Lewis Hamilton's Malaysian Malady

CarolStarred Page By Carol, 2nd Oct 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/hz9qdy0x/
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After an unexpected victory in Singapore, Mercedes had expect the circuit at the Malayasian Grand Prix to lend itself to their strengths. Could Lewis Hamilton take another victory there.?

Lewis Hamilton's Malaysian Malady

After his victory in the rain at Singapore, and a healthy championship lead of 28 points, Lewis Hamilton arrived in Malaysia fully expecting the circuit to suit the Mercedes car. But the temperature was very hot, and both himself and team mate Bottas, struggled during Friday practice, and were comprehensively beaten by both The Red Bull cars and Ferrari, with Vettel showing a very fast pace.

The team were shaking their heads trying to understand why their car had very little pace, so they tried to make adjustments, which meant they were fractionally quicker in practice 3, but still not enough to challenge either of the other teams. The Mercedes car has the reputation of being a diva, and the team have to work hard to understand how to get the tyres in the working window.

Although Vettel had the deficit of points, his car was faster and more reliable, with no such hiccups to impair performance, so it looked like he would qualify on pole, and then win the race, which is a track that Ferrari had thought would not suit them, but would favour Mercedes. So would we see Lewis's advantage points slipping away from whilst he was fighting for position.?


But just before qualifying, it was clear to see that Vettel had a problem with his engine as his car faltered and lost power during his outlap. He was not able to compete, so it meant an engine change, and then a start from 20th position on the grid in the race..

So the fight for pole was between Lewis, Raikenon, and Ricciardo and Verstappen, and he knew they had already shown their cars to be faster in practice. Surprising even himself, Lewis found some pace, and it was clear to see until they got to Q3 how evenly matched they were. Hit team mate was struggling more, and was unable to extract anything special from the car.

In Q3 Lewis put in the best lap he could manage, and out came the others to try and beat it. His second attempt to better it was not successful, but none of the others could match it either, so much to his delight and surprise, he claimed his 70th pole position, and remains the fastest man with the most poles ever.


Nikki Lauda spoke afterwards about the magic that Lewis puts into qualifying, which is why he has earned so many poles. To extract that sort of performance from a car, that is arguably at the moment, only proving to be third fastest on the grid, he said was down to the talent of the driver and not the car. Toto Wolff also praised him, saying Mercedes really had not expected to be on pole.

His margin to Raikkenon was a mere fraction, and he commented afterwards that it would be a tough race the next day. His main rival, Vettel, would be starting from the back of the grid, but his car was so fast, it would surely be able to make up places very easily. Mercedes were going to try and analyse overnight why their car was so sluggish, and Lewis and Bottas were hoping that the next day, they would be able to extract more pace out of it.

On raceday

The next drama that occurred was Raikenon';s car also broke down with engine woes, so his place on the grid remained empty at the start. So Lewis started alone on the first row, he made a good start, but immediately Verstappen was up there with him, and because of his lack of pace, Lewis was unable to make any sort of gap to him.

By the time they got to the 3rd lap, Max had overtaken him. Lewis explained later, that although he has always been a racer, this time he did not defend too heavily, as Max is known for bringing people off when his enthusiasm gets the better of him, and Lewis is mindful that he cannot afford to have a dnf, every point counts for the championship.

By the end of the race Vettel had climbed back to 4th, magnificently held off from a podium position by Ricciardo, who was 3rd, Lewis managed to hang onto 2nd place, and Verstappen took his second win , a great achievement to celebrate his 20th birthday.. Bottas was a distant 5th after struggling with tyres.

Lewis was the first to congratulate him, and Max admitted he had capitalised on the knowledge that Lewis could not afford to lose any points, so it had been an easy task. Lewis said that if he had defended, it would not have made any difference, as the faster Red Bull would have prevailed at some point anyway.

Vettel was voted driver of the day, for his charge up the grid to 4th, but then spoiled it by being in an altercation with Lance Stroll as they were slowing down. As usual there was no punishment from the stewards, even though he hitched a ride back, which is illegal, and took his steering wheel with him. Vettel is likely to escape punishment for all his misdemeanours for whatever reason, and he knows it, but some sort of Racing God has been looking down for sure on Lewis, and long may it last. He had enough bad luck last year, and again in Baku this year, so he deserves a slice of luck this year.

With the Japanese Grand prix this weekend, Mercedes have their work cut out to tame their diva car, and Vettel knows he can come back strong in his car, even though Lewis did extend his lead to 34 points. Vettel seems very unconcerned about his latest mishaps, joking about them to the Press, so he must think he can win all the last 5 races to win the championship. Lewis, on the other hand is calm focused, and not taking unnecessary risks. Who can say what will happen in the last 5 races, but I know who I think deserves to win.
Lewis Hamilton Sings in the Rain at Singapore
My thanks to Youtube for the Video, and Wikipedia for the images.

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Bottas, Ferrari, Lack Of Faith, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pole Position, Raikkenon, Red Bulls, Ricciardo, Verstappen, Vettel

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author avatar Carol
I am a proud mother and grandmother, and an author. I have had 7 books published. My hobbies are walking, swimming, and playing badminton. I try to raise more awareness of autism with my writing.

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