Sunday, March 30, 2014
Lewis Hamilton dominates race day Sunday at Sepang. Did it come as a surprise or was it expected? No fluke for sure. Rewind back to September 28, 2012 when Lewis Hamilton had just announced that he would be leaving McLaren, the team he had been with since 1995 when he was just a young lad. Questions were asked, why was he not loyal to the team that raised him from a youngster, was he frustrated that after winning his first title in 2008? Bar 2009 when Brawn got a head start with the double diffuser, was Hamilton finally fed up with the prospect of failing to win the drivers championship in 2010, 2011 & 2012? Or was it the money that drew him towards Mercedes? For sure the rumor of a fat multi-million dollar pay check at Mercedes was highly likely to be the reason Hamilton had signed for Mercedes. From another perspective, the prospect of teaming up with Ross Brawn at Mercedes was a good bet, Brawn was the man who helped engineer a team around Michael Schumacher at Ferrari and delivered consecutive titles from 2000 to 2004.
Fast forward to today, Ross Brawn is no longer with Mercedes, but Hamilton having been at Mercedes for a year could have given significant inputs to the development of the 2014 car to suit his style. Looking at the pace he has, setting fastest lap towards the end of the race just showed how much in control he was at the Malaysian Grand Prix, even during the wet qualifying on Saturday showed the Mercedes had a significant advantage. Pulling away in the opening laps and creating a gap to Nico Rosberg in the other silver arrow, he demonstrated that the had the capability to control the pace of the race. Two weeks ago at the season opener, he was forced to retire at the end of lap two in the race because of electronics problems. However, no repeat if such an issue was present at Sepang this weekend.
The only thing that could derail the silver arrow train would be Adrian Newey & his Red Bull. If they eventually get the fuel sensor issue sorted by the time the championship goes back to Europe, they will be a serious contender for the 2014 title. In qualifying, Sebastian Vettel showed that the Red Bull was strong and competitive in sector 2, the section with the twists & turns which traditionally is Red bull's strength.
Game on, the 2014 Formula 1 championship is looking highly probable for Mercedes & Lewis Hamilton. Don't discount his teammate Nico Rosberg as he is also equally quick if he manages to put everything together on race day!