Hamilton had a great start.
Kimi almost got around Hamilton, but didn’t quite have the momentum going into turn 1.
Vettel stayed out of the mess and came out of turn 1 still in third place with all of the bits of his car still attached.
Magnussen jumped one spot at the start and got in front of Verstappen. The Haas car came out of the gate like a scrappy fighter going up against a bigger opponent.
Lap 8, Sirotkin dropped out.
Lap 10, Ericsson dropped out.
Lap 13, Bottas, who had a 5 place grid penalty for changing out the gear box, passed Ocon and grabbed the 14th place.
Lap 12, Verstappen spun out while trying to get around Magnussen.
Lap 17, Gasly got pulled into the pits. The Honda was over heating or something along those lines.
Lap 19, Kimi went in to the pits and changed from the ultra soft to the soft tires. At this point, he is expected to stay out until the end of the race.
Lap 20, Hamilton came in to the pits, he was only 8 seconds ahead of Vettel. Ham also went to the soft tires. He is expecting to go to the end of the race as well.
As of lap 21, the race is split between Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen up front, then Magnussen, Grosjean and Ricciardo and Hulkenberg in the middle, followed by Verstappen, Sainz, Alonso, Van Dorne and Perez. Bottas is charging up the grid and eating track like it’s butter.
Lap 23, Alonso got around Sainz. Sainz went into the gravel which allowed Alonso to get around him easily.
Lap 24, Magnussen ended his race on the side of the track. During his stop, the left rear wheel was not properly attached to the car. The yellow flag came out for sector 1 while they yanked the car from the track. A horribly lame ending for what was shaping up to be a great race for Haas and Magnussen.
Lap 25, Grosjean also retired from the race immediately after a put stop. Another failure to properly attach the tire to the car. A double retirement for Haas. Absolutely horrible start to the season for the team. Grosjean’s car was on the track, which triggered the virtual safety car.
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) March 25, 2018
These commercials on ESPN are super annoying.
Vettel pitted during the VSC. Since the pit lane is not part of the track, Vettel was able to speed up and get out of the pit lane ahead of Hamilton. Ricciardo, also did the same maneuver and moved up to fourth place. Alonso tried the same maneuver to come out in front of Verstappen, but Max said “no, no, no.”
Lewis, immediately started to complain to the wall about what happened. Lewis wanted to know what happened, and if the error was on him or if something else happened.
The actual safety car came out eventually because the stewards were having difficulty moving Grosjean’s car out of the way. The Red Bulls were the biggest beneficiaries of the safety car coming out.
After what seemed like 500 commercials on ESPN, we came back to the action. Nothing really happened for a few laps.
At lap 37/58 the standings were:
Ricciardo was charging on Raikkonen, trying to get himself on to the podium for the Australian GP, this time, for real.
Red Bull Racing tweeted:
— Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) March 25, 2018
Alonso was having a hard time fighting off Max, but Alonso is not just going to roll over and let Max go ahead.
These smoking Ferrari engines are a trip.
Vettel and Hamilton were fighting it out up front for the lead. Lewis was told to go to “Strat 14” and advised that that mode was not sustainable. Hamilton took a few charges, but had to back off.
Lap 43/58, no change in the positions, but lots of jostling and attacking for positions.
Still no change in positions through to lap 48/58, however, the leaders are starting to come up to the back markers.
No complaints, so far, from Alonso about his new power unit.
At lap 54/58, Vettel was still just out of DRS range for Hamilton. Ricciardo, was also out of DRS range so he might not be able to catch Raikkonen. Red Bull Racing called out to Verstappen and told him they were giving him some extra performance so he can try to pass Alonso for 5th place.
Vettel wins! Which, I believe, means that Ferrari will engage party mode tonight.
The race results were unchanged from what I listed above.
Great race for the McLaren-Renault team. Their guys finished 5th and 9th, which is ridiculously better than what they had last year.
Great race for Ferrari, who totally lucked out with the Haas debacle. I guess it pays to lucky and good at the same time.
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 25, 2018