Hello and welcome to Day 9 of the F1 Advent Calendar 2010, brought to you by Sidepodcast. We're about a third of the way through the series now, and have recapped a couple of the races of the year so far. It must be about time we moved onwards to Malaysia - Day 9, Bob and weave.
Another weekend, another bout of rain, and whilst concerns over the prospects of the season with new regulations still remained, the weather was doing it's best to make up for any shortfall of racing excitement. Qualifying for the Malaysian GP saw the weather turn damp, and there were some surprising casualties.
As per usual, most of the faster drivers waited in their garages during the first part of Q1, waiting for the others to get some banker laps in, and for the track to get faster. It was a bad decision, though, as the rain swept in, and the lap times dropped considerably. That meant in one fell swoop, Massa, Hamilton and Alonso were knocked out before Q2. Button managed to set a time that would have got him through to Q2, but he lost control of the car and got stuck in the gravel. He couldn't participate in the second session, so he started 17th. With Ferrari and McLaren way down the order, the top of the timesheets was open for Red Bull to take their third pole position of the year, only this time it was Mark Webber who steered his way to P1.
By race day, things had dried up, but with so many out of position cars, it was bound to entertain. The first lap saw a lot of position changes. Barrichello stalled on the grid and went nowhere, ending up last by the time he got going again. Vettel sped past second place Rosberg and fellow Red Bull driver Webber to take the lead. Further down, Hamilton and Massa rocketed up from 20th and 21st on the grid to 13th and 14th respectively - both passing Button who had started ahead of them.
Hamilton was fired up, and over the next four laps, he overtook four cars, one per lap, eventually getting stuck behind Petrov, and sitting in 10th place. Further back, Massa couldn't get past Buemi, and Hamilton's nearest rivals found themselves held up behind the Toro Rosso train.
Lewis was clearly not ready for his charge to end, and he dived past Petrov on the fifth lap to try and make a move. Vitaly was having none of it though, and managed to keep the Renault in front. Lewis made the same move a couple of laps later, and finally made it stick around the final corner. The Renault was close behind as Hamilton headed down the main straight, and suddenly, he weaved from left to right, four times. It was clearly a deliberate action, but was it really to try and keep Petrov behind him? Over the radio, Hamilton defended his position by saying: "I wasn't weaving for him, I was weaving to break the tow."
Cue immediate controversy. The stewards looked into the incident and Hamilton was given a warning for unsportsmanlike behaviour. Afterwards, Renault were not best pleased about the situation and team boss Éric Boullier said: "He got a warning for dangerous driving, but I am not sure it is enough. It is definitely clearly written in the regulations that you can not do any more than one direction change, and it is something you should not be doing."
It seems obvious that Hamilton would have got past and stayed past Petrov without the need for any weaving. He was on a charge and finished the race 6th, after starting 20th. However, being fired up can lead to some slight errors in judgements, and Lewis was lucky to get away with just a warning this time.
That's all for this episode of the F1 Advent Calendar 2010. I hope you're enjoying the series, and reliving the memories of the season just gone. Let us know your thoughts in the comments on Sidepodcast.com, and join me again tomorrow when we reach Day 10.
All content in the series F1 Advent Calendar 2010
Filed under Mini Series
References Éric Boullier, Mark Webber
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