Formula One 2009 - Malaysian Grand Prix

The Malaysian Grand Prix was rather embarrassing for Formula One, I thought. Firstly there was the issue of scheduling the GP in an area prone to heavy evening rain in the evening - F1 had shown that they can race under lighting if need be. Then there was the hangover from Australia of stewards penalising Vettel after a collision and dithering about Hamilton and Trulli. The Vettel situation was simply unjust, I thought, and only seemed went against him as he had a pang of conscience and apologised (though an objective observer may have thought it 50/50). Quite apart from anything else, the ruling discourages racing, as not only did Vettel lose out in Australia, but was penalised 10 grid places in Malaysia. With Hamilton and Trulli, for me that's less clear cut. Hamilton should not have been untruthful at the Steward's meeting - on the other hand, there was no need to interview him at all about his passing of Trulli under the safety car (Trulli had left the track). With video, race radio recordings where Hamilton and McLaren were debating whether he needed to give the place back, telemetry and so on, why is the recollection of one of the participants needed?

Add to this the ongoing issue about diffusers. Either they're illegal (in which case there should have been a ruling weeks ago) - or they're not. This uncertainty is not on - and unfair on all concerned. Surely it can't be beyond the wit of man to formulate a system where a car design can receive approval prior to the first race? The hearing is next week - and it would be almost unthinkable should the diffusers be ruled illegal - it'd take away from Brawn's historic achievement of two wins on their debut season.

Timo Glock had a phenomenal race in Malaysia, getting the tyre strategy just right, going from dry to intermediate to wet tyres. Kimi Raikkonen got this spectacularly wrong - and other teams were somewhere in between. Timo Glock... whenever I hear that name for a moment I expect it to refer to an Irish race team from Glock.

Anyway, the heavens finally opened, and the race was red flagged. After a long delay the race was suspended and half points awarded based on the positions at the last complete laps. This was particularly tough on Timo Glock as he had gone up to second place after the last complete lap, but whilst the race was still under a green flag.

Jenson Button has one his second GP in the debut year for Brawn GP - and neither race was finished under normal race conditions.

The next race is China, and I've my fingers crossed that the diffuser row comes down in favour of the diffusers - to have the stewards completely reorder things with two races gone would be silly.

  Driver Team Points
1 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 15
2 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 10
3 Jarno Trulli Toyota 8.5
4 Timo Glock Toyota 8
5 Fernando Alonso Renault 4
6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 4
7 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 3.5
8 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 2
9 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.5
10 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1
11 Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1
12 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 0
13 Felipe Massa Ferrari 0
14 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Mercedes 0
15 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 0
16 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 0
17 Nelson Piquet Jr Renault 0
18 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0
19 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 0
20 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 0