than last year's essentially renamed Lotus.
PALMER: Renault kept Jolyon ... why?
MAGNUSSEN: But Renault may have known what they were doing not keeping Kevin.
GIAVINAZZI: Talk about grabbing an opportunity by the throat. What an impressive unplanned debut by Antonio.
WEHRLEIN: One wonders what really was Pascal's injury at the Race of Champions and is he truly healed?
SAUBER: We never agree with a single thing Monisha says, except now. She is right. We also don't understand why Magnussen was not penalized for punting Ericsson on the first lap.
GROSJEAN: Unbelievable qualifying effort spoiled by race reliability.
HAAS: Last year's debut was quite the surprise. This year's opener was quite the disappointment.
ALONSO: Should we start a Fernando countdown clock...?
VANDOORNE: Stoffel, on the other hand, has nothing to lose this year.
MCLAREN: What's your over/under on the number of races before McLaren switches to Mercedes' power units?
HONDA: It's getting to the point where they have no face saving way out.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Battle.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 1 -- Number of pit stops needed in this race, a possible change of strategy from the last few years.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The last time Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel won a race was at the 2015 Singapore GP. Vettel qualified on the pole while the Mercedes duo were back in the third row. Despite two safety car periods, Vettel controlled the race for the win. Ricciardo and Raikkonen rounded out the podium while Rosberg finished fourth. Hamilton DNF'ed for the first time in over a year. And Maldonado got yelled at.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Daniel Ricciardo obviously frustrated after his third and final problem put him permanently out of the race, "Let's get the f--- out of here!"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Sebastian Vettel telling the world Ferrari is back, "We are here to challenge. We are here to fight."
SCHEDULE: China before Bahrain this time. More importantly, a real test of the new regulations hampering passing, as last year's Chinese GP saw a record number of passes.
Copyright © 2017 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.