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Friday, March 21, 2008

Malaysia practice...

Hamilton on top in session 2, Ferrari shows pace

The lack of driver aides again helped contribute to exciting sessions on the track for the first day of running at the Sepang circuit.

Lewis Hamilton again showed speed, as did Ferrari, but one has to wonder at the number of Ferrari engines that have failed over the past couple of weeks, not only for Big Red, but for customers Force India and Toro Rosso.

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The great ECU conspiracy, or how did the FIA think this was going to go down?

Just about any problem from the past two weeks has at some point been tied to the new standardized ECU -- Reubens being distracted in the pit lane before running the red light at Melbourne, the end of Kimi's Australian GP, Ferrari engine woes -- just to name a few. While I find the concept of the standardized ECU distasteful, and not in the spirit of F1, you would think someone at the FIA would have thought, "Gee, having a McLaren subsidiary build the damn thing might not be a good idea."

All with a stake will tell you that the McLaren race team and ECU builder are separate companies, but it certainly doesn't help the image when McLaren's competition suffers failures while the Silver Arrows storm off into the distance. Plus, the things run hot. Dangerous as well?

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How is this guy worth this much money?

Another year, another delicate Adrian Newey design. Red Bull has high hopes for the Newey/Renault package this year, but it is notable that for the second week in a row David Coulthard's car has disintegrated around him after a racing incident. Last week it was a coming together with Massa. Massa drove on, DC was left with a monocoque. This time around it was a run over a kerb that led to bits flying and (most) wheels held on by their tethers. One wonders how the thing passed it crash test. Meanwhile teammate Webbo had issues of his own...
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