2018 Australian Grand Prix

Rolex Australian Grand Prix

Sunday, March 25, 2018
Round:
1
Weather:
Warm, dry and sunny
Laps:
58
Fastest Lap:
Ricciardo, 1m25.945
Country:
Australia
Circuit:
2018 season:
Report

The race turned on a confluence of flukes, a repaying of karmic debt owed to Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari from several races last year. For it to happen the way it did required Vettel being outqualified and beaten away by team-mate Kimi Räikkönen, the Haas of Kevin Magnussen running fast enough to delay when Vettel could clear it after pitting. It further required finger trouble at Haas that brought Romain Grosjean’s car to a halt at an awkward place, finger trouble at whoever input the Mercedes software algorithm that suggested, in the event of a VSC, Lewis Hamilton needed to be within 13.6 seconds of the yet-to-pit Vettel – when it was actually more like 10sec. Then the Haas problem had to occur at the exact moment needed to trigger the VSC that exposed the software error. It even required that Valtteri Bottas was nowhere around to run interference on the Ferraris, by having crashed out of qualifying. What were the chances…?

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