|The finger is back. (Photo: CNN)|
I live on the east coast of the United States, so the Australian Grand Prix went lights out at 1 AM my time. But come on, this was the first Formula One race in nearly four months. There was no way I was going to sleep through this one.
I went to bed around 8:00 and set an alarm for midnight, giving me a chance to watch F1 Countdown on NBCSN. Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs and Steve Matchett are better than ever. No wonder Sports Illustrated listed them among the honorable mentions for best broadcast team in 2015.
The race itself started off interesting enough, with Daniel Ricciardo's car getting stuck in sixth gear before the start. He would eventually recover to start the race two laps down, only to retire with similar issues after 25 laps.
But the story of the day was Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari, who used pit strategy to their advantage to take the victory in the opening grand prix of the season. The Mercedes men of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finished second and third respectively. Vettel, however, proved that this season may not be a walk in the park for Mercedes like they've been used to the past three years. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he was voted Driver of the Day in a landslide.
(And yes, I went back to bed after F1 Extra and slept in until 8:00am. I actually got a full eight hours of sleep.)
I still want to be cautious with the belief that we could see a legitimate battle for the championship this season. (Keep in mind, Ferrari and Vettel have won early season races before.) But Vettel's pace matched Hamilton's when it mattered most, and a brilliant strategy by Ferrari won them one of the most thrilling races we've seen in a long time. Personally, I cannot wait for China!
Also, in other news, McLaren's Fernando Alonso has just announced his immediate retire...alright, you get the joke. Happy April 1st.