Helmet designs should help us to identify the drivers on the track. Sometimes however the drivers depart from their traditional designs and confuse us all. In the last two races (Australia and Malaysia) Rubens Barrichello dropped his traditional red (orange) and white design – design he used throughout his entire F1 career. In Melbourne and Sepang the red (orange) went missing… Here is the gallery featuring Rubens Barrichello and his blue-white helmet:
Here are the results of round 3 of our prediction game. Quite a lot of people expected Vettel’s win but the scores this time are not much higher than in previous round. There were only few correct predictions for pole position and fastest lap, also the disappointing results of Ferrari, McLaren and Michael Schumacher played their part. On the other hand Jaime Alguersuari and Nico Hulkenberg both appeared once in the Malaysian GP predictions. The highest score of this round is 21 points and belongs to Mike Coxon. Klokan and TiMMiE scored 20. Congratulations !
Sebastian Vettel won the 2010 Malaysian GP after finally having a trouble free race. Mark Webber completed one-two finish for Red Bull. Nico Rosberg finished third ahead of Robert Kubica who had another impressive race for Renault. Sutil, Hamilton, Massa, Button, Alguersuari and Hulkenberg collected the rest of the points. The points are the first in F1 for Alguersuari and Hulkenberg.
2010 Malaysian GP – Result
1. Vettel – Red Bull – 1:44.711
2. Webber – Red Bull +4.8
3. Rosberg – Mercedes +13.5
4. Kubica – Renault +18.5
5. Sutil – Force India +21.0
6. Hamilton – McLaren +23.4
7. Massa – Ferrari +27.0
8. Button – McLaren +37.9
9. Alguersuari – Toro Rosso +70.6
10. Hulkenberg – Williams +73.3
Q3 started in heavy rain. The session was red flagged with 7:17 minutes remaining and restarted about 15 minutes later. Mark Webber gambled and went out on intermediate tyres. His gamble paid of, Webber was 1.346 sec faster than Rosberg in P2. Sebastian Vettel will start from P3, Adrian Sutil will line up next to him on the second row. Great qualifying for Nico Hulkenberg (P5). Kubica (P6), Barrichello (P7), Schumacher (P8), Kobayashi (P9) and Liuzzi (P10) complete the top 10.
Mark Webber posted the fastest time in the final qualifying session for Malaysian GP ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher. Rain was in the air during the FP3 but somehow it managed to miss the Sepang circuit. Timo Glock in Virgin was the fastest of the new teams in this session.
The Malaysian GP weekend has started with Friday practice. The Mercedes powered cars did well in the morning session. Hamilton was fastest ahead of Rosberg, Button and Schumacher. Two teams used their third drivers in this session – Force India (Paul di Resta) and Lotus (Fairuz Fauzy). It seems to have been good session for all the new teams – lots of laps and no obvious problems.
Lewis Hamilton was the fastest driver out also in the second practice session. Sebastian Vettel in P2 was the only non Mercedes powered car in top 5. Mark Webber retired early in the session following suspected engine failure. Ferrari seemed to be on different program than the other front running teams and only went for lower fuel runs towards the very end of the FP2. No rain during the practice sessions today but there was some between FP1 and FP2.
The F1 circus moved very quickly from Melbourne to Sepang for the 2010 Malaysian GP. The light rain before the race start spiced up the Australian GP and contributed to quite an exciting race. The early weather predictions for this weekend suggest we may be in for stormy Grand Prix … Following the washout last year when the tropical downpour resulted in early end to the race this year the race start has been moved back from 5pm to 4pm local time. We will need to wait and see if that will help. Yesterday (Wednesday) the heavy storm hit Kuala Lumpur at 4pm …
Charlie Whiting spoke to Autosport’s Adam Cooper and revealed his version of the Australian GP Hamilton and Ryan vs Stewards story. The article is available now at Autosport.com (requires subscription). There is also free article available at Autosport.com covering some part of Charlie Whiting’s story – click here.
The article explains why replying McLaren was not the top priority for the race control during the safety car period, brings more on what was said at meeting with stewards. It then goes on talking about what lead to the decision to reopen the case and of course covers also the events in Sepang.
It is one long article but definitely one worth reading…
After watching the weekend of F1 action from Sepang I wonder:
1) The grandstands were empty all Friday and Saturday. That is clear message that not too many people really care whether the F1 is in town or not. And that is after 10 years of trying to create some interest in F1 in Malaysia. I am sorry, but having the qualifying for F1 race in front of empty grandstands that simply is not right …
2) Then, because the European TV audiences are more important than some common sense, the race has to start at 5pm, time that makes the race very likely to get extremely wet. Yes, rain is part of our lives and it rains at Spa, Silverstone, Nurburgring, it can even happen at Hungaroring … The difference is the odds that the race that starts at Sepang at 5pm will be hit by storm are really big and the organizers must know it very well. Still, to keep the race that only costs them money, that local people do not really care about, they back down and accept the 5pm race start.
So, the local people are not interested, the race must be making big loss, the normal race start is too early in the morning for the fans in Europe and apparently the only way how to make them in Europe to watch is to run it at the hour of rainstorms.
What is the point in having the F1 race in Malaysia ?
Every time the F1 comes to Malaysia the first thing on everybody’s mind are the chances of rain. And they are always said to be quite big. Surprisingly however, so far the only proper rain came down on 2001 Malaysian GP. I went to the Sepang race three times in very recent past. All the races and if I remember well even all the practice and qualifying sessions were always dry (altghough humid and hot). The only visibility problems I remember was the haze that came out of nowhere and covered the track back in 2005. What I also remember however is that every time I was in Kuala Lumpur this time of the year it rained heavy every day in the early evening. Early evening was the time the heavy rain came down yesterday. Early evening also was when the 2009 Malaysian GP was still in full swing thanks to that wise decision to move the start to 5pm … Why on Earth did the organizers agree to such a late start is beyond me … Anyway, back to what happened before the rain stopped the race.
The predicted tropical rain has arrived and … spoiled the race. After few changes between wet and intermediate tyres the heavy rain arrived and the race was red flagged with 23 laps to go. Jenson Button won the second race in the row, ahead of Timo Glock and Nick Heidfeld. Button also scored a hattrick of pole position, fastest lap and the race win. However as the race ended before 75% of the full race distance, only half the poits will be awarded. Moving the race start to 5pm was not that smart idea after all …
1. J. Button – Brawn GP – 1:10:59.092
2. N. Heidfeld – BMW Sauber + 22.700
3. T. Glock – Toyota + 23.500
4. J. Trulli – Toyota + 46.100
5. R. Barrichello – Brawn GP + 47.300
6. M. Webber – Red Bull + 52.300
7. L. Hamilton – McLaren + 1:00.700
8. N. Rosberg – Williams + 1:11.500
Here is some useful pre -race info ahead of 2009 Malysian Grand Prix. This is how the starting grid will look following the 5 places penalty to Rubens Barrichello (gear box change) and 10 places penalty to Sebastian Vettel (carried from Australia). Numbers in brackets indicate starting weights, those marked with * are declared weights (cars eliminated in Q1 and Q2):
Provisional starting grid 2009 Malaysian Grand Prix: