For all the rules changes during the off-season involving qualifying and the radio ban, all it took was new rules over tyre selection and usage and a red flag to shake up the Australian Grand Prix. Remove the red flag and it’s likely that Sebastian Vettel would have won the season-opening race. However, a red flag for a massive crash involving Fernando Alonso and a questionable strategy call gave the win to Nico Rosberg.
As we are wont to do before every Grand Prix, we preview the upcoming race with a look at the chances of everyone on the grid in the Formula One Power Rankings. As it’s a new season, it’s a fresh set of rankings. Well, it’s a fresh set except at the top because I’m not expecting the front quarter of the grid to be very different.
After a three-month off-season and a month of testing, it’s all to do again for the stars of Formula One. As is tradition, Formula One returns for another year with the Australian Grand Prix. While a new season often starts with a lot of questions, the only real question that most are asking is Lewis or Nico?
The first step in answering that question came in the first race of the season. Unlike last season, it was Lewis who took first blood and won the first race of the 2015 World Championship. Considering all the drama that happened during the weekend, it was almost as if the battle at the front of the field was just a backdrop to everything happening off-track.
Just because it’s season preview time doesn’t mean that we can’t continue with some usual features on the blog. As we are wont to do before every Grand Prix weekend, it’s time for the Formula One Power Rankings. Ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, it’s a look at who is most likely to do well at the open round of the 2015 Formula One World Championship.
The margin of victory wasn’t two laps. Cars were still running at the finish. There were even enough cars to fill all the points paying positions. None of the doomsday scenarios for the first race of the turbo V6 and ERS era came to fruition.
However, as it was predicted by many people heading into this weekend, the Mercedes team was at the head of the field. It wasn’t Lewis Hamilton who won the race as expected but his teammate Nico Rosberg who took the checkered flag in the first race of 2014.
As is our Thursday tradition on Formula One weekends, it’s time to bring back the Formula One power rankings.
For those who are new to the blog or our F1 coverage, prior to each race weekend, I rank the twenty-two drivers on the grid based on who I expect to be fast at that weekend’s race. Sometimes, it’s based on momentum. Sometimes, it’s based on past results at that circuit. Always, though, it’s based on speed.
The first race of the season is always an interesting one. Teams are coming to grip with new tyres, figuring out how their cars work best and where they stand in the field this year. Some teams struggle when unloading to start the season, others have it well under control.
This year, it was the Lotus team that had it figured out when the lights went out for the first time this season. While Red Bull had dominated practice and qualifying, their pace didn’t seem to translate to the race. It was Kimi Raikkonen who was the only driver to really make a two-stop race work en route to opening the season with a win.