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?

We are not even 5 minutes past the hour on the season... to re-phrase Forrest Gump - tyres is as tyres does... :dizzy:

For you, Fenderman. (I'm working on a project for Legal & General at the moment and so that umbrella looks all too familiar, right now).
I don't think the issue is that different teams have built a car to suit the tyres to different extents, it's the fact that tyre wear is a primary concern in the first place. Even drivers in cars with very good tyre wear have to drive to target lap times rather than pushing to the limit.

Many of us would prefer it if that was not the case, with drivers on the ragged edge all the time. Like what happened at Austin, for example.

:yesss: :yesss:

I feel exactly as you sushifiesta as exemplified at Austin, and it wasn't only because that Lewis won. :D The fact that the outcome of this race long duel between Hamilton and Vettel, which went down to the last few laps, wasn't determined when one of the combatants tires, all of a sudden fell off a cliff.
Watching the GP2, the soft tyres are destroyed in 6 laps, so I'm going to nail my colours to the mast and say IF it's a dry race I'd bet on a Lotus to be on the podium.
I watched that GP2 & saw that incident, commentator thought that the stewards would come down heavily on Cecotto...he was looking at Sam Bird & gesticulating......they said.
Unbelievable decision......
Final practise and top 15 cars covered by 15-tenths ...... still seems a reasonably interesting sporting event to me:)

Wet quali followed by dry race could mix things up nicely - even if that might be construed as artificial interference.
Vettel on 2nd hand tyres in Q2 and on an extra set in Q3. Good tyre calls so long as they don't need those tyres tomorrow. Hamilton in 4th with 1 more set of fresh inters than those ahead of him. Massa quicker than Alonso, again, and been looking the quicker Ferrari driver quite consistently over the last few outings.
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