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F1 answers critics in style

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Andrew Benson | 11:12 UK time, Sunday, 28 March 2010

So the obituaries were premature - as they were always going to be. Two weeks after a soporific opening race of the season prompted newspaper headlines proclaiming the death of Formula 1, the world's best drivers put on a show to remember at the Australian Grand Prix.

Helped by a dollop of changeable weather, but also by the mixed tyre strategies prompted by the much-criticised decision to ban refuelling, Melbourne provided the spectacle that had been expected of the most eagerly anticipated F1 season in more than 20 years.

Perhaps it was the contrast between the pre-season billing and the boredom of Bahrain that sparked the opprobrium that followed Ferrari's one-two in the desert.

Whatever, Sunday's events in Albert Park proved the folly of writing off one of the world's most unpredictable sports so early and the wisdom of those - such as the world championship leader Fernando Alonso - who said that the new season should be given more time before being condemned.

Bahrain was indeed a poor race - but then it often is. Melbourne's circuit, though, lived up to its reputation for providing thrills and spills. A start on a wet track, some big crashes, and clever strategy decisions by Jenson Button and others, provided the recipe for some thrilling action and suddenly the F1 season has come alive.

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Not all races this year will be as good as Melbourne, of course, and the sport's bosses do need to look at how hard it is to overtake. But there were hints in the Australian Grand Prix that banning refuelling may not be such a bad idea after all.

The last few laps of the race were exactly what some had thought the ban would throw up - drivers at the front on older tyres holding off faster cars on newer ones.

The hope was that would lead to some exciting climaxes to races, and that's exactly what happened in Melbourne as Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber dragged up to the back of the Ferraris, whose progress had been impeded by Robert Kubica's well driven Renault.

That is a recipe for incident - as Webber proved when he misjudged his braking point as Hamilton pulled out of a move on Alonso and cannoned into the back of the McLaren.

In any race where making tyres last a long time was potentially decisive, Button is always going to be the sort of driver who will benefit - his smooth driving style takes less out of the rubber than almost anyone else.

It was his decision to come in for tyres as early as lap six and, although he slipped off the track early in his first lap out of the pits, he set fastest times in the final two sectors of the same lap, and the others were forced to follow his lead.

Button's decision, described as "risky" by his admiring team boss Martin Whitmarsh afterwards, won him the race. He was eighth when he came in to change tyres but when the other leading contenders stopped two laps later, he vaulted up to second behind Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull.

The German was looking favourite to win, but for the second race in a row it slipped through his fingers. In Bahrain it was a broken spark plug; this time, a brake failure.

It is a moot point whether he would have beaten Button. Would Vettel have made a second stop for tyres, as did Hamilton and Webber, in which case he would have had to catch and pass Button? Or would he have stayed out? And if he had, would his tyres have lasted?

Either way, Red Bull really need to get on top of their reliability. Vettel is already 25 points behind Alonso. There may be 17 races to go this season, but that is the sort of margin that is not easily closed, especially to a man as capable and consistent as the Spaniard.

In the context of the championship, Ferrari will be hoping they do not come to rue the decision not to send a coded message to Felipe Massa to let Alonso pass him.

Massa struggled in Australia relative to his team-mate - Alonso was 0.7 seconds a lap faster than the Brazilian in qualifying and substantially quicker in the race. Alonso will almost certainly not maintain that advantage through the season but it is hard not to believe, as Martin Brundle pointed out, that the double world champion would have had a decent chance of taking second place from Kubica had he managed to pass his team-mate.

In many ways, Ferrari are to be applauded for not interfering and letting their drivers race - particularly after some of the farces that played out in the Michael Schumacher era - and it is certainly a little early in the season to be asking one driver to make way for another.

Nevertheless, they will be hoping Alonso does not need those three points come the end of the season.

His climb up from second last at the end of the first lap to finish where he did was one of many great performances in Melbourne - and it was yet another example of why he will take some beating in the world championship battle this year.

Button's stunning victory was another drive out of the very top drawer, while the entire race provided a timely reminder of F1's capacity to surprise and thrill.

Four world champions; Button v Hamilton at McLaren; Alonso in a Ferrari; Michael Schumacher's return (still not going very well); Kubica in a reviving Renault. There will be more great races to come - and some less so. But the basic ingredients remain there for a season to savour.


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  • Comment number 1.

    What a great race! It was just like the olden days with Mansell charging after a stop for tyres and Prost somehow going supremely fast on old rubber - winning after Senna had broken down.

    (And yes, I do think Vettel might be that good)

    The only difference was that Mansell could get past the slower cars in front - although it did bring to mind Murray saying "catching is one thing, passing is another!"

    The big difference to me is how aggressively the modern drivers are allowed to defend their position. Watch the old footage of Mansell slipstreaming someone - they didn't try and drive him off the track like the modern drivers do. In my view the biggest and quickest thing they can do to spice up racing is to penalise drivers who close the door *once someone is alongside*.

    Ironically, the worst culprits in the modern era were the big losers today, so perhaps there is some justice. Alonso at the start tried his usual trick on Button, Webber who is just as bad got his cummepence too which was nice to see. Last but not least, old Mickey the Shoe, who started it all off with his move on Hakkinen at Spa all those years ago, got stuck behind a Torro Rosso, perhaps thinking a bit too much about his two kids.

    If you want drivers to try and pass each other, you have to make it safe for them to do so!

    Andrew, perhaps you can ask the authorities how they see this aspect of the modern era? Does anyone else agree or is it just my failing memory? I'm 36, by the way...

  • Comment number 2.

    Typical good F1 race. Plenty of crashes and mistakes and no overtaking. And only possible in the rain. Unplanned entertainment.

  • Comment number 3.

    Shame the BBC commentators are so incredibly biased towards Button and anti-Hamilton. DC couldn't have made it more obvious.

  • Comment number 4.

    3. At 12:15pm on 28 Mar 2010, biglewisfan wrote:

    Shame the BBC commentators are so incredibly biased towards Button and anti-Hamilton. DC couldn't have made it more obvious.

    I love people people like you.

    Anyway, the critics have been answered. People can only overtake if someone crashes, or it rains. Good luck Turkey, Abu Dhabi etc...

  • Comment number 5.

    I agree Andrew, Bahrain, as usual, was just a blip of boring racing in the calendar.
    I also think it's interesting to note that although the rain did spice things up, there was heck of a lot of overtaking and such even when the track dried- maybe the cars designs aren't that bad?

    And of course, Jenson did a phenomenal job to win today. His bravery in swapping to slicks was something only a true great would do, and he thoroughly deserves his victory.

    (And I don't see how the BBC are biased to Jenson "biglewisfan", he only seems to get praise when he wins, whereas Lewis has it heaped on him for doing very little-especially from Legard)

  • Comment number 6.

    Brilliant race that was well worth getting up for. I thought Button had made a hugely embarrassing call to come in early for slick tyres when he ran off at turn 3, but fair play to him, a few more drives like that and maybe his critics (which to a certain extent have included myself)will be answered.

    I thought Lewis was sensational and just unlucky with various aspects of the race, mainly being close to a fired up Webber. I could see how he was unhappy at being pitted as it surely cost him a podium spot.

    Kubica and Alonso definitely deserve a mention too for an excellent performance, and nice to see the Hispania of Chandhok finishing.

    I always enjoy the races at Albert Park,and this year was no exception. Fingers crossed for some downpours in Malaysia!!!

  • Comment number 7.

    2. At 12:15pm on 28 Mar 2010, boils wrote:

    Typical good F1 race. Plenty of crashes and mistakes and no overtaking. And only possible in the rain. Unplanned entertainment.


    I may have been hallucinating due to my lack of sleep but I saw plenty of overtaking.

  • Comment number 8.

    BBC bias towards the British drivers. Get a grip its the British Broadcasting Company and this is sport of course I want them to be bias to Britian its what I pay my licence fee for.
    Sky not bias to Austrailia of course they are and why not.
    Nothing worse than kissy kissy commentary like oh is'nt everyone doing well.

  • Comment number 9.

    The BBC has to do something about DC - he is clearly not impartial and whenever Red Bull is mentioned with just a hint of negativity he charges in to blindly defend them.

    It was interesting and rather amusing last year but now it's just becoming tiresome, he simply will not allow any criticism of Red Bull to go undefended. Hope the BBC F1 team will do something to restore the impartiality of this particular "pundit". It is one thing to disagree but quite another to have vested interests and skewed views and to broadcast those on-air.

  • Comment number 10.

    I thought the commentary on today's race was excellent, haven't always said that about JL either so well done there.

    biglewisfan in #3, calling the BBC biased against Lewis when you have a username like that- bit hypocritcial? Lewis was out of order blaming the team for pitting him twice, and BBC pundits were right to agree with the teams call. The cars that had already been in were lapping much faster, and Hamilton was stuck behind Kubica. If they felt he was going to struggle against the cars on fresher tyres later on, the team had little option. LH is usually well up for racing hard, but to hear the disdain in his voice when he found out the Ferraris and Kubica weren't pittng again perhaps indicated that the weekend's events had got the better of him. He began to drive erratically behind Alonso in his frustration, jinking out from behind the Ferrari in every braking zone, thus compromising his exit, and being too far back to overtake at the next braking zone. Until then he had driven and raced superbly. 3rd place was well in reach if he had kept cool and cleared Alonso, he would have done Massa pretty comfortably I think.

    boils in #2, did you actually watch the race? There was loads of overtaking and dicing. OK caused by a greasy track, but please don't knock it when we actually get it! Today was just about up with Silverstone 2003/ Suzuka 2005 for me.

  • Comment number 11.

    That was better, so 1-1 in bad vs good races, lets see a fully dry race before saying F1 is action packed

  • Comment number 12.

    Wow, what a brilliant race. Button drove incredibly but I think it's fair to say, he picked up the win from the Redbull's current reliabilty troubles much like Alonso last race. I think the way that Lewis made his way up from 11th to, at one point, second was stunning, a true show of how quick he is and how effective at overtaking he can be. He got a big share of bad luck this weekend with qualifying so badly and thyen the stupid idea of pitting him when the Ferrari's were clearly only one stopping. If this carries on I think we will see Hamilton in Webber's car next year. (The irony.)

  • Comment number 13.

    Typical good F1 race. Plenty of crashes and mistakes and no overtaking. And only possible in the rain. Unplanned entertainment.

    I may have been hallucinating due to my lack of sleep but I saw plenty of overtaking.

    You mean the overtaking when some cars were on slicks and others on inters? or you mean Alonso from the back of the field on some Virgin's?

    Alonso couldn't pass Massa when he looked faster, Massa couldn't pass Kubica when he looked faster and Hamilton couldn't pass Alonso when he was clearly over 2 seconds a lap faster.

    Look at the V8 race 2 hours earlier, they were passing left right and center (If they were broadcasted there. I don't normally watch V8's but there is by far more action in those races then formula 1 sadly)

  • Comment number 14.

    "The BBC has to do something about DC - he is clearly not impartial and whenever Red Bull is mentioned with just a hint of negativity he charges in to blindly defend them.

    It was interesting and rather amusing last year but now it's just becoming tiresome, he simply will not allow any criticism of Red Bull to go undefended. Hope the BBC F1 team will do something to restore the impartiality of this particular "pundit". It is one thing to disagree but quite another to have vested interests and skewed views and to broadcast those on-air."


    I think its good that he's on the commentary team, he shows what he really thinks and give his honest opinion. Would you really want a programmed drone to just spit out a script?! I don't think anybody ever complains that BBC employs ex-pro footballers on their commentary team for the England matches?!

    Anyway, I am pleased for Button. Always gracious in victory or defeat... Unlike his team mate that can only ever complain about his team, the car, other drivers, the weather etc etc

  • Comment number 15.

    I wish they would make the team names simpler (and shorter). Take a handful of words and put them together in a few different permutations (and translations)- c'est voila. Rubbish.

  • Comment number 16.

    Fantastic race! A great way to answer the critics who love to be so negative all the time. Now it seems they are trying to find something else to complain about and attacking the commentators for being biased!? Get a grip I say, keep up the good work BBC, show our support for the British drivers and team members; I'd hate to see F1 coverage back in the hands of ITV.

    On a sperate note, can anyone tell me why only Lewis's car had the red flashing light on the back of his car after they had all changed tyres?

  • Comment number 17.

    Andrew - thank you for pointing out what every other post race analysis has failed to pick up on, Vettel's tyre strategy. Whether or not his tyres would have lasted to the end of the race, I believe Red Bull would have pitted him around the same time as Webber to get the jump on Button, particularly after Hamilton pitted as they would have assumed if one McLaren pitted it is likely the other would have to as well.

    Not only that, but Webber's lap times were dropping off before he pitted, and his tyres were 1 lap fresher than Vettel's would have been.

    I also have to agree with the people mentioning DC's Red Bull bias. While his contributions regarding every other team is worthwhile and interesting - his failure to accept any criticism of Red Bull or its drivers in the Forum today was unacceptable. In previous races it has been a bit of a running joke, however in this race it went too far.

  • Comment number 18.

    Andrew - maybe just put the obituaries on ice.

    The Australian GP is known for being an excellent race: before today 7 out of the previous 9 had safety cars. As a traditional season opener (excepting this year & 2006), there has been often the case of new drivers, new aero packages and thus excitement. Everything from Brundle flying through the air, through to Jenson being excellent in an incident packed race last year.

    Just like one bad race (Bahrain) does not a season make, one exciting one doesn't either. Yes, today was a great race, but with a trip back to the land of Tilke next week in Malaysia & China, let's not get too carried away to quickly.

    As Martin Whitmarsh said two weekends ago, let's wait for the season to settle down (4-5 races in) before we make profound judgement.

  • Comment number 19.

    13. At 1:10pm on 28 Mar 2010, Shawn wrote:

    You mean the overtaking when some cars were on slicks and others on inters? or you mean Alonso from the back of the field on some Virgin's?


    I didn't have the privilege of seeing the V8 race 2 hours previously, but whether the overtaking was caused by changeable conditions or not, It was still overtaking in F1 and was highly entertaining. If you didn't think so then maybe its time for you to watch a different sport, as the races won't get much better than this one.

  • Comment number 20.

    Perhaps I was watching another race but it was Hamilton not Button that drove an amazing race that some of you have been stating.
    Button (McLean) took a risk and it paid off.
    Hamilton drove out of his skin and showed why he is world class.
    If it was not for a shocking team decision that was so bad it boards on a conspiracy, he would have won.
    A great race but only because of the rain, it’s why for the last 3 years in F1 I have done the rain dance before every race.

  • Comment number 21.

    That was definitely worth getting up for. Much more like it (even if the BBC team nicked my idea about getting sprinkler systems installed at race tracks!)

    Jenson definitely deserved that. Fantastic call on the tyres. Would Lewis have managed to make his tyres last for 50 odd laps if the team hadn't called him in. I'm not convinced.

  • Comment number 22.

    Button = most overrated F1 driver in the world

  • Comment number 23.

    Jenson definitely deserved that. Fantastic call on the tyres. Would Lewis have managed to make his tyres last for 50 odd laps if the team hadn't called him in. I'm not convinced.

    The fact he was faster then the teams in the pack (Kubia,Masa,Alonso,Ros) and for a long time faster then Button i think he would have caught him and passed him like he did in the earlier part of the race(all of which was done with the same tyres in respects to the other teams).
    Not just because he was having an great race but overall Hamilton is a better driver then Button.

  • Comment number 24.

    The biggest thing that this race highlights for me is that the ridiculous "each driver must use each type of tyre during the race" rule is completely unnecessary. If a driver can last the entire race on one set of tyres, and another can't, why shouldn't he?

    If this race hadn't started in the wet, Button would have been forced to stop for a fresh set of tyres like everybody else.

    There were also several crashes in this race where one of the drivers involved was clearly at fault. These drivers must be punished, or overtaking just becomes far too risky.

  • Comment number 25.

    Nice to see that when Jenson shuts up all his detractors this early in the season, rather than eat their words, they whine some more.

    BBC commentators bias towards Jenson? You mean the same BBC folks who wrote off Jensons ultimate chances against Hamilton shortly before the Bahrain GP? More like they were simply stunned it took Jenson so little time to prove them wrong. He beat Lewis to bringing in Mclarens first (of hopefully many) win this season.

  • Comment number 26.

    A good race and worth waking up early for. Though I do think the defending of F1 after Bahrain & 'bigging up' after Melbourne there are still problems with over taking! & the boredom will return with a dry race, the example being Hamilton not being able to overtake Alonso late in the race, even though previous laps Hamilton was 2 seconds a lap faster. The problem is still there with Aero diffuser packages.....

    Now if they want a new rule where there mandatory rain at the start of each'll be a different story.

  • Comment number 27.


    Hamilton had a fantastic drive, no one can argue. I would have loved to have seen a McLaren 1-2.

    But how can you diss Button? Ok, he didn't race through the field, but he - not the team, decuided on changing tyres, taking the risk and then superbly looked after his tyres for 50 odd laps.

    There is no way Hamilton would have managed his tyres for that long, just listen to him once he was behind Alonso. In the dirty air he grained his tyres up from pushing too hard.

    And also, Button was setting his best lap times when the tyres were 40 odd laps old. It's easy to set fast times with fresh rubber, but doing it on old rubber has to be something special.

  • Comment number 28.

    I cannot believe anyone thinking the problems in F1 are solved, when patently it is exactly the same issue. Hamilton was 2 seconds a lap faster than Alonso, comes up behind him and it might as well have been the great wall of China in front of him, end of racing. Great race and great excitement but only brought about by the conditions.

    So unless it's wet, don't even bother watching this live.

  • Comment number 29.

    Exciting race, despite the best efforts of the Australian producer to deny us sight of most of the overtaking by his obsessive use of the on-board camera.

  • Comment number 30.

    I dont understand these bias views towards button, his call was amazing to change tyres not his driving. Vettel was driving away from him until a brake failure " DC could be red's bull thought due to lack of cooling".
    Then hamilton was fastest than button on almost every lap and for some unknown reason was called in to change tyres. In my opinion Hamilton still a MUCH quicker driver than Button

  • Comment number 31.

    Hamilton was sensational!

  • Comment number 32.

    Shame the BBC commentators are so incredibly biased towards Button and anti-Hamilton. DC couldn't have made it more obvious.

    great comment lewis had the drive of the day!! didnt even get a mention!

  • Comment number 33.

    This will be one of the classic races the BBC will look back on in future years.

    Is that 3 teams Button has won with noq? Despite only winning 'cos he drove for a great Brawn team?

    Awesome to see him notch up another win, he must have been wondering when his next win was going to come, given the less competitve car.

    Top job Jenson, showing the class you'd expect from the reigning World Champion.

  • Comment number 34.

    30. At 2:40pm on 28 Mar 2010, juldan01 wrote:

    Then hamilton was fastest than button on almost every lap and for some unknown reason was called in to change tyres. In my opinion Hamilton still a MUCH quicker driver than Button.

    I couldn't agree more, come end of the season you will see the class difference

  • Comment number 35.

    I really feel for Vettel (who's my emotional pick for the title, Alonso being my logical one), twice now he could have won races and twice taken from him by mechanical faults. But, F1 is a team sport and the mechanics and engineers are part of that, so its just how it goes.

    There's clearly still a problem with overtaking, the pace that Hamilton closed Alonso down at he should, you'd think, have been able to take him, in most racing cars I'm certain he would (touring cars etc) but not in F1. This needs to be addressed urgently or I fear many of the races will likely just be processions punctuated only by error and technical failures.

  • Comment number 36.

    Mclarens weekend for sure, i don't think they have the raw pace of the Ferrari's but F1 especially with no refueling is about alot more than just raw pace as this weekend showed. Brilliant race from Jenson, Hamilton a case of what might of been had he not pitted for the 2nd time, however he was catching and had luck favoured him might of got past alonso.

  • Comment number 37.

    The RBMan is dead right – Hamilton’s skill, bravura and newer tyres didn’t help him overtake a clearly struggling Alonso. This outcome, augmented by his rude comment about the strategy, may well kill off hopes that stopping halfway through the race for fresh tyres could help drivers win races from nowhere on the grid. Let’s hope I’m wrong, but sitting out 85% of the race on the same tyres looks the best strategy, unless you are driving Vettel's Red Bull! Sign up to the cause – let’s get rid of down-force, in all categories of racing! It has no road application at all!

  • Comment number 38.

    yes it was a great race and nice to see them overtaking. why are ppl complaining about the concentration on british drivers we are in britian and they should mainly be on them. its like in aussie. aussie tv will concentrate on there drivers. so get a life. i agree with hamilton there is no way mclaren should of brought hamilton in. yes he was behind kubica but hamilton would of managed to pass him at some point he was fast enough there was nothing realy wrong with his tyres before he was pitted. yes may be graining but once you get passed that stage they come back. they just thought may be he has got time to get the job done on kubica but did not play off. i have to say its brilliant to see 2britains in one of the best teams in the sport. and they are both world class. poor old ms he said he wont be taken any thing from young drivers haha wot a joke he is strugling to pass them and all the complaing he did on sat was a joke. he thinks he may be able to get his way. ime so glad his team are doin crap and persoanly he should not of come back. we all thought yes this will be good wit him back and challangen but nope not one bit. let look forward to next weeks race looks very good with mclarne ferrari and redbull bein very fast and kubica deserved the second spot. a few clear problems at ferrari with back end sliding out for massa he was not a happy bunny this weekend.

  • Comment number 39.

    Regardless of what has happened before and what will happen and what may or may not change, today was a fantastic race. I think more then anything, the race today highlights that the shorter tracks generally provide the better racing spectacle (Australia, Monza, San Marino, Austria, Canada etc). All the new tracks have long lap times and long straights which seems to allow the cars to just spread out more. Today you could see that the back markers were in and around the mix, having to slow down and get out of the way. It keeps things close together which inevitably makes for closer racing.

    As regards the comments on how overtaking is still not solved, I thought the race today demonstrated that we don't need overtaking per se but just the opportunity to overtake. There was plenty of defending and overtaking in my opinion. Alot of people comment on Hamilton not being able to pass Alonso as evidence of how nothing has changed. I think it's more than that. Martin Brundle said the dirty air prevented Hamilton from overtaking whilst Lewis himself said that his tyres had just gone off. Also, it's not like he was overtaking Glock or something, it was Alonso and we've seen how great he is at defending a position against a quicker car. If anything, the fact that Lewis struggled to get past made things better. Had he passed him within a lap it would been pretty boring. The fact that he was always having a look into a corner and his mirrors whilst trying to look for that perfect opportunity made it more exciting and when he saw that opportunity we got an exciting racing incident. On a side note, I really hope Red Bull solve their reliability issues because Vettel has lost out on an easy 50 out of 50 points!

  • Comment number 40.

    For me Hamilton's was the drive of the day. He was in third and second only looked a few laps away. Unfortunate that McLaren made the call they did. Maybe Hamilton will be taking ownership pitting decisions. Great race. Good win by Button after an inspired decision to siwtch tyres early.

    Exciting race helped by the unpredictable weather conditions. Hopefully this is a taste of things to come.

  • Comment number 41.

    Fantastic race there, really terrific. Lots of overtaking which was brilliant - just a shame that Hamilton found it so difficult in Alonso's slipstream at the end there. Minus the balls-up with Webber, and he would most probably have got past.

    The blasting of the new regulations following Bahrain was a complete knee-jerk reaction, following all the excitement pre-season. Bahrain, although not a bad track, has never delivered a really exciting race. Putting it first is always a bad idea. It's now just the slip-stream / tyre wrecking trouble that needs sorting out!

    Fantastic race and well done Jenson Button! Races like these is what F1 should always be about. We saw world champions fighting each other and at their best. Good times.

  • Comment number 42.

    Yes Button done well today and his strategy paid off but I agree with Lord that LH is in a different class at the end of the day look what he done in his rookie season and if you think back why he did'nt win the World Championship back then it says it all. He has improved and become a more patient driver I am not anti JB but I am just saying it as I see it JB has been around alot longer and I would of thought he knows his way around F1 more than his team partner, but LH is class sometimes boardering arrogance I think this is why people are not keen on LH I heard the same comments when Alonso was his team partner.

  • Comment number 43.

    "The biggest thing that this race highlights for me is that the ridiculous "each driver must use each type of tyre during the race" rule is completely unnecessary. If a driver can last the entire race on one set of tyres, and another can't, why shouldn't he?

    If this race hadn't started in the wet, Button would have been forced to stop for a fresh set of tyres like everybody else.

    There were also several crashes in this race where one of the drivers involved was clearly at fault. These drivers must be punished, or overtaking just becomes far too risky. "

    Exactly. For me the only way to make the spectacle greater AND fairer, is to get rid of all the supposed "make more exciting" rules, and then tweak the regulations (tyre performance etc...) to make it edgy if necessary... Its not indycar or CART, its F1

  • Comment number 44.

    By the way I think Hamilton may well have passed Alonso - a pity that Webber was a little overanxious to follow him through. It would have been interesting to see Massa under pressure for a couple of laps.

    I thought Whitmarsh pointedly refusing to congratulate Hamilton on his race was poor but maybe he's defending his "team" after Hamilton's understably irate comments in the heat of the race. I think its another thing that will help Hamilton become a more complete driver and I'm sure he will reflect on his strategy in the coming races.

  • Comment number 45.

    On another point although I am a Hamilton fan and think he is the superior driver I am glad Button has taken an early lead in the championship as this will spike up the battle. I don't think Hamilton will make it personal but I think it will make him much more determined to try things differently - I see a very interesting WDC race coming up.

  • Comment number 46.

    What would it cost to install sprinkler systems at every circuit. Then they could randomly switch them on throughout the race! Rain always makes the racing unpredictable, and that was the difference in Oz.

  • Comment number 47.

    Great for Jenson, really frustrating for Lewis. He was comfortably in third attacking second, and with his brilliant overtaking today he probably would have taken Kubica for second, but even then, third from eleventh would still have been really handy points.

    However, Lewis is looking in really good shape. Better qualifying from McLaren next week could lead to some serious points for both Lewis and Jenson. A positive day all round.

  • Comment number 48.

    Would rather watch Lewis Hamilton fight like a trooper and finish 6th than Jenson Button's worthy but dull win! I think the TV producers agreed, as Hamilton seamed to be in just about every shot of the race.

  • Comment number 49.

    Post 20, Button in a McClean ??, didn't see anything resembling a tube of toothpaste out there !, if you can't get your facts right maybe you should go watch tiddleywinks.
    Jenson won it fair and square, but the time will come when he will have to face Vettel in a reliable car, roll on Malaysia !!

  • Comment number 50.

    "48. At 3:15pm on 28 Mar 2010, jameshunt wrote:
    Would rather watch Lewis Hamilton fight like a trooper and finish 6th than Jenson Button's worthy but dull win! I think the TV producers agreed, as Hamilton seamed to be in just about every shot of the race.

    Very true! Maybe I'm alone but I also enjoyed seeing Schumacher making those last two overtaking moves. Maybe he is well past his best but I love to see aggressive and skilful driving as it makes for great entertainment. I think he will improve as the season progresses but maybe I'm just being a little too hopeful;)

  • Comment number 51.

    re.United Dreamer #44 -Lewis' comments after the race were selfish and a little bit big-headed. If Jenson can decide he wants to pit early and the team go along with it, surely Lewis is allowed to say no to his 2nd stop and keep going on those tyres behind Kubica.

    In hindsight of course McLaren could have waited to see if the Ferraris pitted a 2nd time. The fact they didn't would have given Hamilton a 2 car buffer between himself and Webber and Rosberg on the fresher tyres. Making the decision to pit again at the time was the right call by the team. If he'd pitted any later he would have fallen back behind Webber and Rosberg, and even though he was queued behind Alonso for a while, he was all but past him before Webber hit him and he would have had 2 laps to have a shot at Massa to regain third.

    He reminds me a bit of Rubens last year, claiming the team had sabotaged his race in Germany. Completeley wrong, but they both needed to get the frustration out of their systems.

  • Comment number 52.

    I think todays race was good and there was some good drives from the likes of kubica,button,hamilton and massa and some bad ones from the likes of webber,schui and alonso but ........I think we will see more of bahrain type racing this season then F1 classic racing with the added boredom of watching young Sebastian stomp away.If he isnt getting a advantage from this suspension mod then for sure we are set for a young schumi as this guy was phonomanal this weekend......... up until his latest mechanical failure he was romping away.I dont think Redbullwill repeat anymore failures for a good few races to come as they must be working flat out now revamping these 2 problems that have cost them dearly so far and once that is done Redbull and young Vettel will achive more wins then nonfinishs this could be more of a prosession then the fear of cars going around in a train like sequence.

  • Comment number 53.

    I think what we have learned so far is that the refuelling ban isn't the problem - it's the difficulty of overtaking generally that is the problem.

    The Tilke tracks don't strike me as being poorly designed for overtaking - wide, with fast straights and hairpins - so obviously their geographical location, typically in dry locations, that has given them their reputation. That, and a quirk of timing, in that drivers seem better able to defend their positions.

    Aerodynamic changes may be the best solution, but I don't know enough about how they can be implemented.

  • Comment number 54.

    totally agree with Ahhhhhhhhhhh, Sebastian Vettel will be World Champion, just a matter of time, it's down to Christian Horner and his team to give this remarkable young man the reliability he warrants.

  • Comment number 55.

    "re.United Dreamer #44 -Lewis' comments after the race were selfish and a little bit big-headed. If Jenson can decide he wants to pit early and the team go along with it, surely Lewis is allowed to say no to his 2nd stop and keep going on those tyres behind Kubica.

    #51 - I think that criticsim is over the top - it was in the heat of the race and after a long disappointing weekend. But you might notice I also mentioned that maybe he will think about taking ownership of these decisions in the future. As for him big headed or selfish - I don't think that is in any way relevant although it probably does reflect how much he trusts the team to make the correct decisions given his long history with the team. As I say he will probably reflect on Button making the call himself and look at taking the same approach in the future.

  • Comment number 56.

    I agree Lewis should have said "no" to the second pit stop - he was going to make second place, would have been a brill 1-2 for Mclaren.

    Can't wait for next weekend. !!!!

  • Comment number 57.

    #55 - by the way just realised I never mentioned it - yes I think the early stop was the wrong decision as he had some 20 laps to get past Kubica and I think he would have made a mistake at some point to let him through. Much better than having 3 cars to pass in five laps with handling problems in the dirty air.

  • Comment number 58.

    What an excellent race. Can always count on Melbourne to provide a great racing spectacle. Thought JB made an excellent call to change to the slicks when he did - despite the slide out of turn 3, the fact that everyone followed immediately afterwards showed that it was a gutsy, and ultimately brilliant move. Thought LH was also driving fantastically, even after his "controversial" 2nd stop, but was very disappointed to hear his whinging over the team radio about his tyres "going off" in Alonso's dirty air, and then his incredulity when he realised that the Ferrari's and Kubica's Renault weren't pitting. Thought his dissing of his team's strategy was very childish and ultimately not showing a very good team ethic. Maybe he's just not reacting very well to not being number 1 at Maclaren, similar to how he reacted to having Alonso on the same team? However, I do think he would have overtaken Alonso eventually, it was just a shame that an over-eager Webber took him out before he had the opportunity. But nice to see Webber admitting his mistake and apologising... Maybe behaviour that some others could learn from?!?

    Lets hope for more of the same in the rest of the season!

  • Comment number 59.

    It's making me laugh how many people are saying Lewis had the drive of the day and that Jenson is no good. From where I was sitting, Jenson drove a calm, intelligent race making the right decision precisely when it mattererd, using his intelligence and driving superbly. On the other hand, Lewis tangled with Webber twice and allowed the team to dictate his pit stop. The driver surely has the final call on any pit stop decision if they feel it is the wrong one?? To me, it was the usual ragged race from Lewis, exciting to watch and agressive but hardly the drive of the day! Lewis is a fantastic driver but so is Button. Both of them are completely different behind the wheel and I think people need to accept that and respect each driver for what they give.
    The bottom line is, Jenson has won in his second race for Mclaren which is a fantastic achievement for a British driver and the public should be proud to have 2 great drivers in the team.

  • Comment number 60.

    Hamilton did have a good drive at points today, and if you watched the F1 Forum after the race you'll have seen that it was well noted by the BBC team and the McLaren guys. But at the end of the day what matters is where the drivers finish when the chequered flag falls.

    JB had done a good job in qualifying, putting himself on the second row of the grid, while Hamilton didn't even make it through to Q3, seemingly without a good technical reason for his lack of pace.

    Hamilton made a good start, and thanks to a slightly short-sighted bit of cornering from Alonso, Button ended up laying next to Hamilton, before being overtaken. From that point though, Button actually came back to win the race while Hamilton's race slowly fell to pieces. Yes, at times he may have had great pace, but ask yourself - if you have two cars, one in fifth and the other in sixth, and the car in sixth place goes on to win, which car had the better pace?

    It's a shame that when we get a brilliant race with lots of action, and lots of outstanding drives, you seem to get this reaction from biased fans who, rather than simply enjoying the whole spectrum of cars, drivers, and action on the track, seem obsessed with finding some excuse as to why a good driver's good driver shouldn't count.

  • Comment number 61.

    Re. #53 ShinyDavidHowell

    I think the Tilke track are just too forgiving. The older style tracks like Melbourne, Spa, Monaco and Montreal have properly challenging corners which force errors, allowing the car behind to close up. Ok the Tilke tracks have slow corners and long straights, but all the corners leading onto the straights are 'arrive and drive.' It's too easy to turn in and plant the throttle for the straight. There's no bumps or anyhting to unsettle the car or anything. You want corners where a little bit of finesse on the throttle is required, which reward a driver who dares to give it a bit extra through it to get a run on the car in front. That's why overtaking into Melbourne's turn 13 is possible. Even though turn 12 is fast, it's somewhere the driver can really make a difference, even in the dirty air.

  • Comment number 62.

    Hamilton is a great driver, but he is also still a young, spoilt and quite immature man. Sure, had the team not called in him he would have been second. Maybe. Or third, because he couldn't get past Kubica. Or nowhere, because he crashed trying. Truth is, it proved to be the wrong call, but it wasn't a daft one. Had other peoples' tyres gone off quicker, Lewis may have won as a result. The team did a sensible thing, and backed it both ways - it would always disadvantage one of their drivers, this time it was Lewis.

    On other days, good team calls will help him win races and he will enjoy the glory. This time it turned 3rd into 5th - sure it MIGHT have been 2nd, but that it was 6th and not 5th wasn't the team's fault either. Lewis needs to grow up, and learn to keep his criticisms off-screen. Did you see Vettel moaning at the team - no. He kept his helmet down, his thoughts to himself, till he was calm enough just to say 'my brake failed'. In public anyway.

    Truth is, Lewis was cross because Jenson made him look a mug. It's already becoming clear why up to now his dad did most of the talking for him..... I admire his skill, I think he's a decent lad, but I do hope he matures soon.

  • Comment number 63.

  • Comment number 64.

  • Comment number 65.

    Andrew -

    Alonso would have not done any better against Kubica then Massa or Hamilton did. At that stage of the race with a dry track, dirty air and Alonso's tyres just as worn as Kubica's, asking Massa to move over to Alonso only to sit behind him would have stirred up a huge hornet's nrest in the Ferrari garage if Massa was to do so only to find himself following Alonso home closely.

    Massa may well need those 3 pts at the end the season too!

  • Comment number 66.

    I'm not sure this race demonstrates that there is still life and entertainment in F1. Unless the authorities are going to do a rain dance before every meet. We have seen over the last few years that rain can make the races exciting, eg. Brazil when Hamilton won his championship. However in the absence of rain we see no drama, no overtaking and no spectacle. Lets pray for a rainy season!

  • Comment number 67.

    This was a superb race. Jenson Button reminds me of Jackie Stewart, so sweet and smooth. Also Mark Webber is such a nice guy always the first to apologise for his faults which embarrass other drivers. Lewis Hamilton was his usual fearless self, good on him. Please keep F1 like this, we love it

  • Comment number 68.

    Re. United Dreamer #55

    "by the way just realised I never mentioned it - yes I think the early stop was the wrong decision as he had some 20 laps to get past Kubica and I think he would have made a mistake at some point to let him through. Much better than having 3 cars to pass in five laps with handling problems in the dirty air."

    Equally Hamilton could have been a sitting duck in the last 5-10 laps if he hadn't pitted and the 2 Ferraris had. They chose the strategy where by they wouldn't have an inferior car in those final laps, and had faith in LH's driving ability to make it back up to third, which he could easily have done had he passed Alonso hassle free. He may well have passed Kubica if he'd stayed out, but I think he took a lot out of his tyres dicing with Webber/Massa/Alonso/Rosberg earlier on, and Kubica could have caught him and re-passed. Really it's 6 of one and half dozen of the other. Both strategies would have brought similar track position by the end, it's just unfortunate the 1 they chose left Lewis in the path of Webber at turn 13...

  • Comment number 69.

    "One of the world's most unpredictable sports". That's a joke, right? Will Virgin be winning any races this year? The fact that you are falling over yourself about this race only goes to show what a yawnfest most of the others are. There's more unpredictability and excitement on the A6.

  • Comment number 70.

    Absolutely spot on Andrew.
    It was always too soon to write off the rule changes so quickly after Bahrain, although Melbourne has proved yet again why it should be the F1 curtain raiser (another possibility is Montreal).
    Special praise should be mentioned of Alonso's drive, although Kubica was for me the star man for getting his Renault up to second..either the car isn't so bad, or Kubica is a genius behind the wheel of an ordinary car.
    Hamilton has been dogged by bad decisions from his team, yet he's been dogged by all sorts of badness in Melbourne two years running now..
    Vettel in a Red Bull is already reminding me of Raikkonen in the 2005 was the fastest car on the grid, yet was always a little brittle and inconsistent...It's consistency (THE golden rule) that will decide the WDC and you won't need reminding who won it back in 2005 with that philosophy...

  • Comment number 71.

    Interesting the difference between the first two races. Tyre choice and risk selection greatly improved racing in Austrailia, although it was all a bit processional at the end with no one risking their position to overtake.

    I do not agree that Hamilton would have finished second on a one-stop strategy. His driving style is course compared to his winning team-mate, who managed to nurse one less set of tyres to victory. Hamilton himself said over the radio that his last set of tyres were off by the time he caught Alonso and the leading pack.

    If Hamilton was to follow Button for a few races, he might pick up some tips. Or is he just irritated that he has been ursurped within Maclaren?

  • Comment number 72.

    Great drive by both Mclaren drivers, Buttons tactics spot on , but hamiltons driving was sensational and so much fun to watch, lost count how many overtakes he made. Big question all hamilton fans must be asking though is would his tyres have lasted if he didn't come in? Its the question on everyones lips before the season started how button could manage his tyres (a big factor in how he won today), has Hamilton got that skill in his locker?

    Plus I think it's all very easy for everyone at the end of the race to slate the teams decision to bring him in... but i will admit at the time they brought him in that i thought it was right decision. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    Furthermore I dont like the way Hamilton has publicly gone against his teams tactics, all thats going to do is cause team tension!

    Final note.. Webber's overtaking?? Thats twice in one race he made big mistakes against hamilton!

  • Comment number 73.

    Having the driver who finishes first getting most of the points just can't be right. In all honesty, just because someone finishes first, does it really mean that they were the fastest around the circuit over the 58 laps? Really? Really? Hmmm? Really?

    The rules should be changed to something like ice skating where you win points for style. No-one is interested in car preservation, strategic calls, and tyre degredation, especially when it is not our beloved Hamilton who wins. There has to be some way to get this fixed, where people can look at us and say "Yes, you were right - coming 6th was best", and "coming 1st wasn't that good after all". Indeed, maybe it should be given the "pop-idol" format where we the voters could decide? At least that way, the under 12's have a format they understand.

    It also means that they would not have to eat that awful humble pie that they serve at the school canteen.

    Openly washing your dirty laundry in public over the radio is a real class response of a driver who understands the under 12 fan base, oh so well. The synergy is obvious.

  • Comment number 74.

    I think this race really did show Button's class. The in car footage was the most telling. I think the last lap was the first time I saw him apply opposite lock in the whole race. His smoothness on the controls lets him manage the tyres exceptionally well, which is a crucial skill in the new F1.

    Most of his problems with qualifying (and indeed the start) is that he is so smooth with the car he has trouble getting heat into the tyres on a short run (such as qualifying or a warmup) which compromises him a little. But that smoothness does hide a great speed.

  • Comment number 75.

    22. At 2:06pm on 28 Mar 2010, matthew wrote:

    Button = most overrated F1 driver in the world


    I wish you were obliged to give your surname and where you lived, because obviously you wouldn't dream of posting such banal toss if you thought you had a chance of being identified. Go back to football, child.

  • Comment number 76.

    As a Melbournian its great to hear what everyone's said about today's Grand Prix, especially considering that the convicts(those pricks from Sydney)are plotting to steal our great event. Anyway as we all know Melbourne used to be the first race of the season, and after Bahrain and all that rubbish it made me think, why do they spend so much time changing the rules and the fixtures when they could just the change the circuits? Melbourne is a street track that's notorious for incidents, why cant they all be like that?

  • Comment number 77.

    'Melbourne is a street track that's notorious for incidents, why cant they all be like that?'

    Bring Flav back and they can ;-)

  • Comment number 78.

    Why oh why does the BBC still have Jake Humphreys in the commentry team.He is a square pegg in a round hole.Both Eddie and David made very slow starts in Commentry but have risen to the occasion.With 12 million unemployed why can't we find someone more suitable from the disabled or unemployed? Get with the fans BBC!!

  • Comment number 79.

    Let's not pretend it was the rules which led to such a dramatic race.

    The fact that tyre stoppages added such drama is actually worrying for most of the remaining season. It led to changes in race order and strategic decisions being needed.

    I predict in the next couple of season certain rules will be (re)dumped because the combination of:

    1. No refuelling
    2. Fear of pitting and being held in your pit spot
    3. 60 km/h limit in the pit lane

    Will mean that only driver error and mechanical failure will lead to real racing on all but a hanfdul of tracks this season.

    Did Jenson Button really deserve such a huge margin of a lead given his drive? That is a sign of the points above. We had race challenging drivers help in the pits for longer than it took to change tyres.

    Rain always leads to drama - the drama was all Hamilton and Webber - look what happened when evenly matched drivers got bumper to bumper - Hamilton and Webber threw everything at it and the others raced until they caught up and then got stuck in a queue.

    And stop knocking Lewis - he actually races and has imagination - like Schumacher used to. It is the attitude I enjoy in racing. If Jenson had actually had to mix it with Lewis - I suspect it would have been Lewis across the line first. I like Jenson very much - he is a brilliant driver - I just believe Lewis is a better racer.

  • Comment number 80.

    @ smilingSpongeMuffin

    I refer you to Jenson was moaning on the radio last year 'How can this car be so bad'...drivers get frustrated and sometimes say things on the radio. Some of which FOM will pick up and broadcast...just look for Montoya and Raikonnen at Spa on Youtube.

    As for this race answering F1's it just papered over the cracks. Is Andrew expecting a thrill a minute overtaking fest in Barcelona/Hungary/Valencia etc baring a wet European summer?

  • Comment number 81.

    I fail to see why the re-fueling ban is at fault for any "boredom" last week.

    To be honest does anyone every get really excited when they see one driver jump another in the pit stops? I've seen drivers jump 4-5 places in the pits in a race, and while this counts as "overtaking" in some peoples view, not in mine.

    The fact that people think they need pit-stops to over take shows what the problem is with F1, it is easier to overtake in the pit-lane than on the track!

    However, those who use their heads and take risks are rewarded by the new system, Buttons today being a great example. He took a gamble, it paid off, he ASKED to come in. Hamilton dodged the decision then blamed the team. Showing once again IMO that he is too high strung and over-rated.

  • Comment number 82.

    See no refuelling does work see

  • Comment number 83.

    Fantastic, sensational; just a few words to describe Lewis Hamilton showing all how to drive an F1 car. Apart from the race result and all the other team shenanigans; ABSOLUTELY BLASIN' RACE & SKILLS from the man Hamilton.
    At last man's & all can see "PROPER RACING". Man I'm well happy. Bring on Bahrain.
    Peeps note I don't pander to the hysterical hype. I keep it real and the realness was "IT WAS A FANTASTIC RACE....PERIOD...END OF STORY"
    Well done Jenson. Proper happy for you bro.

  • Comment number 84.

    Having got myself a new HD TV - does anyone know why the BBC does not show F1 races on the BBC HD Channel? lots of other sporting events are shown in HD, why not F1 please?

  • Comment number 85.

    78. At 4:13pm on 28 Mar 2010, Rob jones wrote:

    Why oh why does the BBC still have Jake Humphreys in the commentry team.He is a square pegg in a round hole.Both Eddie and David made very slow starts in Commentry but have risen to the occasion.With 12 million unemployed why can't we find someone more suitable from the disabled or unemployed? Get with the fans BBC!!


    Most of the comments on this site would suggest most of the fans have been quite impressed by Jake's presenting, not commentry, skills. His blogs are also my fiver in the post Jake?

  • Comment number 86.

    Good race today but don't be fooled into thinking F1 has come alive after Bahrain. Most, (if not all) of the overtaking was down to damp changeable conditions. When the track dried up the overtaking dried up with it. Ham & Web 1.5 - 2 seconds faster than Alonso, Massa & Kubica. Dirty air zone. End of charge.

  • Comment number 87.

    Dear Mr. Benson,

    I watch the video on F1 and it is fantastic. I am a F1 journalist and an English professor in Mar del Plata (Argentina). In this moment, I am a contributor in three radio programs and from time to time I lecture on the history of F1. I'd like to know if there were any chance I could get in touch with you on Facebook? You can find me there.

    Waiting a favorable answer,


    Profesor Edgardo S Berg

  • Comment number 88.

    @ minichamped_com

    This has been answered dozens of times.

    FOM who do the host broadcast for all but a couple of the races DO NOT provide an HD feed to the broadcasters (although one might exist).

    The only broadcaster to show F1 in HD (not upscaled) is Fuji in Japan who still do the host broadcast for the Japanese GP so they can provide an HD feed for domestic consumption.

  • Comment number 89.

    Many are saying its 1-1 between Button and Hamilton. I disagree.

    Button is beating Hamilton in races won 1-0.

    Winning is what these people race for. Does anyone really think Lewis was content by his performace 2 weeks ago? I don't. Neither was Button. Button manned up, went to Aus and did better. Hamilton got distracted and blamed everyone to his own stupidity.

    In my view Button is beating Hamilton in sportsmanship 1-0 too.

    Look at the table, Button is 8 Points in front of Hamilton.

    Hamilton is throwing his toys out of the pram early, just like he did when Alonso was his teammate.

    As a Brit I was disgusted with his actions then, and the blatent team bias against Alonso.

    I was again disgusted with Hamiltons actions last year with the stewards

    And again yesterday, blaming the team when Button took the initiative and asked to come in early. Hamilton stayed waiting to be spoonfed the stratagey, he didn't moan when it looked like he was working till he got behind Alonso. He only moand because he then showed how bad he is at managing his tyres, had he been 1 stopped like Button he'd have never made it home.

    Hamilton has no idea about tactics, all he can do is race flat out, somthing he does pretty well. But when it comes to racing smart Alonso, Button, Vettel and Schumi are all his superior.

    I can see him coming to blows with Button and his team soon if he doesn't start beating Button.

    He is a bad looser and a bad sportsman. F1 would be better off without him.

  • Comment number 90.

    51. At 3:23pm on 28 Mar 2010, CNW0429 wrote:

    "re.United Dreamer #44 -Lewis' comments after the race were selfish and a little bit big-headed. If Jenson can decide he wants to pit early and the team go along with it, surely Lewis is allowed to say no to his 2nd stop and keep going on those tyres behind Kubica".

    I think Hamilton has every right to be angry, it was a shocking decision to bring him in,
    Hamilton post race said that his tyres were fine, he was the fastest guy on the tract. When you build up for a race and work so hard, like he does, and raced so well and then to get let down so badly I’m afraid someone has to say something.

    This is not being selfish or big headed, its saying what everyone else is thinking

  • Comment number 91.

    Alot more interesting than the initial race, but in reality instead of honking about the decision to pit Hamilton may perhaps want to consider why a guy (albeit more experienced) is allowed to decide his own race stratergies in his second race and the team (H) has been a member of for several years is doing the spoon feeding/decision making.

    Both Hamilton and webber put in some stunning laps but let themselves both down at times by behaving like muppets. More brains, less balls and hot air and their results and our entertainment will be even better, assuming future races aren't reventing totally back to funeral wakes.

    I still don't see why the FIA didn't get its act together and reward fastest lap with a point or two as an additional incentive to pedal faster, as Hamilton, Alonso and Webber wouldn't turn that down I'm sure, even with for them having a dissapointing race.

  • Comment number 92.

    A shame the Hamilton knockers are making this personal after such a brilliant race by both drivers. As I say it augers well for a great WDC. Everything F1 needed after the first race and a rocky closed season.

  • Comment number 93.

    Much more exciting race.How I wish for a modern Murray Walker.The droning on of Jake and Coultard are tedious.The communications between the TV cameras and commentary are very slow.I desperately wanted to know where Lewis was,it took 2 laps before we were told! Do the commentators own or are they able to use a stopwatch? The seconds between drivers count to for us!Beef up the commentary the F1 followers expect much more expertise than we get. F1 is fabulous well done Jenson and Hamilton

  • Comment number 94.

    Would also be nicer to knock 30 mins off the start of quali/race as it does drag the entertainment out, especially with daft irrelevant presenting, rather than keeping the editing relevant and tight.

  • Comment number 95.

    if hamilton couldn't get past the ferrari's when he had changed to new tyres , where does the idea come from that he would been able to overtake kubica if he had stayed on old tyres ? nobody noticed kubica is nobody' fool ?

    as a certain tennis player used to say , you cannot be serious

    yes , he could have been 3rd at best , instead of the 5th he should have been [ gee , thanks mark ]

  • Comment number 96.

    Which race were you watching "Boils"? There was plenty of overtaking.

  • Comment number 97.

    I have been very interested in the varied comments especially last year when JB seemed to be slated for winning in a very competitive car (at least for most of the season anyway)and I am even more amazed at the crtics who still continue to slate him in defence of LH! As a an F1 fan I can't understand the relentless assumption that LH is the best driver in the modern age of F1, even though I respect that he is one of the more exciting. The facts are clear, he is an astonishing talent but one that is still developing and hopefully for the UK he will get better and better. However, like every great driver he has flaws in both his charachter and his driving style but this makes him the entertainer he is. His ability to force/bully ovetaking moves (especially in the wet) is unbelieveable, but one that relies a lot of the time on the other driver giving him space - he is sometimes to optimistic and puts himself in danger that relies on the other driver taking action. Today was a prime example - although Webber was at fault and obvioulsy had the red mist - LH was never going to pass FA there and by going off line and losing momentum it put him staright into the path of MW with signifcantly more momentum and the racing line! Good overtaking is clean overtaking and I believe LH has been very fortunate over his short career to date to have been given so much space on some audacious moves -although he struggled to bully Alonso!

    The facts are that his poor qualifying put him in the middle of the pack and out of position.
    His start was excellent and he benefited for the JB/FA/MS incident which probably promoted him 3 or 4 places higher than he should have been.
    His move on JB was strong and fair.
    JB made a tyre call that I believe was just as much out of frustration as anything else.
    JB drove a race that had Prost/Senna/schumacher or dare I say Hamilton had driven, everyone would be saying it was brilliant.
    Could JB have passed Vettle, probably not!
    Could Vettle have lasted all the way on that set of tyres (Remember Monaco) probably not!
    Would LH have passed Kubica probably yes, although it wouldn't have suprised me if they ended in the gravel trap either!
    If LH had passed Kubica safley, would he have cruised upto JB - YES!
    Would he have passed JB (subject to team orders?) - Maybe.
    Would he have had to pit again for fresh rubber to keep his MAYBE LEAD - Lets face it YES!

    The facts are simple F1 is about Maybe/Could Be/Should have been and JB made the most of it! He beat everyone inculding his TEAM MATE fair and square and people should recognise his skill in winning races such as these. We all remember Hamilton's wins in his Mclaren designed for him with a team structured around him. All but 2 of his race wins in his career have been in a car which was the class of the field (and the other 2 last year) were brilliant drives in a not so good a car. I think we should all bare in mind that he has not been driving a Minardi (Alonso) or a Benetton (Button) Sauber (Kimi/Massa)for several years before a race winning car is provided! Good F1 cars advance Careers!

    By the way I think that LH is 2nd only to Alonso before everyone states that I am slating him - Button I'm not so sure but on his day he is top class - well done JB!

  • Comment number 98.

    Jenson's early pit gamble was inspired. It was great to hear Martin and DC eating a slice of humble pie when his decision boosted him to second.

    Gotta feel for Vettel, though; he was sailing away with it, and I honestly doubt Button would've caught him. Button thoroughly deserved his place on the podium, but the naysayers are just sour grapes - Lady Luck always has a part to play in sports like this, and you can't blame Jenson for capitalising on Red Bull's unreliability. My real gripe at the moment is Lewis blaming his team for messing his strategy. Note that Jenson's mechanics were *still seated* - they were not really expecting him in, meaning that it was his own choice. If Jenson can preserve his tyres from lap six to the chequered flag, how has Lewis even got a leg to stand on by blaming anyone but himself for his inability to make the rostrum? If he didn't want to come in, he could've just stayed out and proved them wrong, just as Jenson proved everybody wrong.

    Much better race than Bahrain. Well enjoyed it. A nice birthday present for me. :-) Since the discussion has focused heavily on overtaking (or lack thereof), I'll add my £0.02: Compulsory KERS would get the drivers overtaking, in my opinion. People are saying the no-refuelling rules have taken passing opportunities away - nonsense! That rule used to be applied pre-1993, and nobody complained about a lack of overtaking then! If anything, having pit strategies made the problem *worse*! The lack of pitting for fuel *forces* drivers to do more of the work out on the track. What are you going to do, force the top teams to not be as good (or only have the inexperienced rookies instead of the seasoned and known racewinners), or the top drivers to always start ten places back on the grid? Best bet - make everyone have KERS to make every lap more tactical. That, or you start restricting so much that you homogenise every car.

  • Comment number 99.

    Just to clarify, though - all credit to Hamilton (although I'm really not a fan), he did drive a good race, and put everything into clambering back up the field. Complaining about his team won't help him in the slightest, though. He needs to man up and just get on with it - his image is not exactly unblemished, and such comments only lose him respect.

  • Comment number 100.

    I seem to disagree with most posters, this race just confirms how pointless Formula 1 is.
    Hamilton was over 2 seconds a lap faster that Alonso and Massa but as soon as he reached the back of Alonso that was it race over.

    I am sorry I wasted my time.


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