With huge regulation changes for the 2014 Formula One season, the deck of cards has well and truly been shuffled. The sports pecking order has changed, we knew things would be different from testing but how different only events in Australia would tell. The F1 practice sessions got underway this morning and reaffirmed Mercedes as the favourites.
Although Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes car came to halt in first practice 1 as an oil sensor failed, he led his team mate by the end of the sessions. A strong Merc 1-2 is strongly suggesting that this is how the race may pan out. Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull attempted to recover from their horrifically unreliable test season where the car suffered continuous issues with its new 1.6 litre V6 turbocharged engine and overheating. Clocking up a good number of laps and setting the fourth fastest time, the team have clearly made some progress, however Vettel did have to stop to allow the car to cool at one stage. Will they finish the race? The Ferrari duo did well will with Alonso fastest in FP1 but Raikkonen trailing him in both sessions due to an unnamed issue with his car. Both McLaren and Williams are looking fast and so expect a strong performance from them this weekend. Will either end up on the podium? We shall have to wait and see. Lotus on the other hand are struggling as the car looks unsettled out on track and when in the garage it is mainly in pieces. Grosjean spun and broke the back left corner of his car at the end of FP2.
The 2014 Formula One cars true pace will be seen during qualifying. After practice today I think betting on a silver car to be on pole is a safe one.