March 30, 2014

2014 Malaysian GP: Silver Arrow's Bulleye

First 1-2 finish for Mercedes sing the 1955 Italian GP.   Well deserved as the Silver Arrows has kicked everyone's butt getting their cars and Power Units ready for the season.

F1 might be in a bit of a pickle, you have one manufacturer with a massive engine advantage and frozen specs.  It will be interesting to see if that gets resolved of if we are heading toward another 1988 type season.     We got a great first two laps but it was a procession after that.

A third place for Red Bull is not what Vettel wanted but he can be happy to know the RB10 has top grip if not top speed.    Radio transmissions were interesting, with the team seeming to want to remind Ricciardo of his place within the team and the Australian not letting himself be too intimidated.  It was pretty cool seeing him take it to Vettel in the opening laps, another good performance for him until the classic Red Bull "everything happens to the #2 car" moment.

Vettel almost put Rosberg in the wall with a classic Schumacher squeeze.

Ferrari was nowhere in the race.  When Ricciardo and Alonso were side by side after a pit stop,  it was painfully obvious how much less traction and grip the Red Bull had.   Raikkonen had bad luck when Magnussen ran into him and cut his tire but once out again he showed little pace.   

Good race from Force India, gambling on one fewer tire stop for Hulkenberg.

Comic relief came from Williams this time.  "I'm not a servant anymore" Felipe must have been fuming.  Valteri, classic Finn response.

Pos Driver                Team                    Time/Gap
 1. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes                1m40m25.974s
 2. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                +17.313s
 3. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        +24.534s
 4. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 +35.992s
 5. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes    +47.199s
 6. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        +1m23.691s
 7. Felipe Massa          Williams-Mercedes       +1m25.076s
 8. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes       +1m25.537s
 9. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes        +1 lap
10. Daniil Kvyat          Toro Rosso-Renault      +1 lap
11. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault           +1 lap
12. Kimi Raikkonen        Ferrari                 +1 lap
13. Kamui Kobayashi       Caterham-Renault        +1 lap
14. Marcus Ericsson       Caterham-Renault        +2 laps
15. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari        +2 laps


    Daniel Ricciardo      Red Bull-Renault        49 laps
    Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari          35 laps
    Adrian Sutil          Sauber-Ferrari          32 laps
    Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault      18 laps
    Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Ferrari        8 laps
    Pastor Maldonado      Lotus-Renault           7 laps
    Sergio Perez          Force India-Mercedes    0 laps

Drivers' championship:
 1. Nico Rosberg       43
 2. Lewis Hamilton     25   
 3. Fernando Alonso    24   
 4. Jenson Button      23   
 5. Kevin Magnussen    20   
 6. Nico Hulkenberg    18   
 7. Sebastian Vettel   15   
 8. Valtteri Bottas    14   
 9. Kimi Raikkonen     6    
10. Felipe Massa       6   
11. Jean-Eric Vergne   4   
12. Daniil Kvyat       3   
13. Sergio Perez       1   

Constructors' championship:

 1. Mercedes                 68 
 2. McLaren-Mercedes         43 
 3. Ferrari                  30 
 4. Williams-Mercedes        20 
 5. Force India-Mercedes     19 
 6. Red Bull-Renault         15 
 7. Toro Rosso-Renault       7  
 8. Sauber-Ferrari           0  
 9. Lotus-Renault            0  
10. Caterham-Renault         0  
11. Marussia-Ferrari         0


  1. Kimi has pace in all 3 practice sessions then everything falls apart in wet quail. He has a pretty good start and initially challenges Alonso for 4th, but then inexplicably falls back, then the puncture, then . . . nothing. It's painful to watch Fernando drive around in 5th, when it is clear he is driving beyond the car's ability. I imagine he will have had enough by mid year and will be off to McLaren next year. I don't know what's wrong in Maranello . . . perhaps Stefano is simply too nice a guy for the job . . . but witnessing these two great drivers saddled with such a handicap is almost too much to bear.

  2. Just realized Kimi was actually 3rd in FP3, and he was pushing Alonso for 5th into Turn 4, not 4th. Time and oxygen are important ingredients prior posting.

  3. Its looking like 2014 could be the year of Lewis. Clearly Nicole has been putting plenty of jelly on his Saturday and Sunday morning toast. I too was expecting more from Ferrari this year, especially Kimi. Hopefully Maranello will get their kinks sorted out by the time the European races arrive. They need to find a half a second somewhere. And Kevin Magnussen, he made a rookie mistake, but the kid seems solid. I wouldn't say he's a full F1 Jedi just yet, but he's like Luke in Empire...he can't quite muster getting his x-wing outta the swamp, but he's levitating Pirelli tires and running around flipping over logs with Yoda on his back. The kid seems to be on his way!!!!! He could spark a renaissance at Macca!!!!

  4. kimi had better outing this time, but to be honest kimi was faster coz he was running light on fuel in all practices, it was planned by team to get him more familiar with the car, i would not bet much on practice times.

  5. just curious, where are you getting your information that he was light on fuel? I've not seen the Skysport coverage from the weekend

  6. this is german site, i use google translate, look at last para. btw since you mentioned sky, that article was by the one talking to vettel in ted's qualy notebook :)

  7. Something I noticed on the broadcast was the fuel usage of the Williams vs...well, just about everyone else. They were both about 2% lower overall than the other teams, so one has to wonder if they're missing some performance from dialing it back a little. Granted, those displays aren't exactly accurate, but if they did leave some performance on the table in the name of efficiency we could well see Williams fighting for the upper mid-field (maybe podiums).

    And Kimi. Ohhhh Kimi. After his puncture he really didn't move up the board much. Watching him get lapped down amongst the Caterhams of the world can not be going over very well back at the shop. This should be a very interesting season on track.


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