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2014 Formula 1 Report: USA Edition Drafting the Circuits Week 13

 

 

Grand Prix                            Date                     Tire Compounds       

Bahrain Grand Prix             April 4-6            Medium/Soft

Chinese Grand Prix             April 18-20        Medium/Soft

Grand Prix of Spain             May 9-11

 

Drivers’ championship:

1.  Nico Rosberg                   43

2.  Lewis Hamilton              25

3.  Fernando Alonso            24

4. Jenson Button                  23

5.  Kevin Magnussen           20

6.  Nico Hulkenberg            18

7. Sebastian Vettel               15

8.  Valtteri Bottas                 14

9.  Kimi Raikkonen              6

10. Felipe Massa                   6

11.  Jean-Eric Vergne           4

12.  Daniil Kvyat                   3

13.  Sergio Perez                   1

 

Constructors’ championship:

 

1.  Mercedes                         68

2.  McLaren                           43

3.  Ferrari                              30

4.  Williams                           20

5.  Force India                      19

6.  Red Bull                           15

6.  Toro Rosso                      7

 

Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix

The second round of the Formula 1 Championship is finished and Mercedes again have showed dominant form.

 

Lewis Hamilton took home the trifecta winning pole position in the rain, dominating the race leading from lights to checkers, and also recording the fastest lap in the race.

 

Hamilton remarked,  “the race was tougher than it perhaps looked today and the conditions here always make it a great challenge. But I was able to look after the car, the tires and the fuel and still keep a bit of pace in hand which made my job that little bit easier. It´s great to see Mercedes leading the championship but we know that we have to make these early races pay.”

 

 f1wk13a

 

Nico Rosberg brought the Silver Arrows a complimentary second place as well.  This 1-2 finish has not been accomplished by Mercedes in Formula 1 since Monza in 1955.

 

 f1wk13b

f1wk13c

Sebastian Vettel placed Red Bull on the podium for the first time this season after Daniel Ricciardo’s podium from Australia has been disallowed.  Vettel finally had the strong showing we have expected but never challenged Rosberg or Hamilton so they are certainly lacking pace.

 

Perhaps more relevant, are the small errors that have been creeping into Red Bulls performance.  Daniel Ricciardo, suffered a  left front wheel nut that was not properly affixed.  He subsequently had a front wing issue, a puncture, a 10 second stop/go penalty and retired after 49 laps.  To boot, he was given a 10 place grid penalty for the next race in Bahrain for the unsafe release after the wheel nut episode.    Unlucky for the Australian who has looked great in the car when things are going well.

 

Ferrari had a mixed bag as Fernando Alonso took a 4th place postion.  Kimi Raikkonen’s race was essentially finished on the opening lap due to a rear tire puncture suffered after a slight collision with Kevin Magnussen’s front wing.  Magnussen recovered to take the McLaren home 8th while Kimi described his race as “destroyed”.

 

Williams took home two top ten performances but added some drama to the closing laps as Felipe Massa was issued team order 4 times to allow rookie Valtteri Bottas past.  Williams felt that Bottas had more pace and could potentially take a position away from Jenson Button.  Massa ignored the orders and did not let Bottas past, while Williams explained their plan was to give Bottas a few laps to test Button and then let Massa past if this did not happen.  Should be an interesting meeting in the home office with Sir Frank.

 

Overall, a Mercedes dominant weekend and threse early races are giving Mercedes a cushion that could be hard to defeat by the end of the first 4 fly away races.

 

Notables from Malaysia

 

  • Lotus finished a race with Romain Grosjean taking home 11th positon.  Again progress for the Lotus boys, but slight!
  • Rookie Daniil Kvyat again scored points with a 10th place finish for Toro Rosso.
  • Penalties
    • Ricciardo:  10 Place grid penalty to be served in Bahrian
    • Bottas:  2 penalty points awarded for obstructing Daniel Ricciardo during qualifying
    • Magnussen: 2 penalty points for his collision with Raikkonen
    • Bianchi: 2 points his collision with Pastor Maldonado

**FIA  Article 16.2

Penalty Points on Super License

“If a driver accrues 12 penalty points his licence will be suspended for the following Event, following which 12 points will be removed from the licence. Penalty points will remain on a driver’s Super Licence for a period of 12 months after which they will be respectively removed on the 12 month anniversary of their imposition.”

 

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix – Race result

1          Lewis Hamilton          Mercedes       56        1:40:25.974 25

2          Nico Rosberg              Mercedes       56        +17.3 secs

3          Sebastian Vettel        Red Bull          56        +24.5 secs

4          Fernando Alonso      Ferrari             56        +35.9 secs

5          Nico Hulkenberg       Force India     56        +47.1 secs

6          Jenson Button            McLaren         56        +83.6 secs

7          Felipe Massa               Williams          56        +85.0 secs

8          Valtteri Bottas            Williams          56        +85.5 secs

9          Kevin Magnussen     McLaren         55        +1 Lap

10        Daniil Kvyat                Toro Rosso   55        +1 Lap

11        Romain Grosjean      Lotus               55        +1 Lap

12        Kimi Räikkönen         Ferrari            55        +1 Lap

13        Kamui Kobayashi     Caterham       55        +1 Lap

14        Marcus Ericsson       Caterham       54        +2 Lap

15        Max Chilton                Marussia        54        +2 Lap

Ret      Daniel Ricciardo       Red Bull          49        +7 Lap

Ret      Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber            35        +21 Laps

Ret      Adrian Sutil                 Sauber            32        +24 Laps

Ret      Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso   18        +38 Laps

Ret      Jules Bianchi               Marussia         8          +48 Laps

Ret      Pastor Maldonado    Lotus                 7          +49 Laps

DNS    Sergio Perez                Force India                     +6 Laps

 

 

For those who use Twitter, you can follow me @steve_aibel or check us all out @RacingDTC for Drafting the Circuits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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