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2008 F1 Australian GP "bloodiest" in 12 years

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Posted 03-16-2008 at 11:18 AM by Bludd
Updated 07-14-2008 at 02:54 AM by Bludd

With only under two thirds of the entire grid finishing, even Sébastien Bourdais scored his maiden point for Toro Rosso without crossing the line (his Ferrari engine blew up in a puff of smoke with 3 laps to go).

This weekend must have really shook Ferrari up: first Kimi has a problem that sees him stalling with just a few metres left to the pit-lane and thus, by having effectively stalled out on the track, can't go on to run in Q3, second [B]both[/B] Felipe and Kimi don't even get to the finish. In fact, all cars with Ferrari engines don't make it across the line. Barrichello got disqualified after the race for running a red light out of the pits. This means that Kimi is classified 8th, netting him one lousy point, a tenth of what he gained last year.

Speaking of Barrichello, his lolly pop guy messed up during the ill-fated pit stop and led to Barrichello driving off while the fuel hose was still attached.

Ferrari has seemed cocky (too cocky, I would say now) and sure (overly) of themselves through winter testing and at the start of the testing this weekend, but the events this weekend must force them back down to earth.

Hamilton won, he drove a great race and it was kinda like Montreal last year with many safety car periods and a lot of crashes and car failures, and Timo Glock had a spectacular crash reminiscent of Kubica's crash in Montreal, though not as violent and fast, thank the goodness for that.

One of the most head-scratching things that happened during the race, was at the very last lap, when Alonso was in fourth and Kovalainen was hunting him. Alonso defended himself well, but Kovalainen was faster and managed to slip past. He continued to drive on, but suddenly it seemed as if he almost stopped cold, allowing Alonso to coast past him and score fourth. Apparently Kovalainen accidentally pressed the pit-entry button, limiting the speed severely.

Heidfeld got second, Kubica got shafted by Nakajima, which was sad because Kubica drove a stellar race: all in all a great showing by BMW this weekend. Rosberg got third and his first F1 podium, and he and Hamilton were jumping and hugging in the backroom before going out on the podium; it was very touching to see them so happy and so full of energy after such a hot race.

Alonso got fourth, as I said, and it was pretty impressive (his first passing of Kovalainen was brilliant), but I think Renault will gain speed as the season progresses and this fourth place finish will give them momentum to work from. That is, if Piquet Jr's abysmal showing doesn't depress them too much. Seemed like he couldn't get anything right.

Who else didn't finish? Both Red Bulls, both Super Aguris, both Toro Rosso's (even though Bourdais was classified in the points), both Toyotas, both Hondas, both Force Indias, both Ferraris, one Renault and one BMW.

I have to say that the spectacle was awesome this weekend. If it was a combination of the track - which is used only once each year, thus making it very slippery - and the lack of engine braking and traction control or just the lack of engine braking and traction control, I can't say but I hope that the latter was a bigger influence than the track.

Race classification ("bloodiest" race since 1996 Monaco GP (3 cars finished) and the 2006 USA GP where only the 6 Bridgestone shod cars started):
1) Hamilton
2) Heidfeld
3) Rosberg
4) Alonso
5) Kovalainen
6) Nakajima
7) Bourdais
8) Räikkönen
Ret) Kubica
Ret) Glock
Ret) Sato
Ret) Piquet
Ret) Massa
Ret) Coulthard
Ret) Trulli
Ret) Sutil
Ret) Webber
Ret) Button
Ret) Davidson
Ret) Vettel
Ret) Fisichella
DSQ) Barrichello
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