That Brawn GP won for the second time in Malaysia was no great shock. That they won in such stormy, unpredictable conditions - with a car that had never run in the rain before - was perhaps more surprising. As was the fact that Ferrari and McLaren came away with just a point between them.
Two races into 2009 and Brawn, Toyota and Williams - the three teams running controversial diffusers - have established themselves as the new power generation, with last year’s title contenders left licking their wounds...
I got to give full credit for Brawn racing team. Few months back, they were struggling to find new owner after Honda decided to pull out from F1. Once they settle the ownership issues, they never looking back... with such a short period of time, they show to the world who they are.... They set the pace in Spain during the pre-season test.... But the world were in doubt about their performance with such overnight change. They proved to everybody in the opening round, Melbourne Australia. Again they maintain their competitiveness in Malaysia GP... Well, the 2009 season is still a long way to go... I'm sure the big guns will improve when F1 move back to Europe.
As for Ferrari, it was another bad race in Malaysia. Some words from the Ferrari drivers, director and team principal.
"It was a chaotic race and it's easy in these conditions to take decisions, which later in hindsight, turn out to be wrong. When we fitted the rain tyres, we expected heavy rain to come soon and unfortunately it was just a light shower. Therefore, I came back in to fit intermediates and immediately after that, the downpour arrived. It's a shame, as I could have managed to get into the points. We definitely need to analyse our mistakes and understand how they can be avoided, but I don't think it needs a revolution which the always emotional onlookers demand: it would be wrong because it's not a case of us suddenly becoming stupid. It's the playing field that has changed. We must be aware of that and tackle the situation with a different approach."
"We were in a good position at the time of the first pit stop and then we made a mistake, fitting the rain tyres when the rain had yet to fall. And that was where my race was pretty much over. When the race was halted, the conditions were very difficult. There was so much water on the track and I was struggling to drive the car even in second gear. Clearly we cannot be happy with our start to the season: in Melbourne, I was the one to make a mistake and today it was the team, the result being we find ourselves without any points."
Stefano Domenicali, team principal:
"We are very disappointed because once again today, we leave a circuit empty handed. With hindsight, it's clear that we took some wrong decisions, especially in Kimi's case at his first pit stop: the information we had at the time was that the storm was due to hit in a very short time, when in fact it took a few more minutes for the rain to come. Felipe was very unlucky: another forty seconds or so and he could have stayed on track with the extreme wet tyres, finishing in a good position at the end of the race. Clearly we have to extricate ourselves from this situation, without panicking, but with every one of us taking on our responsibilities: we have to dig deep and react, starting immediately. We have to change our mentality and accept that we are in a different situation to the past and that therefore we have to tackle it with a different approach, both on track and in Maranello."
Luca Baldisserri, sporting director:
"Another disastrous race, and we can't make any excuses for it. Once again today we tried to second guess what might happen and every time the opposite of what we expected happened and so the race was turned into a continual struggle to make up for that and in the end we finished empty handed. In the dry, our race pace was not really exceptional, but it did reflect what was our true potential today. Now we must try to turn things around and get out of this situation in a hurry."
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