Fair weather friends or not, what a great bit of timing for the sport to have an exciting race and good press in the midst of a nasty, and very boring, struggle for power within the sport.
We would caution to wait a few more races before proclaiming F1 "fixed" and those who disagree "idiots". Herr Lauda would be fun to have dinner with but he and Mercedes have done plenty of complaining over the past few years and it's as easy to be positive when your cars are up 2 seconds a lap as it is to be bitter an negative when they are down.
Which brings us to Ferrari...
Di Montezemolo must be fuming, not only did F1 have arguably its best race in years, thanks in no small part to Maldonado's boneheadedness, but the best race right at the time when Mr E and LDM where on a push to point out the follies of the current formula.
Aldo Costa getting a trophy for the Mercedes W05 he led the design of after being pushed out of Ferrari.
No wonder he left.
This last one was fascinating, Mark Webber must be smiling if a little bitterly. Ricciardo is not the least bit intimidated by Vettel and so far this year it does not seem like the team has stood up for the four time world champion. Red Bull is that way with their athletes, great support as long as you're winning, if you don't bring home the goods, you;re gone. But even a four time champion? Or maybe they know he has a Ferrari contract in his back pocket?
Great show by Mercedes, I'm not sure I buy this whole "no team orders" bit. I think Paddy Lowe was telling his drivers to quit messing around. It was great for the sport and perhaps a measure of the confidence the drivers have in their superiority that Lewis and Rosberg did not listen.
Well done, now two days of testing and hopefully the non Mercedes powered teams can cut the gap ahead of China.
(photos: Mercedes AMG F1, Scuderia Ferrari, Red Bull)
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h38m42.743s 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +1.085s 3. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes +24.067s 4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault +24.489s 5. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes +28.654s 6. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault +29.879s 7. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes +31.200s 8. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes +31.800s 9. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +32.500s 10. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +33.400s 11. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault +41.300s 12. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault +43.100s 13. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari +59.900s 14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault +1m02.800s 15. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault +1m27.900s 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari +1 lap 17. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +2 laps Retirements Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 40 laps Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 39 laps Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 33 laps Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 18 laps Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 17 laps Drivers' standings: 1. Nico Rosberg 61 2. Lewis Hamilton 50 3. Nico Hulkenberg 28 4. Fernando Alonso 26 5. Jenson Button 23 6. Sebastian Vettel 23 7. Kevin Magnussen 20 8. Valtteri Bottas 18 9. Sergio Perez 16 10. Daniel Ricciardo 12 11. Felipe Massa 12 12. Kimi Raikkonen 7 13. Jean-Eric Vergne 4 14. Daniil Kvyat 3 Constructors' standings 1. Mercedes 111 2. Force India-Mercedes 44 3. McLaren-Mercedes 43 4. Red Bull-Renault 35 5. Ferrari 33 6. Williams-Mercedes 30 7. Toro Rosso-Renault 7