With all do respect to Webber, Rosberg, and Vettel, I couldn’t stop thinking of the start of the Ferrari duo and Hamilton for our second race. Malaysia is always a treat – last year ending half way in due to the setting of the sun. The fate of Kuala Lumpur was decided by Mr. Bernie, who wanted a ‘twilight’ time in order to maximize exposure in other countries in terms of race timing.
Malaysia was good, not Australia good, but good.
1. The Ferrari duo struggle.
Starting from 19th (Alonso) and 21st (Massa) I was quite eager to see them peel their way through into the top ten. One lap in and Massa had made several passes, one on Alonso. In the meantime, Hamilton was smacking them aside as though he had constant KERS. At that moment it was obvious McLaren were happy in the heat and hard compound tires than the Ferarri’s were. Almost half way in, an onboard camera illustrated Alonso’s aching engine. He was suffering from a downshift issue. That explained his lack of pace.
“From the start things went wrong,” Alonso told Spanish television. “On the formation lap my gearbox broke and I had no clutch during the race, so I had to brake in a weird way.
I had to first gear down and then push the throttle hard so it would engage the gear for that corner.
So it was probably the hardest race of my whole life in terms of driving, because I had to improvise for every corner. But even so we were going to get a few points, which in the end was not possible because of the engine,” reads Autosport.com.
Massa’s reason for not driving away from his limping teammate was the struggle he has with warming his tires, specifically the hard compound.
On lap 38, Alonso joins the list of fastest laps, even with his gearbox problem. Imagine what we would have seen from him if things were in perfect condition. He has certainly evolved from his time at Renault and McLaren. He seems more composed, more mature, and a lot more tactful in his driving.
2. “That was a warning, excessive weaving with Petrov,” says Hamilton’s radio.
I know weaving is banned in F1. But c’mon, wasn’t that one exciting moment? You really get to see the hardcore racer they keep hidden. Vitaly didn’t do half bad either. He’s quite the aggressive driver if you ask me. I can understand though – weaving being banned. All drivers would be weaving left and right when a car is perched up behind them. Overtaking would never exist, and if it did, it would end in a huge crash. I understand FIA. At times, though, I wish things could get raw.
3. Rosberg outdoes his Champion teammate.
Rosberg is quite the silent racer. I had only realized that he completed the podium as he drove into parc ferme. Other than that I hadn’t even paid attention. I have never met him but I get the feeling he is the shy type. Now for the Champion, the seven time World Champion. He had an excellent start off the line. That was great to see. But I am aching to have the real Schumacher back in action. I want him to have that famous comeback that everyone has been talking about. Mercedes will not wait much longer, if you ask me. Rosberg is out-performing him every single time.
4. “Good boy..”
This was most probably the moment where I laughed the most and the hardest. Rob Smedley, Massa’s race engineer, has a lot to be proud of. Nobody would have thought Massa would make that quick of a recovery, let alone fighting for the championship three races in. For that, I say ‘Good boy’ too, for the improvement we only imagined.
5. It didn’t rain.
It’s a shame, really. I am sure a lot of us were sitting and hoping it would rain. Why? Our golden ticket to a more exciting race: more overtaking, no racing line, mixed strategies. Rain, for now, is our icing on the cake. It is now clear that we have entertainment under control while it rains. Dry conditions still seem to deliver dry results. I feel the sport still needs revision.
Redbull’s 1-2 was well deserved and well needed. That is a 43 point score for the team, putting them in third with 61 points, 5 points away from McLaren.
Massa takes the lead in the Drivers’ Standings with 39 points. Alonso and Vettel are tied at 37. That goes to show you that every point counts. Alonso’s 2 points (or 4 points – if he were to overtake Button) would have kept him in the lead. Rosberg’s third place finish puts him in contention for the championship as well, 4 points away from Massa.
Driver of the day: Sebastian Vettel
Moment of the day: ‘Good boy. Now get on to Kubica..’ says Smedley.
China is next.