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Photographic Retrospective – F1 Australian GP 2010

This would be the last time Herr Vettel would smile at the 2010 Australian GP. Just as two weeks ago in Bahrain, his Red Bull car would give up the ghost and cost the talented Teuton another race win. This time though, his RB6 car also robbed him of any points, as a brake failure would send him into the gravel, rendering him unable to finish. Red Bull looked set to dominate this weekend’s Grand Prix with Vettel and Webber qualifying 1-2. The usual suspects of Ferrari’s Alonso (Q3) and Massa (Q5) and McLaren’s Button (Q4) and Hamilton (Q11) were also near the front of the grid. Another strong contender was Renault’s Robert Kubica, who found himself on the top of time sheets in practise Friday, but stumbled in qualifying into 9th on the grid. After a tumultuous start to the race that saw Schumacher’s front wing damaged, Kubica jumped up to 4th and Alonso and Hamilton were sent further back. Kubica would finish the race is a solid 2nd.

The race started with a wet track, but warm weather was on the way. Button used his gut feeling to pit early on lap 7 for dry tires and used this strategic manoeuvre to vault past other cars still on wet tires. Using his characteristically smooth driving style, he didn’t need to pit again and would go on to win the Australian GP for the second consecutive year – also marking his first win with McLaren. Hamilton used a two-pit strategy and made for a very interesting second half of the race as he closed in on the two Ferraris ahead of him who were on older tires. Hamilton closed a 20+ second gap in no time but couldn’t get past the cunning Fezzas. Massa and Alonso would stay ahead of Hamilton for the duration of the race and finish in 3rd and 4th, respectively. Naturally, Hamilton started whining over the radio to his pit crew about how Button had only pitted once and he had pitted twice. Boo hoo. Hamilton ended up in 6th despite a late race spill with Mark Webber’s Red Bull. Webber would finish in 9th.

Away from the drama at the front of the pack, both Virgin cars, Sutil’s Force India, Petrov’s Renault, Senna’s HRT, Buemi’s Toro Rosso, Hulkenberg’s Williams, and Kobayashi’s Sauber all failed to finish the race.

Schumacher snagged a 10th place finish after spending about 30 very frustrating laps stuck behind Toro Rosso’s Alguersuari. Mercedes GP teammate Nico Rosberg finished in 5th, once again ahead of his 7-time World Champion teammate, proving that he isn’t afraid of a challenge.

It was also a big day for Force India, who secured crucial Constructor’s Championship points after a 7th place finish by Vitantonio Liuzzi.

Those who were concerned that the 2010 season would lack drama and excitement quieted down after this morning’s race. It turns out that it was the Bahrain event itself that was lacking. All the season needed was a little rain.

The full gallery of haps, mishaps, and candid driver moments is below.

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Breaking: Williams F1 FW32 Spyshot

2010 Williams F1 Spyshot - Autosport

Autosport has managed to secure the first spy shot of the 2010 Williams F1 car as it broke cover and tested at Silverstone earlier today. For more on the FW32 and how it differs from 2009′s FW31, click the photo to read the Autosport article about it. Note: livery is not yet complete for this car, so this is likely not what the finished design will look like when it takes to the track for Bahrain on March 14th.

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F1 Everything-But-The-Drivers Roundup: New Points System, New Stewards System, Silverstone’s Return, Renault, and the 2010 F1 Calendar!

Jean Todt smiles for the camera
It’s official: the FIA World Motorsports Council convened on Friday, 11 December and approved a new points system for F1 that will go into effect from 2010. Follow the jump for more.

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Rallye du Var: Rally Prowess Runs in the Loeb Family

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What’s that, you say? No 2009 WRC round in France? That’s OK. French fans instead got a treat when multiple world champion Sebastien Loeb brought the show to them once again, at the ultimate round of the French National Championship at Rallye du Var. Follow the jump for more.

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F1 News: Island Nation of Japan, Exit Stage Right

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Hot on the heels of Bridgestone’s exit last week, Toyota made the announcement that they were leaving F1. While it had been suspected for some time, and indeed it’s hoped that 2009 season find Kamui Kobayashi will land on his feet elsewhere in F1 next year, apparently Toyota had been playing its cards very close to its chest. Follow the jump to learn who was taken by surprise at Toyota’s announcement.

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Video: F1 Drivers Record Messages of Encouragement for Massa

Sky Sport recorded drivers up and down the F1 paddock offering messages of encouragement to Felipe Massa and have posted them on YouTube. While most fans are doubtless aware that drivers generally speak at least two languages, I’m fairly certain you’ll be surprised at least once during this video. :)

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F1 News: Auf Wiedersehen, BMW.

auf-wiedersehen

This probably won’t surprise many people, but BMW are quitting F1 at the end of 2009, it was announced yesterday.

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Breaking F1 News: Lewis Hamilton Spanked…er, Disqualified! (2009 Australian Grand Prix)

lewis-hamilton-karting

Adorable future F1 world championship liar Lewis Hamilton, in happier times. Photo: forums.canadiancontent.net

We thought the story had ended, with Jarno Trulli being given a 25-second penalty for passing under safety car conditions. Lewis Hamilton had then been awarded third.

But no! Much to our surprise, even though most of the paddock had already touched down in Malaysia, the 2009 Australian GP was still not over! Follow the jump to find out more.

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