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5 things we've learnt after the first Formula 1 race of the season in Melbourne

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: March 28, 2014

Comments (0) HERE'S five things I think we've learnt after the first Formula 1 race of the 2014 season.

1. Mercedes really are quite good.

Anyone have any doubts a Mercedes would win in Melbourne? I did. I wondered if their pre-season reliability would hold out in race conditions. Well, 50 per cent of the cars did. And if they can get the other 50 per cent to the race end, then Mercedes look like they're cruising. The question is, will Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton start fighting each other, a la Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. I foresee a rapid end to the apparently cordial relationship between the two if they start taking each other off the track.

2. Sebastian Vettel may have his hands full

Ok, Vettel had a problem in the race, but Daniel Ricciardo smashed him in qualy. The German seemed stroppy all weekend, more so than if it were just the car. Since his first World Championship year, he's pretty much always had a car he can win with, but I wonder if there's something other than a less than perfect Red Bull that's getting him down - perhaps a teammate who looks well capable of beating him, maybe?

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3. Nico Hulkenberg should be in a better car

It seems that Hulkenberg could drive a milk float and still deliver a decent result. Why is the man who seems to out-drive every car he pilots still in a midfield team? They say it's because he's too tall. But he seems to do a pretty good job of being an F1 driver, regardless of his height. At this rate Hulkenberg will be one of the best ever drivers to never have won a place in a top team. Come on someone, give him a chance.

4. F1 can exist without Ferrari

Ferrari were just about the most anonymous team in Melbourne. By their standards, which admittedly have slipped of late, they did nothing special in qualifying and were almost invisible in the race, despite Fernando Alonso finishing fifth, before Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification. Did we miss them? Yes. But can F1 still be mouthwatering without them? Yes again.

5. Williams are back

Many F1 fans have wanted to hear that news for a long time. We've always had a soft spot for Williams, a very British team that delivered us two of the last four British World Champions - Damon Hill and Nigel Mansell. It's pained us to seem them struggle so much. This season looks like being very different. Perhaps, as they used to say in the ad with the girl on roller skates, 'that's Martini'.

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