2011 Malaysia Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Some say Australia never really provides the proper gauge on where teams are in the competitive pecking order. But, it sure looks like Red Bull is still sitting pretty even if the chair is a little shorter.
EVENT: It's one of those races to showcase a country ... and thus paid for by the country. Their willingness to keep paying past 2015 will eventually be determined. Bernie, of course, will still be around to find out the answer.
QUALIFYING: If the top five is the same as the previous race, they should be inverted to add some variety in the proceedings.
RACE: A headache for team strategists.
REGULATIONS: This time the movable rear wing made a big difference. But, is it an artificial, video game gimmick?
TRACK: We haven't seen this many marbles left on a track since the CART days.
START: Heidfeld puts the hammer down, Petrov aggressive as always, Schumacher up to his old self, and Webber farts in the room.
VETTEL: Not as easy as Australia, but 25 points nonetheless.
WEBBER: His strong drive (race's fastest lap) could not overcome a failed KERS and a four stop strategy.
RED BULL: Their Achilles heel appears to be KERS. Not that they really need it...
BUTTON: An excellent race by Jenson who reminded everyone there are two capable drivers at McLaren.
HEIDFELD: Nick restored his number one status on the team by showing Petrov the benefits of smooth driving.
PETROV: Yet, still a strong race by Vitaly. Until he made his customary mistake, went airborne, and busted his steering column.
RENAULT: Kubica must be in total agony knowing the potential he is missing out on.
MASSA: Stuck wheel did Felipe in.
ALONSO: Failed movable wing did Fernando in.
FERRARI: Is the prancing horse now behind Renault, as well as Red Bull and McLaren?
KOBAYASHI: Once again, Kamui provided some exciting moments. And, he got Sauber back some of those points lost in Australia.
HAMILTON: Went off on his crew yet again...
SCHUMACHER: Outqualified by his teammate ... yet again. However, Michael recovered nicely in the race.
BARRICHELLO: Is Rubens finding the new steering wheel too complicated?
KARTHIKEYAN: Why is Narain even back in an F1 car?
TORO ROSSO: The screws are tightening. Who will be out of a ride by mid-season?
HRT: Well ... at least they got to start...
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Marbles.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 13 -- The record for most podiums without winning a race which Nick Heidfeld just set.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Before F1 came to Malaysia in 1999, the 1962-65 (though 1964 was canceled after practice) Malaysian Grand Prix was actually in Singapore on the Thomson Road circuit. At the time, Singapore was part of the Malaysian Federation, before declaring its independence in 1965. The first was won by a Singaporean, Yong Nam Kee, driving a Jaguar. In 1966, Thomson Road held the Singapore Grand Prix while the Malaysian GP was restarted in 1968 at the Shah Alam track.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Jenson Button taking the philosophical look all the tire changing pit stops, "If we had one tire for the whole race and didn't have pit stops, would it be exciting?"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Fernando Alonso calming his crew down during the race, "I'm pushing. I'm pushing. Don't worry."
SCHEDULE: Just five days to turn it around for China, another track where the movable rear wing should play a major role.
Copyright © 2011 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.