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    Malaysian GP

    Okay, round 2.

    So what are our thoughts about this weekend?

    Clearly, the strong teams from the Bahrain GP with competitive cars right on the money in terms of race pace are Renault, Ferrari, Williams, McLaren. Any one of these 4 teams could win.

    Renault are clearly v v quick. In Alonso they have a driver who is consistent and reliable. He isn't the best but he has a very good car and dependable team. I found his gesticulations to other drivers and to the marshalls to wave blue flags during the Bahrain GP to be yet another example of his new found arrogance after winning the F1 title in 2005. He has gone from being a humble man (at least publicly) to a self-important arrogant man very quickly. It's a real shame it has gone to his head. Next year in 2007 when he is in an unreliable McLaren Mercedes, I want to see the look on his face. The bullfighter dances on the podium were even more moronic than the rendition of 'We are the champions' which he sang in the penultimate race of 2005 when he won the F1 drivers title.

    Poor Fisi.Such a nice guy. I didn't like the fact that the ITV F1 commentary team criticised Fisi for swearing at his crew over the radio. The fact is that Fisi suffered a sh*tty season in 2005 after winning the opening GP in Melbourne thanks to his team that went out of its way to give preference to Alonso. He is human and his patience will run out if they carry on treating him like this.

    Schumi looked embarrassed at Alonso's behaviour. I think Ferrari will adopt a different strategy in Sepang. They weren't expecting to be as competitive as they were. I think they were surprised and relieved. I expect them to do very well particularly Massa who is quick but erratic.

    Rosberg had a dream debut. Fastest lap of the race. His car is clearly quick enough and he would have done far better if he hadn't had to replace his nose cone in the first lap. I expect he will outperform Webber consistently this year. Webber talks the talk but has never really delivered. He is overrated and will be eclipsed this season by the young Rosberg. Webber only knows how to blame his car and other drivers for his failures, a bit like Villeneuve does.

    Poor Kimi proves that even a cr*ppy, unreliable car won't stop him from asserting his sheer will to win. He is an incredible driver. I just wish he could string more than 2 words together into a sentence. If Kimi had a more reliable car, this season would be a foregone conclusion.

    Honda did 27000km of testing over the Winter and couldn't prevent Barrichello losing 3rd gear with a gearbox problem and Button's launch control off the start was poor. Also, in the straights, the Honda engine just lacked that little bit of pace.

    Toyota are really really struggling. Who knows whether they can catch up at all this season.

    BMW Sauber have not done anywhere near as badly as they were predicting. They did well in their first season as a chassis maker in F1.

    Midland are really just making up the numbers.

    Toro Rosso had a much quieter race than their form in free Practice and Qualification was suggesting. Red Bull and Toro Rosso should both have a reasonable time in Sepang.

    Super Aguri looked woeful. Two drivers in the pits at one time. Ide driving over one of his pit crew. Ouch! They really look out of place even if their times are not that bad. Sato was lapped 4 times by Alonso in the race!

    As for Sepang, no doubt it will be hot, humid and tough on the engines which have already been used once before.

    The new qualification format could again throw up some surprises but I expect the race result to be quite similar to last time.

    Any thoughts?

    Re: Malaysian GP

    Very interesting track. I think the winner this week will come down to fuel management through quali. If Alonso achieves 2-4th and Fisi isn't far behind, I expect him to win (he'll be able to launch through the pack and his Renault is excellent in the long Malaysian straight). If his qualification isn't as good, look for Kimi (barring bad luck/mech failure) to take an excellent race.

    I don't think Schumi can do it in Malaysia, the track doesn't suit the F-car.

    Who knows though

    Re: Malaysian GP

    I was very excited about this season- after last week,even more so! This could be the best season in many years!

    Rosberg was very, very impressive - and Scott Speed had a very nice race for his first F1 race!Very good to see an American back in F1. It looks like they may have very promising futures!

    I hope to see a very competitive race with Kimi (or Schumi) winning, but I'm pretty sure the consistently very good Alonso will be at the front too.

    Re: Malaysian GP

    Good for Alonso!!!

    Re: Malaysian GP

    This weekend I'm looking to see all the big guys up at the front fighting for the win... Hopefully Kimi gets the luck he deserves and his car holds out allowing him to be fully in the fight...
    Honda really need to sort out their launch control and also their strategy... Button was very racey last week and was monstering people in the braking zone, but his launch was terrible just like it was all last season and every time they brought him into the pits he was released back into traffic... Not good.

    Thing I'm looking forward to the most is seeing Rosberg again.... As already mentioned if he had not had to pit the first lap I think we may have seen him very near if not on the podium!

    Should be an exciting season

    Re: Malaysian GP

    What the hell happened to Toyota? And for that matter BMW? Those teams seem to have taken a major step back. Were they not both renowned once for having the very best engines? Perhaps they are not so good with V8's..

    Re: Malaysian GP

    There is no doubt that the BMW engine is powerful. The problem is that this is their first season making the rest of the car & chassis.

    Sauber was a v poorly funded team with v basic facilities. They only recently invested in a new wind tunnel so the aerodynamic improvements possible are only now being felt.

    Re: Malaysian GP

    It still surprises me though that with the excellence of engineering in BMW road cars they would go into F1 half-assed. I would have thought they would have built a test chassis and been running it for the past 18 months prior to debut. They definitely have facilities and finance to do so.

    Re: Malaysian GP

    After last week I;m very excited about the race. I am really pulling for Williams and Cosworth- it would be a shame for the cosworth name to ever leave f1. Williams is actually supposed to have upgrades this weekend so it should be interesting.

    Would like to see another tight battle, hopefully fisichella will have better luck.

    Re: Malaysian GP

    Will Ferrari be slower at Sepang because of (1) the conditions (2) the Bridgestone tyres are maybe not as good in Malaysia's conditions as Michelin (3) the long straights etc?

    My prediction is:

    Providing McLaren are reliable, the drivers I think could win are:


    After that small group, I expect Schumi to follow.

    JPM, Webber, Button, Fisi in the next group with BMW Sauber close behind.

    Massa erratic as ever. Barrichello unlucky as ever. Toyota still struggling with their car not generating enough heat in the tyres. (Trulli is quoted as saying that their tyres were 60 degrees lower in temp than they should be!)

    Midland, Toro Rosso, Red Bull, Super Aguri still just making up the numbers.

    Hope it's a great race! Enjoy...

    Re: Malaysian GP

    Now we have the results:

    1. Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 56Laps
    2. Fernando Alonso Renault +4,5 s
    3. Jenson Button Honda +9,6 s
    4. Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren-Mercedes +39,3 s
    5. Felipe Massa Ferrari + 43,2 s
    6. Michael Schumacher Ferrari +43,8 s
    7. Jacques Villeneuve BMW-Sauber +1.20,4 min
    8. Ralf Schumacher Toyota +1:21,2 min

    All in all not so suprising results...
    Sauber-BMW and Williams-Cosworth have apparently the same problem... Engine reliability issue(Williams is fast but, not consistant enough over race distance)!
    After two races things are more clear-Renualt is currently in the league of their own...
    BTW, Fisichella performance was amazing, IMO!

    Re: Malaysian GP

    cgt said:
    It still surprises me though that with the excellence of engineering in BMW road cars they would go into F1 half-assed. I would have thought they would have built a test chassis and been running it for the past 18 months prior to debut. They definitely have facilities and finance to do so.

    Uhu? The rules can get changed at too short notice in F1 to allow any team to test a chassis for 18 months prior to debut.

    Re: Malaysian GP

    True, but I recall Toyota made a massive investment in testing and facilities prior to entry and that was largely reported to be the reason for their great showing right off. We heard for so long that BMW had the most powerful engine in F1, and even if there is a chassis deficit, if the engine were that great, more power would enable them to overcome some of those deficiencies. I agree that on yesterday's example, Renault is the class of the field..if things continue this way wonder how long it is before Alonso tries to do what Button did and try and get out of a contract..if I were him I would be watching McLaren and already being a bit worried about next year..



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