While some observers are optimistic that this weekend’s race at Melbourne’s Albert Park temporary race track will provide more excitement than did the season opener in Bahrain, the consensus among drivers seems to be that the Australian Grand Prix will continue the trend of no overtaking that threatens to plague the entire 2010 season.
It’s true that the Albert Park circuit is popular among drivers. Fernando Alonso said on the official Ferrari website, “I like the Albert Park track. It’s quite a technical circuit with some pretty interesting corners.”
He then underscored the importance of grid position in a race where overtaking will likely be minimal to non-existent, saying, “Overtaking has never been easy and what is even more important now, like on all city circuits, is the result in the qualifying.”
Nevertheless, Alonso, like his team mate Felipe Massa, and McLaren driver Jenson Button, has cautioned against making hasty changes to the rules to improve the show. “I think that many of us have given some hot headed comments immediately after the race in Bahrain,” Alonso said. “It’s true that the race in Sakhir wasn’t especially spectacular…but it’s too early to talk about changing the rules. We have to wait and see different races and check the situation, without being emotional. Something that confuses the fans is changing the rules all the time.”
Meanwhile, Red Bull pilot Mark Webber has predicted that the second grand prix of the year will likely be much like the first, in terms of its processional aspect. “I think it will be similar to Bahrain,” he told Autosport. “Unfortunately this is the way that races are.”
Nevertheless, he expressed optimism that the situation would not persist for the entire season. “I don’t think it will happen for 18 races,” he said. “I think we will find ways [to improve the show]….it is a learning curve for all of us.”
Last year’s champ Jenson Button concurred: “The last race was not the most exciting from a fans point of view, but I think we can improve it, and it takes all of us to look at what happened and not get too worried about it.”