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F1 Ferrari fight back in Malaysian GP

   Just one week after many writers (myself included) gave Ferrari a roasting over their Australian GP performance, especially their self basting, roasted V8s, the team proved what a bunch of know-nothing prats we experts are. Nothing like a bit of self flagellation to get the week off to a good start. Something you may hear a bit more about in coming weeks. Raikkonen and Massa would have finished a comfortable one-two if Felipe hadn’t had his second brain explosion in as many weeks and toss his red steed into the background scenery yet again. 

  

 

 Picking up the pieces once again was BMW who had Robert Kubica finish second on this occasion with McLaren’s Kovalainen taking the last podium spot. Depending on what you wanted to watch the first twenty odd laps were quite entertaining. If you wanted to watch a brawl for the lead then it was not as the Ferraris pulled away from the rest of the field with Kimi just waiting till Massa pitted before putting in a blinder of an in lap himself and taking the lead upon exiting the pits. And for the lead, that’s all she wrote folks and there’s not much I can add. Kimi first, Felipe dust.

 Behind them Kubica held on as best he could but slowly dropped away and ran a very lonely race for his second place.   Behind them though was an excellent scrap with a fast starting Webber in the Red Bull holding off determined challenges from Hamilton’s McLaren and Trulli in the Toyota. Webber pitted first and due to a fairly long stop dropped places to both Trulli and Kovalainen but still held off Hamilton due to an equally lousy first stop by the Brit when a wheel nut locked on the front right wheel. Even so, after Massa’s moment Webber was still in fifth place and looking strong. Another longish pit stop on lap 39 saw both Hamilton and Heidfeld pass the Aussie but he still managed to hold off Alonso’s Renault to take seventh place. In reality, this was about as good as could have been expected in such a reliable race. He was behind just one Ferrari, two McLarens and two BMWs and all of them should finish, if they finish, in the top six based on pace. The only interloper was Trulli’s Toyota which came home an excellent fourth despite dropping over 15 seconds to Hamilton in the last 13 laps. 

   Other items of note were Nick Heidfeld setting his first ever Fastest Lap in the BMW, Nelson Piquet gave a vastly more competent performance in the Renault and despite the winner, at least two Ferrari engines, in Sutil’s Force India and Vettel’s Toro Rosso again went “POP”. So far, five Ferrari engines have hand-grenaded in the first two races. No one else has suffered a failure yet. 

  So do we really know anything more than we did a week ago. Not really, except that if you ever think you know what’s going to happen, you’re a berk. With McLaren strangely off the pace, and that won’t happen often, we haven’t seen the big two up against each other yet. Will Ferrari’s fragile engines be solved, or will they be the difference at the end of the year? Will Massa figure out how to drive without traction control? For a full race that is. Will BMW sneak a win soon? We only have to wait another couple of weeks to get the next clue. Chat to yer then…… 

Sam Snape