Hamilton goes fastest in practice in Malaysia

“Undriveable”. An HRT? Marussia? Nope the Red Bull RB8, apparently and according to intercepted radio transmissions from Sebastian Vettel’s cockpit. Half a second off the pace in Free Practice One this morning, more than twice that in FP2… Make no mistake, this year’s Red Bull ain’t last years Red Bull. And remember Sunday Afternooners: you heard it here first; Adrian Newey’s won everything, but he’s never won three driver’s titles on the trot…

OK. So while you were sleeping. Lewis Hamilton was getting on with what Lewis Hamilton does; driving the derriere of his McLaren MP4 27. Fastest in both sessions, from Seb’ in the first, from Michael Schumacher in the second. With his head down after Oz, Lewis will be feeling better about that. Then again the smarts in Melbourne all said it’s Lewis’ sheer addiction to going as fast as he bloody well can that’s the issue. Jenson Button, who had problems in both sessions this morning, spends more time getting the car right for the race. There are no points for pole. Still, just as we were saying yesterday, that McLaren is one very fast racing car.

We were also saying we reckoned the Lotus was the second quickest car out there. Oh well, you can’t win ‘em all. Fiffth and seventh in FP1, ninth and 15th in FP2, the Lotus E20 doesn’t look to be the car it was in Australia. Mind you, after Romain Grosjean phoned in in FP1 to say the car felt ‘funny’, they’ll be thankful they’re still competing. Last time he made that call, in pre-season testing, it proved to be pretty terminal as the front suspension was about to fall off.

We were right about the on-going brouhaha about Mercedes’s extraordinary rear wing. We are going to have a go at explaining it over the weekend, but we’re going to need to speak to James May about that first so bear with us. Gary Anderson on the BBC website now seems certain that the system does effectively mean the car has DRS on the front as well as the rear wings, uniquely, and that has considerable benefits. And, as befits a man who’s designed real racing cars (Sunday Afternoon Club has never got further than some ambitious Lego projects) he’s also put forward some powerful arguments that the same system explains why the really rather cool-looking F1 WO3 eats its tyres.

(By the way, here’s that film of Schumacher fending off the paddock paps in Australia trying to grab a look at the tech.)

Hats off to those loveable Spaniards at HRT and their greying diver pairing of Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan (combined age 716). Unable to compete in Australia for the simple fact that hadn’t actually finished building the car, they lapped inside the 107 per cent of fastest time rule that should mean they can race on Sunday. That’s McLaren levels of in-season development (albeit from a somewhat lower starting point). Red Bull will be hoping it can match that. Looks like it needs to.

Ok, we’ll be back tomorrow and we promise to keep an eye on that midfield, which frankly is so tight, so close, we can’t really make any sense of it – unlike Sunday Afternooner ‘FastBBBB’, to whom we owe many thanks for telling us exactly what did happen on that last lap in Melbourne…

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British media at its best. Even TG is Lewis favored and insights rivalry with Vettel and RBR. This article does not talk about the several off moments Lewis had in FP1 and 2, he was off the track more than Vettel was.

Yes the McLaren is the best car on the grid and has the advantage RBR had for the past 2 seasons and now the RBR car is slow. The McLaren is also the best looking car. If a McLaren does not win, its going to be a shocker. This is practice not even qualifying so whats the point of this article? No one knows the strategy each team is running in FP, for all that watched FP its obvious the McLaren is way ahead of everyone else. Their times on options medium is only a few tenths quicker than the prime tires .. their prime times are quicker than RBR option times.

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Oh dear, here we go again. What do you want them to do? Suggest that everyone is all super happy bestest buddies? That everyone doesn’t care about the results, it’s all about taking part! It’s the media, of course they’re going to do that. Vettel was the best last year in combination with RBR (how many pitlane, strategy, driver etc mistakes happened?) so OBVIOUSLY he’s the man to beat going into the new season, how can’t you see that?

Btw, offs matter right. FP’s are there to get the setup right for the car going into Saturday, nothing more. That’s the style of Lewis, he drives the car like he stole it, sort of like AS. How does he know the limits of the car if he doesn’t go to them? Why are you so surprised by this, or haven’t you seen the last 5 seasons of F1?

Just like last year when RBR did nothing in FP’s (how many time sheets did they top on Friday?) then slapped the other teams about on Saturday. What’s the point of the article? To (attempt to) round up what happened in FP1 & 2, it doesn’t take a genius to work that out.

Btw, you seem super defensive about Vettel, why so? Are you bestest buds or something? Oh and last year, I don’t seem to recall you saying RBR were way ahead of everyone else, I seem to recall you were praising Vettel’s skill, not his car (e.g. in Italy, he got pole by almost half a second (~.45 seconds?) yet you praised him for being ‘cream of the crop’ I recall (or something like that) but now McLaren has the same gap ‘its obvious the McLaren is way ahead of everyone else.’ – be consistent with all of the drivers, it’s either the car or the driver, pick one and stick to it, don’t be a hypocrite).

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@f1 fan You are a right miserable git. Top gear is British and can support whomever is so choose.

Grow up !!!

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okay ill grow up right now .. k

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enjoy the race .. i will

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Don’t get me wrong Blubbey, I agree with most of what you said and think F1 Fan’s post was completely idiotic. That having been said, while I understand what you are saying about choose either the driver or the car but I think that’s kind of dumb to say that. It clearly is both. Yes, Vettel is an outstanding driver but unfortunately he’s only as good as his car. Same with Hamilton, Button, Webber and all of the others. I just think that saying you must choose both is kind of dumb. Clearly Italy was a result of Vettel driving his car superbly but that certainly doesn’t mean it wasn’t an equally impressive performance from the car.

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Great to see Mclaren doing well, looks like Red Bull needs to do some work to their car. Hopefully Raikkonen will have a better qualifying and Maldonado finishes the race.

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we will see, do not count out Mercedes.
they are getting closer, just need to be more reliable.
should be a good race, looking forward to it.

see you tomorrow, after qualifilying should be good.

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F1 HAS REALLY ANNOYED ME!!! I used to watch f1 on the bbc, but now they only show it on sky sports HD and my tv doesn’t have sky sports HD. I’m not going to buy another channel just for 1 program a week. TYPICAL!

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Oh no, here they go again…

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hey my point is all bbc talk about is hamilton, doesnt matter who is doing good .. if button wins, they focus on hamilton more… why???????????

and yeah i am a vettel fan

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hey the car wa better last yr and if you dont recall me saying so its b/c you and the rest of formuladudes buddies were too frustrated crying over vettels performance

i love the racing o matter whats going on and im not blind to it so .. im enjoying this .. good times

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love you too hamiltondude

going to be a shweet race … lol i love it how the lewis guys shuttup after last race but here in practice he is running the car and yeah its pretty amazing how fast it is which is nice .. but now they come out ……. wonder if he will win the race? if he does not, wonder whats the excuse going to be? hmm only 2 days till we find out.

i only hope hrt can get to race this time b/c they really need to track time for r&d

.

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Go Schumacher! :D

p.s. I’m British

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the reason bbc focuses more on hamilton is because he makes more buzz, an f1 fan will hardly pass an article that is related to hamilton. its all business not personal. am a hamilton fan and he absolutely rocks

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lol i know you know that vettel is better than hamilton mr hamiltonnoob
its not even debatable, even button is better than hamilton

btw good job on pole position

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If Vettel is better than Hamilton, what does that make Webber? I mean, he’s 2-0 against Vettel in Quali so far, so that must make him the best driver on the grid right?

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Oh btw, Räikkönen or Webber to win the championship this year with Schumi after then Grosjean. Oh how I’d love that.

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there still life in the old dog Schumacher.
told you not to underestimate him.
age and experience, will alway give
youth and inexperience a kicking.

Go Schuy, one for the over 40.

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formuladude why dont you give it up? vettel proved that he is better thaan your hamilton from his 1st and 2nd year in f1 .. beefore he was with redbull.. lewis still has not proven anything except that he is quick and aggressive.

vettel proved he can pass, safe tires, race in traffic etc .. proven time n time over ,, as a matter of fact ill start ignoring you from now b/c you really dont know what you are talking about .. noobie

was a great quali .. enjoyed it .. schumi did awsome

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He hasn’t proven he’s better than Hamilton though, that’s the thing. Hamilton lost the championship in his first year by 1 point, won it in his second. Don’t forget Alonso had come off of the back of a double world championship, beating the most successful and one of the, if not the best driver there’s ever been in F1 and Hamilton drew in points with him. That’s an amazing season for a rookie driver.

Vettel scored 6 points in his first season (14th) in 8 races, an 8th in the US and 4th in China, with 3 retirements in Belgium, Japan and Brazil, and a 16th, 19th and 18th in Hungary, Turkey and Italy, respectively.

In his second season, he came 8th, with 4 retirements in his first 4 races, a win, but mainly 5th-8th. So no, he hasn’t proven he’s better.

In fact, the only test that’s even close to proving either driver’s skill is around the Top Gear track. Vettel did a 1:44.0 in what can be described as perfect conditions http://www.youtube.com/wa tch?v=N-S5VKAP3vk – dry, not too hot, clear day. Hamilton did it in a 1:44.7 on what was somewhere between a mildly moist and wet track (not wet, but wetter than mm) with oil (supposedly) on the track. NOW, given the track conditions, there’s probably a second off that time (not 2 like they usually say).

This was done when both drivers are arguably in their prime too.

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Forgot the link to Hamilton’s lap. Skip to 7:30.

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Fail, I have no idea why I said that, it’s 6:50.

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button to win hamilton second vettel third alonso next you wait and see then rosberg

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