German wunderkid, Sebastian Vettel, won the Malaysian GP which brings him two victories in a row. The full results of the race can be found here.
I did catch the action in Sepang last weekend at the hillstands, and indeed the 2011 edition of the Malaysia GP is exciting and action packed, proving that the KERS ands DRS technologies did produce some spectacular motor racing. Anyhow here is our Heroes and Zeroes list for the 2011 Malaysian GP!
Rookie of the week:
Paul Di Resta. The Scot finished in 10th place and his second consecutive points finish in his second race in F1 with the Force India car. Amazing feat for this young and talented 2010 DTM champion.
Biggest Dissapointment of the week:
Lewis Hamilton. After qualified strongly in second, his race in Malaysia is best to be forgotten. Not only he suffered tyre degradation problem, he also lost his podium position for third; no thanks to his arch rival Fernando Alonso. By the end of the race, Alonso finished ahead of him. To add salt to injury, both got slapped with 20 seconds penalty by the race stewards due to the overtaking fiasco, but Alonso retained in 6th while Hamilton lost a spot from 7th to 8th. The word miserable is an understatement for Hamilton last Sunday evening.
Worst Team of the week:
Williams F1. Yet another double retirement for both Barrichello and Maldonado of Williams due to hydraulic issues. This is their second consecutive DNF, a sign of difficult start for 2011 for the Williams team. The picture below shows Barrichello caught with a flat tyre early in the race. More troubles hunting him after that.
Biggest mouth of the week:
Tony Fernandes . On qualifying after both Team Lotus’s drivers qualified at 19th and 20th place, team boss Tony Fernandes quoted “Words cannot express how happy and overjoyed I am right now”. After the race where only one car finished in 15th while another retired, Tony quoted “Well I think we can officially say we were racing today!”
Despite that, I do admire Tony’s efforts, but looking at reality, Team Lotus still have not beaten the established mid teams like Torro Rosso and Force India although they came close. Their rivals, Group Lotus’s Renault meanwhile took third place and two consecutive podium finishes. Well, it looks like Tony’s PR skills did make him look not so good.
Overtaking of the week:
Alonso vs Hamilton. On lap 45 in the battle for third place as Alonso closed in to Hamilton in turn 4, Alonso attacked but he hit Hamilton’s rear tyre, damaging the Spaniard’s front wing. This forced Alonso to pit and change a new wing while few laps later Hamilton dived into the pits for inspection. Both lost their final podium spot and to make matters worse, both got penalized by the FIA after the race.
Here the video showing what really happened:
Moment of the week:
Vitaly Petrov’s “Up in the Air”. The Russian was in 8th place and was thought to have another solid points finish until lap 54 when he went wide in Turn 8, bounced up in the air and his steering column came off! Fortunately he was unhurt in the incident but it did provide some spectacular entertainment.
Just in case if you missed the moment, here’s the clip for you:
Man of the race:
Nick Heidfeld.A tough choice between Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld as both had solid race performances. Webber started badly when he lost his 4th place to 9th and to complete his misery, his KERs and DRS were not functioning, prompting him into a very disadvantage position. However he fought back valiantly and at the final stages of the races he was challenging Heidfeld for the final podium position. Webber finished 4th in the end.
But “Quick Nick” gets my pick for Man of the Race. He did a very solid race despite he is just a replacement driver for the injured Robert Kubica. Qualified in 6th, he dashed into 2nd on the 1st few laps and drove consistently well until the end of the race. His podium spot did provide some cheers to the local crowd as Renault’s main sponsor, Group Lotus, is owned by Malaysia’s Proton.
I shall post my pictures on my next post!