An unexpected result given the previous Grand Prix, but McLaren were back with a vengence. Alonso was on form, dominating from the first corner and Hamilton was simply stunning. Another cracking first corner manoeuvre to overtake both the Ferrari’s to take second position. To then hold them off for the reminder of the race simply cemented his standing.
It was thanks mainly to Hamilton that Alonso was able to build up such a lead and then keep it for the rest of the race. Because of that, Ferrari’s race strategy was ruined. Perhaps if Ross Brawn had been there they could have tweaked their tactics accordingly, but unfortunately not.
Massa again showed how much of inconsistent driver he still is. As was pointed out by Mark Blundell in the post race analysis, Massa is a vastly more experienced F1 competitor than Hamilton, so it should have been him making the bold moves and pushing ahead. Instead he made rookie mistakes with late braking and clumsy overtaking.
Jenson had a pretty horrid time but at least managed to finish in 12th place. Heldfeld on the other than did impress with 4th place. The BMW’s look surprisingly competitive compared to Renault and Williams.
The take away result from Sepang was McLaren’s strong showing against Ferrari. However it must be noted Raikkonen’s engine wasn’t running at full whack due to damage caused in Australia with a water leak. Having to run an engine over two meetings does have an effect and I’m not sure it’s one I like. The cost saving it brings is obviously a good idea, but it does make the races slightly uneven. They keep making tweaks to the rules to even things out, but it’s not quite there yet.
- Race Result (F1 ITV)