Malaysian Grand Prix – Race

Grid: P1=MW, 2=NR, 3=SV, 4=AS, 5=NH, 6=RK, 7=RB, 8=MS, 9=KK, 10=VL, 11=VP, 12=PdlR, 13=SB, 14=JA, 15=HK, 16=TG, 17=JB, 18=JT, 19=FA, 20=LH, 21=FM, 22=KC, 23=BS, 24=LdG.

My race notes are after the jump…

PdlR was P12 but won’t be racing after an engine failure on the way to the grid

MW leads everyone away on the formation lap
A mix of softer (option) and harder (prime) tyre compounds
Pit-car radio for SV tells him he needs to cool the engine

01/56: Yellow flag at the back of the grid
MW loses P1 to his teammate into Turn 1
RB has dropped to the back of the field – he had a problem on the grid

02: SV, MW, NR, RK, AS, MS, NH, VL, VP, KK
LH pushing SB for P12
LH takes P12 and now FM lines up SB

03: JB passes JA into Turn 1 for P16
TG off into the gravel

04: LH takes P10 away from KK

05/56: SV, MW, NR, RK, AS, MS, NH, VL, VP, LH
FM = P14, FA = P15, JB = P16

06: VP runs wide in the final turn and LH ducks inside to take P9
VP chucks the Renault up the inside of LH into T1 and re-takes P9

08: VP runs wide in the final turn again, handing LH P9
LH tries to break the tow down the straight but VP sticks with him
VP attacks again into T1 but LH tries to push him wide and holds on to P9

09: JB passes FA for P15
KK’s out – looks like engine failure

10/56: SV, MW, NR, RK, AS, MS, NH, VL, LH, VP
JB is the first to pit
LH has been warned by the stewards about his driving on the pit straight
MS is slowing … and pulls the Mercedes off track and parks … then the marshals take a couple of days (OK, ~20secs) to wander over to the car 🙁

11: Pit-car for LH tell him he’s got a warning for excessive weaving when he was trying to shake off VP

12: HK made a clumsy attempt at overtaking LdG – broke LdG’s front wing and probably punctured his rear right tyre

13: VL is crawling around the track
HK pits – very slow getting the rear jack on

14: NH pits from P7, followed by VP
Renault release VP very close to NH – that’s probably a penalty for ignoring the new safety zone thing

15: VL finally made it back to the pits, where he’s pushed into the garage

18: BBC interview MS – he says the wheel nuts had come off
Pit-car radio for LH say no rain expected through to the end of the race

19: JA pits

20/56: SV, MW, NR, RK, AS, L, FM, FA, JB

21: AS pits – 5.2s stop, 23s from entering to exiting the pit lane
JA almost touches the rear wing of VP under braking

22: RK pits; exits alongside FM
JA finally finds a way past VP without hitting him

23: NR pits from P3 – 3.9s stop, which is the fastest tyre change of the season so far

24: SV pits from P1 – 4.8s stop – rejoins just feet ahead of LH

25/56: MW pits from P1 – problem getting the wheel gun off the front right – 6.2 stop
BBC report the gun was still turning as they tried to pull it off – is the wheel nut tight?

26: SV, LH*, MW, NR, RK, FM*, FA*, AS, JB, NH (*yet to pit); retirements: HK, VL, MS, KK, TG, PdlR
Ferrari pit crew getting ready

27: MW posts the fastest lap 1:39.739
FM pits – 4.4s

28/56 = half distance: HK has rejoined after the team fixed a hydraulic problem with his Lotus

29: FM f/lap 1:38.002 on his new rubber

30/56: SV, LH*, MW, NR, RK, FA*, AS, JB, FM, NH (*yet to pit); retirements: VL, MS, KK, TG, PdlR

31: LH pits from P2 – rejoins in P7

34: VP pulls off track and retires

35/56: LH closing on AS – very close to his gearbox into Turn 1

36: Ferrari mechanics getting ready for a stop – must be FA as he’s the only one yet to stop

37: FA pits from P5 – 4.2s stop – rejoins into lots of open air in P9

38: LH continues to harry AS as they lap back markers

40/56: SV, MW, NR, RK, AS, LH, JB, FM, FA, JA; retirements: VP, VL, MS, KK, TG, PdlR

41: LH tells his team AS is too quick on the straights

43: Pit-car for MW tells him his throttle pedal is bouncing on the straights – is he getting tired or is it a problem?
SB takes P12 from RB

44: FM takes a look down the inside of JB and steals P7

45/56: FA closing on JB now

46: RB pit stop #2
JB holds the inside line into Turn 1 but FA tries to go round the outside – JB holds on to P8

48: FA sticking close to JB but not attacking

50/56: SV, MW, NR, RK, AS, LH, FM, JB, FA, JA; retirements: VP, VL, MS, KK, TG, PdlR

51: SV has a 5.8sec lead over his teammate, who in turn has an almost 14sec gap to NR

52: FA right on JB’s tail again but he’s still got problems down-shifting

53: FA gets a bit too close in the final turn and runs wide rather than hit JB
JT has a hydraulic problem – the team have told him to keep going until it fails
LdG is running out of fuel but we know that’s because their tank isn’t big enough; he’s going slowly to conserve fuel but he’s saying it’s now almost undrivable

55/56: FA dives down the inside into Turn 1 but can’t hold it; JB holds P8
Looked like sparks coming from FA’s Ferrari?
White smoke = engine failure for FA – he pulls off track and stops

56 = final lap: Hand signals from a back marker trying to let SV through

SV takes the chequered flag
MW makes it a 1-2 for Red Bull
NR home for P3
P4=RK, 5=AS, 6=LH, 7=FM, 8=JB, 9=JA, 10=NH
P11=SB, 12=RB (+1 lap), 13=FA (+2 laps), 14=LdG (+3 laps), 15=KC (+3), 16=BS (+4), 17=JT (+5)
DNF: HK, VP, VL, MS, KK, TG, PdlR