New Rules Still Largely Untold: It Will Be A Cracking Race Though!

Antony HerbertAnalyst IIIApril 3, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - APRIL 03:  Mark Webber of Australia and Red Bull Racing drives on his way to finishing first during qualifying for the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at the Sepang Circuit on April 3, 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

What a beauty of a qualifying session that was. Disastrous decisions by Ferrari and Mclaren left them flushed out in the first part of qualifying. Their choice to remain in the pits as they expected the weather to improve was clumsy and costly. It resulted in an odd and mixed up grid formation.

Jenson Button did manage to make it into the second session through his lap time, but a spin in the latter stages of part one meant that he could not compete any further.

He complained of aquaplaning off the track, and whilst this may be true, it was highly evident that he was a metre away from the racing line when the incident occurred.

For the championship contenders it was Red Bull who took advantage. Mark Webber took an inspired pole position, being over a second quicker than Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes and his Red Bull team mate Vettel in third.

The Australian’s triumph was the conclusion of a superb judgement to take intermediate tyres onto the track when the session restarted.

More intrigue followed in the form of Force India, Sauber, Renault and Williams who each forced the pair of their cars into the top twelve.

Even as midfeild drivers they will surely provide a blockage to the Ferrari’s and Mclaren’s aims of edging their way through the pack.

This is an exciting prospect. It continues from the glorious spectacle that we were gifted in Melbourne. Weather also played a major part in creating that show stopper.

Yet it does still detract from our initial reactions to the Grand Prix of Bahrain. We were left in dismay at that bore war, that was reportedly a consequence of the rule changes to ban refuelling.

Whilst many drivers were right to criticise those who called for the immediate cancellation of that rule, we still have little to improve our opinions of it.

For a short term fix the Grand Prix tomorrow looks set to produce plenty of fireworks.

From a long term perspective we still need a visible outlook on what the action may hold in normal racing conditions. It is only when we are offered this that we can make a proper informed decision for the remainder of the year.

After all to catch and overtake a vastly slower car will be easy. Yet to catch and pass someone of a relative and only slightly slower pace may prove difficult or sometimes impossible.

Jenson Button in 17th should make light work of Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen in their Virgin and Lotus cars respectively. He may even find a way past the likes of Pedro de la Rosa in his Sauber and Liuzzi in the Force India.

What will be of greater importance is the prospect of what would happen if he remained stuck to the back of a driver such as Michael Schumacher or Adrian Sutil. They would be stubborn in his attempts of overtaking them and rightfully so.

Whether Button could reach this point will be revealed tomorow. Yet it could provide us with the required and enhanced ideas as to whether the refuelling ban has actually affected the sport in a detrimental fashion.

For the time being we are afforded awesome predicted scenes when the lights go out in Sepang. So far removed from Bahrain will be the events that we will be witness to.

It is then for us to head Europe in the inevitability that we will eventually be given another Grand Prix featuring uncompromising weather conditions. Only then will we garner an improved opinion of this years rules.