Monday, 27 April 2015

Sepang 2015 Malaysia Grand Prix

At the start of the 2015 Formula One season in Melbourne, Australia, it seemed like all predictions were right; Mercedes W06 was unbeatable. The only question left to answer was who, between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, would bag the Championship title in November.

The Subtle Scuderia Surprise

Well, for Malaysia GP, Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari had a surprise for F1, and boy didn’t they rattle the hornet’s nest! While Hamilton won pole position and was a shoo-in for the top spot on Sunday, Vettel at last got his mojo back and startled Mercedes out of their reverie by winning against both Rosberg and defending champion Hamilton.

Lessons from Sepang, Kuala Lumpur

So, what were the lessons everyone learnt at the Malaysia Grand Prix? Here are a few highlights from the grandstands:

1. Precursor to a Thrilling F1, 2015
Say what you will but the domination by Mercedes and Hamilton was bound to bring back the boring memories of Vettel and Red Bull. Now that the German seems to have gotten his footing, Bernie Ecclestone might have to rethink his pejorative for Vettel as ‘boring’. This guy has just spiced things up and you can bet Mercedes will give all they have.

2. Scuderia have the Pace
At Jerez and later Barcelona, Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were all smiles. Yes, Kimi the Iceman had a cryptic smile, and Vettel boldly stated the Ferrari SF-15T was a big step forward from the 2014 Red Bull car. Well, it seems James Allison, the technical director, has worked magic on the power unit and chassis that were the downfall for Ferrari in 2014. The pace is real so get ready for more thrilling action.

3. McLaren Have a Tough Long Way
Pundits were quick to argue that McLaren-Honda reunion was on the mend but truth be told, failing to finish a second race for a big team like this portends more heartache to come. Jenson Button, with his Graham Hill-like moustache, and Alonso might try to convince fans that the car is now more consistent, but it might take half a season to really make any impact.

4. The Pecking Order Unfolds
If there were any doubts about who the top dogs in 2015 F1 season were, then Sepang wiped them all. The cars to watch are Mercedes W06, Williams FW37, Ferrari SF-15T and Toro Rosso-Renault STR10. The drivers to follow include Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen, Rosberg, Verstappen, Sainz Jr., Bottas and Felipe Massa.

There are other revelations including the exciting arrival of Max Verstappen, who finished in points, Red Bull’s nasty fight with engine supplier Renault, which is a bad omen for Ricciardo, and much more.

Truthfully, you just have to hail the Malaysia Grand Prix which, as usual, did not fail to provide knife-edge thrilling drives this year.