F1: Malaysia positives and negatives

The changing conditions at Sepang produced an interesting and eventful race with a surprising victory for Fernando Alonso and a brilliant second place for Sergio Perez.

Those are obviously the first two positive highlights. It’s not easy to choose a third one from the various contenders but in the end Jean Eric Vergne is probably a worthy pick. He drove magnificently in a wet track with intermediate tyres en route to his first world championship points.

It’s much easier to highlight negatives.

Felipe Massa, who finished 97 seconds behind his teammate in 15th place, must be starting to think that he could be better off somewhere else, like Sauber (who gave him the first opportunity to drive in F1). Of course, that is assuming that Sauber would choose him to replace Perez in a straight swap, instead of going for Adrian Sutil or Jaime Alguersuari.

Mercedes were appalling in the race and could only manage a point for Michael Schumacher after Pastor Maldonado’s retirement near the end. Surely there some German big cheeses in Stuttgart must be wondering why Mercedes has a works team in Formula 1.

The final negative mention has to go to Sebastian Vettel who is seemingly losing it after a poor race – not something we have seen last year. It will be interesting to see whether Red Bull can close the gap to its rivals and Vettel can regain a more positive mood over the next races.

The next battle in China should provide plenty of artificial DRS overtaking in the long straight and potentially interesting tyre management strategies.

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