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Malaysian Grand Prix Page

The second race of the season leaves us with much to talk about. 
From the race perspective we saw Williams dominate, Ferrari struggle and McLaren slow and unreliable. Sauber and Renault certainly look as if they will fight for 4th while Toyota continues to impress.
As for the controversy surrounding the clash between Michael and Juan Pablo, was it anyone's fault ? And if it was, was it worth a 'pit lane drive through penalty' ?
Of course you can comment on other aspects of the race - Have Your Say (What others are saying)

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What others are saying:

Montoya`s penalty was wrong as it was a racing incident. Who would've won had they got away clean?, Hmm I don't know for sure but the 3 on the podium may have changed around, but they would of all been there (podium). Ralf's thing looked so hooked up, Michael's car only looked good in the last stint but it is Michael, and Montoya, well the boy is good. Ralf explaining his win at the conference looked like a kid in a candy shop. 
This will be the toughest racing we have seen for years. Regards Cooky - Australia

That move of Schumi's at the start c'mon. Even I knew he was going to do that before they even started. He was on pole but on the dirty side of the track. Senna did it, so did Mansel, Prost, Mika, Damon, Jaques - nothing new here. And yes he was lucky to finish 3rd. But as so many greats have said before: "The better I got, the luckier I got" - Johan M - South Africa

O.K., gentlemen, lets get this correct. On the first turn, M. Schumacher had room to make the turn but was not going to give JPM the opportunity to overtake him at the next left-hand turn, which is what would have happened if the accident did not take place. Yes, JPM is a headstrong young man who wants to beat M. Schumacher possibly more than he wants to win the championship, but we cannot use this excuse for why the accident occurred. 
The penalty was a poor one, and it would be nice if Mosley and Co. admitted that a mistake was made. I believe that in Formula One, as in many other sports, officials will tend to rule in favor of the "established champion". I understand this action even though I don't agree with it. 
Lastly, McLaren is in real trouble, regardless of their cautious optimism. Lack of engine reliability, Raikkonen consistently running ahead of Coulthard, and those god-awful black suits they all have to wear, all lead me to believe that they will not be contenders this year! Renault or Sauber may actually take 3rd for the championship. 
Regardless, this season has already proven that it will be one of the best in a long time. And lastly, why the **** isn't the U.S. set up for Sky Digital yet??!! - Blas A - USA.

the Penalty was justified, it gives a warning signal in the right direction, 'cos this years championship is going to be tight (as everyone agrees) and we'll see too many close fights and running into , like the ones we saw in the early 90s and 'til 97. 
All JPM and Ralf got is a very fast and reliable car, not their talent or Driving skills improved dramatically in about an year - GOP - NL

In all honesty I was just glad to see Michael not winning again!! Montoya was a bit aggressive I must say, but F1 needs him at the moment thats for sure. Ralf won't get an easier victory in his life, all he had to do was keep going - all credit to him and the team cos that's what he did. Great pity for Jenson losing third to Michael, but at least he came home 4th for 3 points. At least it blows the championship wide open now, certainly doesn't look like Ferrari will walk away it now - Linda B - England

Guys I think you are giving Michael too much credit here. First he slid into Juan, it was his fault yet Juan is penalised. What about his move across at the start ? That was ridiculous even if it is allowed (replay it and watch how severe it was).
Second, Schumacher yet again shows how lucky he his, he didn't finish third on talent, remember how he won in Spain last year ? Same thing and I don't only mean 3rd but even 4th or 5th or 6th, there is no way he would have passed either of the McLaren's and then Barrichello (when does a Ferrari engine fail ????) had they stayed on the track. Juan on the other hand would have managed third had Barrichello stayed on the track.
The penalty was a complete farce. Why ?? Ignoring all the Ralf-Barrichello incidents this year and last year, when the last time Juan and Michael touched, everybody was angry with Juan but it was exactly the same thing. Michael on the outside and Juan locked his brakes and slid into Michael. Anyone penalised then?
Don't get me wrong, Michael is a great driver but so is Juan. Remember this is only the start of his second season and he is doing this. Watch out for him. He is sending a clear message to Michael - ' Your time is up'. As for respect, sorry but Michael never had respect for anyone on the track in the past. He is starting to show some these days and you know why ? He knows his days are numbered and he is trying every method in the book. (Just like the Mr. safety thing). 
In any case don't we want to see this happening ? Aren't we sick and tired of one team dominating ? May the best win
(I still think though that Michael will win the Championship as he has a team all for himself while Montoya and Ralf will keep taking away points from each other but I will always respect Williams for that) - Simon B - Australia

I think it was very unfair the penalty to JP. Schumacher doesn't need that kind of help. He's has demonstrate how dirty he run. he shows his fear for JP. The way he start crossing all over is ...(no words) but he has done it before, so what can you expect? - Jorge O - Columbia

SURPRISE!!!! OH yeaaa big surprises.
Race itself was a knights fight, but.....A surprise for 1-2 Williams, other one little bit bigger Schummy in 3rd (honestly I thought he's lost), another one, Ferrari reliability seems gone, not a big surprise Dennis final product failed - too bad for Kimmi,
A BIG SURPRISE RENAULT AND JENSON WERE GREAT watch out McLaren and....Ferrari and Williams.
Mantoya/Schumacher accident? Did I say something about the talent isn't enough in the past? Well the incident was caused by Mantoya infatuation something like "Hey I m Juan-Pablo watch out". Any good driver knows if you got the front wing of your adversary behind your RHD front wheel, when you turn right, you are outside and you don't intend to take him out you are going to collect a lot of debris in your radiator(tire eventual) if other driver doesn't back off (if there is enough room). Michael didn't had too much room too, but the touch was well coordinated and in my opinion after a lot of forcing the issue situation (in the past), Mantoya got the message 'Do Not Expect Merci" My wish is to have the same situation on the track JPM with Jaques or David. We are going to see some sparks.
The 10 seconds penalty is irelevant, JPM told us it cost him a race, what about Michael? Was he a b...... lucky (these are DC words) guy? or smart and tenacious one? 
Well... Gents If you respect yourself you are going to be respected by the others. This is a common sense issue which works in both ways and in F1 has a lot of sense.
My best regards to everyone - Marian - Romanian living in the US

I think Geoff gave a very accurate summary of the race although I think Montoya gave Michael no room at all and left Michael with absolutely nowhere to go. Montoya is a headstrong stubborn driver and he is going to be involved in a lot more incidents before the end of the season. I also think that Geoff's comment about the telecast was accurate although again I think the end part was particularly bad with cameras focusing on Ralph's car who had already won the race while there was still drama going on with the other people still racing. Well done Geoff - well said - Johan M - South Africa

Sirs, Great race. Really hot so some had to go, though I wish Rubens wasn't one of them. Great parts are the 1-2 finish by JPM and Ralf, but my thing is how the Champ came from last place to finish third to stay ahead in the points race, I'm looking forward o another great season. 
Oh, I hope they don't change the engine rules till next year, after all, the season is already started. happy Motoring. DB - USA

A pity that the stewards awarded the drive through penalty to Montoya, in my opinion it was a 'racing incident' and should not have warranted any action. The race showed the superiority of one car/driver, and that wasn't Montoya or RS. Michael Schumacher lost significantly more time in the pits than Montoya, with a very slow inlap adding to the delay of fitting a new nose. He then had to fight through the entire field to get back to the podium. I cannot accept that he would not have been on Montoya's tail from the time of the incident onwards and may have found his opportunity to get back into the lead. I also suspect that he had some problems with the setup of the car, or other damage to the aerodynamics after the incident. He was understeering quite significantly and never as tidy as he normally is through the corners. 
With the '02 car now a certainty to start soon I think MS will again go back to the head of the leader board pretty quickly. 
Montoya is probably the best opportunistic overtaker in the field, he capitalised brilliantly on Schumacher's very slow start. 
Ralph (and I'm certainly not a member of his fan club) drove the perfect race, staying out of trouble and picking the strategy that worked on the day. 
The McLarens were slow. Kimi may have ended up in a reasonable position but one finish from four starts is not going to keep them up with the Ferrari and Williams. Of particular interest was the relative situations of Raikkonen and Coulthard. Coulthard started behind Raikkonen and was not making any impression on the 1.2 second gap between them. After 6 seasons with an evolving McLaren car I cannot see him getting any more from the car than he can today. With only 2 starts in a new car, plus a few weeks of practice, after what has been a remarkably short career, Raikkonen can only get better. I believe that Coulthard will be the bridesmaid again this year. 
Button drove an excellent race (actually he had an excellent weekend) and showed the Renault is certainly a match for the Sauber. Before the season started I felt that 4th place would be a contest between Sauber and Jordan but now Renault is looking much more likely to challenge for it. Trulli is a brilliant 'hot lap' driver and Button did a great job in outqualifying his team mate. 
Bernoldi was the surprise of the day. To retake position from Schumacher (quite legitimately given they were fighting for position) and to then hold the vastly superior car for a few corners was a clear indication that he (Bernoldi) is a much more committed racer than I had given him credit for. 
Congratulations to The Heretic on a good call on McLaren, I still see them as a comfortable third but they obviously have no answers for the Williams or Ferrari on this type of track. They may well be on their way down, but I cannot see Mercedes sitting back and accepting that. The chassis seems ok, at least for Raikkonen (he did post fastest lap in Melbourne) but they need more power and reliability if they are going to challenge again for a top spot. Norbert Haug will, I think, be saying much the same thing about now. 
One comment I will make about the Sepang race, the feed for English TV - picked up by Channel 9 in Australia - was terrible, particularly in the early part of the race. The Malaysian Director should be sent to any of the other circuits (or perhaps just watch another race on TV) and then have the term 'continuity' explained to him. I have never seen such a disjointed telecast, with the camera's jumping from place to place and offering no feel for what is happening in the race. Admittedly, by the end of the telecast it was much better - Geoff H - Australia

The penalty was totally unfair. If there was any fault it was Michael's who came wide towards and touched Juan Pablo. Seems like the organizers don't like this newcomer (Montoya) to beat the untouchable and spoiled Michael. 
Even Schumacher stated that the penalty was too harsh on Montoya - Juan C - USA

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