What did we learn from the Malaysian GP?


Well, we learned that fuel flow is the most important part of F1, with TV commentators excitedly informing the viewers for example that Raikkonen is using more fuel than Alonso – as if anyone cared!  Someone should inform the FIA that viewers want to watch motor cars ‘racing’, and how much they are spending at the pumps is of no interest whatsoever!

Sepang was all Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes). Pole position and never headed all afternoon in the race.  He was followed by his team mate Nico Rosberg, whose second place was never in any doubt, even though he could see current F1 champion Vettel (Red Bull) in his mirrors who filled the last podium slot.

Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) must be getting used to enormous disappointments by now.  Disqualified from second in Melbourne and then a wheel incorrectly tightened when he pitted from fourth position in Sepang, pushed back into the pits for tightening of the wheel nut, to be then hit for a 10 second stop-go penalty for an “unsafe release”.  As if rejoining in last place wasn’t enough of a penalty?  Doesn’t anyone in the FIA use a little common sense?

With some new drivers, there was pre-season talk about how long it would take them to get up to a competitive speed.  The answer?  About three laps!  Both Kevin Magnussen (McLaren) and Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) have finished in the points for the first two races of the 2014 season and are more than the equals of their team mates (Button and Vergne).

Driver of the day?  For my money it was Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) who managed his tyres cleverly and finally finished fifth behind Alonso (Ferrari).  Alonso drove with a gritty determination without letting up for the entire race.  His opposite number Kimi Raikkonen had one of his bad hair days, getting a puncture, and thereafter driving well below the potential of his Ferrari (as compared to Alonso) to eventually finish 12th and out of the points.  If he keeps this form for the rest of the season, he will be the only Ferrari driver to be sacked twice!

Another driver who was having a bad hair day was Felipe Massa, for having ignored the Williams Team orders to let his team mate Valtteri Bottas through.  Hearing “Valtteri is faster than you,” will have brought back painful memories for Felipe where you substitute the name “Michael” and then “Fernando” in place of “Valtteri”.  Actually, to me there was little difference between the two Williams drivers and Bottas was not really challenging Massa, though obviously in close company, and were the last runners on the same lap as the leader.

Retirements were high, with seven drivers not seeing the chequer and one never even leaving the start.  They were:

Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 49 laps

Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 35 laps

Adrian Sutil Sauber 32 laps

Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 18 laps

Jules Bianchi Marussia 8 laps

Pastor Maldonado Lotus7 laps

Sergio Perez Force India 0 laps

The next round of the F1 championship is in Bahrain Sunday April 6 and the telecast is at 10 p.m. Thai Time.