First and foremost, congratulations to Fernando Alonso for winning the first race of the season. The first race run under the new regulations was a bit of a disappointment for me. To be honest I was expecting a different and exciting race but it turned out to be much of the same. "Boring" it was according to Schumacher and a "train the whole way" according to Lewis Hamilton.
The start was a good clean one with Mark Webber's car spewing a lot of smoke which caused Sutil to touch Kubica and he spun, leaving him to prop up the back of the field. Shame for Sutil, seems that with Kimi Raikonnen now gone, he has other people hitting him.
Vettel was the class of the field, pulling away strongly and never looking like he could be challenged. In fact, his pace was so good that he should have won this race hands down. Unlucky for him, his spark plugs didn't work properly and he has to slow down considerably only to be overtaken by Alonso, Massa and Hamilton. Poor Vettel still managed to hold on for 4th though.
Alonso was always strong during this weekend and I knew he would be on the podium but not winning the race. His win was only because Vettel had that spark plug problem, without it Alonso could not have challenged Vettel. But Alonso did drive a controlled and stable race.
Massa also although he had good race pace, did not have the pace to challenge Vettel. He lost a position to Alonso at the start and has some other problems especially with fuel consumption throughout the race, so he wasn't even able to challenge Alonso.
Hamilton had a good start as well and had similiar pace to the Ferraris. His only problem was either he made a mistake at Turn 4 by himself or he was squeezed by Massa. Either way, he drifted wide and lost a position to Rosberg which wasted a lot of time for him for half the race. Without this, he could have got closer to Massa and maybe even taken him near the end.
The 2 Mercedes cars did not really have the pace to challenge the leaders as expected but Rosberg put in a respectable performance. Not much to say about Schumacher though, he seemed pretty quiet and was just holding station.
Webber was a different kettle of fish. Not only did he have a bad start, his engine spewed out a lot of smoke, probably due to overflooding of the engine or something almost causing a major accident. He lost a position and was caught behind the Mercedes cars and then Button. Even though the Red Bull had the pace, Webber couldn't do much as overtaking is still impossible.
The rest of the field did not conjure up anything interesting to talk about aside from all the retirements and there were quite a few of them. Bruno Senna retired as well, shame to have the Senna name not finishing the race. Virgin also disappointed with double DNFs.
The surprise of the race was Lotus Racing which managed to finish the race albeit last and were 3 laps down. Tony Fernandes was quite excited at the prospect. Maybe he's serving free nasi lemak now at the teams' motorhome.