2016 Malaysia Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: Now Rosberg is up by 23 points with just six races to go. Now is it over? We said last time, no more predictions in such an unpredictable year.
EVENT: It's been 17 years now for Malaysia. Who would have predicted that?
TRACK: The circuit didn't just get completely repaved, it got reprofiled as well as camber changes (sometimes the "wrong" way), making it essentially a completely new track.
QUALIFYING: Hamilton doesn't need a last lap, Rosberg blows his last lap, but Mercedes still does something it's never done before -- locking out the front row at Malaysia.
START: Vettel pulls a Verstappen/Kvyat and rightfully pays the price, Rosberg is an innocent victim, and Kvyat once again rams someone from behind.
RACE: The Mercedes were doomed opening the door for the Red Bulls.
RICCIARDO: Sure, Daniel needed help with Mercedes' troubles, but if anyone deserved a victory this year, it's Ricciardo.
VERSTAPPEN: Max wasn't willing to play complete hardball on his teammate. Smart.
RED BULL: What is it with Malaysia and Red Bull intra-team battles? But, it was a great battle!
ROSBERG: From all lost to salvageable to all gain. Nico ran the emotional gamut.
HAMILTON: From all gain to all lost in one fell swoop.
MERCEDES: No clinching of the constructors' title. Like that's not inevitable.
RAIKKONEN: Saved Ferrari's honor.
VETTEL: For all the comments Sebastian has made about Kvyat and Verstappen first turn moves after the start, Vettel sure pulled a boneheaded rookie mistake.
FERRARI: Yet again, another "What if?" weekend.
BOTTAS: Valtteri saved the day for Williams...
MASSA: ...because Felipe did not...
WILLAMS: ...causing Williams to fall two more points behind in the tight battle for fourth.
PEREZ: Sergio finally signed and turned in a great run...
HULKENBERG: ...combined with Nico's points finish...
FORCE INDIA: ...kept Force India ever so slightly ahead of Williams.
ALONSO: Another great run from the back of the pack.
BUTTON: Not a bad weekend to celebrate your 300th start.
PALMER: Had a solid weekend and finally got his point.
MAGNUSSEN: Literally in the hot seat on Friday.
KVYAT: So much for that great weekend at Singapore...
HAAS: A horrible day for the American team.
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Shoey. (Which we find just positively revolting.)
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 300 -- Jenson Button becomes the third driver to enter the 300 start club.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Exactly 50 years ago -- October 2, 1966 -- Jim Clark won the United States Grand Prix at Watkins Glen driving a Lotus Type 43. The significance of the win was the engine in the back of the car -- a BRM H16, an engine fraught with failed promises throughout it's life. This was it's only win, lapping the entire field.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Lewis Hamilton at the devastating moment, "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Max Verstappen got to give it back to the veteran, "Sebastian is crazy."
SCHEDULE: The 2017 schedule is released -- provisionally -- and basically the same as 2016. Which means a conflict with Le Mans. Boo!
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