After a stunning Australian GP, the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship got off to one its best starts in more than a decade and the usual suspects Ferrari and McLaren both failed to score points. I am wondering if a situation like this has ever happened in the history of F1. Brawn GP who a month ago were not sure if they will exist as an entity after Honda bailed out on them after just one race looks like hot favourites to win the world championship and Jenson Button who for years was considered a good prospect but never had the machinery to back him finally has a car which can land him a world title which has been promised to him since he made his debut for the Williams F1 team during the 2000 season.
Brawn GP seems to be clear favourites heading into Sepang but Ferrari has upped their pace and Williams yet again are quick during the practice. You can also add in RBR to the mix but Vettel with a 10 point grid penalty would feel unlucky for such a penalty thanks to a racing incident but still he can provide some fight back and though he may not challenge for the win but still will be fighting for a place on the podium. Toyota is another team which is quick and could once again have both drivers scoring points. As far BMW is concerned, they may not run with KERS during this race but they do have a consistent car and if they can get their tyre strategy right they can also be competing for a place in the podium.
The 2 former world champions are having mixed fortunes and as they head for the race, things are not soo looking good. Alonso is still not 100% fit after an infection and though he will be giving it all, don’t expect him pose any serious challenge as Renault though they promised a lot during the end of last season and also during testing is still yet to get it right while Hamilton is yet again caught in another controversy and had this 3rd place finish stripped by the FIA for lying to the race stewards about the incident with Trulli and well depending on what you believe may even been thrown out of this year’s championship by the FIA. Nothing has changed for their teammates as Piquet continue to drive like a person who does not belong to F1 while Kovalainen seems like he is better suited to drive for Force India rather than McLaren.
STR and especially Buemi was pretty impressive while Bourdais was lucky to have points after a very average race, but this team will definitely looking for some help from the weather gods as they may not have a driver off the calibre of Vettel to pull off a win but with rains they have an outside chance of a podium finish. Not sure if even the rains can help Force India but Fisichella should be a worried man as Vijay Mallya is also interested in signing Bruno Senna for the next season should Fisi retire or even made to retire.
It is going to be a very interesting Malaysian GP and Kimi has traditionally done well and with Ferrari improving its face, could well once again win here on Sunday but he will face a very stiff challenge from not only his teammate Massa but also the likes of Button, Vettel and Rosberg. I would expect Ferrari to have a car up on the podium but if Williams can reproduce the practice pace during the race expect them to challenge Brawn GP, otherwise expect a rehash of the Australian GP unless the rain plays a part and makes the race a complete chaotic mess.