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Mar 15, 2014 - 01:53 PM
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2014 Australian GP: Formula One F1 Starting Line-Up (Grid) & Race Preview
Posted by: ASkyler on Mar 15, 2014 - 01:53 PM
Formula 1 News
2014 Australian GP: Formula One F1 Starting Line-Up (Grid) & Race Preview


By Mike Sulka

The Australian Grand Prix is the 2014 Formula One F1 season opener for the pinnacle of racing. The 5.303km (3.295 mi) 16-turn street circuit event is held at Albert Park in Melbourne, Australia. The track is temporary - ie green - and the times continue to drop significantly throughout the weekend as the rubber gets laid down.

Historically, the Australian Grand Prix has had a number of significant and spectacular incidents due to a tight Turn One, and the fastest straight (315kph) leading up to it. In fact, in 2002 only eight cars finished the Grand Prix. Though not as bad in 2010, only 14 cars of 24 finished the Grand Prix with three cars involved in a lap one accident. Or 2012 when only 13 of 22 cars finished.

For today's Grand Prix, the prognosticators are seriously asking if ANY car will finish the Grand Prix. Nearly all the technical regulations have been changed for the 2014 season including a new turbo charged V6 engine design, a new energy recovery system, and new aerodynamic requirements changed in the name of safety (lower noses).

And the racing, may be significantly different than in year's past as the cars will have a third less fuel on board.

Even the constructors champions from the last four seasons - Red Bull - have had mightly hurdles to overcome. Team Boss Christian Horner has indicated, the goal for the team this weekend is simply to finish the Grand Prix.

As for the fate of qualifying on FULL fuel, the Pole-sitter has won eight of the last 18 Australian Grand Prix. However, since 2000, the Australian Grand Prix has been won from 5th or lower just twice - Coulthard started 11th in 2003 and Kimi Raikkonen won from seventh in 2013.

Also of note, Jenson Button has won three of the last five Australian Grand Prix. Only once did he start from Pole.

If there is going to be a first turn muck-up, the middle of the field is full of younger drivers with nerves of steel, and courage. The question is whether they will keep their heads, or head home early.

As for our pick to win... We are going to go with pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) because Mercedes have had the fastest car for the last six weeks. The question is whether it is just as fast over a race distance running much less fuel.

Today, we'll find out.

Enjoy the race, it will be a very exciting one especially if the rainy weekend continues, and if trend of two full-course cautions a year continues to mix up the pit strategies!

Cheers!


 

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2014 Australian GP: Formula One Qualifying Results
Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:31.699 1:42.890 1:44.231 22
2 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:30.775 1:42.295 1:44.548 20
3 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:32.564 1:42.264 1:44.595 21
4 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:30.949 1:43.247 1:45.745 19
5 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:31.388 1:42.805 1:45.819 21
6 25 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Renault 1:33.488 1:43.849 1:45.864 21
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:33.893 1:43.658 1:46.030 20
8 26 Daniil Kvyat STR-Renault 1:33.777 1:44.331 1:47.368 20
9 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:31.228 1:44.242 1:48.079 21
10 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:31.601 1:43.852 1:48.147 19
11 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.396 1:44.437 13
12 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:32.439 1:44.494 13
13 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:31.931 1:44.668 13
14 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:33.673 1:45.655 12
15 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1:34.274 1:45.867 13
16 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:34.141 1:47.293 13
17 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:34.293 5
18 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:34.794 5
19 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:35.117 7
20 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1:35.157 5
21 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:36.993 6
22 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault No Time 3

Q1 107% Time 1:37.129

Bottas qualified P10, drops 5 (gearbox change penalty); Gutierrez qualified P19, drops 5 (gearbox change penalty); Maldonado did not set Q3 time within 107%, starts race at stewards' discretion


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