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F1 Malaysia: Track, pit lane and teammate incidents

 Posted by on 24 Mar 13  Categories: F1, Sport
Mar 242013
 
Result Driver Team
1st Vettel Red Bull
2nd Webber Red Bull
3rd Hamilton Mercedes
4th Rosberg Mercedes
5th Massa Ferrari
6th Grosjean Lotus
7th Raikkonen Lotus
8th Hulkenberg Sauber
9th Perez McLaren
10th Vergne Toro Rosso

Well this race had it all … on track action, pit lane action and team mates falling out with each other. The action was all safe but not necessarily fair!

There has always been tension between Webber and Vettel and it surfaced again in this race. Vettel complained on the radio that Webber was “too slow” and later squeezed past Webber on the pit straight with inches to spare against the pit wall after the team had told him not to overtake Webber. After Vettel passed against the pit wall Webber held on driving round the outside of turn 1 and kept the lead with the inside line on turn 2. But Vettel did not give up and got past Webber in turn 4. Great action for spectators but was it fair … it was certainly a bit dangerous and Vettel had received team orders to hold station…

My thoughts are that Vettel has the ruthless edge of a triple world champion – he has a single minded determination to win. He has apologised to Mark in public and will probably apologise to the team in private. However, I suspect that in reality he does not mean it and he would do it again if the situation repeats itself. My view is so long as what he does on track is safe then the overtaking manoeuvres make great entertainment. It also makes the post race interviews much more interesting. In other words, I believe the spectator and Vettel win when team orders are disobeyed.

In 3rd and 4th pace there was the exact opposite situation. Rosberg finished 4th behind Hamilton after he obeyed team orders! Hamilton was fuel saving from a very early stage in the race. Ross Brawn, Mercedes team boss, said that both cars were fuel saving but the fuel saving seemed to impact Hamilton more than Rosberg. My best guess is that the team made an error when fueling Hamilton’s car and since in the closing stage of the race Rosberg would not have been able to catch the Red Bull’s and they had a comfortable margin over Massa’s Ferrari it was best to finish a safe 3rd and 4th with no overtaking.

The new tyres, which don’t last as long, are also making the racing very exciting because there is variation in the tyre strategies which are being used by different teams and sometimes drivers within the same team. For example, around lap 23 Vettel and Massa were the only cars on hard tyres. Obviously there is uncertainty in knowing how the different strategies will play out during the race. The new tyres also mean that the racing is exciting all the way through the race rather than up until the final pit stop. In this race which started wet Vettel slightly misjudged the best time to pit for slick tyres. A part wet race always adds to the excitement.

Alonso went out early on following an incident in turn 2 on the first lap where his front wing touched the rear of Vettel’s car. Alonso tried to keep going but the wing fell off under load on the straight and got caught under the front tyres so that Alonso had no steering and only rear brakes to bring the car to a halt.

Raikkonen again provided exciting on track action with some exciting overtaking including a battle with Hulkenberg.

Pit lane action included:

  • Hamilton pulling into his old team’s pit rather than his current team’s pit! Button has made the same mistake so this does happen even to F1 drivers!
  • Force India seem to have a design problem somewhere in the wheel hub that made it difficult for them to change tyres. Apparently the problem was caused by “over-heating”
  • Toro Rosso release their car into the path of a Toro Rosso which is pulling into its own pit and the two cars collide
  • Button stops half way down the pit lane after his pit stop because of a loose front wheel caused by the mechanic not having time to finish bolting the wheel on.

In summary a very exciting race with racing and driver incidents. From a spectator point of view I hope that the rest of the season can be like this race. If I was a team manager, the I think I would hope for exactly the opposite!

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Author: Chris Atkin

Chris Atkin is a videographer specialising in equine videos and an ibd Group accredited Business Adviser for small & medium sized business. YouTube is the second biggest search engine. Talk to Chris to ensure your presence is optimised so that your potential customers can find you on YouTube. Business owners contact Chris for advice on subjects including video marketing, telecomms, funding for growth

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