From talk of lack of noise, to ‘taxi-cab driving’ to an all-out Mercedes domination, 2014 F1 season was dominated by all sorts of negativities one could possibly imagine.
And against our liking, nothing changed when the new season kicked off last week at the scenic Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne.
It all started with former Sauber test driver Giedo van der Garde knocking the court rooms, demanding a race drive he thoroughly deserved. The Dutchman’s actions were just and it was Sauber that should take the blame for ‘selling’ drives to four people when only two seats were available. The two parties eventually agreed on a settlement, but not before bringing F1 to the wrong limelight.
And on raceday, FIA asked Manor as to why it didn’t venture on track all weekend. While the regulatory body was satisfied with the answers, Bernie Ecclestone wasn’t impressed and is asking the team to pay for the freight cost covered by F1’s sponsor DHL.
The race itself was criticized with just 15 drivers lining up on the starting grid and only 11 of them making it to chequered flag. Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton won the race with a 30 second plus margin from Ferrari’s new recruit Sebastian Vettel(closest non-Merc car) with half of the field finishing a lap behind.
But the real drama started post race when Red Bull bashed out at ‘new regulations’, after seeing their lead driver Daniel Ricciardo finishing a lap down in sixth place.
Fearing it would take years before they could return at the forefront of F1, Red Bull threatened to quit the sport unless immediate actions were taken.
Their engine manufacturers Renault had the whole of winter to improve their power unit and close the gap to Mercedes. Instead, they messed up, and now find themsevles behind Ferrari in terms of power and reliability.
The positive stories from the weekend were sidelined
In the midst of all this stuff, F1 forgot the positive side of the story. No one spoke about 2015 cars being two seconds quicker than its predecessors and closing in on 2013 pace.
Marussia’s return to the sport, albeit in a different guise, was overshadowed by its inability to get the cars ready for qualifying. Similarly, no one spoke about how good a job Mercedes did to retain its advantage at the front of the field. If someone tops for two successive semesters, shouldn’t he be complimented for his efforts?
Likewise, the circuit organisers received no accolades for accumulating 100,000 people on race day - a considerable feat considering the downward trend seen in other parts of the world.
And finally, F1 finally started embracing social media with fresh accounts on photo sharing website Instagram and video hub YouTube. The incumbent Twitter page was also far more active last week and also featured a poll to vote for the best Australian Grand Prix of all time.
Three days since the race, everyone has forgot a certain Arnold Schwarzenegger that conducted the podium interviews. Instead, everyone is preoccupied with Red Bull's hollow exit threats.
This certainly wasn’t an ideal start to the season. And the sport itself didn’t do enough to make it look better.