Last year, it was the motor quitting. This year, pieces started falling off Daniel Ricciardo’s car before he could pass the start line.
That sort of thing leads us to think that he was not driving a Renault, buy something cobbled together from the spare parts bin of a certain defunct Swedish car company that had a reputation for dropping parts along the highway soon after leaving the dealership.
Valtteri Bottas won of Mercedes won the race. Just behind, albeit by over 20 seconds, was the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. The only thing that prevented Mercedes from sweeping the podium is that they had just the two cars in the race.
Red Bull was in the familiar third position, the only change being that Max Verstappen, not Ricciardo, was behind the wheel.
Ricciardo would have been on the second step of the podium if there were such a thing for the DNFs. Nico Hulk Enberg was the top finisher for Renault, recording a seventh and being down just the one lap on the top-six finishers.
The first race of the season looked like the entirety of the last season and while we are often critical of the maneuvers by the officials to make all the cars equivalent, when we think they should be able to go as fast as they can be made to go, something that would make F1 racing more competitive and less processional would be welcome.
We would not go so far as to say that the fans should vote for who gets to race, as that would only lead to Jackie Stewart driving the Albert park circuit with his left blinker flashing the entire time.
Pardon us; it is Sir John Young Stewart. Protocol must be observed.
The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were fourth and fifth. Vettel reportedly had the fastest car in pre-season testing and was the bookies’ choice to win the race.