Formula One | Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
QUALLY: There was rain predicted for this weekend. And it came early in the weekend as well; during qually ! Maldonado was the one that was pushed out by the weahter in Q1. Q2 saw some nice fights for position, both cars from Williams were however not good enough in the rain. Guiterrez did well, compared to Sutil. The people in Q3 were: Button, Vergne, Magnussen, Hulkenberg, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Alonso, Rosberg, Vettel and Hamilton. Vettel came back from last race to score P2 for the grid. And Hulkenberg had a good qually as well. Both McLaren's were a bit off. The timing for them wasn't right... After the qually finished it was reported that Bottas held up Ricciardo so 3 places down and also the first to receive points on his license. Most of the people, but also Coulthard said, that it's a bit hard to punish someone double. But that is the regulation however.
RACE: Perez didn't start the race, there was a software problem on his car. The drivers that did start gave the spectators a nice couple of laps. Unfortantly Raikkonen, Bianchi and Maldonado were quiet soon out or in serious need of repair. But besides that some nice fight around place 10. With both Williams drivers and McLaren drivers. And even Ferrari were mixed up in it. Raikkonen was in need of repair (as mentioned) because Magnussen clipped his back wheel. So already 2 incidents in view of the stewards: Bianchi-Maldonado and Magnussen-Raikkonen. Kobayashi had a great first stint towards 8th but dropped back after the first series of pit stops. Grosjean had a nice fight all the way trough. Hulkenberg was in fight with Ferrari, as seen before. And it went pretty well again. Mid way the race the overtaking stopped a bit. And there were some more drop-outs. 6 in total to be precise, if you don't count the DNS from Perez. Ricciardo the last one, Sutil the one to stand still on track just after the last turn/hairpin. Guiterrez to be the one with smoking brakes in the pit. In the last couple of laps the fights came back. And it was clear that Mercedes had better handling in the fuel consumption... Massa and Bottas did had a fight earlier on when Bottas was behind Massa. And in the later stadium it was the same only now without a car in front (for miles). Massa did get the famous team order message again. But didn't gave in to it. Which is good in my oppinion, maybe the team didn't like it. But I guess they should know how Massa reacts to that kind of things after the same thing happened at Ferrari a view races back. So Massa's pride went in front. Good for him ! Hopefully the team/Bottas isn't to mad at him. Button was in front this race instead of Magnussen, with a good solid race. Vettel on 3rd spot on the podium. Ricciardo with a lot of bad luck. He was one the 6 drop-outs. After an unsafe-release, penalty and a wing that came loose. He was down in 16th place by the time he went out in the pits... So Hamilton wins, before Rosberg and Vettel.
AFTER THE RACE: So after two races, Mercedes goes in front of McLaren in the team-standings. And Rosberg is still in front of Hamilton and Alonso in 3rd spot in the driver-standings. Next week it is time for Bahrain. This time during the evening. For the first time it will be a night race. I hope that it will cause for more excitement in the race. The longer version didn't help in 2012, and the normal version of last year with a view adjustments didn't help either. So hopefully the dark can make it bit more tense. It's kind of nice to have a dark-race in the start of the season...