Saturday, 16 March 2013

Rain, rain, go away!

The qualifying in Australia eventually got underway, after a long wait for the weather to abate and the track to dry. A feeling of deja vu was difficult to shake, as a brief run for the cars on Saturday morning (GMT) was interrupted yet again by moaning drivers and over-fearful race officials, who deemed the circuit too dangerous to drive on. I can't believe I'm discussing the wet conditions again, but I remember when Formula One cars raced in all conditions. I would suggest that either drivers, teams and officials are overreacting these days, or the cars are simply not capable of driving in the wet anymore. However, if the latter is the case, then wet tyres should be scrapped and the series should be a dry-conditions-only formula.

When the qualifying was finally restarted, at midnight (GMT), Q2 was run on a drying as opposed to a dry track. Everybody played it safe and sensible, running on the intermediate tyre, except that is for McLaren. Ludicrously, McLaren opted to experiment on slick tyres, in the closing few minutes of the session and predictably (at least to the vast majority of us) shot themselves in the foot. The team left Perez no time to put in a sensible lap, to get him in to the final top ten shoot out, leaving him in a starting position of fifteenth. They only just managed to get Button through to the final session, but clearly a few people at McLaren are suffering with jet lag.

The big story of the qualifying session this morning was the storming laps by the two Red Bull drivers. Their start to the season is in massive contrast to last season, but one thing seems ominously conclusive, Red Bull Racing are still top of the league and, if this start is an indication of what the rest of the season will deliver, then they may be on for another dominant championship bid. Let's all hope that the other teams can peg them back in the race...