Guest Author - Christine Blachford
The season opener for 2007 took place in Melbourne, Australia at the beautiful Albert Park. The weather was unusually erratic, with both rain and winds making conditions difficult for the drivers.
During qualifying, Felipe Massa in the Ferrari suffered from some mechanical troubles and had to retire in 16th place. Raikkonen helped boost Ferrariís spirits though by getting pole on his debut for the Italian team. Other notable moments, were Hamilton picking up fourth place, Alonso in second with Heidfeld splitting them. Ralf Schumacher also had problems but managed to make it into the last session, and took 9th place. Super Aguri also placed really well with Sato and Davidson in 10th and 11th respectively.
The race was perhaps not as exciting as it could have been, but it was filled with lost of little mistakes from the drivers and plenty of indicators of some great action to come. Everyone got through the first corner cleanly, and Hamilton managed to overtake both Heidfeld and Alonso to get into second place. As the race wore on, though, Alonso used his experience to have a longer second stint, pit later than his team mate, and overtake him on the exit.
Raikkonen had the track all to himself, and sprinted off into the distance, whilst Massa was busy charging through the field to make it into sixth by the end.
David Coulthard had the major incident of the day, when he collided with Wurz and flew right over the top of the otherís car. No one was hurt, thankfully, but some of the onboard footage showed just how very close the accident came to being much worse.
Anthony Davidson suffered a knock from behind by a Spyker which put his race out and effectively ruined his weekend. He continued through the race, despite a bad back, and ended up second from last. Afterwards, he was taken to hospital, still complaining of back pains, but it was only a precautionary measure.
Aside from that, it was silly little things, like spinning in the pitlane, or on track, and brushing against the wall. It was an interesting race, and the rivalry between McLaren and Ferrari has certainly got off to a good start. It does seem like the other teams have a fair way to go before they are quite ready to join in the competition. Hamilton has experienced his dream debut and will be hoping to repeat his podium finish when they move on to Malaysia in a few weeks time.