Thursday, April 15, 2010

F1: 2010 Malaysian GP highlights

Round 3 of 19
(Sepang, Malaysia: April 4, 2010)

So after the daily afternoon rain shower made a most entertaining Qualifying session, with both McLaren’s and Ferrari’s NOT advancing past Q1, the rain didn’t arrive on Sunday and thus, we were left to a somewhat typical race of the “Heavy Hitters” running off and hiding instead...

“ZEBB made a masterful start, grabbing a tow like a Klingon from teammate Mark Webber and out braking him into the first series of curves and then never looking back again, as this time his delicate Red Bull chassis held together for the young German to claim his first victory of the Twenty-Ten season and sixth overall, while Webber was forced to settle for another runner-up finish and put on a “Brave-face” during the requisite Post-race interviews.

But the highlights of the race were behind the leading trio, albeit Nico Rosberg was basically running his own race in P3, while Robert Kubica finished a fine fourth with Adrian Sutil grabbing his first points of the year... As fortunately the cameras showed us all of the frivolities “JENSE, “Louise,” Felipe and Fredrico had slipstreaming ‘N passing their way towards the front of the pack from their unaccustomed lowly starting grid positions... As I must say it was interesting how difficult it was to pass those pesky Toro Rosso’s!

As “The Spanish Punk” (Jaime Alguersuari) and “The Incredible(?) Hulk” (Nico Hulkenberg) both scored their maiden Grand Prix points with Alguersuari finishing one place ahead of Hulkenberg.

Other Top 10 Qualifiers
P4) A. Sutil; Force India
P5) N. Hulkenberg; Williams
P6) R. Kubica; Renault
P7) R. Barrichello; Williams
P9) K. Kobayashi; BMW Sauber
P10) V. Luzzi; Force India

Other Point Scorers
P4) R. Kubica; Renault
P5) A. Sutil; Force India
P9) J. Alguersuari; Scuderia Toro Rosso
P10) N. Hulkenberg; Williams

Race Drive of Malaysia
Whale I suppose there are several candidates for this race, with Alguersuari, Hulkenberg, etc. Not to mention the Big Names of Button, Alonso, Hamilton and Massa all coming from the back of the grid... Yet, you’d expect nothing less from this quartet of Gran Primo Piloto’s... And thus my pick goes to Adrian Sutil for his outstanding job of holding off the never ending pressure of friend ‘N combatant “Louise JAGUAR” Hamilton for a fine 5th place. (Along with being sutil’s first points of the season)

Truly amazing stuff to see two World Champions fumbling their way about the track during the Malaysian deluge on Saturday with Button stuck in the Kitty litter and Hamilton unable to find any grip to advance to Q2. Thus both drivers made their respective ways forwards, with both scoring points, but it was ‘JAGUAR who seemingly had the far better outing of the British duo, not only passing the reigning World Champ, but finishing the highest of the “Mega” Quartet of Starz who were the Show today... Although I found myself cheering quite loudly for Sutil to NOT let that ‘Louise pass him – Yuhs Here? While apparently Jenson made a mistake which allowed Massa to pounce for the position and finish ahead of him, becoming the meat in the McLaren sandwich.

No. 1) J. Button: Q) 17th; R) 8th
No. 2) L. Hamilton: Q) 20th; R) 6th
(Car No; Driver)

Name Q R
Button 2 1
Hamilton 1 2
(Head-to-Head Standings)

Another somewhat lackluster performance from the reigning Double World Champions, one might be tempted to say? Although Nico Rosberg once again was the “Hero” of the team, scoring his first Front Row start and then first Podium for the newly reinstated Mercedes GP squad, once again it was a lonely race for Nico, while it seemed more attention was paid to his elder teammate who retired very early on with an uncharacteristic wheel nut failure.

No. 3) M. Schumacher: Q) 8th; R) Retired; Wheel Nut (21st)
No. 4) N. Rosberg: Q) 2nd; R) 3rd

Name Q R
Schumacher 0 0
Rosberg 3 3

Red Bull
Third time is a charm... For Master Zebb, who simply out dragged his older teammate into the first set of corners and then simply drove away from the Aussie who apparently had NO answer for the German today, as Webber had hoped his second career Pole Position would lead to his third career victory... But it wasn’t to be, as Vettel seemingly should be leading the Driver’s Title chase by a country mile right now, eh? Yet his victory today brings him right back into the hunt only two points behind leader Felipe Massa.

No. 5) S. Vettel: Q) 3rd; R) Winner
No. 6) M. Webber: Q) Pole; R) 2nd

Name Q R
Vettel 2 2
Webber 1 1

So this was the best of both worlds for me today... As I actually got a sore throat from screaming at le Telescreen for Alonso to BLOW UP! Although I must admit he drove a masterful race with a Gearbox full of Jell-O which sounded quite narly on the in-car camera shots, but I was more overjoyed by his retirement then Vettel’s victory... While best radio call of the day went to Rob Snedley telling Felipe: “That’s a Good Boy, now get on with it!” Upon completing his pass on Button for seventh place which ultimately gives him the early points lead, albeit I was somewhat surprised how much trouble Massa had overtaking the “little sister’s” Powered by Ferrari Toro Rosso’s.

No. 7) F. Massa: Q) 21st; R) 7th
No. 8) F. Alonso: Q) 19th; R) 13th; DNF (Retired-Engine -2 laps)

Name Q R
Massa 1 2
Alonso 2 1

2010 NewBoyz
There didn’t seem to be much Fanfare over the trio this weekend, albeit being the reconstituted Lotus Racing’s Home race, which saw their Third Driver and HomeBoy Fairuz Fauzy participate in Friday’s first practice... The biggest news was the fact that a Lotus and Virgin apiece out qualified the Quartet of McLaren ‘N Ferrari!

So perhaps the pressure of whose boss will be performing Hostessing duties is being felt by the respective Drivers? As I find it ironic that ‘The scrumptious Juan (Trulli) was entangled with Glock, while KOVY ‘N Di Grassi played Wackem’ moe Ball with each other too... As both Teams saw a car apiece classified as finishing, with Jarno in P17 behind Virgin’s Di grassi’s 14th place finish, while the squad claims that Kovalainen did indeed finish the event even though he’s not classified, with unknown maladies.

No. 18) J. Trulli: Q) 18th; R) 17th (-5 laps)
No. 19) H. Kovalainen: Q) 15th; R) Retired; (18th)

Name Q R
Trulli 1 1
Kovalainen 2 2

Hispania Racing
I really don’t recall much being said about these Boyz, albeit they’ve now beaten Virgin to a double car race finish which is very impressive considering where the Team has come from, eh? Even more impressive is India’s Karun Chandhok’s complete reversal of fortunes, having now out qualified and finished ahead of Brazilian teammate Bruno Senna, who obviously bears the mighty weight of his last name.

No. 20) R-Karun Chandhok: Q) 22nd; R) 15th; (-3 laps)
No. 21) R-Bruno Senna: Q) 23rd; R) 16th; (-4 laps)

Name Q R
Chandhok 1 2
Senna 2 1

Virgin Racing
So unfortunately Timo Glock collided with Jarno Trulli at the beginning of the race, while the German claims he was much quicker then the rival Lotus Piloto... While it was his junior teammate garnering Virgin’s first race finish instead, as Di Grassi claimed he grabbed five spots on the races start before motoring home in fuel conservation mode after surviving a clipped front wing endplate courtesy of KOVY’s aggressive overtaking maneuver which resulted in a punctured rear tyre, while Technical Director Nick Wirth was quick to point out that they were the highest finisher of the NewBoyz today...

No. 24) T. Glock: Q) 16th; R) Retired; Spin (23rd)
No. 25) R-Lucas di Grassi: Q) 24th; R) 14th; (-3 laps)

Name Q R
Glock 3 2
Di Grassi 0 1

Q) = Qualifying;; R) = Race