Australian GP – Difficult, But Positive Race

By Auto News Log • March 28th, 2010

Melbourne – Felipe Massa on the podium in third place and Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team-mate, Fernando Alonso, right behind him in fourth, to ensure that the team and its drivers continue to lead both the Drivers’ and Constructors’ World Championships after the second round in the series, the Australian Grand Prix. Albert Park often delivers thrilling races and this was no exception, aided by the rain that fell just before the start and a first lap collision that brought out the very traditional Melbourne Safety Car. The race was action packed from start to finish and proved that Ferrari Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali was right to advise caution, when others started talking about rule changes following a rather processional opening race in Bahrain.

The race was won by Jenson Button, the reigning world champion thus claiming his first win for McLaren and, ahead of Felipe came Robert Kubica, second in the Renault. As the lights went out, Sebastian Vettel led from pole in the Red Bull, ahead of Felipe who got a really good start, to get ahead of second placed man Mark Webber. Where was Fernando? He was squeezed by Button, with Schumacher on his outside which sent him into a spin which dropped him all the way down to eighteenth. It was to be the start of a great charge through the field.

The Safety Car came in on lap 4 and Kubica moved ahead of Webber, with Fernando already 15th, but Felipe seemed to struggle a bit and was passed by Webber to go third on lap 6. One lap later, with Button the first to come in, the entire field gradually came in to change to slick tyres as Fernando was now 13th. Felipe changed tyres on lap 8 and two laps later, Fernando was in the points zone in tenth place, gaining another place on lap 13 and another on lap 14.

Felipe was coming under pressure from Webber and as the two fought it out, Hamilton managed to slip past both of them, only for Felipe to regain his position when the Red Bull and the McLaren tangled. Lap 16 and Fernando was now seventh, but Felipe had Hamilton right on his tail. By lap 20 of 58 the order was Vettel, comfortably leading Button, Kubica, Rosberg, Felipe in fifth, then Hamilton with Alonso still seventh. Hamilton got past the Brazilian Ferrari man on lap 22 and while they duelled, Fernando had to slow, which meant he was overtaken by Webber so that the two Ferrari men were now sixth and eighth. On lap 26, race leader Vettel appeared to have a technical problem and went out of the race in a gravel trap which meant Button now lead ahead of Kubica, Hamilton, Rosberg, Felipe again fifth, Webber and Fernando seventh. Webber again got the better of the Brazilian on lap 31, but the Australian pitted again on lap 32. Making only one pit stop for dry tyres was going to be the secret of success for the eventual top four, as when Rosberg changed tyres on lap 33, Felipe and Fernando were now running fourth and fifth and then moved into their final positions when Hamilton pitted again on lap 34. The Ferrari duo did close on Kubica in the Renault but not enough to make a real challenge and in fact, in the closing stages, Fernando was again being pushed hard by Hamilton.

So at the flag, the order was Button, Kubica, Massa, Alonso, Rosberg, Hamilton, Liuzzi, Barrichello, Webber, with the final point for tenth place going to Schumacher.
In just five days time, the cars will be back in action at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit for the third round of the world championship.

Source: Ferrari

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