We continue our new section “the Blog of the pilot,” in which the famous Russian racers share their opinions about current events in the world of Motorsport.
On stage experience back-racer of the team Renault F1, Russian pilot program SMP Racing’s Sergey Sirotkin on the Grand Prix of Australia.
Unfortunately, as I tried to fly to Australia in advance to a little bit acquainted with this continent, I have failed, so time to watch Melbourne almost was not. Once managed to walk around the center, but it’s hard to judge a city in such a short time. I thought it was a kind of a mix of modern cities, this international city.
Clean, nice, neat, but some of the highlights to be honest, I didn’t notice. Similar to America, England and Russia. To go to a special nature of Australia and native animals did not, therefore, feel of the country is not as detailed and vivid as I would like. In contrast to the impressions of the first Formula 1 race of the season 2017.
Very special city! A very special city! #melbourne @f1 @smp_racing @renaultsportf1 @ausgp
As it turned out, my assumptions about the balance of power, I proved to be very accurate. The team is located exactly as I described last time.
In qualifying, Mercedes and Ferrari clashed for the first series, and overall, the team from Maranello, the whole weekend looked on the same level with Mercedes.
At race pace it was obvious that Vettel kept safely behind Hamilton and maybe even surpassed it because of the filthy air [when you’re chasing the car ahead] it’s harder for you to work with rubber, harder to keep it in good condition and not overheating, besides as a whole is lost downforce. And if the time with the car ahead of you have the same, then potentially you can go faster.
It all proves once again that the struggle this year promises to be very dense.
As for Red Bull Racing, the error ricciardo in qualifying gave us the opportunity to truly appreciate their real temp and see how close the team from Milton Keynes to Mercedes and Ferrari. From Verstappen in race difference with the leading group was not so significant – at some point he even stayed behind Raikkonen, and the pace they were about equal but both have he was slower than the leaders]. Suddenly, far away, but still on a predictable fourth place was Williams. Perhaps because in fact the team was represented by one Weight.
Next was a very strong middle group: Force India, Haas, Renault, Toro Rosso. Maybe in the race we did not see heavy fighting between the pilots of these teams because of the tactics of pit stops and racing moments, plus the new machines are very difficult to beat and difficult to pursue, but I am sure that there will be another run where we will be able to observe this.
Also have to give credit to Alonso in qualifying, in the race he looked, basically, at the level of average teams, but you have to understand that while he may only fight with the weaker pilots of average teams and not with their leaders. To estimate the speed of Vandorn is not yet possible – due to technical problems, he didn’t treat any one session.
Pilots Sauber was slightly closer to the average for the group than I thought, but this team trailing the championship, and given how difficult the current technical regulations and what is now will start the “arms race”, during the season it will be difficult to reduce this gap.
The first Grand Prix of the season has demonstrated once again that the difference between pilots of the same team was more significant than in the past. This proves once again that new cars do become faster and simultaneously more difficult to manage. Many crashes and accidents were not only beginners, but also the veteran championship.
Pilots who quickly adapt and are better feel the car, have some great skills, had in Australia advantage. Let’s see what will happen next…
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