Yes, things are much better this time around in Melbourne, Australia. The Quantas Australia Formula 1 Grand Prix 2010 saw Jenson Button of McLaren Mercedes taking the chequered flag, Robert Kubica of Renault taking second and Ferrari's Phillipe Massa coming in third. But the good thing was it rained and there was racing instead of a procession of cars. This fact played a real part in Button's victory as he gambled on an early tire change from intermediates to full race slicks very early on.
It wasn't like Bore-rain, where I almost fell asleep while watching the telly. It had the racers maintain their track position lap after lap. It had overtaking this time unlike Bahrain, the rain in the early part of the race. As it was a wet start, entertainment happened from the start. Car crashes and all.
Pole Sitter Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing had a decent start, as did Felipe Massa from fifth splitting the Red Bulls (who started in pole and in second) by Massa. Fernando Alonso who started in position 3( P3) dropped back. Michael Schumacher, Jenson Button got into a predicament as Alonso closed the door at the corner. Michael Schumacher got nudged and his front wing damaged (for which he had to pit). Button lost ground as he took avoiding action and cars passed by. A Toro Rosso (Buemi) headed for the gravel as the Sauber driven by Kamui Kobayashi which lost a front wing on the way to Turn 3 pitched him right into the barriers, then his car bouncing off across the track and taking out both Nico Hulkenberg and Sebastien Buemi. Three car casualties and not even one lap completed the Race Director Charlie Whiting called for the safety car.
You see, rain makes entertaining racing. It was Jenson Button's decision for a very early pitstop (lap 6) that allowed him to win. After deciding that the intermediate tires were not doing well for him, he came in for slicks and it nearly cost him as upon leaving the pits, he lost control and went straight on turn 3. Two laps later almost all of the front runners came in for slicks with the exception of the Red Bulls which seemed okay on intermediates.
Sebastian Vettel's seems to have gotten into an unlucky streak of starting on pole and then the car letting him down. In Bahrain, engine trouble was the cause and this time, the brakes had locked up and he ended in the gravel. The reliability of the Red Bull in question.
Lewis Hamilton of McLaren also had bad luck and bad team decision. McLaren, had decided to call for a tire change without consulting the driver and according to Hamilton, this cost him a podium finish. Maybe it was down to inexperience on Hamilton's side and a bad mistake by the team. As some said that as driver he would have a choice to say 'no' to his race engineer. Even an experienced team like McLaren can make bad decisions. On the point of bad luck, Hamilton tangled with Mark Webber not once, but twice, the second time costing him to end his race at P6 instead of P5 and Webber a front wing and getting P9 with a possibility of a penalty at the next race in Sepang. Nico Rosberg of Mercedes Petronas capitalizing and getting P5 instead.
It was fun. Even at the tail end of the race Michael Schumacher on the last 10 laps had overtaken two cars clinching P10 for the last point scoring position. Rain equals unpredictability in Formula 1 and this is a good thing. Maybe we don't need the Gatling Guns, batterin rams and missiles after all. Just add water to the race track instead. Sepang would be equally fun if it rains. I just hope it does not rain till all racing was stopped like last year.
1. Button McLaren-Mercedes 1h33:36.531
2. Kubica Renault + 12.034
3. Massa Ferrari + 14.488
4. Alonso Ferrari + 16.304
5. Rosberg Mercedes + 16.683
6. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes + 29.898
7. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes + 59.847
8. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth + 1:00.536
9. Webber Red Bull-Renault + 1:07.319
10. Schumacher Mercedes + 1:09.391
11. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1:11.301
12. De la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari + 1:14.084
13. Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth + 2 laps
14. Chandhok HRT-Cosworth + 4 laps
Did Not Finish
Glock Virgin-Cosworth 41
Vettel Red Bull-Renault 26
Di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 25
Sutil Force India-Mercedes 12
Petrov Renault 10
Senna HRT-Cosworth 5
Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1
Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1
Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1
Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1