Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Sepang, 2011

Rate the race: 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

Debates and pollsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

What did you think of the Malaysian Grand Prix? Rate the race out of ten and leave a comment below:

Rate the 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix out of ten

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  • 3 (1%)
  • 4 (1%)
  • 5 (3%)
  • 6 (6%)
  • 7 (17%)
  • 8 (40%)
  • 9 (24%)
  • 10 (6%)

Total Voters: 556

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2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

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175 comments on “Rate the race: 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix”

  1. 8/10. Rather exciting race with tonnes of battles going on everywhere and Vettel’s lead constantly under threat. Shame no one properly challenged him for it though.

    Is it just me or did the glitch in Alonso’s DRS lead to more exciting racing? If it worked he would’ve easily passed Hamilton and we wouldn’t have seen that amazing battle between the two of them. I thought DRS was brought in to make racing more exciting but it’s gone the opposite way in that instance.

    Speaking of Hamilton, just what happened to him? He was doing alright for the first half but when those hard tyres came on during that dreadful pitstop he couldn’t keep up with Button, almost got taken out by Alonso and then lost out to Heidfeld and Webber. Was his car damaged after Alonso’s collision? Massively disappointing race for him. At least Button got on the podium.

    Despite his very poor start, Webber was easily the driver of the day. Massive shame he couldn’t get onto the podium right at the end though. Button was the second best driver of the day.

    Vettel’s extremely quick but he has it too easy. I want to see him start in the midfield and see if he has overtaking abilities.

    Glad to see Massa beat Alonso too!

    1. agree with this – it was a good race but we haven’t seen a good battle for first place.

      DRS was good in this race, although it did seem completely unfair on Webber at the beginning. Really good recovery drive by him

      1. and a great start/race by Heidfeld I forgot to mention

      2. Actually I put in a 9/10. Pretty much agree on the rest.

        I think DRS was a tad too powerfull here, it was better in Melbourne where it just enabled them to keep close. Webbers also looked like it was stuck after running Heidfeld close.

        1. Also far to many replays showing nothing special after lap 2, instead of cars fighting on track.

          1. yes i tweeted this. why show replays of the start as soon as the DRS is activated?

            The coverage wasn’t great either – we kept seeing pitstops instead of overtakes

          2. I agree.. the coverage of this race was terrible. For us star sports viewers in Asia, the commercial breaks were timed just when the drivers were chasing each other down the DRS zone. Terrible coverage of a really exciting race..

            I rated the race 8/10 btw

          3. Meh, I think the coverage was very good, I think you have to take for granted that, it being live, you may not see everything. Also, I consider that maybe some people like seeing the replays… I did.

          4. I think the FOM coverage was reasonable. The FOM has to make a decision whether to cover a pit stop, or a potential pass. Given that pit stops are such a critical, and often race changing part of the race, I think they made good decisions by covering the leaders pit stops. It’s not like they covered every pit stop. I don’t remember seeing any Lotus, HRT, or Virgin pit stops, they only seem to cover the ones that might have an effect on the race.

            If you want to see some truly terrible coverage of F1, come out and watch a race on Australian TV. Here we only get to see qualifying and the race, and depending on which city or region you live in, qualifying might be delayed. In the race itself, One HD the station that shows the race will have I would say at least 10, 3 to 4 minute ad breaks during the race, and usually time them so that you miss something exciting that happened. They’ll usually cut from the BBC commentary, and say something like “looks like pit stops are about to start, so we will go to break”, and when they come back, pit stops are finished, or they’ll say “looks like it’s about to rain, lets go to break”, or “looks like so and so is going to pass so and so, good time for break”. Also yesterday, coming back from breaks, they managed to show replays out of order, which were totally confusing. Why they can’t find a better way to show the ads, is beyond me. Well, my theory is because they don’t really care about the viewers experience.

            Anyone who has access to the BBC feed doesn’t know just how good they have it compared to the rest of the world.

          5. Re: Aussie TV. A few years ago in the UK we had ITV doing the television coverage. That had ads in. So we Brits do understand what you’re going through :(
            We are very lucky with the BBC coverage. Especially because they shove other programs onto other BBC channels for it. Honestly, F1 is the only reason I pay for a TV license.

        2. The DRS was interesting. Sometimes the effect was really pronounced and other times it wasn’t. I found this to be an entertaining race, You really didn’t know who was going to finish where until the last couple of laps.

      3. It was KERS problems that affected Webber at the start of the race and dropped him down the field not DRS.

    2. Vettel on course to usurp Hamilton’s tally of victories this season, could worsen the Ham-McLaren relationship.

      1. I wonder what the secret to Lotus’s great start was? Reminds me of 2006. That traction off the line was just amazing.

        Alonso’s DRS glitch was a bit unlucky. If it was working he wouldnt have had to take such measures just to get passed Lewis. You can blame the DRS for being too easy, but its the same for everyone (as long as everyones is working ;))

        1. I reckon it’d the exhaust blown diffuser (EBD). Renault previously said their fuel efficiency allows them to carry around 10% more fuel if required, and my guess is that Renault are using some of this at key moments of the race for the EBD, similar to RBR in qualifying.

          They also have set-up for higher top-speeds looking at the speed trap, which with KERS + start straight, helped them get the jump. This set-up combined with the above method of dynamically adding downforce, could be quite an advantage for passing/keeping cars behind.

          1. yes, i’ve heard that Renault’s traction in the low speed corners is fantastic so this will obviously be a factor in the starts.

        2. The start was impressive and the speed at the exit of some corners was great. That Renault was very fast at the exit of turn 14 which I feel is key to Nick staying in front of Webber. Nick had a good day today, so did Petrov until he went for a joyride. I hope his back is ok.

      2. Well it already worsend the Ham-Vettel relationship (at least that’s what I understood from Lewis’ latest comments).
        9/10 for this race. Glad to see Kobayashi taking points again. You can barely say that Alonso was beaten by Massa, the guy was fighting for a podium without DRS, while Massa was in his usual place.

        1. Yeah well considering Alonso was right behind Massa by the end, you could say Alonso was a whole pitstop (25 seconds around about) faster on the same strategy.

        2. it’s hard to say when Massa only ended up behind Alonso after a terrible pit stop

          1. Massa’s pit stop was Ferrari’s way of making sure Alonso moves up on him in the race.

          2. @dev. you are so wrong

          3. Team orders are allowed, so there’s no need for “fake” pitstop mistakes.

        3. Who crossed the line first???

        4. Massa was ahead of Alonso and Webber before his team lost him time in the pits.

    3. Well..2 GP’s in and guess what..F1 is still rubbish, the racing is even more boring as it now comes down to gimicks, and pit stop & tyre lottery.
      wondering who will pit, who’s KER’s or DRS will or wont work makes a joke of the sport, wont watch anyomre of this season utter crap, far better racing in touring car and NASCAR. Nice one Berine, you failed again.

      1. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. I think you’re in a minority.

      2. Really you prefer NASCAR to F1? It makes me dizzy! But it takes all sorts I guess, but the audience figures put you in a minority.

      3. hahaha, then why do you even lose time coming to a F1 website and commenting on it? I bet we’ll see more comments by “Expat64” next week ;)

        1. pretty sure expat64 would love f1 if everyone was crashing into each other.

      4. I’m guessing he has trouble following all the different things in F1

      5. What is NASCAR?

        Just kidding ;) All the things you have listed are some of the reasons why I love F1 ;)

      6. F1 is still rubbish

        If you think that, then just go away please.

      7. Obviously not your sport, you’d be better sticking to what you like best, touring car/nascar, that way we who like F1 don’t have to read your drivel. Bye Bye Exprat64.

      8. Its hard to say expat64 seriously when he calls NASCAR a form of racing.

      9. if turning left isn’t dull, don’t know what is!

      10. @ Expat

        Don’t waste my time with your uppity negativity. The race was interesting!

    4. 8/10 and glad to see massa beat alonzo even with a srewed pitstop
      but the bbc tv coverage was terrible

      i mean filming a pitstop while an overtake was going on. hardly any onboard shots and i don’t recall the camera picking up a lotus, virgin or hispania. When there was a yellow flag the commentators had no idea that a hispania had retired. F.O.M really have to get the onboard coverage up to scratch. on freeview driver tracker again! we want f1 onboard

      The forum was just as bad because they just cock about and don’t analys the race. they only talk about mclaren and red bull and at the end a quick mention for ferrari. They didnt go through any of the overtakes bar the start and the hamilton alonzo incident. hardly any interviews just the brits.

      1. bbc’s coverage was and is better than itv’s. Plus, it’s FOM who provide the race feed. And, at least there actually is an f1 forum

        1. is better than itv’s will ever be

      2. Felipe Massa is back!

        1. He was less far back this race though …

          1. He was every bit as quick as Fernando during the whole weekend (bar Q3).

        2. A wet race should cure your enthusiasm.

      3. its not the BBC, they commentate on the live pictures provided by FOM – all the TV partners get the same feed. Not up to them. I actually thought the BBC was pretty good, damn nice not to have leggard in the commentary box!

  2. SennaNmbr1 (@)
    10th April 2011, 10:46

    9/10. Loses a point for no battle for first place. Otherwise, just what we want to see!

    1. I’d say 8 out of 10. I’d have given it a 9 if someone caught Vettel and a battle for the lead came about.

      1. In the end I gave 9/10 as Lewis got really close to make Vettel sweat, guess thats the best we were going to get.

        Shame Button did not get close enough after that, or the team was afraid to let him.

        With some 30 laps in it was so much action it was hard to know where to look. Still FOM missed quite a bit of action I guess.

        1. Still FOM missed quite a bit of action I guess.

          Wouldn’t be FOM if they didn’t. :P

          1. Sadly so. Those lame replays of just about everyone after lap 2 were pretty bad as well. Instead of showing the action on track.

          2. The replays were great a analysis of the start from each drivers’ perspective.

            Just so completely at the wrong time!

  3. Tires are a joke, thanks for nothing Pirelli.

    1. it’s just what they were asked for…

      1. It does demonstrate how a driver works with or to an extent against his car. Webber was trading FLAP with driver’s who were able to run one stop less than him.
        It leads me to think that in prior years he wasn’t so much unlucky but rather ‘hard’ on the car, resulting in multiple failures.
        I’m enjoying watching this element of the race this year.

        1. err he was so hard on his car last year he didnt have a single mechanical DNF, while Vet had 3. Web was trading FLAP’s with cars that had an extra .3 sec per lap with a touch of a button… he finish 26secs behind the leader having completed an extra stop, being completely swamped to the first corner…again KERS related (so unless Web had a particularly hard formation lap, i don’t see how that failure can be hi fault? )

          1. Very fair call re last year; I’m just concerned that on the Pirelli’s he’s needed an extra stop compared to Vettel. Hopefully it was just the KERS & traffic that was the difference this race, doesn’t excuse Melbourne though.

          2. Rear suspension issue was the reason for Melbourne’s dissapointment…though having had two disasterous GP’s to start the year with he is still only 4 points from 2nd in the WDC.

    2. boris the one-eyed gerbil
      10th April 2011, 11:04

      Tyres are brilliant, with different strategies working – Webber has a shocking start, does a 4-stopper and charges through the field (repeatedly) and Kobayashi does a 2-stopper and finishes very well :)

      Much better than last year’s battle to be first to pit and then keep that position to the end of the race :(

    3. The tyres are excellent – different drivers in different cars are throwing up different results. Hamilton being forced to pit late on is the perfect example of the unpredictability Pirelli have delivered.

    4. I’m not passing judgement yet. I think that you should give them a few rounds to see how everything turns out. Lots of people found this race entertaining. I found it both entertaining and confusing in that I didn’t really know who was where on the track. Its one of the few times I have been somewhat mystified and happy at the same time.

  4. 7. Great start with the Renaults and exciting racing. Got kinda bored after the halfway mark, but the last 10 laps made up for that. Well done Heidfeld!

  5. Objectively, a race with pretty good action. But with all the hype before it, I can’t help feel disappointed how predictable it was at the front.

    1. Thats what made it an eight in my book, you can hardly blame Vettel, but I reckon Heidfeld rather interfered with our chance to see Hamilton actually preassure Vettel for the first half of the race, after which he may have fallen away anyway.

      McLaren made some baffling decisions with Hamiltons strategy, didn’t he have the same number of soft tyres as Vettel and Button, why did he do two stints on the prime? They made life a lot harder for themselves it seems.

      This was a great race for on track action, but not really for intrigue, that might be a problem of the multi stop pirelli’s.

      I still give it an 8 on my own enjoyment at the time, great drives overtakes etc. But it won’t live long in the memory.

      1. Totally with you Scribe on the baffling strategy for Hamilton. Although initially I was guessing they were trying to jump Vettel during the stops. It almost seemed to play out that way when Vettel ended up behind I think Button and Massa.
        But and it’s a big but, Vettel was just too good to be slowed down and got the passing done by the next lap.

        Who says he has no racecraft?

        On this occasion I think Lewis could have been more aggressive in the first stint, attacking Heidfeld. He certainly didn’t benefit from tyre preservation if that’s what was going on…

  6. Great race, rubbish result, 8.

    1. Rate the race, not the result.

      1. I think 8 is about fair for this race, it could’ve been better.

          1. How? A battle for the lead, rain, more incidents similar to Petrov’s aerial moment, more battles similar to Alonso vs Hamilton…

          2. A wet race half way through would’ve been interesting. We should get that next week though.

          3. @Alex Bkk. Well, although there was plenty of action for the lead, the result was fairly nailed on.

            The battles were lots of fun but nothing really spectacular. The race was tense but not like say China last year when it was all crazy, that got a 9, or Canada were everything was in doubt for the whole race, which got a 10.

            Great, but not spectacular, a very solid 8, but not a race that’ll be remembered for a long time so instead of 9 or 10 which I reserve for true spectaculars, it gets an 8.

            If Hamilton/Button/Webber/Alonso had been in a position to make Vettel scrap for his win rather than coast as per usual, I’d have enjoyed this more.

          4. *battles for position* None for the lead.

          5. Well, I think that no one was really gonna touch Vettel going into this race… I just followed the ermmm… lower elements.

        1. I agree, a battle for the lead really makes a race that much more exciting. It can make an otherwise 6 an 8 and a lack of it can make an 8 a 6

          1. I thought it better because of the tyres. Ham pitted took on primes and the rest of the field went on options. It looked like he had it in the bag, except the primes didn’t last.

            KERS is working, or it’s not working. Flippy Floopy wing is working or it’s not working.

            I guess it’s true in retrospect that Vettel was never really challenged. But we never really knew that. What we did saw a lot of racing thorough out the grid.

            It’s not just the no.1 spot on the podium that makes a great race.

  7. that was fantastic. the last 15 laps or so were fantastic. with webber fighting his way up, almost getting a podium. riveting race. finally, a vettel win that wasnt boring!

    1. actually it was a typical boring vettel win, but it was webber and all the action behind that made the race exciting!

      1. It was a great win by Vettel, he managed the situation perfectly – there was pace when he needed it. He was dominant but far from dull.

  8. 6/10

    Overtakes and minor events can’t make up for the fact that if Vettel is on pole and is in front at the first corner then the race on the whole will be a snooze.

    If the lead is never under threat (and let’s face facts it NEVER was) then really we’re just picking for scraps in trying to find excitement lower down the field.

    1. My thoughts exactly!

    2. Blame all others who simply can’t match Vettel’s pace

      1. True, especially the Aussie who lost 7 places on lap 1, outdoing the 5 he lost at Valencia, Monza and Spa last year.

        1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
          10th April 2011, 20:14

          That was because of Webber not having KERS, nothing to do with his actual pace.

          1. It did have to do with his actual start though. KERS isn’t usable until about 3rd gear. Webber was slipping down the field immediately.

            He said himself that it was a bad start, KERS or no KERS.

  9. 9/10 – Lots of good battles, plenty of overtakes, a few spectacular performances. The threat of rain is often just as entertaining as proper rain.

  10. I haven’t seen it, I was only reading the live blog and watching live timing so I will not rate it at this point..but based on what I’ve read, I would give it a 8/10 because the action seemed a bit too reliant on tyres, KERS and DRS (or on Kers and DRS failing to work)

  11. If we needed a race to prove that Button handles his tyres better than Hamilton, this was it

    1. How? Hamilton used old tyres in the final stint, maybe final 2, because of flat spotting them in practice. It had nothing to do with looking after them during the race.

      1. I think you would agree that Button managed his tyre allocation better over the whole weekend.

    2. I dont think it’s so cut-and-dry. I think the bad, bad pitstop before Hammy’s second stint really hurt his race. It is still a myth that Button conserves his tyres better than Lewis.

      1. Ham went out on primes early… I’d say bad stratgey

        1. I didn’t get that at all, he must have burned an extra pair of softs, completley baffling decision otherwise an prevented him from ever really challenging Vettel.

        2. it was 1 lap earlier and button went longer on them and was still managing decent times

  12. Well for the borefest Vettel’s win was Webber made up for it with his drive up to 4th, was hoping he would get the podium but still a great drive.

  13. 10/10 – I don’t remember a single lap of the race where something wasn’t happening, be it a pit-stop, overtake or a close battle.

    Hamilton vs Alonso finished and it cut straight to Massa vs Webber then it was back to Heidfeld vs Hamilton then back to Webber vs Heidfeld.

    Absolutely amazing race. Loved all of it.

    1. Correct. Only downside is they were in commercial break during the Hamilton Alonso incident. But still a solid 10.

      1. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
        10th April 2011, 20:18

        Thats for you, I had non-stop coverage,as I think most people did.

    2. I have sympathy with giving it a 10, but I’m reserving 10s for races like Brazil 08 or when there’s an epic closing stages battle for the lead

  14. Good race, enjoyed it. Shame Heidfeld held up the Mclarens for the first stint, helped take pressure of Vettel again.

    Im looking forward the Mclaren explanation for Hamiltons tactics…I couldnt see the up side of hard then hard again at that stage of the race!?

  15. 7/10 some great battles especially webber/kobayashi then webber/massa and webber /heidfeld. Love the way Kobayashi drives , its like watching him in a kart race. Webber driver of the day, if you said he was gonna miss a podium by 1 sec after lap one, people would have called you crazy. People seem to be saying bad things about the Pirelli’s-THEY WERE TOLD TO MAKE A TYRE THAT DEGRADES QUICKLY..

  16. I think the race would be better if each team had a team song that was played for the winner, rather than national anthems.

  17. Fantastic race with a significant number of on-track battles, varying strategies, mechanical failures, butchered pit stops and off-track excursions.
    Interesting to note with Webber’s KERS failure that is was the KERS assisted passes that looked artificial. Using DRS alone, it took more than a few corners to make the pass stick. That said it could just be the circuit or the leading drive using KERS defensively causing this.
    Petrov’s airborne effort would make an amazing picture! I hope someone grabs a hi-res screen
    Couldn’t have asked for more from that race, and really good to see Quick Nick on the podium, even at the expense of Webber. Vettel’s dominance will get tiresome though.

  18. ????!!!!

  19. I was a fan of DRS, but it looks like it’s starting to ruin races more than it’s helping. It’s just too easy to overtake with DRS. They simply fly past and usually even get in front well ahead of the braking point.

    The tyres are a nightmare too. Way too much tyre conservation going on and then a bit og lottery due to failed pitstops. Hamilton, Alonso, Heidfeld lost out big due to trouble in their stops.

    1. Not really a fan of DRS or KERS, but they aren’t going to give up down force in F1, and that is fairly obvious.

      It’s the only way to overtake, until that issue is resolved.

      The tyres, I love that bit

  20. This was yet another bizarre strategy decision from McLaren that hampered Lewis and gave Jensen the jump on him.

    Why stop for a 3rd tyre when you’re not losing speed, with your team mate given the softer tyres first, not to mention the messy stop for Lewis!?

    Disgraceful by McLaren, as its lear what they’re trying to do…

  21. DRS robbed use of 5 great battles that I noted, would of been much better without it.
    Tyres seem to be a massive factor this season as we thought they would be. Too many tyre stops. Not as good as OZ.

    1. couldn’t agree more

  22. Gave it a 9. Could have been 10 if we’d had some battles for p1

  23. It’s a bit hard to judge this one. It wasn’t the thriller we were expecting, but there was still plenty of overtaking (Petrov taking Kobayashi in turn 13 was my favourite). I’m going with 7.5/10, and rounding up to an 8.

    1. Hmmm, can’t agree with that assessment. More like 7.29 rounded up to 7.666666 recurring. Far more accurate.

  24. 8/10. we’re probably going to see a Vettel “Schumi-style” domination this year, but behind him there’s a lot of struggle. Today we’ve seen some good overtaking (also without DRS) and the big question mark of tyres is making races more exciting. I just hope the Cavallino can come back, this car is really bad in qualifying but pretty good on race distance.

  25. 8. The fact we didn’t need rain says it all.

    1. Very, very good spot Steph!

      1. Thank you Alex! :)

  26. 9/10, only because Vettel was never really challenged.

    What i must point is: There was no odd action, no real crashes, no rain, no major events and the race was a thriller from start to finish with the order at the front changing every 5 laps. Gotta love 2011 regulations.

  27. Time for Hamilton to sign a contract with redbull. I don’t know who decides the stategys at mclaren but he needs sacking asap. Hamilton was catching vettel at the end of the first stint so why the hell bring him in first?? He then gets stuck behind petrov and vettel pits and comes out about 5 secs in front. I was fuming but then I thought oh no wait mclaren are geniuses they’ve put hards on Lewis till the end. Vettel put on softs meaning vettel has to stop again for the hards. Vettel pulled away yo about 8.secs but needed to pull a pitstop on front which in no way in hell he was going to do. Lewis was maintaining his gap to button who was on softs and needed to stop again. Then out of my astonishment d.c announces that Lewis is stopping again for another set of hards!!

    1. Mind-blowing strategy calls by McLaren today thats for sure. Had no idea what their thought process was.

      1. Whitmarsh needs to go, they go out of there way to hamper lewis

        1. Button was second, Lewis had not the incident happened with Alonso would have been a bit the points.

          I think McLaren did well to get a driver up to 2nd.

          Don’t really blame Mclaren for that one. I’m sure Lewis made the call for the primes.

    2. yup strange strategy

  28. UKfanatic (@)
    10th April 2011, 11:08

    like in 2009 we saw battle overtaking etc but we also saw the leader crusing. The problem with this race was the tyres, they drop off which is good but maybe they are also too good in the beggining we saw too much of fresh tyre againt very worn overtakes, which were just planned overtakes cause of different stages of the race, the DRS isn’t working ok, probably FIA fault Alonso could have overtake Hamilton twice on the straight, Webber had DRS problems aswell. In the end what made this race not a 10 was the fact that Hamilton, Alonso Heidfeld lost alot of time in the pits right when they were gaining time to Vettel.

  29. 7/10.

    It was a good, solid race. Some exciting battles all over the place, although it would be nice if there was a fight for the first place.

    Negatives? Well, some passes didn’t feel quite right with the DRS. I don’t find this solution very exciting. Also, there were too many pit stops. For my tastes 2-3 pit stops per race is ideal, maybe even with the possibility of one stop for some brave teams. When it’s not raining four stops is just too much. On top of that, I think that the tyres leave way too much marbles on the track, which makes overtaking harder.

  30. cant believe this race is being rated so highly, being watching f1 for 20 years now and thought this was the worst one since bahrain last year!

    Formula 1 should be a flat out sprint to the finish not drivers conserving their tyres all race long, this grand prix was contrived by poor pirelli tyres. Any more than 2 pitstops is too much

    1. I’ve been watching it a bit longer. It’s not like it used to be but I look at and rate it according to the rules of the day.

      We’re never going back to the real freedom of garage engineering in F1 but, somehow, it’s still F1 after all these years.

      I thought it was a great race.

  31. I rate it 8/10. Mainly because there was no battle for the lead.

    It is a pity that Kubica is not out there. Because honestly I am getting bored of seeing Vettel’s finger and listening to his philosophical crap on the radio. I even prefer HAM winning

    I hope Ferrari reacts and gets closer the the RBR’s in quali.

  32. Adrian Morse
    10th April 2011, 11:25

    8/10, even though as a Hamilton fan this race left me in a sour mood.

    What baffled me about this race was not so much Hamilton’s strange strategy, although especially with the benefit of hindsight that the race was about 6 laps too long for him, his early stops turned out pretty badly, but that Hamilton seemed to have no pace on the hards whatsoever. After the stop that saw him lose position to Button, for instance, it wasn’t like he was putting in a string of fast laps that ate up the tyres. He was immediately slower than Button, and unable to put any distance between himself and Webber, who had much older tyres. And still his tyres went away earlier than anyone else’s.

    Finally, it’s strange that at the end of the race, on presumably newish tyres, we didn’t see him producing a fast lap; yesterday in qualifying we saw him doing 1m37s on the hard tyre, but in the last 3 laps of the race he didn’t manage to go below 1m40s.

    1. I could not agree with you more. I dont know what the hell happened to the pace of the car after the hards came on

      1. The pace of the car was off even on the softs. Something strange happened to the McLarens (Lewis’ in particular) after qualifying yesterday. His pace just went ‘off a cliff’!

    2. Watching Button in the Red Button, it might have been a bit of a difference between them in how they went at tuning in to the tyres. Button was unhappy in his first stint (he went too overseary in setup) and had the front wing adapted at each stop to get better and better.

  33. I’d say it was 8/10. It would have been nice to see a genuine fight for the lead but Vettel was hugely impressive.

    But seeing Kobayashi in dog fight after dog fight, seeing Alonso and Hamilton duel, seeing Di Resta pick up another point and beat Sutil – made for a great race in my books.

    There were great overtakes for almost every position behind 1st.

    Just hope Petrov hasn’t hurt his back with his aerobatic display. Not sensible to gun it off the kerb!

  34. jsw11984 (@jarred-walmsley)
    10th April 2011, 11:29

    9/10 not a 10 because as many have said, there was really no challenge for the lead but the rest of the race was about as good as it gets, lots of overtaking, lots of drama, good challenges for 2,3,4,5. All in all a very good race.

    Also, I also would like to add my wishes to the fact that Petrov didn’t injure himself too badly during his crash.

  35. Great race! So much to say…don’t know where to start. I was really expecting rain here and without it the race didn’t disappoint.

    I hope that was a blip from Petrov and he’s not back to 2010 ways, pretty confident he won’t be though, he had a good weekend up to that point and another fantastic start. Just a little giddy to get back on the throttle.

  36. 7/10
    On the plus side, we have seen how important it is to get the strategies right this year as the performance drop-off of the soft tires was pretty steep from some point onwards. DRS and KERS really made a difference both in keeping the show high and in the drivers being more alert about these systems. (It seemed to me all the radio conversations between the teams and drivers were about KERS and DRS).
    But on the downside we have tyres that intentionally degrade, electronics that are meant to increase the show and drivers trying to strike balance between speed and tyre longevity. On a personal note, I sort of miss the lets-see-who-is-faster days with no strings attached. But a good race overall

  37. I gave it 8/10. The race would have been better without the DRS and a few less pitstops. The DRS just makes battles for position too short, they’re done and dusted within a straight rather than over a lap or two. And I think 3-4 pitstops per race is too many. Too much trying to conserve tyres. I think 2-3 is better, it would allow the drivers to push the tyres a bit more.

  38. Renaults are amazing off the line. Webber had a good race except fot the first 500m…Great to see a Red Bull charging through the field rather then doing a parade lap out in front. Kudos to Vet for the win, but i want to see him come from mid pack and actually have to fight for a race.

  39. 8/10.
    It was a good race only really lacking in a real challenge for Vettel.

    There were lots of battles right down to the midfield which were good, a range of stratergies including 2, 3 and 4 stops. There were a few surprises too which was good. The DRS also seemed to help overtaking without making it inevitable.

    It could have been better if there had been a real challenge to Vettel, with the lead changing hands and uncertainty who’d win.

  40. 5/10 – poor tyres and too many pitstops made for contrived racing instead of drivers battling flat out.

    geek fact for you all, apart from the start at Malaysia last year Sebastien Vettel hasnt passed a single car in any of the 12 wins so far in his career

    1. As much as I dislike Vettel and the boring races he wins, he did pass Button last race in Australia. It just wasn’t for first at the time.

      1. Erm he overtook massa.

        Heres another geek fact for you as well mild7nick.

        Lewis has never won the world title with Alonso in a title contending car.

        1. what kind of fact is that!!!

    2. Sutil in Silverstone last year. Granted, it was a bit of a last-minute dive’n barge, but he got past and he didn’t go off-track to make the pass even.

      1. Ah, and of course, he didn’t win that race either :)

  41. Orishas77 (@)
    10th April 2011, 11:46

    I went for 8/10
    Better race than Melbourne.
    Lots of fighting, of overtaking and unpredictable result until last lap ! It’s been some time !
    Of course no fight for 1st place, but it might have gotten interesting if Alonso had succeeded in his move on Hamilton.
    Alonso was the big surprise for me after poor performance until sunday.
    Makes China race look promising !

  42. Orishas77 (@)
    10th April 2011, 11:47

    I went for 8/10
    Better race than Melbourne.
    Lots of fighting, of overtaking and unpredictable result until last lap ! It’s been some time !
    Of course no fight for 1st place, but it might have gotten interesting if Alonso had succeeded in his move on Hamilton.
    Alonso was the big surprise for me after poor performance until sunday.
    Renault drivers also did great after almost no miles on Friday ! That got me totally wrong with my predictions
    Makes China race look promising !

  43. Very exciting race, always something happening, but not a great one – too much fumbling around: I’d score it 8. It underlined the opportunities available at the front this year – apart from Vettel – around 6 others had a chance of tasting champagne. And in Vettel’s case he was fortunate Heidfeld got behind him and in front of the McLarens (and Ferraris) or he would have had a real race on his hands, and perhaps then it would have been a ‘great’ race. The impact of KERS was clearly demonstrated at the start by the way Webber went backwards! But I remain puzzled – why is a device that is supposed to be charged by energy recovery from the car in motion during the race allowed to be used at the start when clearly no energy recovery has yet taken place.

  44. An 8 is as high as it gets for me when there’s no real battle for first place. I rated Melbourne a 7 so it’s going well so far for 2011.

  45. apologies lachie, you are correct!

    it would be nice to see him have to fight for a win though wouldnt it, just wish mclaren would walk the walk before talking the talk.

  46. I’m seriously wondering why so many people rate this race as exciting… There was barely racing, it was just strategy. The overtakes were just actions as a result where the drivers were in terms of the tires.

    I think the Pirelli era won’t do the racers any good, but rather the right strategy and smooth drivers. I’d like to see real racing; one set of tires and the drivers going flat out, rather than preserving the tires.

    1. couldnt agree more! it was the most contrived grand prix i can remember

  47. In my opinion F1 don’t need DRS. It makes overtaking too easy. For example then Fernando’s DRS failed we saw very interesting battle beetween him and LH, but if his DRS would worked Fernondo had simply overtaken Hamilton on the straight and there won’t be any good fight. So DRS takes away real racing from formula and that is very very bad.

  48. John Cousins
    10th April 2011, 12:26

    Webber for drive of the day.
    Best move of the day… Webber on Massa.

  49. 9/10. Pretty entertaining for a dry Malaysian race. Great battles, great comebacks, many race dramas, loads of surprises… only lack any serious challenge on Vettel. May have been better if the rain was heavier during the race “as advertised”.

  50. Cluffy_Wedge
    10th April 2011, 13:08

    8/10. It was certainly super eventful, but Vettel started in the lead and never really got challenged for it. I wanted to see more of Schumacher and Kobayashi tearing each other up, and less of Vettel lapping on his own.

  51. Not a bad race, shame about the incompetence of the FIA though. As Mr Ecclestone said they are indeed a joke.

  52. 8/10. 9 out of tens are reserved for execptionally good races. 10 out of 10s never happen.

  53. was an 8, now a 5 because of the stewards.

  54. I really enjoyed the race for the most part, although there were some problems.

    First, as I said in the live-blog, I love those fast starts from behind the Renaults did again, but I really hate the effect they have on the race-result: basically, they aren’t good enough starts to get to first, so Vettel just zooms off, while behind him everyone is bottled up, setting him up for an easy win (whatever the BBC waffles on about how his KERS wasn’t usable and how hard it was on him – ask Webber, or maybe the two Mercedes drivers how easy it was instead!). Again.

    But behind Vettel it was really nice, lots of action, fights and great racing, altough I worry a bit that the DRS might have been a bit too much here; maybe they need to make the zone a bit shorter again.

    So, that was then 8/10. Since I had guests, I only now got to rate the race, and just read about the penalties for Alonso and Hamilton. I ended up taking a point per stupid penalty off, as I find that it really harms my enjoyment of watching the recorded race from Dutch tv.

    I really dislike penalties after a race and feel they should be limited to the absolute worse situations only, not to a borderline (well, I guess according to the stewards at least) race-incident as this. And even then, for dangerous driving, maybe apply a grid penalty at the next race instead of those hugely out-of-proportion time penalties (20s is an awfull lot if you can’t do anything about it because it is after you raced).

    What effect are those penalties supposed to have on the two drivers? Alonso is already aware that without it he would likely have had a podium, really, he wished it hadn’t happened. Hamilton had a lousy second half of the race to end up there in danger of being passed by Alonso, and all it did was make sure he would have a bad result. The loss of another position and point won’t make him feel that more either. Will any driver be deterred from the penalties? I really doubt it, making them entirely pointless, but very frustrating for viewers.

    Pff. Sorry for the rant :)

  55. A fanatistic 8 bordering on a 9!! The tyres really showed their entertainment today!! Some great stories from the race. Lots of overtaking!!

  56. 7/10. It was a good race but not great… I want a battle for the lead. I thought we’d have a 4 way battle but Heidfeld stopped that in it’s tracks right at the start and it was another Vettel procession.

    There were some great battles back in the field though which were good to watch and took away from the bore-fest at the front.

    I would pay good money to not have Brundle say “LOOK AT THE GAP VETTEL HAS PULLED OUT ALREADY!!” on lap 2 next week.

  57. 9 – The whole race weekend was brilliant because of how close on pace the McLarens and Red Bulls were and how Ferrari had better pace on race day. Just a shame about the anticlimax at the end.

  58. Brilliant race – 10/10 from me

  59. 8 from me, it was a good race. Still reserving judgement on the DRS and tires, though. I’ll wait till one or two European races to finalize my thoughts on it, but it’s not disappointment at the moment, that’s for sure.

    Webber’s move on Massa was fantastic, definitely the pass of the race. Great comeback for him, but his troubles with maintaining the rubber are becoming rather obvious. This could be the key for Vettel dominating him throughout the season.

    Hamilton and Alonso scrap kept me on the edge of my seat, these two always mean business when they face each other on the track. Same feeling i had during Schumacher\Hakkinen battles.

    Shame that the director missed Schumacher\Di Resta battle totally. Or it was me?

    Also Kobayashi was bloody good to watch again. Lots of very close and competitive racing with top boys and not a single foolish move or stupid risk, just pure skills. He’s maturing, really looking forward to see more of him this year.

    Nico Rosberg was totally lost, for some reason. I think Schumacher was overdriving that Mercedes a bit, which lead to fast degradation, but nevertheless i enjoyed watching him today, he still has it, no doubt about that.

    In some sense Renault lightning start ruined the race, but hey, they were always good in that respect. Hamilton should have known better to watch his mirrors rather than trying to do impossible and have Vettel at the first corner.

  60. I can’t believe peoples objection to the tires degrading. The best era of F1 people keep referring to required good tyre management bringing the car home (skill set of a good driver, being fast and looking after the car when required. I never seen this race but people mention it as a great battle. Monaco where Mansell on fresh tyres after a spin chasing Senna down who was trying to bring the car home on badly worn tyres.

    I would give the race a 7, a battle for the lead would have improved things but Hiefield getting ahead of Hamilton at the start allowed Vettel to get away

  61. I originally voted an 8.
    Sorry for ruining the result after the event, but after that ludicrous stewards decision on Alonso & Hamilton I want to drop my score to a 7.

    1. I’m with you there, except that the penalties make it more like a 5 for me now.

  62. sid_prasher (@)
    10th April 2011, 18:56

    8 for me – lots of action at all stages of the race…stupid penalties handed out in the end – may be for moving multiple times is still ok – but Alonso’s was plain nuts. Perhaps they handed it out knowing that it wont change anything for him.
    Massa was much better today as well.

    Didnt like the use of DRS too much…I think it should never be on the straigts…it should be in a place where it ll be a challenge to use.

  63. Pretty good race. Key point for me were:
    – Cars having difference pace at different points during the GP due to the tyres.
    – These differences created movement which was then not completely halted by coming across another car. A slower car could be overtaken.
    – Overtakes were possible thanks to the track being the real deal, a strip of tarmac winding through natural landscape. We didn’t see any car park overtakes today, did we?
    – DRS didn’t really ad much today. It’s not like it created any extra overtakes. It just accelerated the process of some inevitable overtakes.

    We could run the same race without KERS or DRS and it would have turned out pretty much the same (even Webber’s rubbish start was, to a large extent, his own doing).

  64. Hard to stay awake. I’ve never been into pit-lane geekery dominating F1 but with the restraint that drivers have to exercise now it really is pretty lame as a motorsport.

  65. 7. Great race, one thing annoyed me is that though there were many overtaking but the coverage failed to let us see many of them live.

  66. Just having driver enter pits and 200 million times a race makes the race “exciting” ?
    I dont think so. Im glad I am in the minority here. F1 has degraded dramatically over the last few years,
    How many times would Senna have been penalized if he was racing now? Ridiculous.

  67. I rated the race at 7.5 and so rounded it up to an 8.

    Although it had plenty of action by the end of the race I felt a bit disappointed for two reasons, firstly I expected it to turn in to a wet race when we started getting spots of rain early on and secondly, there was a point somewhere about the first or second stops where Brundle and Coulthard mentioned in commentary that Hamilton and some other drivers were catching Vettel so I thought we might have on track fight for the lead between a few drivers, but alas it seems Vettel had plenty in reserve to maintain his lead.

  68. Flyingdog5000 (@)
    11th April 2011, 20:26

    Can’t say that I’m a big fan of DRS or KERS, but this race may have altered my thinking just a bit about DRS. Nonetheless, the rules about its use are bizarre; something on the order of, hmmm…let me see:

    1) Is it daytime? If not, are you in a Middle Eastern country that starts with the letter Q? (If not, ask Nike Lauda what he thinks!) 2) Is it a month ending in Y? If not, do you have body panel fasteners made from Russian Titanium with left handed threads.
    3) Does the full moon come in the first or third week of the month?
    4) Is the car in front of you French? If so, you cannot use DRS, the frogs need as much help as they can get!
    5) If you answer yes to all of the questions (except #4), its not raining, you are on lap 3 or better and Bernie the elf thinks its a good idea…


  69. I honestly felt like the DRS was too much this time. Complete opposite of Australia. Suddenly any car remotely close to the one ahead seemed able to get by. I still wish they’d get rid of it. Every pass on the front stretch felt like a gimme.

  70. Only thing i have to say is to all the guys who were watching with comercial breaks. I’m sorry for you the whole race was brilliant start to finish…

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