As you’ve probably heard by now, the curtain-raising 2015 Australian Grand Prix was a bit light in the way of racing action, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some memorable moments to speak of. Here’s what we picked from the action.
The lesser-spotted Manor Marussia
John Booth, Graeme Lowdon and the rest of the Manor family got to Melbourne just in the nick of time. They could be seen tinkering away with their cars all week leading up to the race, but unfortunately the team’s administrators wiped all the software of their computers.
This meant they were unable to start their cars up correctly, but the Stewards agreed that they had done everything humanly possible to try and make the race, so the team officially took part in the race weekend. Yay!
Manor #F1 team unsure when it will be ready to run after missing #AusGP free practice: http://t.co/HQOvuUkWys pic.twitter.com/5ScA9ux7yo
— Autosport (@autosport) March 13, 2015
Oh yeah, and sweet Malboro McLaren livery guys!
At least McLaren finished…
While we’re on the subject of McLaren, it’s fair to say that finishing the race was progress for the team. K-Mag crashed in FP2, and then his eng Power Unit exploded during the warm up, so the weekend was set up to be a tough one for the team.
It would have been amazing if Jenson Button in the other MP4-30 could grab the final point, and though they didn’t quite reach that goal in the race, 56-lap run is good data for Honda to have at hand.
They’ll get better as the season progresses, just you watch.
Ferrari are back
After spending the best part of four years making very average cars, it would appear that the Scuderia have finally got their act together again, in the shape of the SF15-T. Raikkonen looked on course to score some hefty points until a loose rear-left tyre from a dodgy pit stop put him out of the race.
However, his team mate had an excellent red debut, clinching the final step on the podium, and showing off his knowledge of Italian while he was there. He may not have emulated Nigel Mansell or the unfortunate Raikkonen in winning first-time out for Ferrari, but with third place, it was far from the worst debuts for the team.
Sorry Luca Badoer.
With big names far away from the action, Formula 1’s rookie drivers to put on something of a show, and they delivered brilliantly. Max Verstappen soaked up the pressure of being F1’s first (and last) 17-year-old driver before his car conked out, and his team mate Carlos Sainz didn’t put a foot wrong either.
Unfortunately, the Toro Rosso duo ran into trouble. V-Max had engine trouble and retired just before pit entry, and Sainz’s race was ruined when his left-rear wheel gun failed, resulting in a very lengthy pit stop.
However, Felipe Nasr’s had no such issues, and managed fifth place on his debut. While his position may have been flattered by the lack of cars running in the race, you can gauge his performance best by comparing him to his team mate Marcus Ericsson, who’s got an extra year of experience.
Ericsson could only manage eighth in identical machinery to the Brazilian Rookie, and his feat was so impressive, we made him out Top Dog for the race!
We’ve seen some pretty interesting characters conduct podium interviews since they were introduced late in the 2012 season. Benedict Cumberbatch’s efforts have been pretty well-received; Eddie Jordan’s loveable eccentricity has tickled us; and after retirement, Mark Webber has even had a go. Don’t expect to see him too soon now that Vettel is back on the rostrum, though…
Anyway, Australia saw perhaps one of the most awesome to date, with certainly the most famous interviewer yet – The Terminator!
Arnie’s questions were a little simple, but to see him frolicking with Lewis Hamilton – who jested that the former Governor of California was taller in his imagination – was a like a collision of worlds for fans of Science Fiction and Formula 1 alike.
To top it all off, he ended his cameo by setting Lewis Hamilton up to say those immortal words of his:
Schwarzenegger: “I know what you’re going to say now now, when it comes to the next race…”
Hamilton: “I’ll be back!”
Whether Arnie returns to greet the top three again remains to be seen, but you can count on Lewis and the rest of the paddock – hopefully including Manor, Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas – to do so. Let’s hope there’s more action in Malaysia!