From a race filled with red bull controversy we head to the second round of the 2014 F1 season at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, which was the scene for last years monumental Red Bull controversy over the Multi 21 radio call. The call was made in the closing laps of the Grand Prix to hold station which would have seen Mark Webber come in first ahead of reigning champion Sebastian Vettel. However Vettel ignored the call, or misunderstood if he is to be believed, and made the pass on his team mate. This inflamed the rivalry between the two Red Bull drivers bringing a split in the team and arguably leading Mark Webber to retire from the sport at the end of these season. It also secured Vettel with the label of villain for the rest of the 2013 season.
The team mate rivalry in Malaysia didn’t end there as behind the two Red Bulls, the two Mercedes drivers also provided us with some spectacular on track rivalry. A rivalry that may be making return to Sepang this weekend as Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg aims to continue his lead of the 2014 Championship while his team mate Lewis Hamilton is desperate to make up for last weeks DNF with a race win.
Mean while Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo also turns up with much to prove off the back of the controversy of Melbourne, where he finished the race in second place only to be disqualified by the FIA due to an accusation that the Number 3 car was running above the allowed 100Kg/Hr fuel rate though out the race. Though the desiccation is being appealed by Red Bull, the team will be turning up with fire in their belly and, having proved their car can finish a race, will be determined to win.
Designed by Hermann Tilke and debuted in 1999, Sepang is one of the most technical circuits in Formula One. The combination of long high-speed straights, and tight twisting complexes make the track very complicated, but also perfect for overtaking as the track itself is very wide.
So we can expect some epic battles as cars make use of the ERS, which will enable drivers to break later into corners to attack their rivals and use the additional boots button to pull away. Meanwhile cars will have the opportunity to come back in the long DRS enabled straights and reclaim lost positions.
This week we may also see more DNF’s as the cars are subjected to higher heat and humidity, though fuel is unlikely to play a part as the tracks technical corners lower the over all track speed and reduce fuel consumption as the cars run lower in the rev range.
|Race Date:||30 Mar 2014 at 9pm nz time|
|Circuit Name:||Sepang International Circuit|
|First Grand Prix:||1999|
|Number of Laps:||56|
|Circuit Length:||5.543 km|
|Race Distance:||310.408 km|
|Lap Record:||1:34.223 – JP Montoya (2004)|
Roger Baillie (@Rojn8r)