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    Malaysian GP

    Sunday 8 April. 10 of the 11 teams are testing in Sepang this week. I hear heavy rain has meant that the test has been extended into Friday.

    The McLaren cars have 4 side mirrors? What's that about?

    Anyhow, it appears from Wednesdays testing that the Ferraris are still about 1 second per lap quicker than the next best team, BMW Sauber.

    I hope that Felipe Massa can bury the problems of Australia and show he is that little bit quicker than Kimi whom he had been outpacing all through pre-season testing.

    I understand Lewis Hamilton was quickest on Thursday but it's difficult to draw any conclusions since today's testing was rain interrupted.

    I fear for Renault. I think the pressure internally there will build up dramatically if they have another poor race.

    BMW Sauber continue to impress. It seems they have the engine power, their car handles very well. Maybe just a few more aerodynamic tweaks to get the most out of the package? I think Nick Heidfeld's qualification time at Melbourne was achieved with a lower fuel level though.

    The interesting thing is that Sepang is a proper track unlike Melbourne which was a street circuit. Although Sepang is not great for overtaking, the cars with greater power and higher straight-line speeds should be able to power past on the straights while those drivers who brake a little later should be able to take slightly sharper lines through the corners. At least it's a very broad track.

    Let's also see how the engines hold together. This will be the second race for many of them. Sepang will be a much better test of engine longevity and reliability since it will be hot and humid.

    I also wonder whether Toyota will get frustrated. Their engine client, Williams, outshone them in Australia.

    I am also interested to see who gains supremacy between David Coulthard and Mark Webber at Red Bull. Toro Rosso look like they will be competitive at last. I just hope Speed and Liuzi have good clean races with no mistakes.

    The truly surprise package has been Super Aguri. They have massively overperformed compared to expectations whereas Honda, as seems usual, have massively underperformed.

    The smart guy appears to have been Alonso. We were all laughing at how the double champ would cope with an unreliable car. Well, it looks like he is the one laughing at Renault since he has a reliable McLaren!

    I'm excited for Hamilton. He seems not to be out of his depth at all in his rookie season. He looks ripe and ready for F1 and that he belongs there

    Unlike Heiki Kovaleinen whose debut was terrible. He really mustn't repeat those errors again. I fer Flavio Briatore may quickly promote Nelson Piquet Jr to his seat if he doesn't improve drastically and quickly. Pat Symonds has a cooler head on his shoulders though.

    I also wonder how much longer poor Fisichella's career will last. He doesn't have a contract with Renault for next season. Let's see if he delivers this year. You just know that he won't compete with the Ferrari, McLaren and BMW drivers though. He isn't in that league.

    I hope Rosberg doesn't lose his way either. He needs to cement his credentials on the grid. He's not a rookie anymore but people have forgotten about his early potential. It just feels like he is not going anywhere.

    I also think this may be the last season that the 'cushy' pairing of Trulli and Ralf Schumi will last. Toyota have woefully underperformed. They chose experienced drivers as a safe bet. Sadly they were 2 drivers in decline and who lacked any real hunger anymore. The fact that the Toyoat has been so unreliable has masked this and given those drivers an excuse for their failures.

    I think Honda's PR stunt has backfired. No body cares about their ridiculous world paint work and lack of sponsor advertising. At the end of the day, it all boils down to performance. No body cares about teams that can't cut the mustard. That's why people have a totally opposite reaction to little Super Aguri. Well done them!

    Poor Spyker. Moving from being a tiny maker of quirky sports cars to being a serious player in F1 is a step too far for them in my opinion. They look and feel like Jordan, Arrows and Minardi before them. No amount of fancy orange paintwork can save them from being dismissed as being utterly out of their depth.

    Sorry to ramble on. Just a few thoughts....hopefully something to ponder over. Just over a week to go till the action gets under way in Sepang. Can't wait

    Re: Malaysian GP

    Kimi's Ferrari will need new engine maybe! This will add some unexpected heat to the race IMO.

    Re: Malaysian GP

    All very valid points. It will be torture for the engines on their second race and they have the heat to deal with in this race.
    I just hate Ron Dennis! He's a total jerk and I can't stand to see him doing well (I have good reasons). I have nothing against his drivers though. Lewis Hamilton looks like the real deal so far, but it's a long season. Nico Rosberg looked VERY good in his first race also. It'll kill me if the McLaren ends up being more reliable than the Ferrari's this season. Kimi had to deal with their junk for so many years and NOW it looks like they might get it together.
    All the teams that have their new chassis for the first year will struggle. Torro Rosso and Syker will struggle for the first half of the year more than likely.
    Toyota and Honda are a total dissappointment! I can't believe how poorly they're doing. I'm waiting to hear Toyota bag F1 and concentrate on Nascar.
    BMW has been doing very well. Ever since Jacque Villenve left the team it seems. More than likely just poor timing on his part. BMW could be a spoiler for sure if someone faulters and they can keep their cars together. Kubica will have a new engine this week because of his retirement from the last race, which could help him.

    Great fun and thanks for posting this thread. Hardly anyone here in the States watches F1.

    Re: Malaysian GP

    Friday's test results:

    1. Renault - Heikki Kovalainen
    2. Ferrari - Massa
    3. Super Aguri - Davidson (over 1 second behind)

    On another note, Ecclestone would like to see Magny Cours replaced with a race along the streets of Paris. They certainly wouldn't have much trouble putting a circuit together there - with all their wide streets from which to choose.

    It looks like this will be one of the most interesting F1 seasons in a long time.


    Re: Malaysian GP

    On the French radio they talked about a French GP at the side of Euro Disney...Not quite the streets of Paris, but for sure closer than the current location, which is a bit in the middle of nowhere...
    I agree comments above especially Fisichella....

     
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