When the drama around the race is more entertaining than the actual race, it's not a good thing for Formula 1.
The Australian GP was an odd race, so many mistakes, both technical and from mental. McLaren, Renault, Button, Ferrari all screwed up one way or the other plus two drivers out with medical conditions. Add lawsuits and teams not starting and teams threatening to quit. it all made for a very weird start to the season.
The result was a foregone conclusion: Lewis Hamilton controlled the pace from the front and Nico Rosberg, who seemed off all week end, had no answer for him.
Rosberg had a poor start and was never even in DRS range of Lewis. He might have had a chance on the safety car restart following the first lap Maldonado crash but he again seemed asleep at the wheel, letting Hamilton get a four or five car length advantage by the time they got on the front straight.
Rosberg smade a bit of progress towards the end of the race but the team started sending ominous fuel consumption warnings and that was that.
Mercedes simply crushed the competition and they seemed to be barely trying.
Third, for Ferrari, would seem as good as a win. Best of the rest anyway, but still first of the losers. Vettel had a bad start but muscled his way past Raikkonen in a way I'm sure they will have discussed afterwards.
Unlike Rosberg, Seb had the right idea on the restart, he was right on Massa's tail but he makes a mistake on the last turn, hits the curb and is forced to lift losing momentum.
Ferrari did get the pit stop strategy right with Sebastian overlapping a Felipe Massa stuck behind Ricciardo for a lap.
Not so clear was the thinking behind two stopping Raikkonen. Bad luck for Kimi with the technical issue with the wheel, according to Autosprint the thread on the left rear hub was stripped when, during the first stop, Kimi let go of the clutch while the wheel gun was still engaged. In any case, rusty thinking at Ferrari releasing him with a wobbly wheel.
Massa was P4 but the team made a real mistake releasing him behind a very slow Ricciardo and allowing Vettel to pass him in the pits. Bottas, what if? Williams certainly missed out on points.
Speaking of points, Sauber of all teams scored with both cars! Ok, granted only one team did not score any points Sunday but, still. Nasr is obviously a very handy driver and the Sauber's no dog.
All the rookies did well, Sainz, Verstappen all. Better, I would say than veteran Button who made that bonehead move on Perez. Had the roles been reversed there would be much more murmuring in the press about it.
McLaren was just sad. amazing everyone is finding excuses for them and putting all the blame on Honda. Not sure that's entirely fair, takes two to tango.
Speaking of tango, there's the hoopla with Red Bull threatening to quit if F1 does not do something to equalize performance. When Red Bull was not happy complaining about rules they were complaining about the unreliable and underivable Renault engine. Again, takes two to tango. RBR writes much of its own software and they do the installation so it's hard to know exactly where things really stand. Without a doubt Ricciardo's car was coughing and stuttering a lot in the clip above.
Renault is sick and tired of getting all the blame and none of the credit and is actively looking for new partners, if not a team to take over.
Formula 1 cannot afford to lose Red Bull and their deep pockets.
Red Bull is in it only for the image so if they don't win it becomes a cost analysis game. For sure Red Bull is not going to start building engines so a split from Renault can only lead to sale or a new partnership with a player of Mercedes, Honda or FIAT stature.
There are not too many out there. the obvious one is VW/Audi. Perhaps if VW/Audi does not want to jump in all the way an RBR-Porsche engine might come to life?