Lots of people have been talking about this new breed of F1 racing and theres a few things im confused about and here they are:
First of all people said malaysia was too busy and crazy? Was it, im pretty sure there was more overtaking in China and didn’t really ever settle down. Also people said they bored and turned off last year, really? Last season was vintage with a title fight to the wire. Im not saying that this year isn’t better but last year was hardly a snore fest, even webbers arial antics livened up the damp sqiub that is Valencia.
Furthermore expect these teams to get a handle on these rules and the strategy required to maximise the race and the races to be so crazy. I think its better to start a tad bit heavy handed with the rules because the teams will get their heads round them.
I hope you all enjoyed the race this weekend and this season is looking really lively with the midfield very competitive (mark webber wasn’t miles behind in 15th which is why he could make up the time – in years gone by he might of been lapped nearly by the time of his first pit stop) Red Bull and McLaren going at it hammer and tongs. With three weeks off now until the next race it will be interesting to see the developments from Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari and see if they can really come and join the fight at the front. The first european race is traditionally when teams bring a large package upgrade so expect the pecking order to change a bit, for most teams they tend to bring a big update for the first race, first european race, after the summer break (for the faster lower downforce races) and then sometimes the start of the flyaways. These upgrades will address the problems that the teams have had on the road and the ideas they’ve nicked off the other teams.
We leave the first set of flyaway races with a very different Formula 1 in 2011. So far the DRS can be considered a sucess and some epic races have ensued with great action due to the DRS and mostly the Pirelli tires. Interestingly it could spell the end for qualifying, as mark webber showed parking it up in Q1 and saving tires is a useful tactic.
Even if this is the case expect it to further improve the racing as people will be carving through the field come sunday. It is likely to return to the days of running race fuel in Q3 where people could go for glory or the long game with their Qualifying strategy.
Sebastian Vettel maintains his 100% percent record in 2011 and converts another pole position to a win in malaysia to go to a maximum 50 out of 50 points in the championship. Jenson Button finished second and moves into second in the standings with 26 points with another Renault (this time quick nick!) car getting the final podium spot.
It was an action packed race that saw lots of on-track action helped sometimes by the DRS. The DRS system did not simply allow drivers to drive round the other cars as some people feared, overtaking still required skill. In fact the few times when a car passed easily using the DRS it was most likely down to the tires. The Pirelli rubber degraded much more in Malaysia with drivers requiring 3 and 4 stops with the tires falling away quite quickly. It was exciting to watch and almost hard to keep track of the whole field as so much was going on, it definatley was no Bahrain 2010. In fact at one point we had cars going 3 abreast into a corner, when was the last time that happened!!?
However the day wasn’t the best for Alonso and Hamilton
So qualifying this morning proved that McLaren’s radical design really has paid off. After shelving their ambitious blown diffuser plans (for now) and the new upgrade remaining with the titanium diffuser (IE still not optimized) from the last race. Obviously Jenson and Lewis are more aquainted with the car and how to set it up and therefore qualifying was close between the two teams.
Renault had problems with both cars in FP1, seeing Heidfeld and Petrov in the gravel trap with failures under breaking. D’ambrosio also ended up in the traps after a similar failure in FP1. The hotter FP2 has given an indication that the tires are going to fall apart in Sepang as well as 75 – 90% chance of rain during the race too!!
Details have emerged that the DRS straight will be the pit straight again in Sepang (note the most expensive tickets) but with back to back drags it will be interesting to really see how much difference it makes this weekend.
Second up is the details of the differences in the cars, with Renault and Red Bull using 10% more fuel to make their diffusers effective, which goes someway to explain their one lap pace compared to their race pace. The other teams have got blown diffusers that do not use extra fuel and McLaren especially seem quite close.
Last weeks Moto GP was pretty epic, the on track over taking was not massive by Moto GP standards but it was a thrill a minute with Rossi taking out Casey Stoner, then leader simoncelli having a high side. Colin Edwards, Cal Crutchlow and Ben Spies all slid off into the gravel allowing Nicky Hayden to pick up a podium for Ducati with Lorenzo taking a home win.