Start, Sepang, 2013

Team orders row dominates Malaysia Rate the Race

2013 Malaysian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Tom Taylor

Start, Sepang, 2013There’s no mistaking what the major talking point of the Malaysian Grand Prix was for most F1 Fanatic readers.

Mercedes and Red Bull’s decision to impose team orders – and Sebastian Vettel’s refusal to heed them – provoked a frenzy of discussion two weeks ago.

In our regular Rate the Race poll readers awarded an average of 6.826 out of 10, significantly down on last year’s score. And over 5% were sufficiently unimpressed with what they saw to award the race one out of ten.

The events of the final laps seemed to cast a shadow over some of the other highlights of the race. These included battles between Sergio Perez and Kimi Raikkonen, Massa’s “around the outside” overtakes and three rookies narrowly missing out on points (Bottas, Gutierrez and Bianchi).

But for many the closing stages defined the Malaysian Grand Prix. Here’s what you had to say about it:

The first half was a 10/10, the second half was a 2/10. So 6/10 overall.

Until the Mercedes fuel/team orders issue, this was a 9/10 but the sight of the two Mercedes coasting right next to each other was just awful.

Vettel rebelling against the wishes of his bosses was exciting though.

Very exciting race, there will be a lot of talk, but from a spectator I enjoyed it.

I’m quite surprised by the community. I mean, Red Bull is right to be upset, but us? We saw great racing, we saw a driver wanting to win without caring about team orders. Everyone would have loved Massa to defend from Alonso in Hockenheim 2010, Webber to overtake Vettel in Silverstone 2011. As a spectator I like when a driver wants to win no matter what.

On the other hand, I?m sorry for Rosberg. He deserved a podium and he couldn?t properly fight for it.

Team orders ruined fight for third and whole race.

The first half was good but apart from a few incidents the latter part of the race was a bit of a dull anti-climax.

Weak. Maybe I’m being too harsh but there was way more politics in this race than I could handle. I respect Vettel as a driver and think he?s an amazing talent, but I don?t like his attitude and his sense of entitlement.

Moving on from the main talking point of the race, the action in the pits also drew a lot of comment:

Plenty of wheel-to-wheel, no quarter asked or given, racing. Up front and in the midfield. That?s what I love to see. Wet and dry conditions.

Also comedy and tragedy in the pits. Hamilton in the wrong box, Button’s wheel falling off, Force India going nuts.

I?m so sorry Alonso retired early. Bad mistake from Ferrari not to call him in, and denied us a thriller of him dicing the Red Bulls and Mercedes in the leader group. And Raikkonen was a damp squib.

The use of aggressive tyre compounds and two DRS zones to create exciting racing drew a lot of comment:

Felt the DRS was working too well today and the two zones were just dumb.

I was watching the in-car feeds on Sky today on my laptop and saw many cases of cars backing out of overtakes into the final corner in order to not be ahead at the next DRS detection. DRS is now starting to discourage good moves just because drivers don?t want to be the lead car, that isn’t right in my view.

Also I’m starting to get a bit fed up of all this tyre saving. I never could get into sportscar racing because i didn?t like that element of it so may stop watching F1 if it gets much worse.

Fuel and tyre saving is a joke. I like the difference in tyres giving many strategies a possibility but they should have enough sets to get through the race.

But the overriding subject of interest for most readers remained the controversies that unfolded in the final quarter of the race:

F1 is hard to put up with these days. Up until lap 40 it was a eight or nine out of 10. But now I’m not so sure. For the first time I heard the winner apologisng for overtaking others and the Mercedes show-run brought back memories of Ross Brawn manufacturing results.

In my opinion, it would need a serious discussion whether F1 should be more about real competition or more like wrestling ?ǣ because I’d like to know where this is heading.

Malaysian Grand Prix Rate the Race results

Race Average score out of ten
2008 Malaysian Grand Prix 5.738
2009 Malaysian Grand Prix 5.284
2010 Malaysian Grand Prix 6.684
2011 Malaysian Grand Prix 7.775
2012 Malaysian Grand Prix 8.452
2013 Malaysian Grand Prix 6.826

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

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Image ?? Red Bull/Getty