Kimi’s column: Malaysia review
Well, two races done, eighteen to go. So far it’s been more or less alright for me. I’ve been having a good time, that’s for sure.
You never know about racing; Everything can happen like the Malaysian Grand Prix showed us all. In a race while it rains like that and they stop it for a while, it opens up a chance for the handicapped cars, too. If you get your timing perfectly right, you get a free road, see well and you can fight for the top place. Wish it would have been us… But it’s useless to get too thrilled afterwards while, obviously, it doesn’t change the result any more.
The team has been working very hard to keep us going to the right direction. Obviously, we have a good and solid car to work with. It’s been quick everywhere. The weather and some happenings in the course of race weekends have not done us any favours, but that’s motor racing. You just have to deal with what ever occurs and try to get best out of it.
We had some work to do after Friday sessions. The car was not working properly. We lacked downforce, there was something wrong with the floor and we didn’t have KERS on our long run in the afternoon. The boys did very well. They put a new floor, changed the set-up and then the car felt much better from then on. It was a shame the gearbox had some overheating issue in Melbourne. The team decided to avoid all the risks of DNF in the race, so they decided to change it before P3. Obviously, that meant a penalty of losing 5 places in the grid.
The car was very good in the qualifying. I made a mistake in the final run in Q3 while exiting the corner. We lost there some time, so it could have been better than fifth, fourth or even third. I felt the speed was there in the car. Obviously, it was a good car to qualify!
The race was one of those typical gambles in the torrential rain of the tropic. For me it was my debut with the rain tyres. While the lights went off, I had to take it easy, because I simply didn’t know how the tyres are behaving. Obviously, we had done only one installation lap before with the wet tyre, so we didn’t even know how to adjust the front wing for the wet race. But, the start went ok, actually we managed to gain a few places, but then there was an incident with a couple of cars in front of me, so I had to go to the grass again like in Australia to avoid them. I lost some places, but we made it through the first lap, any way.
The car was good. After the safety-car situation I was behind Vettel. We could easily follow the Red Bull and we were faster in some places, they were faster in some other places. It was too tricky to try to pass him, so we just sat there and waited for the track to dry up. The rest of the race with slicks was more or less about keeping the P5.
We could have gone faster, but it became so dark, it was very difficult to see where are wet spots in the track. So it was better to seal the position and not to take too many risks. Now we have 16 points. It’s better than nothing, but it could have been better. The best feeling is coming from the car.
Obviously, we will get some new parts for the next race in China, so it should keep us competitive in Shanghai, too.