F1 – Malaysian GP Race Day Story

Remember what I said in my previous posting? You can’t be certain of the weather. In a week we had rain without missing a single day in the afternoon, but comes the race day, all was dry and humid.

Saturday’s Qualifying Session was tricky, it had the grid jumbled up pretty good for decent racing on Sunday.

An entertaining race in its own way but not even close to Melbourne in my opinion. So what’s the recipe for today’s second successive successful Formula One outing? It wasn’t much the rain factor alone in Qualifying, I believed it was more the case of McLaren and Ferrari erred in anticipating the tricky rain condition. This put them at the back of the grid and thus gave us some entertaining race.

Jenson started with a different race strategy to Hamilton. But he regretted it later after seeing the final few laps his car was struggling a lot and Felipe managed to overtake him as a result.

Well to be honest, the race was not entirely exciting for the most part. If Hamilton started in front, I don’t think we have much to see in the race. The Ferrari of Felipe and Alonso was fighting Jaime and Button on a pit stop strategy. Button was on a soft compound tyre and had to pit in early while both Ferraris were on a harder compound tyre and set to pit after more than half race distance covered. So they were practically fighting the unseen battle until the later part of the race when Ferrari pitted for tyre change.

From the start, things already went wrong for Alonso. On the formation lap his gearbox broke and he had no clutch during the race. However, interestingly he adopted a unique solution to first gear down and then push the throttle hard so the car would engage the gear needed for the turns. From his onboard camera, I can only wonder how he still managed to drive the sicken Ferrari quite competitively battling out with Massa and Button until the end of his engine life in the final lap. I guess this had to be one of the hardest race in his career. It was a cruel luck and a tough test on Ferrari characters after this. Alonso had lost the championship lead after this race.

Lewis had an amazing drive from 20th, drove like a man on a mission he lit up the race by his manoeuvres but hit a brick wall when coming up against Sutil also on a Merc engine.

Aero these days played far too important role than it has been before. The wings and diffusers are the culprit to some extent, it channels too much dirty air.

Ferrari is particularly very sensitive to dirty air when following another car because the times set by Massa and Alonso in clear air were phenomenal. Just another worrying sign of the new rule. You can’t deny Formula One is not about overtaking, I agree with Alonso. But when you are significantly faster than the car in front and still queuing when you should be up ahead fighting among your peers, I think that’s not racing either.

The comparative pace of the Red Bulls, McLarens and Ferraris are still a bit of mystery, one can’t be certain of it even by now, but the overtaking advantage of the McLarens via their f-duct device has been proven the difference in negotiating traffics so far.

Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, PM of Malaysia with Bernie checking out the Lotus. Yes Mr. President, his office is small.

Bernie has now sang a different tune from the first Grand Prix of Bahrain where he called for calm over the new ban on refuelling. Now, he warned that F1 so far was saved by the weather. Considering that Lewis’ storming drive get stuck finally by a Force India for 20 laps is something of a concern. Bernie realized this fear. How can a McLaren which is approximately 1-2 seconds faster than Force India still get stuck and unable to overtake? But yet Lewis seemed to past the other cars fairly easily. I might theorized that most cars on the grid were running a high downforce setup expecting shower on raceday. Since the McLaren can stall their wing, this gave them tremendous advantage over the rest of the field as we can see during the race.

Vettel jumped Mark and Nico at the start and that was it. He led the race with sublime control to victory and there was nothing Webber could do about it.

Red Bull dominated the race with a 1-2 finish. Have they managed to solve those reliability issues? We can’t be too sure since the team was running without any pressure from McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes. It was almost too easy for them. They are not running at full speed in the race. Well, let’s see in Shanghai if the Red Bull can be in one piece under pressure.

Robert drove a great race yet again and was up to fourth on the first lap, which he held until the end of the race. He tried to catch Rosberg, but the Mercedes had pretty similar pace. One thing to note here, Renault’s new package is certainly competitive now. The jump is pretty impressive.

Pretty interesting view isn’t it? Minutes before the race start procedure. Kamui and his team somehow not performing according to their expectation. Zero points so far, I think they might wonder where will they go from here now.

3 races so far and consistently far back on the grid, Cosworth have nothing to offer in terms of performance. Williams even suggesting bringing Volkswagen into the picture now as their engine supplier.

With Lotus’ failure in the race in front of the home crowd, Nico’s 3rd place was sweet and the crowd gave the approval at the podium ceremony.

Nico is now the new Mercedes hero after giving Michael the hat-trick beating this season. Strangely for some reason his achievement was not that celebrated by media.

Even though Michael is beaten three times this season, his importance can never be understated. His input, experience and leadership qualities are hard to come by of any drivers these days. In the race, he was in 6th position before a wheel nut failure. Pretty strange failure I’d have to say.

Nice Shoes Robert. Where can I get them for dirt cheap price?

I round up my article with this picture of Mark Gascoyne tweeting, in spite of his busy activity, he can steal some time to tweet. I hope Tony knows what he is doing.

Until then, we will meet again in a couple of weeks time in what is likely to be a much cooler race in Shanghai.

Editorial : Mu’az Zakaria
Image : Mercedes Petronas GP,Lotus Racing, BMW Sauber, Renault F1, www.f1fanatic.co.uk, McLaren

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