Formula 1 McLaren

Fernando Alonso en route to Malaysia

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso could be back on track at the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend after undergoing recent tests at Cambridge University. The tests conducted measured his short and long term memory as well as his reflexes.

Alonso’s adviser, Luis Garcia Abad, was circumspect in regards to the recent health checks, but did say he expects the dual world champion will be going to Sepang.

“It is private so I cannot confirm or deny it, but I have no doubts he will go to Malaysia as planned,” he said.

It’s understood Alonso will be subjected to a final round of tests by the FIA once he has arrived in Malaysia. Assuming he passes he should be given the all clear to return to competition.

The 33-year-old Spaniard has been recovering from concussion after crashing his McLaren-Honda MP4-30 during testing in Jerez on 22 February.

[Source: BBC]

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2014 Malaysian Grand Prix in pictures

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

Can you believe it’s over 58 years since we saw a Mercedes driver on steps one and two of a Formula 1 podium, that was at the final race of the 1955 season, the Italian Grand Prix.

Back in 1955 Mercedes won 70% of the races in the season and Juan Manuel Fangio won the third of his five world championships. The mighty W196 silver arrow was powered by 2.5 litre straight eight producing 220kW at 8500rpm.

Now, some 21,386 days after the last Mercedes 1-2, the podium feat has been repeated. Not at a legendary racetrack in Europe, but in Malaysia. Using a 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 engine mated to an arsenal of energy recovery systems that would make Fangio’s head spin. That’s if he knew what the hell it all meant in the first place.

At least we know Juan Manuel would have loved logging into AUSmotive to relive the race in pictorial form. And that’s what you can do after the break as well.

“What’s that Juan; how can you see all these photos?”

“It’s called the internet.”

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing

2014 Malaysian GP: Post-race press conference

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

Here’s the full post-race press conference transcript from the Malaysian Grand Prix. It’s worth reading some of the exchanges between Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel. At the start Vettel pushed Rosberg towards the pit wall as the Mercedes powered past. It wasn’t a huge deal, but it was a little tight.

If anyone had a reason to kick their cat after the race it was Daniel Ricciardo and he is to be admired for his positive attitude shown in his post-race comments via Red Bull: “It was looking like we could have a solid points finish today; the race was going pretty well,” Daniel said. “The start was really good and I made up a couple of positions and I was starting to, let’s say, mix it up at the front, which is nice. It’s fun being up there and fighting for the top few spots, but then we had a problem at the last pit stop and then we had a puncture.

“I think we had a front wing failure and a few other things went on and then the stop-go penalty, so the race ended pretty quickly for us, it went from looking good to looking pretty bad in a short amount of time. I’m really disappointed, but at the same time there’s a little bit in me which is happy because I think I’ve come out the first two races how I wanted to, in a way. I still want to improve, but we’ve started off on the right foot, so for that I’m pleased and with a little bit of luck we’ll turn things around soon and I’ll get some points.

“I love racing up the front, it’s been a privilege so far and a lot of fun in the last couple of races. It’s a bit addictive actually, I want more, so you’ll see me up there plenty of times this year.”

What a guy!

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing

Lewis Hamilton wins 2014 Malaysian GP

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton has continued Mercedes AMG’s strong early season form by driving to a comfortable victory at the Malaysian Grand Prix today. He finished 17 seconds ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg. Amazingly, it’s the first Mercedes 1-2 finish since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel collected Red Bull’s first official points for 2014 by coming home third, ahead of a largely anonymous Fernando Alonso. The dual world champion did have to fight hard for that P4, enjoying a nice late race scrap with Nico Hulkenberg.

Jenson Button came home in sixth for McLaren. While the Williams intra-team rivalry went up a notch with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas fighting on track and over the radio waves. Once again Felipe got the “your teammate is faster than you” radio call, but he’s learnt not to be pushed around so easily since his Ferrari days and did not let Bottas through as instructed and held on for P7.

The top 10 was rounded out by rookies Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat who have both continued their promising Formula 1 careers by collecting points in their first two grands prix.

Alas, once again the hard luck story was Daniel Ricciardo. At the start he made good ground dicing for position with Sebastian Vettel and claimed P3 in the early stages of the race. Vettel soon got past with the benefit of DRS but Daniel was looking safe for a solid fourth place finish. Then, on lap 41, through no fault of his own, it all went horribly wrong.

Daniel came in for what should have been his final pit stop. The wheel change seemed to go to plan but he was released without his right front wheel being secured properly. He was forced to stop in pit lane and then get pushed back into his pit box so the team could see to his wheel. Worse was to come. On his out lap his front wing broke and he had to pit again for a replacement.

The hard luck was still not done with as under new regulations he was given an automatic 10 second stop-go penalty for an unsafe release, wihch also brings with it a 10 place grid penalty for the next race. The disappointment was complete when he retired from the race seven laps from the end.

So once again Mercedes AMG showed it is the team to beat and Red Bull is the best placed team to challenge for race wins. We can expect that form to continue in Bahrain next weekend.

Formula 1 Mercedes-Benz Red Bull Racing

2014 Malaysian GP: Qualifying report

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton claimed his second pole position of the year during a rain affected qualifying at the Malaysian Grand Prix. In doing so the 2008 world champion has moved alongside Jim Clark and Alain Prost on 33 career pole positions.

Qualifying was delayed for close to an hour due to heavy rain and difficult conditions, with terrible visibility, endured throughout the three sessions after the lights finally went green. As you might expect a couple of red flags came about due to minor incidents which added to the overtime for the TV networks.

At the end of it all Lewis Hamilton’s time (1:59.431) was only just enough to hold out a surprised Sebastian Vettel (1:59.486). Nico Rosberg (2:00.050) and Fernando Alonso (2:00.175) complete the second row.

Alonso was lucky to progress to Q3 at all after Daniil Kvyat made a rookie error during Q2 and collided with him. Alonso appeared to suffer a broken steering arm, but his Ferrari mechanics were able to put things right during the red flag required to clear the track of debris and away he soon went.

Daniel Ricciardo (2:00.541) again kept his name at the upper end of the timesheets and perhaps he may have wished for more than P5.

“When it rains here, it definitely pours and the weather was our biggest challenge today,” said Daniel. “Finding space on the track can be tough and the visibility is so bad, the spray comes from hundreds of metres away, so just getting some clean road is something you really have to try and take care of. I was a bit off in Q3, so I’ve got to try and understand why, but nonetheless I think top five is not too bad, considering the conditions.”

Kimi Raikkonen (2:01.218) secured P6 meaning the first six includes two cars each from the three engine manufacturers.

Further rain is a possibility for the race and should that come to fruition it will be sure to provide an exciting and unpredictable grand prix.

The full starting grid can be seen after the break, along with the transcript from the post-quali press conference.

Formula 1 Red Bull Racing

VIDEO: Gone in 2.05 seconds

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix

Among all the hyperbole to have followed since Sebastian Vettel’s controversial win at the Malaysian Grand Prix one thing you may have forgotten were claims that Red Bull broke the pit stop record for changing a set of wheels.

Red Bull themselves have released a statement claiming they bettered the old mark no less than five times. Five! The previous record stood at 2.31 seconds and was set by McLaren at last year’s German GP.

Now, the record stands at just 2.05 seconds, and was set during Mark Webber’s second pit stop at Sepang. Red Bull, though, say the stop wasn’t perfect and that a stop completed in less than two seconds may be seen this year.


[Pic: Red Bull/Getty Images]

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2011 Malaysian Grand Prix in pictures

2011 Malaysian GP

Already the 2011 Formula One season is looking like it could be a Sebastian Vettel procession. Thankfully, there’s still another 17 races to go; with any luck someone else will get a look in very soon. This weekend in China, perhaps?

Until then, here’s 78 images from the Malaysian Grand Prix to keep you busy.