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GP Week : Issue 178
FROM THE COCKPIT to stop much earlier than planned to put a new set of mediums on and that meant a change to the strategy, but it’s all good experience for me. I’ve said all through pre-season that the first races are a chance for me to learn and today was really good for that. I feel good physically and now we have a lot more information about tyre wear and how to manage that so we’ll take that to next week’s race Malaysia and see what we can do at our first home race of the season.” DANIEL RICCIARDO “In the end I had to retire with a problem linked to the exhaust. I reported back to the pit wall that I could hear strange noises and I tried to fix it by changing a few functions, but it was not to be. At the start of the race, I struggled to find grip and it felt like I was driving on ice, as it took a very long time to warm up the tyres. But afterwards, after about ten laps, I got up to speed and my lap times were not too bad, but by then I had lost too much time in the early stages. I think we have more homework to do when it comes to the tyres. Not the ending I wanted for the first Grand Prix of the season, especially here in my home race.” NICO ROSBERG “An electric problem finished my race whichwasashameasIwasona two-stop strategy and in a good position to score a decent result. There are lots of positives that we can take from the weekend however. The team have developed a solid car over the winter, I had a good qualifying pace and the car also ran well in the wet. It looks like we have started to close the gap to the front runners and we can build on that.” PASTOR MALDONADO “It was a disappointing end to a difficult weekend for myself and the team. The car was not responding as we hoped in the conditions today and unfortunately I lost the back end and ended up in the gravel. We need to work hard to solve the problems in the car to be ready for the next race in Malaysia.” NICO HULKENBERG “I’m bitterly disappointed about what happened today, but at the same time I’m not blaming anyone. Things like this happen in racing. What is particularly bothering me is the fact that I lost all this mileage today, which is so important particularly at the beginning of the season. It would have given me a lot of valuable data and information for the next races. Obviously, Melbourne is not a good place for me. It was my third Grand Prix here and the third time that I leave this place empty handed. The only good thing is that the next race takes place next weekend.” AND ... THE GPWEEK DRIVER OF THE DAY AWARD GOES TO... ADRIAN SUTIL. It was a flute-smashing return to Formula One from Adrian Sutil, whose one-year absence from the sport appears to have sharpened his racecraft. Sutil led the Albert Park race for much of the first stint, and in the process enabled Force India to lead back-to- back grands prix for the first time in the team’s six-year history. 29 GPWEEK.com // 29 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> AUSTRALIA