Martin Brundle on the results of the Australian Grand Prix

Martin Brundle on the results of the Australian Grand Prix

Former Formula 1 driver and Sky Sports F1 commentator Martin Brundle summarized the Australian Grand Prix results…

Carlos Sainz became the hero of the day for the second time and the best driver according to the fans in the two races in which he participated this season.

When I spoke to him on the grid just before the race, I was concerned that he seemed ill and was moving slower than normal after surgery for appendicitis. He was great in the race though.

He calls himself unemployed due to the lack of a contract for next season, but the race in Melbourne was a great showcase of his talents. If he had competed in Jeddah, he would probably be leading the World Championship right now.

Ferrari cars were fast, both in the individual laps and over the race distance. It seems they have granulated the tires better than Red Bull and others.

In qualifying, Max Verstappen set the lap in his own style, but before the race Red Bull had to adjust the front wing settings – one of the few changes allowed in closed park conditions – to protect the front tires from excessive sliding .

But none of that mattered as his rear brake caliper seized up, as if he had forgotten to release the handbrake, and the brakes immediately overheated, causing him to retire for the first time in 43 races.

The big question is whether Ferrari would have been able to stay ahead of Red Bull without this failure. We’ll never know the answer, but I felt it was Ferrari’s day.

Sainz overtook Verstappen, but Max’s RB20 had problems. Sergio Perez finished fifth in the second Red Bull, about half a minute behind when the virtual safety car was announced on the final lap, but his car’s aerodynamics suffered some damage.

Despite his incredible success, Verstappen was initially very angry when the car broke down. Then the adrenaline subsided and he skillfully controlled his mood. If one day he loses that fiery passion in moments like these, you know he’s preparing for retirement.

Charles Leclerc admitted that Sainz was faster in qualifying and the race. It must have been a shame for him that his injured teammate, without appendix but with some scars, had outpaced him.

The newfound composure helped Ferrari execute their racing strategy effectively, keeping Lando Norris at bay.

Norris told me after the race that he expected to finish second, he was so confident in the speed of his car. But Ferrari switched Leclerc to Hard on lap nine, and his good pace on fresh tires allowed him to pass Norris when he changed tires on lap 14, taking the critical position that gave Ferrari the winning double.

It is telling that Norris was disappointed that he only reached the third step of the podium. McLaren started the season with confidence. I hope they can bring their cars to the level of Ferrari and Red Bull, because both the drivers and the team are completely ready for the next step.

Unlike Mercedes-Benz. When I was on track on Friday, it seemed to me that Lewis Hamilton’s car was the most difficult to drive. In the fast chicanes that form the first and second corners, she lost stability. For the third season in a row, Mercedes has failed to tackle ground effect, causing the car to behave unpredictably.

Team boss Toto Wolff always has nice phrases in stock to steer the conversation in a different direction, to switch to the next race or season, but it must be very boring for him to see the lack of progress. And then Hamilton had problems with the power plant.

How Alonso tried to ‘fool’ Russell

Without his seatbelts, George Russell could have simply fallen out of his sideways car after a bizarre incident behind Fernando Alonso on the penultimate lap.

What started as a spin in the turbulent air behind Alonso’s unusually slow Aston Martin at the apex of Turn 6 continued into the gravel and wall, before the car ran over its own severed wheels and came to a rest in the middle on its side . of the track.

A car on its side blocked the gravel road. The leaders were on the final lap and the race director opted to use a virtual safety car mode where all drivers must slow down to a preset time on the dashboard.

In addition, the accident scene was marked with double yellow flags, indicating that the driver should slow down and be ready to stop. But it was around a blind corner, where staff and a medical vehicle were working, forcing the race to be stopped with red flags. Fortunately the cars passed slowly and the checkered flag was displayed at the end of the lap.

Alonso got ahead of Russell thanks to a quick pit stop in virtual safety car mode when Hamilton’s car stopped on track with a faulty drive unit. George closed the gap and prepared to make up some laps.

Alonso said on the radio that he had a problem with the accelerator pedal, which caused him to drive slower than normal in turn six. Russell attacked aggressively to use DRS on the next two straights, and you never enter a corner trying to slow down in case the driver in front of you suddenly slows down. In this case you are not a racer.

Feigning innocence, Alonso went to the stewards and explained to them that he would take Turn 6 differently for better exit speed, including slowing down, braking and even downshifting 100 meters earlier.

We’ve already seen Alonso do this at the Nürburgring against David Coulthard in 2003, and this time it was exactly the same pattern. Only this time he caused massive damage to a team that could very well be on his wish list for next season.

Fernando defends his position by citing other epic and pure battles he has fought over the decades. He states that changing the line or reducing entry speed for a better exit is part of the art of motorsport, and that it was in fact the nature of the gravel trap that caused Russell’s accident. Furthermore, the driver cannot be responsible for ensuring that each lap is identical while controlling many other variables.

Personally, I have no doubt that Alonso decided to trip Russell, who was about to overtake him, but he hardly expected such dire consequences for the Mercedes driver. He received a 20-second penalty, dropping him to eighth place.

Difficult period for Ricciardo

After Alonso’s penalty, Yuki Tsunoda moved up to seventh place and again performed well behind the wheel of the RB. His teammate Daniel Ricciardo lost his fastest lap in qualifying as he left the track, and was unable to return to contention in the race. Daniel is going through a difficult period; there are several rumors going around the paddock.

Haas did everything right and maximized their potential, with both drivers earning points in ninth and tenth. Good job.

Williams had an unforgettable weekend. Alex Albon crashed the car on Friday morning, it was not possible to restore it and strangely the team did not have a spare chassis. As a result, Sargent’s car was modified for Alex, he finished 11th and earned no points. Williams will also have no spare chassis at the next round in Japan.

The Alpine team had another gloomy weekend. They have lost so many experienced people that it is completely unclear how long it will take for the tide to turn.

Pierre Gasly managed to stay ahead of both Sauber cars in the Alpine, which again lost a lot of time in the pits due to problems with wheel nuts.

The Japanese Grand Prix is ​​just around the corner. Suzuka is a great fit for Red Bull, let’s see how close Ferrari and other teams can get to them this time.

The recent squabble between key Red Bull employees must have destabilized the team. Will it take some time for this to manifest, or have we already seen some of the consequences of this conflict in Australia? Or was the armistice declared quickly enough to keep the flywheel of victory turning?

Source: F1 News

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