With the grid in disarray overtaking was inevitable for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The big teams of Mclaren and Ferrari were ultimately given the opportunity to march their way through the field and leave others to admire in their tenacity, competence and ability.
For those who appear unable to halt their progress they face the safe option of a slightly stubborn battle which frequently leads to an unwelcome forfeit of the position.
Or they can put up an optimistic, although moderately hopeless fight.
Formula 1 is after all a spotlight for the underdogs to attempt a reversal of the form book. They will hope to conquer the more accomplished drivers and achieve overwhelming satisfaction if they can turn the impossible into a reality.
In today’s Malaysian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton edged effortlessly into the top ten, His embarrassing qualifying fiasco that left him far short of his pole position aspirations had at least some redemption in the aftermath.
After a collection of straightforward passes he then came across Russian Renault rookie Vitaly Petrov. At first Petrov seemed an easy overtake. As the youngster ran wide into turn fifteen the move looked done and dusted as Hamilton took the full opportunity to gain the position.
Yet it didnt end there.
Hamilton’s lethargic attitude left him vulnerable to a resurgent Petrov. He did not foresee a spirited fight back.
The Russian took complete advantage of Hamilton’s lapse in concentration and forced himself back ahead with a stunningly comfortable re-pass into turn one of the following lap.
The wonderfully cocky new talent left us in awe. Here was a driver unaware of our predicted expectations. He was not your typical apologetic underdog.
Later on Hamilton had to again seize the chance to make the move stick. He edged ahead on the inside of Petrov, but responded to the Renault drivers previous antics whilst charging down the main straight.
Petrov did not see Hamilton’s pass as the final resolution of the battle. He remained tucked up the backside of Hamilton’s exhaust pipe.
The response from the former champion momentarily put him under the unwanted spotlight of the racing stewards.
In a Schumacher style vision of driving the Brit weaved from one side of the track to the other in a repeated occurrence that showed a determined effort to disallow Petrov an echo of his previous heroics. The Russian mirrored Hamilton’s tactics but sadly this time it was in vain.
As a consequence to the battle Petrov will no doubt garner a solid reputation as a willing and gritty competitor. More in the way of this determination will be expected from him as he thrusts his career into being.
Alternative rookie drivers may also take note of his efforts and hope to portray a similar defiance against the big boys. These would be the drivers who usually see them as easy pickings.
Such a beautifully stubborn and arrogant stance can only improve the on track action which is so consistently demeaned by the sports critics.