• Australian GP Paper Round

'Dreadful' day for Formula One

ESPN Staff
March 17, 2014 « Aussie organisers consider suing for lack of sexiness | Button: Third caps 'emotional' weekend »
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A few months ago the prospect of a season opening without another Red Bull/Sebastian Vettel shutout would have led to many breathing a sigh of relief, but the seismic regulation changes brought in for 2014 have left many far from happy.

The Australian media were distinctly unimpressed - the race coverage was also almost universally low-key - and in their defence these views were expressed before Daniel Ricciardo's late-night disqualification.

"It might not have been the day formula one died, but on Sunday at an Australian Grand Prix that was lacklustre by most measures, it began what could be a terminal illness," wrote Mark Fogerty in the Age. "The sound of the cars was dreadful, the racing was somnolent and the spectacle completely underwhelming. F1 authorities, along with the teams, have to urgently address the failings of the radical new regulations that have neutered much of the cars' traditional visceral appeal."

Rather unfortunately, he concluded: "If it weren't for new Australian F1 hero Daniel Ricciardo finishing second … the big crowd attracted by his stunning performance in Saturday's qualifying would have had nothing to get excited about."

Kevin Eason in the Times was deeply unimpressed with the five-hour delay before the decision to disqualify Ricciardo was announced. "For all its smug, smart, intellectual brilliance, F1 is a basket case of the first order. To keep fans waiting to discover the result of a grand prix they had watched almost six hours before is humiliating and, well, plain daft …

"Australia's best day out in F1 for donkeys' years was to be ruined by a technical infringement that will sound like gobbledegook to even the most devoted fan."

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