Grand Prix 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Just when you thought you knew what would happen next, Nico Rosberg decides to challenge that thought and win with style the Singapore Grand Prix, taking the championship lead in the process. Bernie Ecclestone should be rubbing his hands and laughing out loud, he'll go with a bang. If you have under a rock, you must know that Liberty Media corporation has purchase a controlling stake of Formula One (trademark) from CVC and already there have been sparks between Ecclestone and the new chairman Chase Carey, vice-president of 21st Century Fox (let's remember Fox News is one of its assets) who in turn is owned by no other that Rupert Murdoch. When you hear his name you usually see the word 'unethical' being thrown as well. This is true on both sides of the pond as he is a major holder of News International, well known by our British friends. So let us recap by saying F1 has changes owners and somehow we ended up with a more devious villain than Ecclestone himself who has already threaten to leave if he doesn't have his way.

Ok, but back to what really concern us, the Malaysian Gran Prix hosted at the Sepang Grand Prix for the 17th time this year. The first of the so-called Tilke motordromes could be the best one of the new circuits of late (with the exception of Austin probably). Long straights, very tight corners, wide track that favours overtaking, the possibility of a monsoon at any time during the race like famously happened in 2001 when both Ferraris went out only to finish 1-2 at the end of the day. The outcome of this race's race lies with Mercedes as no other team has been able to challenge it consistently. With six races to go, anything can happen and not even Lewis Hamilton knows (or prefer not to say) when will the tide turn on his favour. Only 8 points separate him from teammate Rosberg who has won the last 3. From early in the season many people (myself included) has forecast Rosberg will break at some point and so far that hasn't happened.

Best of the rest is still being disputed by Ferrari and Red Bull with the British based Austrian team still leading the Italians. Ferrari has made all that they can to sabotage themselves throughout the season and Malaysia is probably not going to be different. Vettel has grown frustrated and has voiced his concerns loudly. Raikkonen keeps his low profile and somehow has kept his rival close in the classification. Riccardo has now given us 4 o 5 memorable races and is quickly becoming the Driver of the Season whereas young Verstappen has picked a fight with whoever challenges his antics publicly. Both Jacques Villeneuve and Niki Lauda have dealt with the Dutch anger. The conversation about the need to go to shrink though has been truly a interesting one with Lauda having the upper hand in my view.

Will we see another animal on the road like we did in Singapore? Now that's what I call entertainment. Perhaps a bigger one each race to the end of the season so that by the team to get to Japan Godzilla makes an appearance? On with the race and the discussion, things will only get worse before they get better.

PS. Sadly Button is taking a sabbatical day next year. What will the outcome be? Will he return a-la Prost to win his last Championship or retire quietly like Hakkinen and go back to having fun racing? Only time can tell ...


Champion Elect
Again I don't disagree it's a press spin and molehill made. Just he should have people around him that make sure they have nothing to pounce on.

Lewis appears to be the exact opposite of Fernando Alonso in that Alonso deliberately uses the media to stir things up he wants talked about. Hamilton appears to stir up things he does't want by accident. Again I maintain he misses his Dad's help on that front.
I think it's more that a lot of big stars are targeted by the media. When Hamilton had his father around, that in itself was made into an issue. He's far more circumspect these days around the press, but he speaks his mind and that's good. He's always praising his team, mechanics and staff at the factory first off when he's interviewed.
But you know as others have said, anyone else expressing or showing irritation or emotion and it's ignored. Danni Ric has tattoos, weird hairstyles, irritations with his team, and it's fine........and so it should be.


Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
I see I'm fighting a losing battle here. I think it's easy to see why Hamilton saying what he said in the way he said it would get spun the way it was. If he'd waited until today to say what he wanted to say and thought about the way he was saying it then the press wouldn't have had the ammo to aim at him.

Like a friend telling you to calm down from an argument. That's all I'm saying.


Valued Member
Hamilton's meaning was abundantly clear to anyone who wasn't shit-stirring. Not that it'd be a particularly fair move to criticise the emotional response of someone who has just seen a championship lead become a 23-point deficit through no fault of his own.


Mostly bacon
The Malaysian Sports Minister sums it up, sounds valid to me:

"Cost too high, returns limited,"
"MotoGP. 1) Cheaper fee and cost, 2) Sellout crowd, 3) We have riders in Moto2 and 3."

There's no doubt that pound for pound (and I mean £), Moto GP is much more exciting for the average 'yet-to-be-converted' non-motorsports fan. Also, there's no malaise in the fan-base of Moto GP like there is in F1.

So what to do in F1?

1) Reduce costs for circuits and fans – both race-going and TV audience
2) Spread the winnings more fairly between teams
3) Improve the show

How to do it?

1) This one's easy, just reduce the costs
2) In 2015, Merc got $148.5m of the prize money and Marussia got $56m. Massively reduce the gap, so the top earners get a maximum of $30m more than the bottom earners. Simple.
3) Better on-screen stats, better digital content.

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
There are worse places and circuits than Malaysia. It very often allows the leading teams to be beaten or at least have to work for their win.

The Malaysians are lovely people with totally crap politicians, they are not alone in this. Basically there is a coalition of the parties which have Malay membership who have held power since they got independence and who grossly outnumber the Chinese; during the last election campaign there were signs that cross-racial parties were gaining more voters. The next general election is not due until 2018 but there are signs that one could be held in the not too distant future. One of the things that always comes up in these elections is the Malaysian GP and its funding, once it is over this is normally forgotten.

Murmurs of Early Malaysia Election After Najib Weathers Storms
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