Well, the 2018 season is underway and it definitely was not a classic. Ferrari, with Vettel, stole an almost certain win from Lewis Hamilton with a race strategy that got lucky. As is often the case, carrying out the same strategy as everyone around you tends to result in a stalemate so they ran longer in the first stint, and thanks to the Haas pitstop meltdown, were then able to pit during a safety car period and save a bunch of time.
They got lucky and they know it (unless the Haas conspiracy theories are actually true, in which case we’ll find out in the future when they fire one of their drivers!). Hamilton appeared to have the race under control and was never troubled but it is unclear how hard he was pushing as there was no overtaking threat from behind. Even with an additional DRS zone it made no difference, these current cars just cannot overtake at Albert Park.
I have never been a fan of the Dull Racing System as very rarely does it make the racing better – either it does nothing such as here in Australia, or it makes the overtakes ridiculously easy and impossible to defend against. Both of which do not make for good racing.
DRS is just a sticking plaster on the main problem that cars cannot follow close enough through the corners to effect a pass on the subsequent straight. Let’s hope they redress this balance with the next set of regulations but I will not hold my breath – they tend to allow the engineers too much sway with the regulations which rarely fixes the racing issues.
On a different subject, McLaren looked a bit average and were ultimately flattered by fifth place…