Home > F1 2012 season > 2012 Australian Grand Prix: Button comes on top as Hamilton faded

2012 Australian Grand Prix: Button comes on top as Hamilton faded

Okay, by now the world knows the pecking order, right? McLaren Jenson Button put good use to his car as he wins the opening 2012 Australian Grand Prix even though it was Lewis Hamilton that got pole position on Saturday. But we are not here to discuss the results, by now all news outlet had already published and re-published them.

We are here to analyze the pecking order, did we got it right (as per our final analysis before the 2012 season start):

We published that RedBull was on top (as any other news outlet on the web), well not quite certain. For sure they are a top team but McLaren appeared in better shape. Mind you, in 2010 Ferrari won in Bahrain and McLaren (Button) won in Australia, but Vettel claimed the 2010 title. Melbourne is always a question mark, the track surface is a gamble for all teams. Still, Sebastian Vettel had a fantastic race. Having qualified 6th, Vettel finished 2nd.

We may see a complete different RedBull in Sepang next weekend.

McLaren or Mercedes… we said McLaren has the upper hand and we were right, they came on top in Australia… it looked like Schumi was going to give some trouble but unfortunately he retired with a gearbox problem.

Jenson Button had the upper hand over Lewis Hamilton who suffered from tire grip issues throughout the race. Button took the lead at the start, this gave Button the first position advantage while Hamilton had to face traffic which also implies more tire degradation.

So, where is Mercedes? our analysis still holds true, they have a good pace, but Rosberg had many tire grip issues during the race. We may see a resurgence of Mercedes in Sepang. So far, because of the tricky surface in Melbourne and Schumi retiring, we do not know yet if Mercedes will fullfill the prophecy. They are definitely getting the attention from other F1 teams with their rear wing special device that opens/closes when the DRS is activated/de-activated.

Lotus or Ferrari? Lotus had an excelent pace in qualifying, Grosjean claimed the third best time, unfortunately Raikkonen did not fullfill his role (yet). Is Lotus fastest than Ferrari? maybe, we do not know. Raikkonen qualified 17th and remounted to finish 7th while Ferrari Alonso qualified 12th and remounted to finish 5th. If we only focus on the race, then Ferrari appears stronger (but they have the Alonso factor). If we only focus on qualifying Grosjean and Lotus were much more stronger. We will have to wait and see what happens in the Malaysian Grand Prix. We also hope that Massa can find his old form so we can use his results as part of our analysis.

We also published that we were going to see a Williams versus Sauber. Sauber drivers, Kobayashi and Perez, finished the race in 6th and 8th position respectively while Williams drivers could have had similar results. Unfortunately, Maldonado lost the back of the car in the last lap! He could have finished 6th behind Alonso, and that could have been a great result for Williams, but the Venezuelan driver decided to go for it… unfortunately it did not go quite well as he crashed, no points, sorry. Bruno Senna had his race compromised at the very begining where he collected a puncture in the first corner, from there he clashed with Massa and ultimately retired with another puncture.

The best of rest: we said Toro Rosso, Force India and Caterham. This holds true because Toro Rosso drivers: Ricciardo finished 9th position and Vergne was 11th. Force India Paul di Resta finished 10th in between the Toro Rosso.

Neither Caterham (Petrov, Kovalainen) managed to finish the race, but based on qualifying they are definitely after Toro Rosso and Force India in terms of performance, followed by Marussia (Glock, Pic) that managed to complete the race distance in their first outing. That was good news. Unfortunately HRT did not manage to qualify within the 107% rule, so both De La Rossa and Karthikeyan had to sit out during the race.

We shall see in Sepang if the pecking order can then be established.

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