After a boring start to the season at Bahrain, it was a slug fest at the Australian GP and Jenson Button would definitely feel vindicated after a stunning win on a wet track due to a great gamble and Vettel’s reliability issues. Though had Vettel had not had that failure he would have won the race but nevertheless Button showed that he is not purely dependent on very good cars to win the race and he can also drive for victories. His teammate had a weekend to forget and though he did manage 6th place but he still was critical of McLaren’s strategy and have to forget what happened in Melbourne last week and regain composure to challenge for the win in Malaysia.
It is early in the season but it is high time Red Bull solves all reliability issues as Vettel can’t be the fastest man on track but still struggling to finish races and he has been vocal about the possibility of moving to Ferrari in the future and if Red Bull wants to keep him post 2011, he needs to win the title this season while teammate Webber though tried too hard in his home grand prix, he needs to up the game and perform like Vettel’s equal rather than a # 2 driver and if Webber continues in this form, Red Bull may just put Kimi in its cars as he is already racing for them in the WRC.
Ferrari leads both the titles as of now and do have the most all-round car on the grid but with team orders a thing of the past but if Massa and Alonso continue to eat points of each other then it may be a case where they will win the constructor’s title easily while may yet lose out on the driver’s championship. Though the relationship between Massa and Alonso has been cordial it is still early oart of the season and once it gets heats up, there can many potential clashes between the duo both on and off track.
Mercedes as Brawn managed to totally decimate the opposition but now with Schumacher, a 7 time World Champion and Rosberg, one of the brightest young talent on the grid, the team is struggling and they need to up their performance quickly as if they do fail so they may be faster than the rest of the grid but will lag behind Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull. They may have a lonely season and Schumacher may just quit once again if he is not motivated enough.
Kubica’s stunning performance may have given Renault all the inspiration in the world and though they may not achieve the same in Malaysia, but still it was a very important result for the team which went through various changes towards the end of last season and a strong Renault team is always good for the sport. Vitaly Petrov has not had the perfect debut season but he needs to start performing soon or else though he is a talented driver, the pay-driver stigma will hurt him badly in the future.
Williams and Force India ware well ahead of Sauber and Toro Rosso but now with the emergence of Renault, it has turned into a 3 way race to see is who will finish as the 5th best team in the grid and though Force India compared to the last few seasons had had one of its best starts ever and at times seems even quicker than Williams but if Williams continues to aim to remain as a premier team, they need to do something real quick as they have not won a race since 2004 and great teams usually do not go on such a long losing streak.
Sauber have to overcome their reliability issues and though they de la Rosa did manage to finish the race, the team was not expected to do a Brawn but was considered a dark horse but now struggling to keep up Toro Rosso and the way things are shaping up, the Italian team may just upstage their rivals and may quickly want to catch up with Force India, fellow back markers during the previous seasons.
Lotus must relish racing here as this is their home grand prix and though scoring any points will be an amazing thing for the team especially at sepang but so far they have proved that there are the best of the new teams and if they continue to improve they realistically have a chance to catch up with the likes of Sauber and STR before the season ends.
Virgin may not finish races as off now due to a very small fuel tank while Hispanic Racing after a disastrous start at Bahrain have got their feet on ground and it is only a matter of time before they start challenging Virgin and Lotus but their only problem could be is that Lotus and Virgin have drivers with F1 experience while HRT has 2 rookie drivers.
Last year’s Malaysian GP was a deluge and though rain is expected this year, it should not be that bad and if it does rains, it will be amazing to see wet track specialists like Schumacher, Vettel and Button battling each other. F1 season has really begun and Malaysia will once again provide a total entertaining race.
Malaysian GP Top 10 Predictions
1. Sebastien Vettel
2. Fernando Alonso
3. Felipe Massa
4. Jenson Button
5. Lewis Hamilton
6. Nico Rosberg
7. Michael Schumacher
8. Mark Webber
9. Adrian Sutil
10. Vitantonio Liuzzi