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F1 season shaping up nicely

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Andrew Benson | 11:37 UK time, Sunday, 4 April 2010

The promised rain did not come, but Formula 1 still delivered an enjoyable spectacle at the Malaysian Grand Prix, and after Sebastian Vettel's overdue victory for Red Bull the season is shaping up nicely.

Vettel probably would have won the first two races of the year had reliability problems not intervened, but Red Bull made amends for those failures by getting both cars to the finish at Sepang in conditions as testing as they come.

Once McLaren and Ferrari had left their drivers at the back of the grid by making such a mess of qualifying, badly misreading the weather and failing to go out when the track was at its driest, this race was an open goal for Red Bull - as long as they could get their cars to the finish.

hamiltonblogafp595.jpgLewis Hamilton leads the midfield pack as he, team-mate Jenson Button and the Ferrari drivers try make up ground during the Malaysian Grand Prix

As it turned out, though, the hairiest moment was right at the start, when Vettel dived down the inside of his pole-sitting team-mate Mark Webber at the first corner to claim a lead he was to lose only briefly around the time of his only pit stop.

After that, it was easy, with the only cars that would have been able to give them a race delayed by having to fight their way through the field.

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Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso all drove superbly, but in the end their teams had asked too much of them and they were left with minor points finishes - with the exception of Alonso, whose engine failure on the penultimate lap will concern him more for what it says about Ferrari's reliability than for the two points he lost as a result.

As he put it himself: "If the gearbox and then the engine are going to break, it's better that it happens when you are ninth than when you are leading and you lose 25 points."

Hamilton, in particular, was thrilling to watch as he made his way quickly up through the field in the opening laps.

But there was great racing throughout the field - with Force India's Adrian Sutil and Renault's Vitaly Petrov mixing it entertainingly with the big boys - and the mixed strategies gave a fascinating added dimension.

In the end, Button's decision to come in early on lap nine for what he successfully hoped would be a single stop - gambling there would be no rain and mirroring his race-winning decision in Australia last week - did not pay off.

Hamilton, stopping 22 laps later, just - only just - beat him out of the pits from his tyre change, and Button's tyres had lost too much grip by the time Massa came up behind him in the closing laps to defend his position successfully.

The Englishman was able to hold back Alonso, until the Ferrari's retirement, but the Spaniard's job was made that much harder by a broken clutch, which affected his downshifts and compromised his braking - not what you need when you're trying to make up ground from 19th on the grid.

Alonso drove superbly to proceed apparently unimpeded despite that problem, demonstrating a true great's ability to drive around problems with his car. But it is the other Ferrari driver who leads the championship after the third race of the season.

Massa might have been outpaced by Alonso in the last two races - after finishing second behind him in the season-opener in Bahrain - but the Brazilian's seventh place has given him a two-point lead over his team-mate and Vettel in the championship.

Button is two points further back, tied with Rosberg, with Hamilton and Renault's Robert Kubica a further four and five adrift.

So three races in and the top seven drivers are covered by nine points and things are brewing up nicely for exactly the sort of brilliant season that most had expected.

There are, too, still so many questions unanswered.

How will Red Bull and Ferrari - the two fastest cars - compare in a straight fight throughout a race distance? Have McLaren, who appeared much quicker on pure pace in Malaysia than in Bahrain or Australia, now caught them up? How will Alonso cope with Ferrari's continuing strategy of not asking Massa to let him by even when he is quicker? Can Renault keep up their progress towards the front-running pace?

China in two weeks' time should begin to provide some answers. Bring it on.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Should of been on BBC One

  • Comment number 2.

    Vettel deserved to win today after the reliability issues in Bahrain and Australia. Lewis Hamilton had another great drive today. If he and McLaren can get it right in qualifying in Shanghai, then I can see him taking the checkered flag in two weeks time. But, I'm really excited that the championship race is so close and that there are several drivers in the hunt.

  • Comment number 3.

    How anyone can call that race entertaining needs shot in the arm. This race was just as boring as Bahrain especially if you take out the fact that 4 Big name drivers started so far down the grid. Yes Alonso did well with his car troubles.. but the fact remains he set 3 fastest laps in a row on route to catching Button (2.5 seconds a lap) and as soon as he got behind him, he had to try ridiculous late braking and angles just to try and get past, much like Lewis behind Sutil... I do believe after seeing Alonso's speed on the soft tyre (fastest on the circuit) that Ferrari are fine for speed and inparticular qualifying for remaining races. But seriously in terms of racing this was poor - it seems we need rain to enjoy a race, bring back re-fuelling or KERS or Turbo's like the senna days, reduce aero's - ANYTHING to change up this boring racing

  • Comment number 4.

    this wasnt a too bad a race, the big 4 coming through the field (eventually) and if they were at the front i think it would of been the same and red bull wouldnt have had a easy time, good to see some of the new boys challenging with the top teams,

    this wasnt as exciting as Melbourne for a fact however i still enjoyed it and in any sport its not always exciting week in week out, looking forward to the next GP and hope its gonna stay as close, just need some more drivers to push for the victory, i reckon come towards back end of the season everyone will be looking for every point.

    3 races in and 9 points seperate the top 7 racers, and this is not incluidng Webber and Schumachar

    RACE ON!

  • Comment number 5.

    Despite all the action in Melbourne, it appeared that overtaking is still a problem, and this was proved today too. It is not really possible for a division one car (Red Bull, Ferrari, Mclaren) to pass a div 2 car (Mercedes, Force India, Renault) when they are in a similar set up, while Ferrari seem to struggle to pass the Torro Rossos in Div 3.

    I do not think that Hamilton was rewarded for his drive today. His first few laps were brilliant leaving Massa as he was unable to pass. For Hamilton to then not be able to pass Sutil, and for Massa to finish just one place behind was not sufficiently rewarded. Did Massa pass anyone other than Button who was on much older and worn tyres?

  • Comment number 6.

    Can someone please tell Schumacher to give it up? Its sad to see the greatest driver of the last decade and more reduced to a mid field medicrity. That apart it was great to see Vettel win. Once Red Bull conquer their reliability problems they will definitely be the team to beat and Vettel is the undisputed number 1 in that team.

  • Comment number 7.

    Further to my post 5 above, I would like to say I have enjoyed the last two races, and am looking forward to the rest of the season. I must say that Bernie Ecclestone and I both think that the best races are when rain plays a part in proceedings!

  • Comment number 8.

    I have to agree with comment number 3. Without the mixed up grid this race would have poor and I can see us having one of the best seasons on paper being spoiled by a lack of racing. I enjoy tactical races, like we used to have with refuelling and even like today with differing tyre stratergies. However, the big problem remains that cars have to have vast differences in performance to overtake. If there is still no refuelling next year and the aero remains similar the only answer is KERS, but only if ALL the cars have it. Otherwise, we end up with no overtaking as we saw at Spa with Kimi and Fisi where KERS vs no KERS meant overtaking was impossible once again. Despite the fact that we will have a close championship fight on paper, I still fear we are in for a season of boredem.

  • Comment number 9.


    There is one inescapable fact for this season, unless you have rain to shake things up, racing and F1 is in a far worse position than ever before. Very soon on dry circuits, you will get the test match special effect come over fans, the ability to have a nap and not miss anything of importance.

  • Comment number 10.

    Instead of KERS why not adopt the push to pass tat was used in A1GP and allow drivers to use it a set number of times per race?

  • Comment number 11.

    should 'have', not should 'of'. TUT. If reliability returns to Red Bull, Vettel should stretch away pretty quickly...

  • Comment number 12.

    @ Hyperstar ;

    It was on BBC1, it merely moved to BBC2 part way through due to the Easter Sunday Service.

    I thought it was an "Ok" race, admittedly if the Button/Alonso etc. group weren't at the back it could have been far more boring, but generally, nothing special, nothing poor. Trust Malaysia not to rain for roughly the first time ever.

  • Comment number 13.

    Sadly, another boring GP, I think they should install sprinklers on every circuit, to be turned on when a race becomes a procession.

  • Comment number 14.

    12. The word 'merely' in your post does nothing to help those of us who set our boxes to record the race only to miss a third of it due to the channel change !

    Why not just put the church service on BBC2 where it belongs ?

  • Comment number 15.

    A lot better race than Bahrain, but the fundamental problem is still there, once a faster car has caught a fast car its incredibly difficult for the faster car to overtake. I think in the short term the answer has to be tyres, they are just too good at the end of the stints for cars on fresher rubber to overtake. I can't help but wonder if the soft tyre was softer if it would not create a better spectacle.

    Great coverage again from the team, but I wish you had just put the whole race on BBC2, rather than making us swap channels. If the BBC puts a higher priority on religious services then thats their choice, but forcing us to swap channels is just a nightmare (particularly for those of us who delay the race start due to poor planning in the kitchen department). Also can you please talk to Talk Talk/tiscali and get the red button sorted out, and make it easier to find on the F1 homepage to join live.

  • Comment number 16.

    Does anyone agree that this year is shaping to be the most boring F1 year ever! Today as like Bahrain was utterly just unentertaing as watching a race between two snails. Bring back refueling, the cars are too heavy and no exciting overtaking moves are happening. We can't wait for another wet race to happen like what happened at Australia, that'll be like hoping to win the lottery anytime soon. I think the points scheme should go back to how it used to be, rather than from 1st being 25 and 10th being one, it should span out from a full 10 points for 1st to 1 point for 6th place. I've watched F1 for years now and have never been more bored in my life with the season so far. I think some re-thinking in the rules should be in order i say.

  • Comment number 17.

    Was a bad race, sadly. I disagreed with Eddie Jordan when he said having the Ferrari's and McLaren's at the back of the grid was a good thing. We all knew what was going to happen, they were going to shoot up the field into the small points finishes. Hamilton was the best driver of the day, as he was last week, so it's frustrating for him that he's off the points pace. It would have been better if we'd have seen a fight between the top 3 teams at the top of the grid. The overtaking, the only good thing about today's race, was merely incidental and predictable. Hamilton demonstrated how he is probably the best Forumla 1 driver in the world with all of his overtakes, and if he'd have been in the front 2 rows, he'd have had a good shot at the Red Bull's.

    As an Englishman, I think McLaren have to sort out their qualifying. They've got the whole package in the race: two very different but brilliant drivers, excellent speed at certain points of the circuit and excellent reliability. Their overall speed will probably improve relative to the leaders as the season progresses, so if they can just can into the front two rows as often as possible, they will win races.

    The team to beat are Red Bull, and as Vettel's streets ahead of Webber in most departments, he's the man to beat. But things will probably change. Who know who'll emerge as the season progresses.

  • Comment number 18.

    @8

    I disagree about KERS. If all teams had it, then it would make no difference. KERS v no-KERS does equal overtaking, for the car with KERS. The problem is the compromise. If it could come back in, I could see one of the big teams taking a risk and bringing it back. However it only really benefitted McLaren last year, with Hamilton using it really well in the second half of the season. If McLaren improve their downforce and thus their corner speed, I could see them breaking the code but not the rules to bring it back in the latter stages of this season if they think it will give them the significant advantage.

  • Comment number 19.

    Being a big F1 fan, this season is a shambles with the stupid rules that have been applied. Bahrain was boring, australia was only exciting coz rain came, and malaysia this weekend was 10 times more boring than Bahrain. i'd rather watch the Jeremy kyle show, get more entertainment out of that. Bring back the old rules, Lower the rear wings, let them refuel and bring back the KERS!

  • Comment number 20.

    id sooner of watched paint dryin more to look at sorry f1 need to do something and quick

  • Comment number 21.

    F1 is such a bore, it all depends on the car, any of the top twenty drivers would win in the best car, last year Brawn, this year its Red bull.

  • Comment number 22.

    F1 2010 The BORE of ALL Motorsports so far!

  • Comment number 23.

    The best part of this race was listening to the German national anthem.

  • Comment number 24.

    I can't get my breath at some of the negative comments, sure it was no Australia, but then that was one of the best races for at least the last 10 years. Just to re-cap on no overtaking, Alonso passed Button, who re-passed a few laps later, later Alonso passes Button who immediately re-passed, with Alonso again having a go just before retiring. Massa passed Button. Hamilton passed half the field. Torro-Rosso's passed plenty etc etc. Did anyone actually watch the races last year? I bet today's race had more overtaking than 75% of last year's races. There is a fundamental problem that the cars can't follow each other closely enough, everyone knows that, but today was not a bad race at all, and even if they were out of position, the Ferrari's and Mclarens still passed each other as well as slower cars!

  • Comment number 25.

    Hello, first time I've commented on here, but I think I find it absolutely necessary.

    Left right and centre, people have been complaining about how dull F1 has become, and that rain is the only way that a race can be shaken up.

    I remember many races that were as "dull" as Barhain, and coincidentally the ones I can remember were on the modern circuits. The best races have always been at the classic circuits (bar maybe Magny Cours), and this is where Bernie and co. need to think outside the box.

    If we returned to classic venues, where racing was almost guaranteed, things would be quite special. San Marino, Portugal, South Africa, maybe even Argentina. These venues are brilliant for they were built in a time where technical and scientific thinking were LESS IMPORTANT than the RACING and ENTERTAINMENT. I think that scrapping Fiji, and returning to Suzuka, was a brilliant idea.

    Highly unlikely, but maybe such moves would bring the classic back into F1, which would bring the sport back round to an era that was timeless.

  • Comment number 26.

    Also the most entertaining part was the officials getting the flags the wrong way round for Webber and Rosberg on the podium! Apart from that, none of that was racing today, just total boredom!

  • Comment number 27.

    Just to clarify, I thoroughly enjoyed Malaysia this year. It was better than the half-run wash out of last year. At least we SAW some action.

  • Comment number 28.

    "So three races in and the top seven drivers are covered by nine points and things are brewing up nicely ...."

    You could just as easily have pointed out that the top 8 drivers are covered by 10 points. :)

  • Comment number 29.

    Blimey, those that are complaining of a boring race cannot have watched F1 for very long. Sure overtaking was limited, apart from, let me think, Hamilton on half the field, Vettel on Webber, Petrov dueling it with Hamilton, Massa on Button, Alonso nearly on Button (despite a broken car) and those are the one's I can remember.

    There has never been loads of overtaking in F1 in all the 30 plus years I have been watching. F1 is more than just overtaking moves, and the fact that it is harder to overtake makes it more enthralling when they do. Only the very top drivers are capable of working out how to get past the car in front, whilst also managing to think about all the other stuff that goes on throughout a GP. If you want to see overtaking lap after lap, watch Touring cars!

    With four, maybe five teams a race battling it out this season, it is a whole lot better than the recent past when it was only McLaren and Ferrari who could build competitive cars. F1 is exciting when it rains, but they are then only driving at two thirds of the pace the cars are capable of. I'd much rather most weeks see the cars flat out than tippy toeing around trying not to slide off!

    Just my humble opinion, but it annoys me when all you hear and read is that overtaking is the be all and end all of Formula 1. It is so much more than that!

    My biggest gripe is the commentator Jonathon Legard. To quote the recently departed commentating great Harry Carpenter 'the art of television commentary...is to say as little as possible and when you do speak to be as helpful as you can'. Legard's technique (if you can call it that, it's certainly not art) seems to be the complete opposite, say as much pointless stuff as possible and get the facts wrong as often as you can. Among many mistakes, how does he manage to get the positions of the cars so wrong so many times, it’s on our screens, so surely it must be on his too. And, just shouting down the microphone at the end of every race to make it seem exciting is just plain irritating. Please BBC, find someone better than him as he is by far the weakest link in very good coverage.

  • Comment number 30.

    This race didn't prove the Red Bull reliability as both Vettel and Weber didn't have anyone try to chase them, unlike Bahrain. Seems like the cars aren't build to race hard, or get pushed to the limit for the whole race . . . Ferrari also showed some weakness today . . . along with the other non-crash retirees.

    This race was very much a precession, with a couple of interesting battles for a few laps . . . but nothing special. Disappointing :-(

  • Comment number 31.

    Andrew, prior to the season you repeatedly dismissed the idea that Rosberg would pose any sort of threat to Schumacher, ready to admit your were wrong yet?

  • Comment number 32.

    So all people want to see is over-taking and its the be-all-and-end-all of a race? Race tactics and defending your position mean nothing then?

    It wasn't a great race but far better than alot of the comments here are making it out to be.

  • Comment number 33.

    Big talking point this weekend for me, after Hamiltons teenage outburst last weekend Alonso and Jensen showed how to handle bad tacktical calls, Ferrari messed it up twice this weekend and still Alonso didn't scream down the radio. Webber also had a chance to win (albeit a small one) before the pit stops, yet he didn't moan either when he was called in 2nd (thus taking the chance away) or when a crew error cost him time in the pits and but Vettel comfortablly in front. Hamilton should watch, learn and keep his mouth shut in future! He has messed up more times in his career than his team, In fact he'd have won the title his debut season if he hadn't totaled his car in a wall.

    Alonso also showed great skill to get a broken car as far as he did, one lap more and he'd have got some points.

    McLaren showed the usefulness of the F-duct, especially when starting out of position on the grid. They had a much easier time overtaking than the Ferarri's despite the Ferarri being a quicker car. How long will it be till they are on every team though? Once they are the advantage will be negated.

  • Comment number 34.

    Why did the church service get BBC1? Seems absurd a religion based on something less likely than the tooth fairy gets the big slot. BBC are insane, good race, not a great one but a million times better than Bahrain. Should be incredibly close until the end of the season.

  • Comment number 35.

    22. At 1:52pm on 04 Apr 2010, MillsyMatt wrote:

    F1 2010 The BORE of ALL Motorsports so far!

    _______________

    Not quite as boring as a blog full of bored people. If it was that bad you wouldn't watch.

    I enjoyed seeing Hamilton coast through the field and especially battling with Petrov. Another great result for Kubica too and credit to Sutil for holding Lewis off at the end. Okay so it wasn't an all time classic but it was by no means as uneventful as Bahrain's race. Even Alguersuari overtook a couple of times.

    Its all nice and close in the championship, so its not like last year when Jenson was running away with the title at this stage.


  • Comment number 36.

    Good grief! I've just registered for the first time because some of you people have annoyed so much that I *have* to reply. Boring? Processional? Dull?! You're clearly not fans of Grand Prix racing if you can neither recognise nor enjoy the vital parts of the sport that aren't immediately visible on your screen. Those of us who relish the sophisticated competition that is Formula One, with all of its subtleties and detail, take great pleasure from following a strategy as it plays out over a whole race distance, from the probabilities and possibilities of the unexpected happening at any moment (whether it does or not) and from the extraordinary skill and technical brilliance of both the drivers and their teams. Malaysia was a Grand Prix with mixed strategies, serious on-track racing and some of the most phenomenal driving at ridiculous speeds that anyone could ever witness. If you can't appreciate that, then surf a few channels and I'm sure you'll find some stock car racing, banger racing or even Total Wipeout to make you smile. But most importantly, never come back to Formula One. It will never give you what you're looking for. And while I'm in full rant, yes - someone please tell the Michael to give it up!!! Phew. I feel better now.

  • Comment number 37.

    If all the cars had the red button for pushing would they all immediately be linked to the F1 Forum? At least it'll be more exciting to watch the BBC team chatting away than the actual race itself..
    KERS will NOT solve what's lacking in terms of spectacle...sure -it'll be greener, but if you really want to go that route then give all the drivers push bikes...They can have their tyres pumped up during regulation pitstops, and the only thing dirty will be the oil used in greasing up the bike chain...either that or Bernie can strike a deal with the local zoo so that all the wild animals are released onto the track just prior to a race..Alonso to wrestle a Bear after an engine blow out; Hamilton being chased by a pack of Hyenas, with Vettel avoiding being trampled by a herd of elephants...It's not quite F1, but certainly worth its value in entertainment...

  • Comment number 38.

    I was so annoyed that I missed a word out. Sorry about that.

  • Comment number 39.

    Hi all,

    Interesting points - and none more than the respondent who said Malaysia was 10 times more boring than Bahrain. Really?

    Anyway, one of the most interesting questions here was addressed to me directly, about the comparison between the Mercedes drivers, and whether I am prepared to admit I was wrong about Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher.

    Well, yes, obviously I was wrong to suggest Rosberg would not be a threat to Schumacher - clearly he is right now. He's flat beating him. But what's interesting - and bound to get many of you exercised - is why that is the case.

    I'm as fascinated as anyone else by Schumacher's struggles on his comeback - I thought he would do better than he has, and I clearly underestimated how difficult it would be for him to get back into the old routine. But one of two things is happening right now:

    1) Either Schumacher is the same driver he was, and Rosberg is one of the greatest racing drivers who ever lived; or 2) Schumacher is struggling more than he is letting on and is nowhere near the driver he was.

    I have been impressed by Rosberg so far this season, I have to admit. He's clearly very quick. Do I rate him with Alonso and Hamilton yet? No. And I don't know many people in F1 who would.

    I'll ask again a question I asked last week - do you really think the Michael Schumacher of 2006 (or before) would be where the Michael Schumacher of 2010 is compared to Rosberg?

    No, for me, the explanation for the current situation is far more likely to be 2) than 1). And I'm pretty sure most people in F1 would agree with me. Including Schumacher, if you read between the lines of this interview: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8602492.stm

  • Comment number 40.

    The Michael's just old, simple as that. I'm old and I drive more slowly than I used to. Simple as that!

  • Comment number 41.

    Thankfully the BBC had its priorities right and had the Easter service on BBC1. F1 has its fair share of coverage and the many millions of Christians could watch their service on this special day of the year. Thanks BBC.

  • Comment number 42.

    I would say it's definately number 2. That's to take nothing away from Nico though, who had a great race. I'd say give it a few more races and he'll be back up to his old standards.
    Can you please explain to me how Button's decision to pit early failed for him? If you didn't notice he jumped the Ferrari's, Toro Rossos and a couple others (I think Nico Hulkenburg and Vitaly Pitrov)
    Yes Massa overtook him again, but if he hadn't made that decision, then he would have been stuck behind the said drivers and been even further down.
    Hamilton's race was again superb, and had he not been so far back then he would have had a podium. But I guess that's all just ifs and maybes.
    The race wasn't boring, it was far better than Bahrain, just not as good as Australia.
    And for god sake stop complaining about overtaking! If overtaking was so easy, then you would all be complaining that it's the same result every race!
    On a last note... could we please replace Jonathon Legard with Crofty?! I thoroughly enjoy watching practice due to the commentary that's given. Legard's mistakes are extremely frustrating, and with his whole "if i shout then it makes it exciting" thing is just annoying!

  • Comment number 43.

    REF 39
    3 years out of a fast changing and evolving sport as F1 will certainly show up Michael in the short run..the genius will be for him to find his sweet spot with the car and his new environment..and the cars and drivers are more equally balanced and competitive than in his heyday...I don't think we'll see such dominance from one team/driver that Schumi enjoyed from 2000-04 in a long time...but I don't think he's lost his natural ability behind the wheel - he's certainly not a has been, just yet - and he hasn't had a fair crack at the whip as his car has let him down in the last 2 races...but Nico is a fine driver - very quick and clever behind the wheel, but just needs a little more prowess on the track..
    Andrew - my question to you is this.
    A lot has been concentrated on the reliability of the Red Bulls, but as we've seen in today's race, the Ferrari engine seems to have a problem.
    The Ferraris themselves changed engines in the first race in Barhain as a precaution and in Malaysia both Ferrari engines failed in the Sauber along with that of Alonso's...I do believe there is a chink in the Ferrari armour that will be exposed during the course of this season, which could supercede any reliability issues Red Bull will face.It's worrying...

  • Comment number 44.

    The race was better than Bahrain.

    I wish people would lay off Hamilton, such as in #33. This guy is a champion, a winner. He's the best thing McLaren have had in the last decade, and won them a drivers' Championship while all his team mate could do was finish 7th. He came ahead of double-World Champion Alonso in his debut season in the same team! The man is incredible, an absolute credit to the team. This "outburst" was merely a complaint about a poor call. He was frustrated, as anyone would be. He doesn't have to bite his tongue. No one today was affected the way Hamilton was last week by team mistakes. Alonso had gear problems. Hamilton wouldn't moan about a technical fault either. Webber only had himself to blame for not being first. The delay in the pits was nobody's fault, something he would have realised, so he nothing to complain about.

    This Hamilton-bashing for an inoccuous comment between him and his team, which really has nothing to do with anyone else save for the fact they broadcast the team radio transmissions, is utterly ludicrous. Give it a rest. Here in the UK we have a confident guy, a champion who got angry and frustrated at his team for a brief moment. There was no beef. It was an exchange akin to an annoyed wife. Who cares? It doesn't make me think anything less of Hamilton. If anything I shared his frustration.

  • Comment number 45.

    Everyone here who says overtaking is still a problem is absolutely correct. But has there actually been any less of it than in previous years? I certainly don't think so.

    I actually think races will be more interesting this year now. As we saw today, it is impossible to have a perfect car for the whole race, something which was possible with refuelling. So while Jenson benefitted from his early change of tyres at first, his net result wasn't that much different because he was slow at the end of the race. If you pit late though, you have fresh tyres and low fuel, but not necessarily enough laps to make up the deficit. Races now are compromises, which leads to different strategies, and variety is what makes for interesting races.

    There are major gains to be made from a later stop. But this is supposing you don't get stuck behind a car that has pitted earlier, like Hamilton did today, and in Melbourne too. The fact a car with a big performance advantage can't pass another is Formula 1's area of failure at the minute, and the one which everyone is focussing on. The fact is if you stop later and come up behind a car on older tyres, you have to make a really ballsy overtake in the first couple of laps after you catch him, otherwise the tyre advantage decreases and your progress comes to a dead end. And if you've had the brains to go with a different strategy to gain perfornace advantage, overtaking should not be THAT hard.

    That said, a return to KERS, or any power-boost button, is not the answer. Having KERS available every lap meant drivers didn't really have to decide when to use it; there were always 2 or 3 areas on each track where its application was most effective. The other problem is that calling it a "push-to-pass" button is a false name that has made it soud like the solution to boring races. It can just as easily be used as a "push-to-defend" button, and it never eradicated processions from A1GP and Champ Car.

    Finally, to those who want sprinklers installed at tracks, I say Grow Up. Formula 1 is not there specifically to entertain 7 year olds.

  • Comment number 46.

    Well said Gavelaa (44). Especially the 'annoyed wife' bit! Personally, I find it disappointing when drivers don't question their colleagues, or don't feel that they can - subservience doesn't make for a good working relationship. Spot on.

  • Comment number 47.

    Processions, thats all its going to be.. You telling me that Hamilton can catch Sutil at 1.6 seconds a lap and then not get near him to make a pass? thats pathetic. Or Alonso taking 2.5 seconds a lap out of Massa And Button but when he gets behind a Jenson on "worn tyres" still cant make a legit pass, every time he did it resulted in going too wide. Your saying KERS wont solve the problem, but dont you realise something needs to be done. I REPEAT. Had Qualifying been dry the top 4 would have read (in no specific order) Vettel, Webber, Alonso, Massa. They have the best soft 1 lap tyre, and the order would have stayed the same except for slow starts off the line or pit stop mess up.. thats the only way positions at the front are impacted. bad pitstops, reliability issues and bad stats off the lights! Pathetic

  • Comment number 48.

    what was the point tho of swapping to bbc2 halfway through. sky planner didnt pick it up even on series link so only got half race then inevitably saw result before having chance to watch rerun at 5. should ave just put whole race on bbc2.

  • Comment number 49.

    #47 - Didn't Hamilton radio in saying that he couldn't take Sutil because of his superior speed on the straights? As you said, Alonso passed Button then went wide allowing Button to take it back. Welcome to racing, overtaking is not just about getting ahead but staying ahead once there. Alonso failed to do that and ultimately blew up his engine.

  • Comment number 50.

    Hey Andrew, are you privy to the audience figures for the race and the church service? That might help to decide whether Christianity or Formula One is the more important religion in the UK... I know which one my money's on!

  • Comment number 51.

    StanJohns: "If you want to see overtaking lap after lap, watch Touring cars!"

    Exactly. Or Bike racing or virtually every other sport where "Racing" is in the name.

    Being excited by the clever interpretation of tail aerodynamic rules or watching queued traffic where equivalent cars cannot have a hope of overtaking is not "racing" as far as most spectators are concerned, IMHO.

    I hope the sport never becomes a dry, technical and expensive version of Top Trumps. Sometimes, I fear it might. I should not be having to look for excitement in a sport with the fastest cornered-track cars in the world racing. Too often I find I am.

  • Comment number 52.

    Ok... was I watching the same race as all the people posting "boring" comments? I really enjoyed today and thought it had a really good mix of fights and overtaking as well as the anticipation of rain.. I have watched F1 for years and am getting used to the rule changes etc and yes, Bahrain was a bit of a non season starter, but to compare today to it is odd. Also, the talk of "the big 4" really gets on my nerves. I bet you are the same people that complained about Ferrari dominance and all that jazz. Them starting from the back was their own fault for botching up qualis and they did fight through the field. If they are not able to overtake a "lesser" car (which is an annoying statement in itself and I apologise, but used in sarcasm)then they need to work on a way to overtake (aerodynamics whatever blah blah, there is always a way). You shouldn't have some kind of free pass because you are in the red or silver cars. The other guys managed it all through the pack. Also, I'm really enjoying watching the progress of the new teams and all that it brings to the sport. Progress will be made and watching the interviews with Lotus on the forum was exciting because you can see they do have long term vision and plans. Good for them!! Oh, and leave Shumey alone. I am not his biggest fan, but he obviously is not to old, he's just in a different car and coming to terms with everything all over again. You will only moan when he starts to get better anyway. There is just no pleasing some people!
    I was happy with it, the season is starting to get interesting. I await China with interest.
    Thanks to the BBC team and Eddies sweat patches which seem to be one of the biggest stars of the weekend. :O)

  • Comment number 53.

    "Everyone here who says overtaking is still a problem is absolutely correct. But has there actually been any less of it than in previous years? I certainly don't think so."

    Then just listen to all the drivers, overtaking is the worst it has ever been because of the new regulations. We have been very lucky for the excitement brought about by rain. That is the only saving grace at present, with dry races really bringing excitement to test cricket in comparison.

  • Comment number 54.

    I agree with certain people re:overtaking. Yes, it shouldn't just be a formality, it should hold more value. Like the goal does in football. Sometimes you hear people wishing for more goals in football, thinking that it will make it more entertaining, but it wouldn't. A hard earned 2-2 is always going to be more satisfying viewing than a crazy 5-5. Imagine if he had that every week! We'd just ask, what was that all about? And it would be the same in F1. If everyone was just overtaking each other at random moments, we wouldn't know how to analyse it. It would become less enjoyable than watching the proper, hard-fought overtake. For example, Jenson's champion drive in Brazil last year. He proved that overtaking can be done, but you have to earn it. You have to be a sweet, class driver with balls. He had everything to play for that day. Imagine if overtaking was all too common, and all too easy? We'd regard what Jenson did that day as a mere formality, which it wasn't. Far from it.

    I don't think the regulations are necessarily a big problem this season. It is just so far, we haven't had the greatest circuits. I think if there is one thing Bernie should be doing is hounding the GP license holders to make great circuits. The Bahrain GP was an example of a poor circuit, where they've tried to make a change and just failed. OK, not every track can be like Spa, Silverstone or Suzuka, but many of them are a bit bland, and that doesn't help the racing.

  • Comment number 55.

    As usual the BBC pay millions for the exclusive rights and then mess it all up. Why, oh why, do we all have to keep paying the licence fee to subsidise these incompetents.

    There was absolutely no need to split the Malaysian F1 race between two stations. The religious programmes could have been on BBC2 which is as easily accessible as BBC1. It was pure stupidity in the programming. Give it back to ITV, at least the adverts were scheduled to not be so ANNOYING!

  • Comment number 56.

    #41

    The Church Service was on BBC1 because the Beeb realise people want excitement and risk.

    Right now it would appear to be a heck of a lot more dangerous for a child to go to Church than it is to race an F1 car.

    Hence it's elevation to the top channel. No?

  • Comment number 57.

    Sorry but F1 needs overtaking, I am not talking about touring car levels of over taking as thats a different sport. It just needs more than it currently has, KERS isn't really the answer as its only an advantage if the other car doesn't have it and that will really mean poorer teams will suffer which isn't to the benefit of the sport.

    I would like to see a reduction in aero and an increase in mechanical grip, tyres that don't last as long would also help, make it a tussle between the hare and the tortoise, where looking after tyres is as valid as hard aggressive racing with more stops when it comes to strategy depending on the car and the driver.

  • Comment number 58.

    I am also loving the story of the new teams and would love to read more articles about them and their struggles. They have all done brilliant jobs so far and hope that at least one of the new teams makes a points finish this season.

  • Comment number 59.

    i really don't know why virgin have gone to all the effort of redesigning their chassis to accommodate a bigger fuel tank. they're never gonna get to the end of a race anyway!

  • Comment number 60.

    After turn two of the first lap the order of the top five at that point, Vettel, Webber, Rosberg, Kubica, Sutil was how they finished at the end of the race.

  • Comment number 61.

    Reliability is killing Formula One.

    In the old days, before parc fermé conditions post-qualifying, teams could be working practically all night to try to gain a tenth here or there, with a real glory-or-bust attitude - and with only six cars getting points (and drivers being allowed to count the results from a limited number of races) a failure wasn't a disaster.

    But it made for exciting racing, EVEN when one driver (or team) was dominating!

    Nowadays, where is the driver skill? Being able to overcome foibles and failings, etc. (we even have Massa being talked through HOW to drive!) is entertaining.

    And ban pit-to-car radio communications by the teams. Make the drivers THINK for themselves!

  • Comment number 62.

    @ laughingdevil post #33.
    -------------------------
    You and those of your ilk just can't resist making what can be described as jealousy driven, snide, anti Lewis remarks. The guy drove superbly today as he has done in all 3 races but those of you who are just itching to see him fail evidently can only focus on that outburst. Most drivers who have had their race compromised or who have felt that they have been disadvantaged in some way, have had their "moments":

    1. Schumacher v Coulthard (almost coming to blows) Spa 1998.
    2. Vettel throwing out his steering paddle, storming off and being critical of his team's tactics after the Turkish GP last year when asked to ease off Webber
    3. The well documented Alonso v Maclaren "disagreements"
    4. Trulli and Sutil having a heated arm-waving track side "discussion" after a crash in Brazil last year
    5. Barrichello complaining about Brawn's perceived preferential treatment of Jenson
    6. Juan Pablo Montoya (in NASCAR) having a shoving match with Harvick. P.S. although it was not race related, who can forget Juan Pablo's "cameraman incident" diatribe whilst he was still in F1 ha ha.

    Contrastingly, did Lewis over-react when?
    1. In China 2007 his race and possibly Championship was compromised by a late tyre call by the team?
    2. Made to sit and wait in the pits for tyres in the European GP last year?
    3. Was asked by the his team to abandon his race in Abu Dhabi last year because of a suspected brake issue while he was in second place?
    4. In 2008 when steward decisions went against him?


    @ MediaOverreaction post 35:
    -----------------------------
    Spot on M8 :)!!! Yes indeed, the really boring part of this season has been the interminable list of blog moaners who constantly grumble about being bored :). I think the season has been quite entertaining.

    (a) No pole sitter has won so far
    (b) 3 races 3 different winners 8 different drivers on the podium
    (c) Rosberg unexpectedly outperforming Shumi
    (d) Jenson wining a race before Lewis in a McLaren car and ahead of him in points
    (e) Felipe ahead of Alonso & in the overall standings
    (f) Jaime Alguersuari and Nico Hulkenberg scoring their first points after only 3 races this season
    (g) Lewis's outstanding overtaking manoeuvres - enabling him to consistently improve on his starting position
    (h) Vettel's brilliance
    (i) Virgin completing their first race
    (j) HRT having a double finish here despite a double DNF and single DNF respectively in the first 2 races.

    I just wish there was a race every week :)!

  • Comment number 63.

    Anyone who said this was as boring as Bahrain should be shot or stopped watching F1, you guys are really boring and irritating everyone.
    It was a thrilling race, ok it needed a mixed up Grid but how was it boring as Bahrain, we had overtaking, HOW MUCH MORE DO YOU WANT?
    Maybe you would be better off watching a different Sport altogether!
    The same happens in BTCC, WTCC, MotoGP, GP2, you will get boring processional races.
    We should not return to refuelling, the fact is that we have a new points system, 4 drivers seperated by a few mere points, 3 different winners of Races, refuelling maked Brawn wins processional!

    Also I also voice annoyance over the decision to switch to BBC2.
    Match of the Day started at 8:00 and finished at 10 on BBC2, why couldnt it have been on BBC1 and the whole race on BBC2, but as usual, the BBC messed it up.
    Maybe those should be sacked.
    F1 doesnt have a natural break, we was promised that all Races were to be Boradcast on BBC1...but thats already a broken promise due to this utter useless schedulers at the BBC treating Sport as something that can be moved because of some Relgious Programming
    At least ITV showed all races in full.
    (Yet I wont hold my Breath of any Top BBC Brass or anyone connected with F1 on the BBC giving us an explaination)

  • Comment number 64.

    Re the BBC1/BBC2 switch:

    Given the significance of Easter, it was entirely appropriate that BBC1 was given over to religious programming.

    But why, WHY, WHY was the decision taken not to put the whole Grand Prix on BBC2? - such disdainful scheduling beggars belief...

    Thank heavens for Freeview, with the relevant Red Button feed being on a separate channel (and recordable too, unlike Sky, etc.).

  • Comment number 65.

    Hamilton himself said that Sutil drove well, so I'm not certain that "dirty air" was the only reason Lewis couldn't pass him. He's a quality driver with a good record in other series, and Force India has demonstrated that they have a good if not great car.

  • Comment number 66.

    why oh why oh why oh why the fuss about switching channels??!!
    Is it really that important?? Chocolate Eggs,Rabbits and a bloke doing a Houdini act over 3 days will always take precedence over a race around a track.
    The BBC has a moral obligation in prioritizing such events. However, had Bruno Senna crossed the line first in his Hispania steed in Malaysia as the re-incarnation of his Uncle, the BBC would, as well as much of the christian worshiping world including the Vatican, would have to think twice in what would take centre stage on TV..and it certainly wouldn't be Songs Of Praise...

  • Comment number 67.

    Success ballast.

    Make the points scorers in one race carry the same number of kilograms of lead in the following race - the winner carries 25kg, second-place 18kg, etc.

  • Comment number 68.

    #64 "Given the significance of Easter, it was entirely appropriate that BBC1 was given over to religious programming."

    #66 "The BBC has a moral obligation in prioritizing such events."

    With all respect - and I do mean that sincerely - why are these two statements the case?

    Why is an easter service a "moral" right and what exactly is the significance today of Easter other than kids wanting an Easter egg?

    Not an F1 discussion but comments I felt necessary to respond to.

  • Comment number 69.

    It's quite clear that alot of the people who have posted on this article have been watching Formula One for the best part of, oh let's say...1 month?

    It's absolutely ridiculous. The race today had as much action as we've generally seen in previous seasons; in fact over the last decade. Yet for some reason a large group of people go on and on acting as if the races have only ever been boring since the start of this season. If you thought the race today was boring then you should have stopped watching Formula One a decade ago. Fernando is right, if you don't like it then don't watch it. It's not as if this season is some drastic departure from the norm. I didn't see start to finish overtaking every race last season, or the season before that...or in fact the season before that.

    What level of F1 action are you comparing races to?! Spa 1998? Brazil 2003? It boggles the mind that people seem to think F1 owes the spectators something that they just can't give. Should we introduce a multiball rule in football just because there were two 0-0 scorelines last week? I for one would be glad if those who continually criticise the sport this season stop watching the sport. Only the true fans can actually see the sport for more than what it is can.

  • Comment number 70.

    Why all the Schumacher bashing? He retired because of a mechanical fault. You all think he built the car? The race was OK, I have seen better, seen worse. Typical F1.

  • Comment number 71.

    I agree with Andrew's analysis of the race and am quite surprised by the number of "boring race" type comments here. This race was far more entertaining than Bahrain and better than many a race in recent years. There was plently of on track action with Hamilton overtaking many cars, Alonso driving round his problem fantastically, Vettel showing yet again that he is a better racer than Webber, some good dices down the field and even a well deserved point for young Alguersuari. If you thought today's race was boring, F1 probably isn't for you.

    There is still an underlying problem with dirty air syndrome, of course. Under the current regulations, this reduces the likelyhood of anyone trying aggressive two stop strategies as fresh rubber is worth less than track position (as Hamilton's experience last week showed). The FIA and FOTA do need to keep working hard to reduce this problem and allow cars to follow closely so that the potential for overtaking is increased.

    Overall though, I thoroughly enjoyed today's race.

  • Comment number 72.

    Fun watching Hammy's charge but then became very dull as usual. F1 has had its day and one entertaining driver can't change that.

  • Comment number 73.

    "So three races in and the top seven drivers are covered by nine points and things are brewing up nicely for exactly the sort of brilliant season that most had expected"

    mmm and the three drivers who have won a race are being headed by one that hasn't. Bernie's new point system rewarding wins rather than driving for points is really working isn't it???

  • Comment number 74.

    REF 68
    Ok, just to split hairs, the BBC has a moral and ethical obligation to prioritize Easter over a Grand Prix...the scheduling could have been worked out better, but for those moaners who don't know how to either get off their backsides to switch channels, or use a remote....(I just shudder)....are probably the same people who have watched the gradual invasion of glamorous cookery programmes that seem to appear every 5 minutes on our screens, but can't boil an egg, and put a serious financial strain on our National Health Service when it comes to matters of obesity...

  • Comment number 75.

    #39, Re Schumacher's failure (to be brilliant):

    From the time he arrived at Ferrari (when the Italian team was going through one of its leanest spells), Michael Schumacher had the team built around him - things were done solely to suit him (and the other driver just had to live with that).

    It appears that, though undoubtedly a great driver (and that greatness hasn't necessarily gone away), Schumacher is demonstrating the truth of Ron Dennis's repeated assertion that Formula One is a TEAM sport.

    Which is more important?

    Car or driver?

    It's perhaps less clearcut in favour of the driver than in the past, as was amply demonstrated by Lewis Hamilton (F1 novice put straight into a top car, and challenging for the title) who is only now gaining the maturity which should be expected of a top driver.

    With the Mercedes team bending over backwards to help Schumacher - letting him have the car number he wants, the side of the garage he wants, etc. - I wouldn't be at all surprised if Nico Rosberg is kept awake most nights, laughing like a drain that he is still doing far better that the older man.

    One bad thing - if Schumacher had been a success, I was hoping that Martion Brundle might have come out of retirement, and shown whether he is as pure dead brilliant as he apparently thinks he is!

  • Comment number 76.

    #55, no definitely don't give it back to ITV. Their coverage was shocking. The BBC are in fact fantastic at covering F1.

    However, today was a mistake, which I'm sure the BBC bosses won't make again.

  • Comment number 77.

    Certainly a good race, excellent move by Vettel and a impeccable drive. Brilliant recovery by Hamilton but its a shame Button started loosing pace in the finial quarter.

    So did Alonso's car blow up as a result of the gear box problem? perhaps pushing just alittle too hard to pass Button.





  • Comment number 78.

    I got it F1 needs no changes just changes in its viewers I tuned in to watch a motor race a. to see who won b. to see how people would do during the race. Just because you say it needs excitement means nothing you switched on to watch a motor race in theory no one could overtake anyone and the resultwould be the same as qualifying but come on if u cant take every race and ALL that happens and doesnt then really you dont deserve to watch so i suggest to all the negative posters on here next year at around 9 oclock find somin else to do we dont need your watching a perfectly good sport and then commenting childishly on here. if u want overtaking or excitement then change your mindset to accomplish that all i see here is people who post for the sake of posting or watch f1 through gritted teeth lol. Poor sods.

  • Comment number 79.

    Miss Terri Poster, stop talking about Forumla One, please.

  • Comment number 80.

    I made a comment earlier that KERS would help to aid the lack of over taking in formula 1 and several people have argued that KERS is not the fundamental answer to F1's overtaking issues and I would agree with that. From where I can see it the FIA made a grave error in taking away refuelling and ultimately much of the tactical element of the sport that so much us have enjoyed over the past decade or so. I say they have made an error for one fundumental reason - they have taken away one element of the sport (the varying stratergies) before addressing the issue of overtaking i.e banned double diffusers or addressed the aero issues.

    Personally i see no reason for the ban on refuelling, but if they were planning on banning it they should have thought out the implications for the racing. Many people forget that before refuelling was re-introduced back in 1993 the cars had less aerodynamics and thus were easier, although not easy, to follow and overtake eachother. Moreover, before that we also had turbos also increasing overtaking.

    I have also seen the comments made about the race today being pretty good, and those who thought it wasn't should watch touring cars instead. I happen to think that the race was also good but when you see cars closing up 2 seconds a lap on eachother and being unable to overtake in makes it so frustrating to think how good the racing could be.

    I have watched formula one since the late 1990s and grew up during the schumacher period and make no mistake the racing now, and the sport in general, is better to watch and follow as a fan but if we can sort this overtaking out with the drivers on the grid we could have so many classic races. There are those who say that F1 is not all about overtaking and today's race had as much of it today as there should be. However, i am merely looking at the bigger picture following the exceptional circumstances of today's grid and Australia's weather conditions.

  • Comment number 81.

    People are comparing this seasons action to previous seasons action. In previous seasons there was not much overtaking between equal ability cars on track, most of the passing was done in the pits. Every so often someone would pull off an amazing overtake, but the norm was follow someone, put in a few hot laps before a pitstop then hope to come out ahead when the pitstop cycle was over. I want to see one driver pass someone on th track. not in the pits. In previous years the faster cars could usually pass the slower cars.
    This year, as I said in post 5, they faster cars cannot pass the slower cars and that is frustrating. As it seems to be due to the aerodynamics, that is where the concentration of the rulemakers need to be.
    Fortunately the weather has helped in 2 of the 3 races to make for more exciting races. As people have said due to the various factors - rain, mistakes, reliability - the result is different winners/point scorers and a very close top 10 in the Drivers Championship. Lets hope the standings are as close with 3 races left!
    I am worried though that if a whole race weekend is dry, and all teams perform as they should, there will not be many passes on track. Lets hope I am wrong eh?

  • Comment number 82.

    The race was pretty decent, certainly not awfull. i'm more of a Jenson fan myself but well done to Hamilton today making up all those places. People really need to get some perspective on their no-overtaking rants, we could do with a bit more but F1 isn't only about overtaking, if it was too easy to overtake qualifying would be pointless and we would get pretty much the same result each race.

    Like the idea of no pitwall-car radio. Drivers should have to make all the calls themselves for type of tyre and when they come in and so on, should only getting info on where everyone else is. That would add to the excitement

    Also, what's with all the moaning about the BBC? It should have been all on one channel but surely on the most important Christian day of the year Christianity can come ahead of sport. Easter once a year/F1 19 times a year.

    merci beaucoup

  • Comment number 83.

    Seemingly the latest fashion in F1 is to moan about how boring it is, even if it is'nt even that boring. I thought today's race was quite interesting. And is it really that much of a strain to reach for the remote and press BBC2? God there really are a lot of whiners following F1 these days. My feeling is that a lot of these whiney comments are coming from people who dont normally watch F1 and just wanted a bandwagon to jump on for the day so they could have an excuse for a good moan.

    The race really was'nt that bad so I really dont get all the negativity.

  • Comment number 84.

    I wish people would start listening to the drivers comments, they have complained how hard it is to race, especially overtaking, the cars are too heavy with the amount of fuel they have on, therefore making it too difficult to overtake on the track during a race, none of the drivers are happy with the new regulations. Last years regulations were not too bad, but this year, its gone one step too far and is causing problems. It is going to be a a close match for the championship this year, but unless the regulations were better, each race is going to be unentertaining all the way to november.

  • Comment number 85.

    Today's race was 'definately' not as boring as Bahrain and part of me was glad that Vettel got his win at last. Having to switch channels midway through was annoying but it was in all the TV guides last I checked so you should have been able to allow for it.

  • Comment number 86.

    Ok, it wasn't what you would call a fantastic race, but I wouldn't say it was completely boring... There were times when it was quite exciting. However, the fact that Ferrari's cant over take a Toro Rosso is rather alarming in terms of how hard it is to overtake, There is an arguement that the harder it is to overtake, the more challenging it is for the drivers etc etc, i accept that point... But surely a car that is 2-3 seconds faster then gets stuck behind as he cant get through the turbulent air abit much. KERS wont solve anything in my view, if all the cars have it, all the cars would use it on the same straight and it would equill itself out. Thus wasting money! My solution would be to say that from Canada onwards, all cars have to have a single diffuser, I know it would be expensive, but it would mean less aero grip and thus more of a challenge for the drivers and a better spectacle at least... However, I'm sure Bernie and his FIA mates would disapprove of such good ideas from any of us hardcore fans!

  • Comment number 87.

    I hold my hands up to being a moaner about the 'channel-switch' before today, but people saying that the BBC have mucked up big style and it should go back to ITV are taking it too far. Yes, it would've been good for it all to be on BBC2 (I don't see the point of honour-scheduling, just so BBC can say they've shown every race on BBC1. Everybody gets BBC2 as well you know), but it's not like the end was hidden on the red button where maybe only 60% of the BBC1 audience could see it. Nor was it like that when qualifying overran in Brazil.

    Regarding the racing, I think everybody knows that the aerodynamics are the only thing preventing great racing. You can have interesting races without cars going wheel-to-wheel (that's what the refuelling era created, most people stayed tuned to see how different fuel strategies would pan out), but you do need dicing between cars for exciting events. Teams, drivers and fans all know there's not a lot that will be done about that for the next 16 races, so we will have to wait til 2011 for big changes and accept what comes our way this season. Personally, I can't see it being any worse than 2002 or 2004, and it actually has the potential to throw up more intriguing races than most seasons of last decade.

    I'm not an aerodynamic or even technology expert, but for 2011 surely a sort of reverse f-duct would work? Make it electronically controlled (all cars have same ECU) and program it so that the rear wing is stalled in the corners and creates more drag on the straights (can you program something to do actions according to G-Forces placed on it?). If my understanding is right, this would get rid of some dirty air, allowing cars to run closer in the corners. This would mean cars are more likely to be in the slipstream onto a straight, and the increased drag on the straight would make the slipstream effect more profound.

  • Comment number 88.

    Oh my goodness gracious, I cannot believe the amount of people who have slammed this race!!!! I don't know how Grand Prix fans can rip it apart in the way that I am seeing here.

    We had OVERTAKING GALORE in this race, what the hell is the problem!

    Basically, the problem arises from the fact that some poor driver made a petty statement that overtaking is too hard these days, despite the fact the same statement has been made all decade. That was coupled with the fact that the season opener was a bit of a downer in response to the huge build-up...

    The result being that winging, whining folk, who sound like spoilt brats think it's the end of the world and the whole sport is going to cave in. It's hyperbole, it's blowing out of proportion, it's making a mountain out of a very tiny molehill.

    Get

    A

    Grip

    (There was actually more overtaking than in Australia, and if people think that this is the most boring season ever, then what were 2002 and 2004? I'd love to know...)

  • Comment number 89.

    Merely a good race. Not as exciting as Melbourne but nowhere near as dull as Bahrain. But why complain about which channel it was on? Is it really that difficult to turn over? And when will people realise that it's should HAVE and not should OF?

    Looking forward to the rest of the season...

  • Comment number 90.

    Unfortunately sport has to be entertaining, how else will it survive? If it becomes boring we will lose the millions of spectators that make it billions of dollars through TV deals, sponsorships etc.


  • Comment number 91.

    Formula 1 has always been boring apart from the odd race. This season is no different. People expect to see go-kart levels of drama every lap when infact you should just stick the F1 on while you are doing some cleaning or reading the paper on a quiet sunday afternoon. It's basically the testmatch version of motorsport and I don't have a big problem with that. It's still a joy to watch hamilton drive, he really is a level above everyone else and I hope mclaren bring back kers.

  • Comment number 92.

    Am I the only one that tunes in just to see the start? The start of the race is ultimately the peak of its entertainment value. Its the only time where 1) there is some exciting overtaking because all the cars are close and 2) there is a crash or two. Everyone likes to see a crash (where no-one is hurt obviously).

  • Comment number 93.

    Along with others, who have raised the point, if the race had to be switched over to BBC2 about halfway through, why didn't BBC show the whole race on BBC2? Would BBC do this to the cup final? I don't think so. Why does F1 always seem to get switched around? I got fed up with ITV having advertising breaks every 15 minutes or so, again, would football fans put up with a break after 10 minutes of play?
    As far as the race goes, I quite like the mixed up grid which allowed other teams to 'mix-it' with the big boys. I thought it was a good race, certainly not boring like Bahrain.

  • Comment number 94.

    #66 the fuss is not about switching channels for religious reasons, it was annoying because people recording the race using series link etc missed the end. I was lucky that I wasn't at work today, but I do usually have to record races to watch later in the evening. If I'd found the end missing, I'd have been more that a bit irritated.

  • Comment number 95.

    The people complaining about todays race really need to go back to watching paint dry or perhaps radio controlled cars. It's actually pathetic reading some of the silly comments on this forum.

    The race had more overtaking than half the races last season,it really was a great race. Lewis showed once again why he is the overtaking king of F1 at the moment,he did it last week and done the same this week.

    Check out where the camera points to most,it's Lewis Hamilton it points to. Jenson showed today that without the lucky gambles he is just an average driver who can't overtake and can't stop anyone with skill from overtaking him.

    All in all though it was a good result for Mclaren and both drivers came out okay considering yesterdays mess up in qualifying.

    33 laughingdevil

    You are talking utter rubbish,seriously your hate is obvious. Lewis made Jenson look average today and Alonso nearly made Jenson look even worse.

    As for Lewis's comments last week,well Jenson made similar outbursts last year and Alonso has done it in the passed so leave that behind,it's finished and has been for several days,it's old news.

    I know it burns you to see Lewis driving like a master but unfortunately for you it's going to happen many more times this season,perhaps you should stop watching now.

    As for Lewis and Sutil,well they have both the same engine and the force India cars have Mclaren parts on them as well.Sutil is a good driver who knows how to keep his race line and didn't panic under pressure,which is more than we can say for drivers like Mark Webber and Button.

    Button was taught a lesson on how to overtake today and lucky gambles were not going to win the race this week.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8602625.stm

    Roll on China.

  • Comment number 96.

    A quick look in the TV directory would have solved so many people's problems. It's not hard, guys.

  • Comment number 97.

    @95 - dane;

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. Bakcs up what I said earlier (88).

    Too many wet hens in this forum...

  • Comment number 98.

    whay all the fuss about having to change channels? ah diddums did one have to press 2 to change channel?? simple setting of sky+ for those who wanted to record it, problem solved...

    anyway onto the race, thought it most entertaining watching the ferraris and mclarens having to fight their way from the back after the appaling decision making of the their respective teams during saturdays qualifying. could have done with a spot of rain to liven things up a bit more but hey cannot have everything, schumacher must seriously be wondering whether he's made the right choice to come back given results so far, will this tarnish his 'legend'??

  • Comment number 99.

    Yes the BBC should of shown the whole of the race on BBC2, they are both main channles, so either 1 or 2 wouldn't of hurt (I just set it to record on both channels and onto the next programme if it over ran).

    BORING race? I quite clearly didn't watch the same race as a lot of you on here. No it wasn't a 'classic' race but by no means was it a Bahrain or some of the Schumi dominate years because some of them were Boring races. Each year you get a handful of boring races, this time last year people were saying it was boring due to Jenson winning all the time.
    Yes in todays race there was over taking, yes people has different strategys that played out in pit stops or during the race, due to tyre wear or leap frogging other cars. We had good cars coming from the back and lower cars punching above their weight. Over all a good race

    Yes something needs to be done to help improve the drivers ability to over take but that won't happen till next year now. So this is this years set up why not just enjoy it and support our drivers or support your favourite team!

    Amanda

  • Comment number 100.

    And lets stop this British drivers bashing that seems to be going on.
    Some people support Lewis and some support Button and some support both. I admit I am in one camp more that the other, but they are BOTH BRITISH drivers for the same TEAM.
    Why can't we want both of them to do well and stop sniping one is better than the other. Both of them have good points and bad points, both have stengths and weaknesses, funnily enough they are both HUMAN
    Enough said

 

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