2 poles and a win for Hamilton
Following a disappointing first F1 race in Australia, Lewis Hamilton took the checkered flag at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit. Hamilton, who won the pole, had the fastest lap, and won the race had a near perfect weekend. It was Hamilton’s second pole in two races and his first win of the year. It was also his first win in Malaysia after 8 seasons in F1. The Brit had a very productive offseason as it appears that Mercedes figured out the many rule changes ahead of the rest of the pack. Hamilton dedicated the win to the families and victims of the missing Malaysian airliner.
Rosberg starting strong
Hamilton’s teammate, Nico Rosberg, finished second giving Mercedes a 1-2 finish and the early lead in the F1 Constructors cup. Rosberg, who won in Australia, is starting the year in great form. Rosberg started third behind 4-time champion Sebastian Vettel, but took less than a lap to find his way back to his teammate. They would not relinquish the 1-2 positions, and finished with a Mercedes dominated podium.
isportsweb had a hunch that Rosberg and Hamilton were poised for a strong start, but this is really impressive. Rosberg won race 1; Hamilton won race 2; and here they sit atop the constructors cup standings.
Is Vettel Back?
Red Bull, in contrast to the Mercedes team, had a rough offseason and preseason. In the final practice sessions before the season, it appeared that the Red Bull team was a long way from being ready to race. Vettel, who has won the last four drivers championships, failed to impress in the practice sessions and appeared frustrated with the new car. Ever the team player, however, he showed patience in press sessions and faith in the progress Adrian Newey and team were making. The team had chosen to stay focused on the 2013 car and the championship, clearly getting started later than the competition on the 2014 version. It was a calculated risk that paid off in 2013 with the F1 championship, but saw the former champion take a dissapointing withdrawal in the opening race. Race 2 was a different story, though. Vettel qualified 2nd and finished 3rd for his first podium of the year. Last year, it took the Red Bull team almost half the season to get the car optimized. After that, they won 8 straight races and Vettel’s fourth championship. So the field has to wonder if they are starting to figure things out even earlier this year. A podium in week 2. If they win in week 3 in Bahrain, you’ll see a collective fear come over the field, asking themselves: “has Red Bull figured this out already? Here we go again…”
F1 Rookies score and McLaren is back
Rookies Kevin Magnussen of McLaren and Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso finished 9th and 10th respectively. They both received points for the second week in a row, lending support to the theory that 2014 is a good year to enter the sport because of the many new rules. That’s the second top 10 for Magnussen after finding the podium in his first ever F1 race. On the other end of the spectrum, however, is veteran fan favorite Jenson Button. Button currently sits in fourth in the constructors cup, one spot above his rookie teammate. This is good news for race fans that wanted to see Mclaren compete again. McLaren is currently second in the constructors standings.