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Australian GP: Disappointing race for Williams Martini


By Andrew Hooper
March 25 2018

The 2018 Australian GP would be a race where the Williams Martini team would suffer a disappointing result with Sergey Sirotkin retiring and Lance Stroll finishing well down the order in 14th. Sergey would be forced to stop off the track with what was a brake issue. For Lance his race was one of simply lacking in pace with his F41 been passed by a Sauber late in the race. Next stop is Bahrain where the big question will be whether Williams can turn things around or will it be a repeat of Australia.

 
 Australian Grand Prix Race Review
 
Stroll
 

The Williams Martini team would see their drivers start the 2018 Australian Grand Prix from 13th and 19th. On pole was Hamilton followed by Raikkonen, Vettel, Verstappen, Magnussen, Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo, Sainz and Alonso in tenth. Lance had moved up one place as a result of Bottas receiving a penalty for a gearbox change after a qualifying accident. The grid would move away on their formation lap and would complete the lap taking their places on the grid.

And with the start it would be Hamilton leading from Raikkonen and Vettel. Of the top drivers Verstappen and Ricciardo were running on the supersoft tyre. For Williams both cars were on the supersoft tyres as well. Lance had lost one place to Ocon running in 14th while Sergey was down in 19th. Lance was losing time to the Force India car ahead. Magnussen was running in 4th ahead of Verstappen and Grosjean. Lance would lose a place to Bottas dropping to 15th. But on lap seven Sergey would retire his car ending his first Grand Prix. He would complain that the break had gone full straight seeing him have to pull off the track.

 
Sirotkin
 

Verstappen would spin at Turn one as he tried to pass Magnussen. Ricciardo was looking to get past Grosjean for fifth. Verstappen was down in 8th while at the front Hamilton was 2.3s ahead of Raikkonen. For Williams Lance was running a lonely 15th but was likely to go longer on his supersoft tyre. Lance would report that he was struggling massively with oversteer. Both Hamilton and Raikkonen would pit taking on the soft tyre. This would see Vettel now leading but still on the ultrasoft tyre. More drivers had pitted including Magnussen, Verstappen, Sainz, and Leclerc. As a result Lance how in thirteenth but with twenty two laps on his supersoft tyre.

Magnussen would retire on the track shortly after his pit stop. With all that was happening Lance was now in 10th but had yet to pit. For Hass Grosjean would also retire stopping at Turn 2 seeing the Virtual Safety Car deployed. Vettel would pit under the Safety Car on lap twenty seven coming out in front of Hamilton. Vettel was now on the soft tyre while for Williams Lance had also pitted taking on the soft tyre. Vettel was able to gain an advantage using the Safety Car. Lance was now running in 13th. But the full Safety Car would be deployed as they were having issues getting Grosjean's car out of the way.

 
Sirotkin Retires
 

But Lance would pit again under the Safety Car this time taking on a new set of ultrasoft tyres still running in 13th. The race would restart with Vettel leading from Hamilton and Raikkonen. Ricciardo was now 4th followed by Alonso and Verstappen. Lance would be passed by Leclerc to now be 14th. Lap forty of fifty eight the order was Vettel, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Alonso, Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Bottas, Vandoorne, and Sainz. As the race started to come to a close Lance was able to close the gap to Leclerc but would drop away again to remain 14th. With the final lap Hamilton had dropped well off Vettel so it would be the Ferrari that would take victory in the 2018 Australian Grand Prix. Hamilton was second followed by Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Alonso, Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Bottas, Vandoorne and Sainz in 10th. For Williams Lance would finish well down the order in 14th. Not the race that Williams was hoping for with one car retiring and the other well off the pace.

 
Sirotkin
 

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Australian GP: Disappointing race for Williams Martini
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25/03/2018 08:14
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