“What do you mean cancel the order?”
“There’s no need for them anymore!”
Surely this must’ve been the telephone conversation at an ear-plug manufacturing factoryÂ somewhere in the world before the red lights went out at Melbourne. The Turbo cars of the new eraÂ sent out a new message to fans all over.
And it was loud and clear.
No more brightly coloured pieces of foam stuffed into your ears then. You can actually have a relaxedÂ conversation with a fellow race goer on the main straight at any circuit now.
That’s not a bad thing. But if it’s about dissing the new oddly-shaped noses of the cars then the old wailing V8s would’ve helped censor that.
The Turbo Hybrid ERS cars are so quiet on TV that if it weren’t for a botched up late-braking attemptÂ from Kamui Kobayashi at Turn 1 providing visual relief, the start of the Grand Prix would’ve beenÂ almost dead silent!
Sadly, Felipe Massa’s Australian outing was as dead as the muted sound of his FW36 thanks to theÂ crashing Caterham. Both these guys need strong results this season.
There were more DNFs waiting to happen as pole sitter Lewis Hamilton was called in to retire on Lap 3 with a misfiringÂ cylinder. And soon defending champion Sebastian Vettel tooÂ joined him at the paddock.
Nico Rosberg demonstrated that his superb long runs in pre-season testing were no fluke. After his teammate’s woes ensured he had no real threat, his became a victorious walk in Albert Park. Although he was followed home by local boy Dani Ricciardo in the RBR10, the podium places fell to a team that were denied a podium the whole of last season! McLaren.
Kevin Magnussen equalled the best performance by a rookie in his debut Grand Prix leading home his World Champion teammate Jenson Button. Finishing 2nd and 3rd for McLaren after Ricciardo was DSQ on a technicality.
Valtterri Bottas entertained the fans with some close racing with the wall too! After replacing a damaged wheel rim he fought back to finish a fine P6 behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard and Kimi had a lack lustre afternoon in Melbourne.
19 year old Russian debutant Daniil Kvyat put in a spirited performance to claim P10 in his maiden Grand Prix for STR while Nico Hulkenberg showed off his superior race craft yet again. His amazing drives have gone largely unnoticed by the big teams so far. It won’t be long before he is the reason forÂ the German anthem in the FIA’s playlist.
But for now he’ll have to allow Rosberg and Mercedes that honour.Â They went into this season as the team to beat. And they’ve started off on a flyer. It seems the Silver Arrows have mastered the futuristic, high-tech, energy-efficient and quiet battle of 2014.
It’s about time the others make some noise.
P1 Rosberg -Â Mercedes AMGÂ 1hr 32m 58.710s
P2 Ricciardo [DSQ] – Red Bull Renault
P3 Magnussen – McLaren Mercedes