Spring is Here: Formula 1 Races are Underway

The anticipation for those 5 red lights to turn on and mark the start of the race.  The burning rubber and high pitched screeches made from tires that have been anxiously waiting to fly down the track.  The dangerous passing of other cars in extremely high speeds around hair-pin turns and smooth straightaways.  The pitstops that last only for the blink of an eye.  It’s here, the season has started for Formula 1 racing.

March 15, 16, and 17 marked the beginning of the Formula 1 season in Melbourne with practice, qualifying laps, and the highly anticipated opening season race, the 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.  For the first race of the season, the weather didn’t make it easy on the drivers.  The second and third sessions of qualifying were postponed to Sunday the 17th after a series of rain delays and the onset of darkness prevented them being held Saturday.  Sunday’s sessions were also held on a track damp from morning rain.  While fans were left disappointed by the postponement, teams and drivers were unanimous in their support to delay qualifying as the conditions on the circuit were too dangerous, with standing water on the circuit and poor light conditions.

After Sunday’s race, Kimi Raikkonen leads the championship standings with Lotus delivering on its potential for the season immediately. It took the team until the 18th race of 2012 to get its one and only win, but with a secured place among front-runners this season by winning the Australian Grand Prix, team Lotus is confident it will give other teams a run for their money.

Although Lotus came away with the win on Sunday and now has 26 points in the Constructor standings, Fernando Alonso claimed second place for Ferrari at the Australian Grand Prix and fellow Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa came in fourth in the race, giving Ferrari reason to celebrate its best start to a Formula One season in several years. After the race, Alonso commented that “Lotus did a very good job and Kimi was driving fantastically…We have only four days to the next race and we have tough opponents.” The Ferrari drivers outraced the qualifying pacesetters Red Bull to show they will be hard to beat for the 2013 championship. Ferrari currently leads the Constructor standings with 30 points, just enough to edge out Lotus. “I am extremely happy,” Alonso said. “We had an extremely difficult start to the season two years ago and last year, and this year is very different. We are very optimistic and have an interesting season ahead.”

With Alonso’s second place finish in Melbourne, Ferrari clearly proved it has a much more competitive car this season, but team principal and manager of team Ferrari Stefano Domenicali said that the promising start wouldn’t change the team’s approach. “For sure we need to be prudent because this is only the first race,” Domenicali said. “There will be so many things that will change in the next couple of races in terms of understanding, in terms of race preparation, in terms of tyre management.”

The next Formula 1 race will be held in Malaysia from March 22-24. With 18 more races to come, it is safe to say that no leads are secure and other teams still have plenty of time to win the championship.

 

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