2014 Malaysia Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Mercedes continues to maintain its status as the team to beat, but now Red Bull has improved quicker than many probably hoped for while McLaren appears to have dropped a notch and Ferrari remains status quo.
EVENT: We'll repeat what we said last year -- Hot. Muggy. Sticky. Downpours. This is one F1 event we never cared to attend.
QUALIFYING: Rain, rain, rain ... and then rain. Surprisingly, Vettel did not hold on to the wet pole position.
RACE: So-so. Up front was the same as Australia, just a different Mercedes driver. Not as much dicing in the back of the field this time. The intrigue was created by a possible rainstorm.
TRACK: Should have been more racy this year when considering the width and two super long straights.
START: Rosberg jumps Vettel, again, then bobbles it away then gets it back, Hamilton runs away, and Kobayashi doesn't hit anyone.
HAMILTON: This is how Lewis' race should have gone in the season opener.
ROSBERG: Can Nico win when Lewis does not run into problems?
MERCEDES: The current kings of the hill.
VETTEL: Did Sebastian put the car on his back or is the car better than we think?
RICCIARDO: Can Red Bull screw you over anymore? First a DQ and now a botched pit stop followed by a botched recovery.
RED BULL: Funny how the fuel flow sensor only seems to fail on your cars just before the race. Hmmmm...
ALONSO: Where have we seen this script before?
RAIKKONEN: Race ruined by a fellow Scandinavian. But, we still think something is off with Kimi and Ferrari.
FERRARI: Are we in for another year of so close yet so far?
HULKENBERG: Nico once again does a masterful job of saving his tires, and is rewarded with a solid finish.
PEREZ: Well, at least Sergio didn't have to sit in a sauna for 56 laps...
BUTTON: Jenson is supposed to be the leader of the team. Then, why hasn't he been at least a force with a good car and the best engine?
MAGNUSSEN: Back to reality.
MCLAREN: All of a sudden, people are putting Red Bull ahead of McLaren.
MASSA: Nothing has changed. No matter where Felipe drives, he is always the "move over" man.
BOTTAS: Another great, entertaining drive.
WILLIAMS: Did you really think Massa was going to listen to team orders? It's not like you're Ferrari.
KVYAT: A second race for Daniil. A second points scoring position.
RENAULT: Three of the French engine cars drop out, though Ricciardo's had nothing to do with the engine.
KOBAYASHI: Kamui was invisible this race, which is a good thing for him.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Fuel.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 33 -- Lewis Hamilton ties Alain Prost and Jim Clark for fourth on the all time pole position list.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: The is the first 1-2 finish for Mercedes since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix. Juan Manuel Fangio took that win with Piero Taruffi 0.7 seconds behind him. Though it took place after the Le Mans tragedy, Mercedes did not pull out of racing until after the season was completed.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Felipe Massa on refusing team orders to let Bottas by, "What I did was the right thing."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Jenson Button on all the whiners about the engine sounds, "Go and race something else if you're not happy." Right on!
SCHEDULE: Off to Bahrain ... and protests.
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