Race winner Fernando Alonso has claimed that the recent issues over flexing floors did not tip the race in McLaren’s favour. After Ferrari’s total dominance of the Melbourne race, McLaren sought clarification from the FIA over the legality of the design of the floors that several teams (including Ferrari) were using. The outcome of the clarification was that some teams had to modify the underbody of their cars in time for the Malaysian Grand Prix.
“It is difficult to know,” admitted Alonso. “If Ferrari had been slower all weekend then I would say it is due to the floor. But on Friday and Saturday they were very fast. Only in the race if seems they could not show all of their potential.”
One potential reason for Kimi Raikkonen’s pace is that his engine was reported to be limited to 17,500 rpm during the race, against a normal rev limit of 19,000. This was to ensure the engine lasted the entire race weekend as there were fears that a small water leak at Melbourne could have damaged the engine.
Alonso admitted that he felt Ferrari might bounce back to dominance at the next race in Bahrain. “Bahrain is only four days after Malaysia,” he stated. “So no-one can change the cars very much. Ferrari were better than us at the test so I can imagine it being difficult to beat them again.”