Grand Prix 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

The first race of the season has just finished and what a race it was. Exciting from start to finish. Nice battles. Three World Champions on the podium. And the good thing is, there is another Grand Prix in just seven days time in Malaysia!

Having won in Melbourne, Kimi Räikkönen will go into the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix leading the World Driver's Championship. His Lotus car looked as though it was treating the new Pirelli tyres better than any other car/driver-combination, managing to win the race with only two stops. Can they keep this good initial form up?

Red Bulls pace didn't look too frightening in Melbourne. Mark Webbers race was ruined by his (usual) bad start, which apparently was caused by a software issue. Sebastian Vettel finished third. Let's see if they'll be able to fight for the win in Malaysia, where temperatures should be significantly higher than in Australia.

McLaren had a poor race (as expected). Jenson Button just finishing within the points. Sergio Perez' terrible qualifying led to him finishing just outside the points. Jenson sounded pretty pessimistic after the race about short term improvements. So we shouldn't expect a strong performance from them in Malaysia. But one never knows.

Mercedes had a pretty good start to the 2013 F1 season. Even though Nico Rosberg retired in the middle of the race, Lewis Hamilton was able to qualify third and finish fifth, which in his own words was more than expected. He seemed very upbeat about the car's performance, so there is probably more to b e expected from them. Considering McLaren's early form, his switch to Mercedes seems to have worked out.

Ferrari had a very strong race, leading the constructor's championship after Fernando Alonso finished second and Felipe Massa finished fourth. Alonso was strong as usual, but it was Felipe Massa who looked really impressive. After outqualifying his teammate, he was able to keep Alonso behind him for the first part of the race only losing the battle against Alonso due to a poor pit stop strategy. They're in for a pretty strong season.

In the midfield battle it was Force India who looked mightily impressive with Adrain Sutil leading the race twice and finishing seventh after his last stint was compromised by the quickly deterioating super soft tyres. Let's see if they can keep up their good form in Malaysia.
Sauber only started the race with one car as Nico Hülkenberg was unable to start due to a fuel pump problem. Esteban Gutierrez looked rather anonymous during the race. They'll be hoping for a more competetive outing in the next race.
Williams didn't look too strong with Pastor Maldonado calling the car "undriveable" and retiring after beaching his car in turn one. Rookie Valtteri Bottas finished 14th not living up to the high expectations people put on him. Let's see, if they will be able to make short term improvements for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Toro Rosso looked strong during Free Practice and parts of qualifying but only managed to finish 9th with Jean Eric Vergne. Daniel Riccardo, who told media before the race that he will have to "blow Vergne away" in order to get a shot at the Red Bull seat for 2014, retired from the race.

In the battle of the "new teams" it was Marussia who looked to have the upper hand over Caterham, with Jules Bianchi appearing to be strongest of the four backmarkers.

Can Kimi Räikkönen make it two out of two? Are McLaren going to be as poor as in Malaysia? Will Nico Rosberg come back strongly after his retirement? And most imprortantly: What about the weather?

Indeed. A lot of opinion cite his behaviour as a sign of how ruthless he is as if that is a good thing. Personally, I see it as sheer arrogance. His expression in the press conference photo used in the caption competition is one of utter distain and arrogance to everyone in that room - and that is where he is supposed to be apologising. As I've often said, I'm not a fan of any particular driver since they've all got to be pretty damn good to make it into F1. However, I lost a shed load of respect for that bloke on Sunday so I can't deny being a anti-fan of at least one F1 driver.
I find it ridiculous that Vettel claimed it was an accident. He also said if he could change it he would, well he had a few laps to do that didn't he.

Some people don't mind what Vettel did. But I think they're mistaken, they think he outraced Webber to overtake him, while actually Vettel could only close on Webber when the Australian had his engine turned down, in a state of non-defence. It wasn't anything to do with being faster. Just pointing out a fact that I feel some have missed.
The headline for Autosports opinion piece. 'Vettel, The monster Red Bull created'

I can't help wondering how Vettel feels going from being the sports golden boy to reading a headline like that in one of the sports most respected publications. I struggle to find an ounce of sympathy though, he just doesn't deserve it.
This will soon be forgotten. Previous drivers have done worse. Senna/Schumacher crasing into drivers and Alonso holding his own team to randsom over spy-gate. A lot worse F1 crimes IMO.

It was a petulant and stupid act. Nothing more, the significance it bears though is that Vettel feels he can push the team around and he might have just pushed Webber one step too far.

It is the same problem Mclaren have had with Hamilton ... simply spoling them by giving them a quick car straight away and they don;t know how to lose or take it like a man

On Mclaren's defence they recognised that Lewis did not know how to deal with a car that is not competitive in 2009 and made sure future drivers learn their career in not so competitive cars in junior formula

Seb has been spoiled to the point he feels he is untouchable because someone hire up will look after him. He looked like a right idiot after the race when everyone's faces was a different expression

That depends in the manner of the outcome this season like Gary Anderson said if Vettel wins by less than 8pts everyone will look at him disgustingly.. funny how they were very critical of Alonso in 2010 benefitting from a team order and here Seb ignores his team order
I heard Horner likened to Frankenstein who created a monster that he could no longer control. That was from one of the better British tabloids.
This will soon be forgotten. Previous drivers have done worse. Senna/Schumacher crasing into drivers and Alonso holding his own team to randsom over spy-gate. A lot worse F1 crimes IMO.

It was a petulant and stupid act. Nothing more, the significance it bears though is that Vettel feels he can push the team around and he might have just pushed Webber one step too far.
I tend to disagree. In Schumacher's case he may have had numerous run-ins with other drivers, but he always showed respect to his teammate. After following Senna's career and at times apportioning blame to him rather than Prost my opinion changed completely after seeing the movie 'Senna' twice, in fact three times. In my opinion he had more integrity than Vettel has in his little finger. Regarding Alonso I only judge him on-track. The reason for that is his falling out with McLaren happened partly in private and we have only ever fully heard from one side and Alonso is unlikely to change that. From the moment he leaves the pits he has always repspected his fellow competitors and has never endangered another driver, which is why the other drivers rate him so highly.
I seem to remember Alonso brake testing Coulthard... but this isn't the correct place for a discussion about Alonso so I won't comment on him here again.
Start a new thread if you like no-FIAt-please but I doubt many will have memories that long and brake testing is one of those accusations that is more often than not denied and difficult to prove without any doubt.
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