Sunday, March 30, 2014

Malaysia: Mercedes' land

Mercedes end the Malaysian Grand Prix leading the Constructors' Championship by 25 points and with both their drivers at the very top of the Drivers' classification. Fast, strong, reliable... And with Lewis Hamilton not only winning the race from pole, but also setting the fastest lap of the race. No wonder its all smiles there, a smile they could've all very possibly stolen from Daniel Ricciardo!

Lewis had never won this race despite having started from pole position a couple of times, but today was different: "I've had difficult times in Malaysia but what a great day its been today", he said. "The team did a great job and I've learned so much from today, I will make sure I take it onto the next race". Hamilton is calm, thinking positive. He has grown as a driver - here's another example: "I wasn't worried about it raining during the race this time. Other years when I've been told over the radio that there's high chances of rain, I've hoped it didn't, but this time I didn't care what happened. I knew I had qualified fastest in the rain, so I was calm about it" and comfortably in the lead, I'd add. Even his teammate agreed: "I would have preferred to win but Lewis was better today", said Nico Rosberg after the race.

Australian nightmare
Stripped off his podium finish in front of his home crowd in Melbourne, a tyre problem, an unsafe release, wing damage and a stop and go penalty in Malaysia and a 10 grid penalty for Bahrain... Can Daniel Ricciardo's nightmare end, PLEASE?!

"Valtteri is faster than you"
Well, Felipe Massa heard those words again, but this time he didn't let his teammate past. He believes what he did was correct and I have to say, I agree with him. Once team orders come into play, racing drivers stop being racing drivers.

The talented
In Australia he became the youngest Formula 1 driver to score points, and today Daniil Kvyat has improved that, becoming the youngest driver to score in two consecutive races. In only two Grands Prix he has demonstrated he certainly deserves to be where he is.

And then there's Hulkenberg, oh Nico Hulkenberg. What a driver. Today was yet another stellar performance from the Incredible Hulk, who finished fifth and is now sixth in the Drivers' Championship.

Its not how you start but how you finish
It's certainly been one of the most difficult race weekends for Kamui Kobayashi: He went straight into qualifying with only 12 practice laps under his belt. But Sunday is the important day of a race weekend and Kamui-San certainly delivered. He made the most out of his chances and after an excellent start, he raced at a very good pace, ending 13th. This result, combined with Marcus Ericsson's P14, put Caterham back in tenth position in the Constructors' Championship, ahead of Marussia.

"13th in our second race of the season is a very good result for the team, especially after such a bad weekend until the race! I had a great start and no brake problems this time going into turn one. The car performed much better than it had all weekend", said Kobayashi.

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