Last updated on November 15th, 2015 at 12:08 pm

F1 : Malaysian Grand Prix Preview

So what did we all think of the ‘new era of F1’? For us, there was certainly something missing and you would have to think that it’s the noise factor. Perhaps the volume was just a bit low on our TV as it was early in the morning with people asleep upstairs!

Australian Grand Prix Recap

Did the opening race of the season deliver? A local boy disqualification, rookie on the podium and only fourteen finishers would certainly suggest so but that hasn’t stopped rumours of the race organisers talking about suing F1 because the cars weren’t loud enough. The new sound will certainly take some time to feel normal but there are advantages such as being able to hear more on board and the different manufacturers having different sounds. Another new rule which came to the fore at the end of the race was the upper limit on fuel flow. Several cars exceeded this during the race but made adjustments after being warned, Red Bull however ignored these warnings with Daniel Ricciardo, trusting their own sensors and subsequently having Ricciardo disqualified at the end of the race, denying him a second position. Red Bull have appealed but we are yet to hear the verdict.
The big news came in the shape of a young Danish chap called Kevin Magnussen who finished the race in third but was promoted to second following the disqualification which means he beat Lewis Hamilton’s third place finish on his debut season. Things are looking promising for both Kevin and McLaren who are leading the championship thanks to Button’s third place. Bottas also showed that the Williams had serious pace and had it not been for hitting the wall on lap ten, he may well have been challenging for the podium. On top of all this, don’t forget that Hamilton and Vettel both retired!

Malaysian Grand Prix Preview

Mercedes are expected to be the team to beat as in Australia but with Malaysia comes unpredictable weather. At any point during qualifying or the race, the track can get an absolute soaking and this will generally mix things up for an extra bit of excitement. The race for the second quickest car is absolutely wide open with Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams all gunning for the podium and what should give us more Q3s with all cars going for it rather than just doing sector times to gain a tyre choice.
The heat and humidity also plays a big part, both on the drivers and their fitness in the cockpit and on tyres as degradation has been high during testing despite the hardest possible compounds being used. Reliability is still the biggest worry for the teams so expect a lot of retirements.

Race Predictions

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Nico Rosberg
  3. Fernando Alonso
  4. Sebastian Vettel
  5. Jenson Button

I’m sticking with the same predictions as last week, there are certainly 6+ drivers that could take third to fifth if everyone finished the race without problem but the consensus is still that Mercedes will win comfortable given a problem free race. The weather, heat and unreliable engines make all this a huge outside bet however!

The Malaysian Grand Prix is live on the BBC and Sky, here are the times:

Qualifying – Green light – 08:00
BBC 1 – 07:00 – 09:30
Sky F1 – 07:00 – 09:45

Race – Lights out – 09:00
BBC 1 – 08:00 – 11:15
Sky F1 – 08:00 – 11:30

Agree, don’t agree? Let me know below!

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