Fernando Alonso crashed out of his 200th F1 race in Malaysia.
The Spanish driver, who took victory at the same circuit last year, looked set for a good race having qualified in third. However he damaged his front wing at Turn Two when he nudged Sebastian Vettel as he fought for the lead of the race.
Alonso chose to stay out on circuit with the damaged front wing rather than pit for a new one. Unfortunately the front wing broke and became wedged underneath his Ferrari on the finish straight causing him to slide into the Turn One run off area and see an early end to his 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix.
Pastor Maldonado will start the Malaysian Grand Prix with a new engine after it was discovered post-qualifying that his old engine had suffered from some damage to the pistons.
Regulations state that drivers are permitted to use eight engines per season. As the new engine will be the second unit for Maldonado this season he will not incur any penalties for the change.
Sauber have introduced new measures to ensure the problem that meant Hulkenberg was unable to compete in the opening race of the 2013 F1 season will not happen again.
“What happened was that many factors led to the creation of a vacuum in the fuel cell – so it collapsed in on itself,” Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn explained.
“That damaged the fuel cell. The engineers already had a good understanding of it in Melbourne. We tested some things here and had some tests in Hinwil.
“We have introduced a couple of measures and looked at different reasons that should lead us to solve the problem.”
Kaltenborn also said that the problem was disappointing for Hulkenberg as he had qualified well and had a chance to score some points.
“Everything is no speculation in terms of where he could end up,” Kaltenborn continued. “He had a good chance to get in the points and if you see this chance fizzle out maybe two hours before the race, it is particularly disappointing.”
Fancy owning a piece of Formula One history? A ‘forgotten’ F1 car is to be auctioned off at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.
The car in question is a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196 that was driven by Juan Manuel Fangio. The car is special because it featured a lot of innovative technology including a fuel-injected engine, all-round inboard-mounted brakes and a lightweight chassis.
The car will be sold ‘as is’ with all it’s blemishes and dirt. The car has been stored in a warehouse for the past three decades and is said to have been ‘largely forgotten about’.
The 2 1/2 litre eight-cylinder single-seater is the car that Fangio won the 1954 German and Swiss Grand Prixs in.
Giedo van der Garde is hoping for some rain at his team’s home race in Malaysia.
“For the moment it does look like Marussia are a little bit faster than us but coming to Sepang we have conditions that will suit our cars better,” said van der Garde.
“In testing we found that our car performs quite well in the wet and when we arrived here, in the past two days it has rained at 4pm, which is the time the race starts on Sunday.
“So, with good preparation and some improvements to the car, then with some rain, we can expect a totally different picture here in Sepang.”
The Dutch driver will be sporting a specially designed helmet which will be auctioned off for charity after the race.
“At first we thought of putting the Malaysian flag on it,” van der Garde explained. “But then we found out that the tiger is a special symbol of this country so we went with that. The helmet will be auctioned off for charity after the race.”
Honda are reportedly planning a return to F1 in 2015. According to a Jiji Press report, Honda is reportedly working on Formula One engines for McLaren.
The Japanese car manufacturer quit F1 at the end of the 2008 season with the team sold to Ross Brawn, who changed the name to Brawn GP and went on to win the 2009 World championship.
If the rumours about the Honda-McLaren partnership are true, it would not be the first time that the pair have teamed up. Their previous partnership was between 1988 and 1992 and in that time, they won four constructors’ World Championships.
It appears that Jenson Button may be hoping for rain at this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix as it might help the team be more competitive.
“I’d rather it was mixed conditions,” Button told Autosport. “hen we have more of a chance to score points.
“Inters were very good to us in the last race, with P3 in Q2. When you have a quick car, you want it to be dry every day; no wind, calm, but when you don’t have such a quick car you want everything thrown at the field so you have an opportunity.”
The British F1 driver has also acknowledged that McLaren may not be able to compete at the front this weekend.
“It’s going to be another tough weekend,” Button explained. “But this is a circuit where we are a little bit lucky in terms of the bumpiness.
“It’s a lot smoother than the last race, which should help us quite a bit. The car was bouncing around quite a bit in the last race, which doesn’t help the setup. Where it is less bumpy, especially in low speed corners, it should really help us put the car where it should work.
“We won’t be fighting at the front but at least we can get the best out of the car that we have.”
Button also revealed that he doesn’t think Kimi Raikkonen will be victorious in Malaysia.
“Lotus did a great job and Kimi did a great job in the race but a lot of people will have learned from what they did,” Button said. “It’s very different conditions with the heat and the type of circuit.
“I think you will be seeing a different winner here.”