WRITE TO US Mo­tor­sport News Hay­mar­ket Con­sumer Me­dia, Bridge House, 69 Lon­don Road, Twick­en­ham TW1 3SP Satur­day was rub­bish, but Mercedes v Fer­rari looks promis­ing

Motor Sport News - - Santa Pod At 50 -

So, af­ter the farce of qual­i­fy­ing, we had a de­cent grand prix to open the For­mula 1 sea­son. As hoped, Fer­rari did give Mercedes a run and it would have been in­ter­est­ing to see if Se­bas­tian Vet­tel could have won in Aus­tralia with­out the red flag, as Fer­rari thinks.

Of course, mak­ing pre­dic­tions af­ter one race is dan­ger­ous, par­tic­u­larly on a street/park cir­cuit like Mel­bourne. But Fer­rari looks stronger than last year and that’s ex­actly what we wanted. Nico Ros­berg get­ting off to a good start is also promis­ing. As Lewis Hamil­ton showed last year, if the num­ber 44 Mercedes gets out front early on, it’s all over. A chas­ing Lewis is hun­gry and could mean we have a ti­tle fight even if the SF16-H doesn’t prove a match for the F1 W07 Hy­brid. Other good signs in­clude Red Bull’s chas­sis,the ever-more in­ter­est­ing team dy­namic at Toro Rosso and the fact we have a com­pet­i­tive new F1 team.

One slight con­cern I have is that there is a small un­der­cur­rent of feel­ing that the qual­i­fy­ing for­mat won’t nec­es­sar­ily re­vert to the pre­vi­ous sys­tem, that an­other new method could be tried. For some things, change can be good, but F1’s big is­sues are not to be found in qual­i­fy­ing. Just go back to what we had be­fore and fo­cus on more im­por­tant things. Kevin Turner, Editor

Fes­ti­val of Power Gates open: 0800hrs each day Ad­mis­sion adults £25 a day, chil­dren un­der 16 Web san­ta­pod.co.uk

Ben Lawrence, six-year-old son of our his­toric correspondent Paul, took this tri­als pic­ture Steve Stowe’s photo of Matthew Robin­son Gra­ham Lo­max’s pho­to­graph of a Dar­rian

Mark Ashby’s Ir­ish ral­ly­cross pho­to­graph

Will Jones’s snap of a very side­ways Elfyn Evans Steve Stowe’s pic from Race Retro

A side­ways Ford Es­cort Mk1, by Peter Atkins

Steve Jones braved the snow for this Va­ri­ety is the spice of test­ing, by James Smee

(Twit­ter: @KRT917)

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