Monday, March 24, 2008

F1: Malaysia madness - 2008 edition

OOPS! In all of my excitement of watching and reflecting upon the Australian GP, I forgot to watch the Friday free practice session aired late Thursday evening on SPEED. Not to mention NOT being able to figure out why the recording machine wouldn’t tape the qualifying and race episodes… Oh SHEISA!!! That’s right, the VCR is screwed ‘cause Daylight $avings time has been modified! Fortunately I was able to watch the Qualie session “live” and the re-broadcasted race while y’all were busy searchin’ for Easter eggs…

And there didn’t seem to be too much news, although Peter Winsor noted that the main Talking Point in the garage was the FIA deciding to put Red Bull on notice over the disintegrating suspension failures that David Coulthard has endured over the past two weeks.

Winsor noted that a McLaren design employee who’d remain nameless had scoffed that they used to add 25% more material to all of Adrian Newey’s designs (when he wasn’t around) to ensure chassis reliability… Yet the FIA has painted itself into somewhat of a corner, having previously deemed the RB4 crash worthy upon it’s passing of the current regulations, as there’s currently no structural integrity tests required for suspension components.

And Winsor noted that it was indeed blistering on the grid as the 90+ degrees, 85% humidity had him sweating profusely, while the drivers seemed to not be too bothered by the oppressive heat.

And in a reversal of fortunes, the Prancing Horse managed to lock-up the front row with Felipe Massa scoring his tenth career pole position with teammate Kimi Raikkonen alongside. Originally McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton had secured the grid places of third and fourth, but the stewards deemed them to have both been on the racing line on their cool down laps while we watched Nick Heidfeld trying to get around them on a last lap flyer… Along with Fredrico Suave, thus both McLaren drivers were docked five grid positions for their indiscretions...

This elevated Truly Scrumptious (Jarno Truly) to third with The Krakow Kid (Kubica) alongside in fourth. Quick Nick (Heidfeld) who’s been slightly outperformed by his teammate lined up P5 with Mark “Dundee” Weber lining up sixth. And isn’t it funny how some Putz named Alonso cannot manage to get away from the McLarens… As Ferdi was in P7 alongside Renault refugee Kovalainen, while Hamilton was joined by Timo Glock on row five.

Nelson Nelson managed to improve his qualifying pace, lining up in 12th, while the Hamburgular wasn’t having such a good time in the oppressive heat of Kuala Lumpar, as Bourdais suffered a brake failure, an engine change, along with being fined over $6,000 for two pit lane speeding tickets.

As the lights turned green, Felipe Massa performed some Herr Schumacher surgery on the Iceman at the start of the race to keep the lead, while not too many fireworks occurred behind the red cars scrum, “Louise Jaguar” (Hamilton) managed to work his way up to fifth behind Mark Webber’s Red Bull chassis.

And I enjoyed the House of Winsor’s cynical comment about how perhaps the young Louise was simply awaiting a brake explosion or suspension failure from the Red Bull car and didn’t wish to get to close to the reportedly hard to pass Aussie… While Massa and Raikkonen traded fast laps while pulling away from the field.

Then the dreaded announcer’s curse was bestowed upon the young Brazilian, as David Hobbs stated that the Ferrari’s absolutely had the field spotted, Massa pirouetted off into the sand trap and beached himself while trying to keep pace with The Iceman, who’d gotten around Felipe during the first round of pit stops. Raikkonen had just blistered the field with a 1:36.1 lap with new second place runner Kubica managing a 1:37.6!

From thereon out, Kimi cruised home to his 16th career victory, coming on the fifth anniversary of his very first Formula 1 win at the same venue. Kubica took second with Kovalainen claiming the final podium position. Jarno Truly came home an impressive fourth ahead of Hamilton…

Driver standings
Hamilton 14
Heidfeld 11
Raikkonen 11
Kovalainen 10
Kubica 8