This weekend the Formula One show moves to Malaysia where they’ll turn up the torque around the 5.5 kilometre Sepang International Circuit.
after two Free Practice sessions the Mercedes team looks like the favourites for the weekend. The Mercedes-engine also looks to be the fastest power-plant this season as was evident from the first race where the Mercedes-powered teams dominated.
The nearest challengers to the German domination would be the Ferrari’s of Raikkonen and Alonso who came in second and third respectively in the first free practice session. I still back the Ferrari’s to be title contenders this season with two former champions at the helm, but they’ve got their work cut out if they want to beat the Mercedes team.
The Malaysian Grand Prix, as most other races, has been dominated by Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull in recent years(2010, 2011, 2013) with the exception of 2012 when Alonso won the race for Ferrari. Alonso has won the race 3 times in the past, every time with a different team. Kimi Raikkonen also knows the track very well with 2 victories in 2003 and 2008, but will the prior experience be enough to topple the Mercedes?
Speed and reliability has always been the winning recipe in Formula One, but with the new rules and fuel regulations, strategy has come in to play much more than in the past. Even qualifying on Pole doesn’t mean as much as it used to in the good old days.
Will we see another Mercedes win? Will we see the Ferrari’s making up some pace or might the Red Bull team have something up their sleeve? It’s still early days and one can only imagine that things will change as the teams adapt to the new rules and fine tune the new 1.6-litre turbo engines.