Australian Grand Prix – rate the race

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Plenty to talk about after an historic start to the Australian Grand Prix. Rate the race out of ten and leave your comments below:

Australian Grand Prix - rate the race

  • 1 - Terrible (2%)
  • 2 - Rubbish (1%)
  • 3 - Boring (1%)
  • 4 - Often tedious (1%)
  • 5 - A bit dull (1%)
  • 6 - Not bad (5%)
  • 7 - Good (17%)
  • 8 - Great (30%)
  • 9 - Fantastic (30%)
  • 10 - Perfect (11%)

Total Voters: 2,136

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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97 comments on “Australian Grand Prix – rate the race”

  1. The only way it could have been better would have been if it hadn’t finished under the safety car!

    1. couldnt agree more! That was the only thing that stopped it from being ‘perfect’!

    2. it didn’t the SC pitted!

  2. Fantastic. A great season opener, a great result, a fair amount of close racing, some surprises and no ad breaks!

    Bring on KL!

  3. If the appeal goes through, Hamilton wins the Australian Grand Prix. That would be very strange (I’ll be angry if it happens), but I do think that behind Button he was the driver of the day.

    1. Serious? I didnt think he did owt special to be honest :S He benefitted from a lot of misfortunes of others to finish in that fourth, rather than a super impressive storming drive – although to give him his credit – if Trulli’s off was a relatively big one then he does deserve to take that third from Trulli

    2. Are you kidding me, Clare? Hamilton easily overtook more drivers on the circuit than anyone. Even after three drivers went out before the first pit stops, Hamilton overtook 6 drivers on track. He proceeded to overtake two more cars on the track, run tons of fast laps in keeping up with Rosberg (who was in a superior car) after the first SC, put enough distant on cars behind him to keep ahead of them through the pit cycles, put together two great laps to overtake Buemi for a points position during pit stops, and kept pace and ran really quick laps on the super softs at the end even as they were going away. And all along the way, he was cool and focused.

      Hamilton had easily the best driving performance of the Australian Grand Prix. Anyone who was following the lap times and saw the overtakes he was making would easily have realized this.

    3. i can hear paige inflating his hamilton life size doll now… there was plenty of overtaking, the toyotas did an impressive job, as did most of the other drivers. it’s no huge feat to go from the back to mid field – then be gifted a handful of places in the top 10 along the way when you car is faster than the midfield.

      rookie bumei finished top 10.

    4. He did start 18th though – had people like the Force India ahead of him to pass – and they were easily slower than the Mclaren, plus the Toro Rossos which arent really better than the Mclaren either and arent being driven by a champion. Plus he had KERS off the line which would have helped push him up to that tenth or so he had on the first lap, as well as jumping the several cars which were invlolved in the first lap stuff, but didnt necessarily retire – Heidfeld, Webber, Sutil and others who lost time avoiding it. And plenty of the other guys, including those without the KERS boost to help them, were pulling of multiple overtakes – its expected in the midfield

      I appreciate it was a good drive – but he didnt drive better than Button, or, aside from the incident at the end, Kubica or Vettel. I think he was on a level with Rosberg – who was particularly impressive in the first bit before the safety car, and the Toyotas, who also had to come from the back.

      Plus, with three laps left to go, he was only sixth – which was really quite a good result for him, but not the great third place that it will show him as having now.

      Just my opinion on it anyways – probably why i am not a professional journalist!

  4. A really great and exciting race. So glad I got up early to watch it!
    Good to see some closer racing, the season promises plenty.

  5. The KUB-VET incident was the worst part of the race. They should have played it safe.

    1. Bernie says F1 drivers don’t try to pass each other…

    2. Clive – LOL! very true.

    3. Yeah exactly. A sign that to the drivers, a handful of points is very important. I wonder, had the wins system been in place, would Vettel have defended so much? I doubt it, as he had no chance of catching Button for the win, which would be even more important. And knowing that points wouldn’t matter come the end of the season (presuming he’s challenging for the championship at that point) he may have not bothered resisting Kubica, which would have been dull. After all, who cares about losing points if they have no impact on the champion anyway?

      That’s another point. If wins are the only thing that counts next year, might we see title challengers pulling out of races part way if they have no chance of victory, to preserve their engines? I doubt any driver would, but you never know, a calculating team boss might demand it.

  6. What a race! Great fighting in the mid pack, and what a ending for 2nd. I can’t believe Kubica or Vettle didn’t lift going into that next turn! This could be because of their inability to see the front wings.

  7. Great race.! Rated it a 9, but would have rated it a 10 if the VET-KUB incident didnt happen and the race ended basically under safety car

  8. Vettle should be banned for life!!!!
    Kubica was first in the turn, and this nobody idiot tries to be special. Kubica would have won the race!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. It was a racing incident – they went into the corner side by side, they banged wheels, it happens.

    2. no worse (probably more justified actually) than Barrichello’s banzai move on the first corner.

    3. Barrichello was nudged from behind by one of the McLarens thus running into Webber.

    4. Calling Vettel what you did on this site I’m afraid just makes you look like one yourself.

      Yep, Rubens was actually quite unlucky to get tagged from behind by Heiki – but I guess he got punished when Webber ended up taking out his suspension.

      More bad luck for Webber though :(

    5. Kubica should have given him more room, but he was ahead so Vettel should have backed off – both drivers relied on the other doing those things and neither did. Complete racing incident

      And I am not sure Kubica would have won either – second probably, but catching is one thing, passing is another, i dont reckon he would have got past Button – academic as it is now.

    6. Pete_Firestarter
      29th March 2009, 11:10

      I really do not but the “Kubica should have won the race” from you or BMW! He would have pushed button but not actually won it. I assume Button switched off his Merc engine and if it came to a fight, he would have been on it.

      But the most important thing is the order will soon resume! Macca have been given the impetus to push and Ferrari and not going home and accept defeat from “the one they reject as team Principal” – Brawn! Expect things to hot up in Barcelona!!

      Very good race and good job from JB! But ithink LH will easily hammer JB! I had to explain this to my son.

    7. kubica was flying, could have caught up, would have been a close finish thats for sure.

      kubica gave him room but vettel just needed more, no grip on the front of his car at that point. it happens. kubica is aggressive and vettel is young. its all racing, enjoy it.

  9. Great drives from Button and Hamilton, good from Barrichello bar his start and dodgy first corner, rubbish from Vettle and Kubica spoiling all their good work. Interesting all race seeing the kers/non-kers battles. Good race, well worth getting up for.

  10. I gave it a 9/10 … It was an amazing Grand Prix. The only thing that stopped me giving it a ten was that it finished under the safety car.

    Hamilton is my driver of the day. I think his performance should be enough to keep a few of his critics quiet for awhile. To finish 4th in a car that clearly wasn’t as good as others shows once and for all, that Hamilton has genuine talent.

    A shame for Ferrari though. I really expected more from them, and their drivers. I’m sure they will come back stronger though.

    And a massive congratulations to Jensen Button. A much deserved, and long awaited, second Grand Prix victory.

    I bet Richard Branson is glad he got a Virgin logo plastered on the side of that BrawnGP car right about now ;)

    Can’t wait for next week!

    Oh yeah, on a side note, it seems Max was right… The racing was so much better!

    1. I never doubted Hamilton’s talent, but I certainly did not expect him to finnish 4th or maby 3rd here. I was surprised to see how good the car was during the race, he did a lot of overtaking. The Kers boost helped him stay in front a few times. Well done to Button and the Brawn GP team, what a fantastic result, and they could well do it again next weekend. But if they loose the apeal Hamilton will get the race win!!

    2. He was sixth until Vettel and Kubica went off – and before that there was the Ferraris hitting trouble, and Rosberg having a couple of dramas – it was a solid drive, but I wouldnt classify it as drive of the day – not by a long shot :S

    3. exactly, williams had an issue, ferrari had an issue, 2 cars crashed, he was a long way down until he was gifted a half dozen places. i didnt see anything fancy, i saw a lot of bold over taking by other more talented drivers.

  11. I have conflicted emotions; the action was constant and the change in top performers was great, but I’m also distraught that both my fav drivers took each other out so near to the finish. Argh!!!

  12. Great drive from Trulli and Hamilton.

    Anyone else think the safety car was delayed just enough to allow Button to pit? FIX!

    1. Sorry but that’s a load of rubbish.

    2. It wouldn’t have made any difference if they had brought it out straight away – Button was always going to go into the pits at that point given the safety car had been deployed.

    3. I did note that the safety car was very slow to deploy, I’m sure it was inocent but never the less it was much slower that recent years. I’m told the driver just went for a comfort break at the wrong time….it happens.

    4. Indeed. Now the pit-rules have changed under SC periods, this wouldn’t have been an issue.

  13. Fabulous start to the season. Fantastic Jenson, brilliant Lewis.
    The Vettel/Kubica incident should tarnish both their copy books. Was definitely a racing incident though…

  14. @pSynrg

    Probably but the SC took ages!! It was clearly a safety car and it was delayed and delayed and delayed… Then the safety comes out behind Button after he comes out the pits!
    —————————————————-

    Mclaren appealing about Trulli 3rd place!!

  15. Shame for Vettel & Kubica – I agree with Brundle and it looked 50/50. Vettel couldn’t get it slowed down, but Kubica really didn’t give him much room. A big shame for both of them.

    Still, that paved the way for the fairytale 1-2. Congrats to them.

    The safety car delays, both in deploying it after Nakajima’s crash, and bringing it back in afterwards were a bit strange.

  16. And the Hamilton/Trulli mess may rumble on for a bit.

    1. According to Martin Whitmarch Trulli went off, which is how Hamilton got in front of him, then re-passed Hamilton under the safety car.

      BBC are reporting Kubica, Vettel, Trulli and Hamilton are being investigated.

  17. Regarding Trulli, Lewis didn’t have anything to say. It’s possible there was some sportsmanship in play there with Lewis letting him back due to errors brought on by unexpected appearance of the SC?
    Maybe not …

    1. This isn’t the place for it but Eddie Jordan seems like a bit of a w*&$?r to say the least…

    2. I think the Jordan vs DC conversations are brilliant IMO!

  18. It is 135am and I am awake and all I have to say is yes thank you for a great star to f1. The true cinderalla story. What a race and I am glad I am a wake to see it. OK bed time for me but man what a race and a finish ok sorry for the SC but come on still a great finish.

  19. I also thought it was quite wierd how long it took for the SC to be deployed. seemed as if button was allowed to pit b4 it was released.

    Other then that great race!

    1. Glad someone else agreed. It took forever but the second Vettel went into the same wall the Safety Car came out instantly! Taking nothing away from Button though

    2. Glad someone else agreed. It took forever but the second Vettel went into the same wall the Safety Car came out instantly! Taking nothing away from Button though, just seemed F1 fixed it for that ‘fairytale’ win

  20. Great start of a season and a promise of a things to come – I think overtaking is easier now but not too easy so it is still a challenge to do right…

  21. Great race ! ! !

    But KERS is not good. Drivers with KERS had far more graining problems with the softer tyre than those without it.

    Good job by Hamilton. Played it cool. and got lucky in the end; which he deserved :)

    Unlucky for Ferraris :(.

    AND SOMEONE; KICK OUT KIMI FROM THE FERRARI AND GIVE IT TO VETTEL.

  22. Well, Kubica and Vettel are showing exactly what happened when you must have to race with a good car but under a huge pressure to deliver.

    In the very first race they didn´t show nothing special. So, lets see whos is really over hypped now.

    Meanwhyle, Mr “Overtaking” Hamilton shows how to do safely…

    1. Unlike a certain Brawn Gp racer :P

  23. Great race. I was going for Rubens, although I also like Kubica and Vettel, it was great to see him come through second after dropping back to the mid field. Good work from Buemi, Hamilton, Trulli.

    On the downside, Channel Ten (Australia) missed Kimi’s crash for an ad break. Next weeks’ race is going to be delayed for 4 and a half hours, and the dedicate sports channel won’t be available where I live until around August (still with ads.)

    1. Move to the UK (first time i’ve encouraged that), the BBC rocks and is throwing everything at the coverage of F1

    2. LOL.

      BBC did a great job, I found a feed of their broadcast on the internet, watched practice and qualifying there. Gone now, though, looks like Bernie had his way with it.

    3. Indeed. Really impressed with the BBC today. The hour long forum at the end was a really good end to the coverage.

    4. SPEED also missed the Raikkonen incidnet due to an ad break- aren’t those fans in the UK lucky?

  24. I agree, the SC seemed to be very delayed – but it would have had no bearing on Jenson’s Pit Stop whatsoever – unless I am very much mistaken [to quote one God]…

    1. It would… He would have pitted under the safety car and therefore would be at the back of the pack. Vettel then would be leading. It would have been a shame to happen but It was obvious it was done for the fairytale win

  25. I was totally agreeing with Eddie Jordans view on KERS being a waste of time.

    But seeing Hamilton using it to overtake, with the graphics and on board camera made the race even more interesting!

    Well done Jenson and barrichello too, awesome racing

  26. The only thing from last year that continued…

    Piquet and Nakajima still spining off and crashing

    1. Why are they still there, bring on Senna Jnr.

  27. Well done to the Brawn team, lets hope they can keep it up. Good day for Lewis, I bet he can’t really believe it. Goes to show anything can happen, from 18th to 4th or maybe 3rd, what a result. That should keep the critics at bay. Oh what I am talking about, of course it won’t!

  28. what a great start….vettel proved today what a fantastic driver he is.

    1. Indeed. It’s a shame he’ll be remembered for the crash, but he actually did a great job for pretty much all of the race.

  29. 7 – It was good. There was more close racing than last year, but from the mid-part until the accident of Kubica and Vettel not much happened.

  30. Button – Barrichello – Brawn – Brackley Team –

    Branson – Absolutely Brilliant –

    Watch out though – Hamilton 4th and closing fast ! .

  31. David Watkins
    29th March 2009, 10:54

    BBC: Hamilton promoted to THIRD.

  32. sky news – hamilton upto 3rd

  33. I judge a race by how many “battles” happened during the race. There really were none today. The KUB vs. VET was fun but KUB was clearly faster and VET wouldn’t have lasted another corner anyway – so you can’t call that a battle either.

    What I’d like to see is more battles like HAM vs. RAI in Spa 2008. This was a poor race in that respect, with most of the excitement stemming from fuel strategy, safety car, errors, and the fact that the underdogs are faster this year (which some people seem to think enough to make a race exciting).

    Bah.

    1. What about Rosberg vs. Raikonen?

  34. David Watkins
    29th March 2009, 11:04

    BBC: 10-place grid penalty for Vettel at Sepang

    1. Ahh beat me too it :p

  35. Vettel handed a 10 place grid penalty for Malaysia…

  36. It just gets better and better for Lewis, 3rd a good days work indeed.

  37. “Clare msj says:
    March 29, 2009 at 10:44 am

    He was sixth until Vettel and Kubica went off – and before that there was the Ferraris hitting trouble, and Rosberg having a couple of dramas – it was a solid drive, but I wouldnt classify it as drive of the day – not by a long shot :S”

    I understand what your saying about Hamilton’s competitors dropping off around him, but that doesn’t change the fact he drove a brilliant race. The guy had an inferior car, but never let the race run away on him. And the biggest thing that in my mind, made Hamilton’s performance one of the best in the race was the fact he didn’t crash out. He kept composed under pressure, avoided the trouble, and made some excellent passing moves.

    1. It was a good drive on his part, and keeping it on the track is a pretty darn fundamental part of doing well i know. Plus fair enough he was there to pick up the points where others failed, thats how racing works – but to make out is was a storming drive as if he was picking people off left right and centre is not entirely true :S He was aided by others misfortunes to some extent, I dont beleive, aside from the little incident at the end, that he drove a better race than say Vettel or Kubica did, but was maybe on a par with Rosberg who was pretty impressive during the race – or what about the Toyotas – they started further back than he did and finished in the same place as him. It was no means a bad drive, i just dont think it was drive of the day material. He did make some excellent passing manouvres and managed not to do a Vettel/Kubica whilst doing them – but so did Rosberg, so did the Toyotas.

      Just how i see it anyways

  38. 8 – Great

    There actually WAS overtaking! Yeah!
    I’ve noticed that the cars can indeed follow one another very closely. And there were overtakings on numorous corners – not only in the braking zones of the longest straights.

    The race would’ve been perfect if Kubica chased Jutton and Bubens down to get the lead on the last lap and win the race.
    A 1-2 win by Brawn is not something that indicates an exciting season.

  39. What a great race no adverts or James Allen but best of all and more importantly it was really exciting, plenty of close racing, overtaking and quite unpredictable – what more could you ask for.

  40. I’d like to hear from one of the 23 people so far who voted ‘terrible’…

    1. Can you understand Italian?

  41. @ Keith
    It must have been a fanatic Ferrari fan. :)

  42. 23 fanatic Ferrari fans*

  43. Mussolini's Pet Cat
    29th March 2009, 13:13

    Which planks said this was a terrible race??

  44. i’m not a hamilton fan but i thought his performance today was exceptional!

  45. Great race!But it was a shame that Vettel and Kubica
    couldnt finish the race.Excellent day for Brawn GP.
    Terrible one for Ferrari.
    Vettel does not deserve any penalty.

  46. Hamilton potentially better than Moss – Clarke – Senna –

    Schumacher – Watch this space ! .

    1. Hamilton showed he could pull it off with an awful car. Shame some people can’t admit how talented he is

    2. Ok i admit im not a Hamilton fan, almost a critic of his but i was impressed with his driving today but his end result did involve a lot of luck don’t you think? 5 drivers who were in front of him retired, two crashed out, Mark webber was involved in an incident in the first corner which pretty much screwed up his race, Trulli went off which let Hamilton by and Nico was struggling on the soft tyres which was why Hamilton got past. Thats ten places he was gifted.. Yes he was good when he fairly overtook someone but then again he did have kers which we could see made it easier and 4 of his passes were on the force india’s and the two torro rosso’s and lets be fair his Mclaren is better than their cars with or without Kers. He did drive extremely well today but i don’t think it was on the same level as Moss, Clarke, Senna or schumacher.

  47. I did not like the new ‘play by play’ announcer (Brundle great as always). The new guy’s commentary contained all the standard ‘sports-speak’ cliches and indicated he didn’t seem to know more than he was told, although I understand he has done this before?
    Anyway, I thought he was crap.
    Race was great and good to see the established order is being stirred up.

    1. I thought he was ok to be honest.
      He made some mistakes but who doesn’t when commentating live ?

      At least he kept calm and corrected himself whenever he did and he wasn’t like listening to the teenage-esque James Allen.

      I gave the race an eight.
      Lots of action most of the way through the race and plenty going on throughout the field.

      Great to see Button at the front of a race and the Brawn team have done well although the Executives at Honda must be absolutely gutted; they’ve given away the team just as they’ve become competitive. If Honda have kept an option to buy the team back I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Honda badge on it again by the end of the season.

      Lewis did well, kept out of trouble and ended up in the right place at the right time. The Ferrari boys yet again throwing it all away.

      Just a shame Vettel & Kubica came together at the end, they raced well and should have been on the podium.

    2. Only one race in, so I’ll reserve judgement until later but he sounded more like a ‘cricket’ commentator to me, than a racing one.

      But boy was I glad I didn’t have to listen to James Allen when Jenson won !

  48. great start to the season! what happened between vettel and kubica was purely a racing incident! such a shame for the both of them! in response to the hamilton worshippers, all the drivers are capable of achieving what he did last year with the right setup and circumstance . do you not think it would be wise to wait a few seasons before comparing him with senna? i’m not saying he’s not a great driver just that the hype is somewhat boring! it would be great to see button get so lucky!

  49. I thoroughly enjoyed the race. Lots of uncertainty, and lots of overtaking. Not enough of that shown, though. On the downside, the cars are thoroughly ugly, the TV coverage was ridiculous, and the mid-race safety car period was amateur hour.

    The TV coverage was pathetic – when is Ecclestone going to catch up to the 1990’s? For a race series that thrives on TV, it’s astonishing how its coverage hasn’t really improved since the 1980’s. (I know we’ve had that discussion, before.)

    Carolyn Ann

  50. Very good race overall. Hamilton’s race to the points from the back of the grid was one of the best parts, yet few people seem to mention it. The Brawn GP deal was all very good, and while it was unfortunate to see Kubica and Vettel crash out, it shows that drivers will still battle for position- Bernie, are you reading this?

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