Monday, March 31, 2014

First Time Since 1955 – Mercedes 1-2 in F1!

SEPANG, MALAYSIA – The weekend belonged to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes.  Some may have questioned Hamilton’s departure from McLaren, but if Hamilton can continue to perform like this, a second Championship for the Brit may be a reality.  Hamilton needed this win after a disappointing race in Australia where he had to retire early.  Nico Rosberg also ran an amazing race coming is second behind his teammate.  "We're in the most difficult of conditions and the car was fantastic," said Hamilton as he celebrated his first win at Sepang. "It's probably the best car I have ever driven. "This is Mercedes’ first 1-2 finish in Formula 1 since 1955.

The World Champion Red Bull team had a good and bad day.  Sebastian Vettel was able to garner a 3rd place podium finish behind the silver arrows, but teammate Daniel Ricciardo had another rather disappointing day.  After being disqualified for a fuel flow infraction in Australia, stripping the driver of his second place finish, Ricciardo suffered a pit-stop fiasco after the front left wheel was not mounted properly during the pit stop, requiring his crew having to push him back into his box.  Later, a tire puncture and front wing failure put the Aussie 6 laps down.  FIA decided that wasn’t enough, and has placed a 10 position starting penalty for an “unsafe release” for the Bahrain race.  Red Bull team boss, Christian Horner commented “The rules are pretty clear,” he said. “For an unsafe release, it is a stop-go penalty of 10 seconds and a 10-place grid penalty for the next race, so the punishment is harsh for the crime. It is the rules, so that is what it will be.”  

Fernando Alonso was able to capitalize on Ricciardo’s bad luck finishing in fourth place.  But it was not easy as Nico Hulkenberg drove an impressive race with a fifth place finish for the up and coming Force India team.  “Today was a super team effort and I’m very happy with fifth place. We were the only team among the frontrunners to do a two-stop race and we had good pace all afternoon. It shows that the team’s hard work over the winter is paying off and it feels great to be so competitive and fighting up at the front. We showed that we could manage the tyres well, although I felt a bit more comfortable on the medium compound tyres than on the hards, but we always had the tyre management under control. So I’m feeling happy that we can take all these positives to Bahrain and leave Malaysia with a good helping of points.”

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