So I’m feeling a bit like being in Kuala Lumpur this weekend, albeit not quite the downpour, but very windy nonetheless... As I find it somewhat bemusing how everybody; including the FIA knows that it RAINS every day in Malaysia at almost exactly the same time every afternoon, when guess what? That’s right in the midst of Qualifying – plus the Race!
So you’d think that all of the “Heavy Hitters” would indeed go out early in Q1 and put a “Flyer” in the Bank... As ‘Hobbo, a.k.a. David Hobbs likes to say, but NO! Most amazingly the Scuderia, nee Ferrari sat contently in the Garage, with perennial arch rival McLaren following along, hoping for the WET stuff which had shown up right on “Que” to dissipate before the end of the 20min session... While we were witness to first Lewis Hamilton doing a snap spin before his teammate Jenson Button simply Aquaplaned into the Kitty litter where he sat with his Mercedes lump idling in hopes of getting pulled out of the gravel trap while in P13... But to NO avail! As if to show just how rough the conditions were, Michael Schumacher ended up in 14th even after having pitted to put full WET’s on his racecar... Although it was the trio of Heavy Hitters that I must confess I was rooting against.
As with less then 6mins remaining both Ferrari’s and the lone McLaren were ALL outside of P17 and in danger of not making it thru the Q1 “Qualie” session as I cheered mightily against ‘JAGUAR (Hamilton) ‘N ‘Fredrico (Alonso) making it! As they’d simply messed-up their respective strategies... Albeit I had a good chuckle over “Bosom Buddies” Alonso snatching P19 away from Hamilton in the waning moments, as shockingly Fernando will start in Row 10 alongside his good friend “Louise” (Hamilton; 20th) with Felipe Massa directly behind rolling off in P21. As it’s the very first time ever since Knock-out Qualifying began that both Ferrari’s have FAILED to advance out of Q1!
And although ‘JENSE did survive Q1 in 13th, he was unable to return his beached MP4-25 to the Pit lane in time to proceed into Q2 and therefore will line up 17th alongside The Scrumptious ‘Juan, a.k.a. Jarno Trulli in his Hometown Lotus affair, while all four of the mighty McLaren’s & Ferrari’s start behind “KOVY’s” (H. Kovalainen) Lotus in P15 and Virgin Racing’s Timo Glock in P16, both drivers having made it into Q2 for the first time in their respective Team’s short history’s, as only the second Virgin and Both Hispania Car’s start further back then those mighty “Big bucks” Constructor’s...
And Q2 was another entertaining session as I found myself rooting for “The Old Man,” DER TERMINATOR – better known as M. Schumacher who scraped his way into Q3 by finishing on the bubble in P10.
And then the RAIN came again with Q3 being Red flagged with 7+ minutes remaining as the circuit had become a veritable Lake Sepang with standing water everywhere apparently NOT being conducive to surfing the Formula 1 LandShark’s with their mandatory FIA “Legality Planks” underneath their ultra low ride heights... As the Final Session featured an interesting cast of Grand Prix Animals going in 2-by-2 fashion...
As both Red Bulls, Mercedes, Williams and Force India’s made the Top 10, with The Krakow Kid, nee Robert Kubica in the Frey, plus first time Debutant Kamui Kobayashi for the somewhat maligned Sauber concern... Although it possibly would have been better to lose his front wing this weekend instead, as the Team has now reinforced the C29’s Front Wing pylons...
And it was the Red Bull on top again, but not who Y’all are guessing, as it was Mark Webber instead, as I’ve just realized that the lone Aussie has Four Germans behind him... With Nico Rosberg claiming his first Front Row start with ‘ZEBB (Vettel) in P3 and Adrian Sutil alongside in P4.
Schuey will roll off a disappointing 8th, while ‘Rubino (Barrichello) was finally out qualified by his younger teammate Nico Hulkenberg (5th) and the ageless Brazilian will start alongside his ‘Chum Michael in 7th. Kubica was a fine 6th, while New Boy Kobayashi will start from 9th with Vitantonio Liuzzi next to him in P10.
And there was some idle(?) speculation made about how perhaps the Teams with both cars in Q3 had put their Driver’s on different set-ups to cover the range of possible weather? Although I think it’s supposed to Rain again tomorrow, about halfway thru the Race, as apparently Uncle Bernaughty wants to insure there will be another Spectale du Jour!