Surprisingly, given that this is the second year of the new regulations regarding the Power Units, there were even fewer finishers today than in the 2014 Australian Grand Prix. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas was unable to start, having hurt his back yesterday while both Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren and Daniil Kvyat in the Red Bull never even got to the grid. The two Lotuses failed to complete a lap and Raikkonen also retired the Ferrari. So with the two Manor cars taking no part in any track action it was a very depleted field. That should have presented a great opportunity for picking up a substantial points haul but it was not to be for Toro Rosso.
Carlos and Max ran different tyre strategies, with the Spaniard going with the majority choice of starting on the Soft Pirelli, while Max was one of three drivers to watch the lights go out with Mediums on the car. Both drivers started well, Carlos going from seventh to fifth and Max from eleventh to ninth: the former ran as high as sixth before making his first pit stop on lap 24: unfortunately a problem with the left rear wheel meant it was a very long stop, which saw him tumble down the order to twelfth. He was now on Mediums and the plan was to run to the flag without stopping. This naturally meant his tyres were quite worn in the closing stages, when he couldn’t hold off Ericsson on fresher rubber with the Sauber and so he lost out on eighth place.
Max also ran as high as sixth, but after pitting on lap 32, he had to park his STR10 on the grass near the pit lane entry. However, it’s fair to say that our rookies produced mature performances and are bound to have a strong season, hopefully starting with a step forward in two weeks time at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit.
Who won? The Mercedes of course, Lewis Hamilton in front of Nico Rosberg, while in third place it was our former driver, Sebastian Vettel, securing a podium finish on his first outing with Ferrari.