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We’ll be talking about the 2014 Australian GP in years to come

Mar 17, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

Australian F1 Grand Prix - Race Getty Images

The 2014 Australian Grand Prix was one of the most hotly anticipated races in years as a whole new era of the sport began on Sunday in Melbourne. And boy did it live up to the hype.

It was maybe not a classic race, but certainly an important one that was aided by a number of poignant and rather warming storylines. As the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton floundered, the new generation of young and exciting drivers came to the fore. Bear in mind that Vettel is just 26 and Hamilton is 29 – they seemed like the old boys on Sunday, though.

Instead, it was about four drivers in particular: Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas, Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo. At an average age of 22, this quartet is set to become the young upstarts pestering the older drivers and giving them grief in 2014. It sure feels good to be writing about some new names…

Although Ricciardo’s disqualification did put a dampener on his race weekend, it was a great display from the Australian driver to finish second on track. With Vettel retiring on lap five, the result saw him become alpha male at Red Bull for a few hours at least. The images of him on the podium will go down in Australian motorsport folklore, and there will be a great push for the FIA’s decision to be overturned upon appeal.

Magnussen was one of the main beneficiaries, rising up to second place as a result. In the race, the F1 rookie – making his debut on Sunday – duped Hamilton at the start and then produced a fine display to remain in the top three for the whole race. Fellow rookie Daniil Kvyat became the youngest ever points scorer in the race, finishing tenth and then being promoted to ninth following Ricciardo’s exclusion. He too ran well throughout the race, kept himself out of trouble and produced a very mature drive.

And then we have Bottas. The Finnish driver was simply spectacular on Sunday, making 19 passes for position. Having started in P15, he jumped up to sixth place before suffering a puncture after hitting the wall at turn ten. Back down to P16? No problem: he simply re-overtook the drivers he had passed earlier. Compatriot Kimi Raikkonen was one of a handful of drivers to have the ignominy of being passed twice by the Williams. It was a remarkable display, and one would imagine that without the puncture he would have been vying for a podium finish.

Of course, we cannot forget Nico Rosberg. Although they are great friends and Mercedes do run an ‘equal driver’ policy, it sometimes feels like the German driver is overshadowed by superstar teammate Lewis Hamilton. However, when he’s at his best, Rosberg is a very tough driver to beat. With so many other storylines dominating the coverage of the race, it is quite easy to forget that he won the race with relative ease.

Once again, a German driver won the race by over 20 seconds. On the face of things, that’s a continuation from 2013. In reality though, the sport is a completely new animal.

In years to come, this race will be spoken about by journalists, broadcasters and fans.

“Remember Magnussen’s first race?”

“Remember Kvyat’s debut?”

“Remember when Bottas passed everyone twice!?

Some very memorable moments indeed. Long may this continue.

  1. mso88 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    F1 has managed to make its already boring races now profoundly boring. The so-called “new era” is akin to the Emperor’s new clothes. F1s “managers” have forgotten motor racing’s Prime Directive: build the fastest, screamin’-est track rockets humanly possible. Political correctness doesn’t attract spectators, high-decibel, 20000 RPM cars do. Back to the drawing board….and this time bring some common sense.

  2. mso88 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    Through astounding applied technology, F1′s engineering wizards have managed to exactly duplicate the exhaust note, decibel-level, and raw, visceral excitement of a 1965 Buick.

  3. kitnamania13 - Mar 17, 2014 at 11:44 AM

    The positive tone of the article is somewhat alarming. I’m not saying the race was terrible; it had its moments, but overall, it was a mixed bag at best. I’m just concerned that the columnists on this site might be forced to shill for F1 because their cable network broadcasts the races.

    I sincerely hope this is not the case, but if Bahrain ends up being a dud, as it usually is, and we get a positive article about that race, then I’ll really start to think something’s up.

    • indycarseries500 - Mar 17, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      Really?! I thought it was better than most.

    • Luke Smith - Mar 17, 2014 at 2:57 PM

      The main point I was trying to make wasn’t that this was the most amazing race ever. Not at all. Certainly a refreshing change from what we saw at the backend of last season.

      Instead, it was more the importance of the 2014 Australian Grand Prix. For the reasons listed at the bottom of the article, it’ll be one we look on fondly, I think. We do the same about Australia 2009 (Brawn’s miracle). That was by no means a classic race – lots of drama, but one guy would have won by a country mile had it not been for the race finishing under a SC.

      I enjoyed the race, but there were times when I had little to write about on the report – a truly great race doesn’t give writers a second to breathe!

      Let’s see what Malaysia brings us.

      • kitnamania13 - Mar 17, 2014 at 8:55 PM

        I appreciate that you took the time to respond to my comment. As long as I know you’re being honest with your analysis and opinions, I’ll continue to enjoy reading your posts.

  4. bradstracks - Mar 18, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    Why did we NOT get to see the first pits stops of the F1 season?!?!? (When Button went from 9th to 6th)

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