Grand Prix of Malaysia – Race

Engine problems for Vettel’s Ferrari in Qualifying mean he starts in last place, but his teammate is P2 alongside Hamilton so I wonder what their team orders are. VET has taken on a bunch of engine changes because the associated penalties have no impact on his starting position.

Grid: HAM, RAI, VER, RIC, BOT, OCO, VAN, HUL, PER, ALO, MAS, PAL, STR, SAI, GAS, GRO, MAG, WEH, ERI, VET.

Pole-side of the grid looks damp, so RAI might benefit at the start … although it sounds like RAI might have a turbo issue

There’s a lot of tyres on the grid as the teams leave the decision as late as possible as the track dries out
PER says apart from Turn 2 it’s pretty much dry now
HUL says the run to Turn 1 (off the start) will be “spicy”
Ferrari mechanics working furiously to fix RAI’s issue in time for the formation lap
No, they’ve decided to push RAI off the grid and into the pit lane

HAM leads the remaining cars away on the formation lap; RAI is in his car but the mechanics are still working on it in the Ferrari garage
Everyone on supersoft tyres except VET and ERI
Radio for SAI – “can see some clouds coming in”
Forecast says ~30% chance of rain during the race

01/56: BOT around the outside of RIC for P3 into Turn 1
VAN inside OCO to take P5
VET locks up as he almost runs into the rear of PAL

02: HAM, VER, BOT, RIC, VAN, PER, OCO, STR, MAS, MAG, ALO
HUL runs wide
VET past PAL
VET up to P12 already; next target is ALO

03: HAM, VER, BOT, RIC, VAN, PER, STR, MAS, MAG, ALO, VET, HUL, PAL, SAI, GAS, GRO, WEH, ERI, OCO; RAI still in the pits
OCO pits from P7 – puncture
VER fastest lap 1:37.792
Radio from HAM – “lots of derates” (not geting full power); “that’s to be expected” (it’s still charging)

04: VER makes a nice move – takes P1 from HAM
RIC attacking BOT
Radio from HAM complaining of derates at the end of the straight

05/56: VER, HAM, BOT, RIC, VAN, PER, STR, MAS, MAG, ALO, VET
Replay of the start – OCO sandwiched between PER and STR

06: VET still P11 behind ALO
RAI is out of his car and heading for the motorhome

07: ALO looking for a way round MAG
Radio from HUL – “funny feeling from the front axle at high speed”; “we don’t see anything”

08: VER almost 2.5sec clear of HAM
PER inside VAN to take P5

09: RIC attacking again; BOT defends P3
RIC down the inside at Turn 4; makes it stick
VET past ALO for P10

10/56: VET closes on the Ferrari-engined Haas of MAG and immediately passes him for P9
HUL pits; soft tyres go on

11: VET closing on MAS

12: MAS pits; softs
GRO pits too

13: VER f/lap 1:36.246
STR pits as VET was closing on him
STR rejoins alongside teammate MAS
MAS stays ahead, in P13

14: PAL and VAN pit
VAN rejoins into the middle of the MAS/STR battle
VAN passes both Williams for P11

15/56: VET now up to P6, behind PER
Radio from RIC – “some oversteer at high speed”; “ok, we’ll add some front wing”

17: VER leads by 7.8sec; HAM has RIC 5.2sec behind him

19: Radio from VER – tyres are getting old

20/56: VER, HAM, RIC, BOT, PER, VET, ALO, SAI, OCO, VAN, STR, MAS, MAG, HUL, PAL, WEH, GAS, GRO, ERI
Radio from PER – “tyres are good, no rush to pit”

21: Sky is looking quite grey; rain soon?
VET dives inside PER into Turn 1 to take P5 … so next is BOT

25/56: VER, HAM, RIC, BOT, VET, PER, ALO, SAI, OCO, VAN, STR, MAS, MAG, HUL, PAL, GAS, WEH, GRO, ERI
OCO past SAI for P8; SAI taps him; OCO spins; drops to P12

26: VET dives inside BOT but BOT closes the door

27: HAM pits from P2; softs; 2.4sec stop; rejoins just ahead of BOT
ALO pits

28/56: VER pits from P1; softs; rejoins P2
VET pits; from softs to supersofts
Radio for RIC – extending this stint

29: BOT pits; softs; rejoins P6, behind VET
OCO catches up to MAS; locks up to avoid running into the rear of the Williams

30/56: RIC pits from P1; softs; 2.3sec stop; rejoins P3
Radio from SAI – “no engine, no engine”
SAI heads into the pit lane

31: MAS defends, OCO runs onto the grass
PER pits from P4

32: MAG defends but ALO finds a gap, takes P13
MAG fights back; ALO forcefully pushes back and keeps P13

35/56: VER, HAM, RIC, VET, BOT, PER, VAN, STR, MAS, OCO, HUL, PAL, ALO, MAG, GAS, WEH, ERI, GRO; retirements: SAI, RAI

37: Looks like a piece of RIC’s undertray is scraping along the track

38: PAL and MAG batting over P13 as VER closes to lap them both

39: VER passes PAL and MAG just in time – their battle continues; contact; PAL spins

41: VER, HAM, RIC, VET, BOT, PER, VAN, STR, MAS, OCO, HUL, ALO, MAG, GAS, PAL, GRO, WEH, ERI

42: Radio for HUL – “stopping (for tyres) is not an option”
VET f/lap 1:34.080
VET now under 5sec behind RIC

44: VER has lapped everyone up to & including OCO (P10)

45/56: VER, HAM, RIC, VET, BOT, PER, VAN, STR, MAS, OCO, HUL, ALO, MAG, GAS, PAL, GRO, WEH, ERI; retirements: SAI, RAI

46: VET barely 1sec behind RIC – he’ll get DRS this lap

47: RIC closing to lap ALO as VET closes on the Red Bull

48: VET held up by ALO for a couple of laps

49: HAM putting in personal best lap times, matching VET’s
RIC defends P3 from VET
Radio for VET telling him “attack now” … in case it hadn’t occurred to him?

50/56: VER, HAM, RIC, VET, BOT, PER, VAN, STR, MAS, OCO, HUL, ALO, MAG, GAS, GRO, PAL, WEH, ERI

51: VER has a comfortable 8.5sec lead over HAM

52: Looks like VET has had to back off
HUL pits from P11; rejoins P17

53: Is VER resting his head in the big turns?

55 = 2 laps remaining: MAG runs wide
GRO takes P13 from GAS

VER takes the chequered flag – a nice 20th birthday present!
On the cool-down lap, VET passed STR; contact! VET’s rear left wheel is ripped off! Huh!?!
VET takes the steering with him (that deserves a penalty) as he gets a lift back to the pits from WEH

Provisional result: VER, HAM, RIC, VET, BOT, PER, VAN, STR, MAS, OCO, HUL, ALO, MAG, GRO, GAS, PAL, WEH, ERI
DNF: SAI
DNS: RAI

5 Replies to “Grand Prix of Malaysia – Race”

  1. “The stewards in Malaysia have decided to take no further action over the post-race coming together between Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel that left the latter with significant damage.” [FIA]

  2. “Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly suffered back pain throughout his Formula 1 race debut in the Malaysian Grand Prix because of an uncomfortable seating position.” “With the seat, I’m not supported enough. It’s not ideal but it’s more like I didn’t feel fully comfortable” [autosport]

  3. “Force India chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer says some rival Formula 1 teams broke the rules by drying their grid slots ahead of the start of the Malaysian Grand Prix.” [autosport]
    “Some teams chose to use handheld driers to dry the grid slots, but that contravenes article 22.3 of the sporting regulations: “Other than by driving on the track, competitors are not permitted to attempt to alter the grip of any part of the track surface.””
    “However, with the race result now official, it is expected that the next course of action will involve the FIA issuing a clarification that the practice is banned.”

  4. “Organisers of the Malaysia Grand Prix have made it clear that despite hopes F1 might return to the country, it wouldn’t be welcome, even if it was given for free.” [pitpass]

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