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Mar 25 2012

Formula One 2012: Sepang

Are the wheels coming off Formula One?

It would be irresponsible not to speculate.  All is not well in Ecclestone land.  His agreement with the Formula One Teams Association expires next season and despite sweetheart deals to keep Red Bull (easily the most financially committed Team sponsor) and Ferrari (some would argue the most historic marque) in line and claims to have a majority of teams in favor of a new arrangement, dissatisfaction is rampant among those getting the shaft and his attempts to raise $10 Billion in new capital through an IPO are stalling in a bad economy with even his pets refusing to invest and tracks looking for ways out of their unprofitable contracts.

Ferrari faces it’s third or fourth uncompetitive season in a row, Mercedes is about ready to bolt, and the field fillers are finding the Washington Generals too expensive losers.  Renault has never been happy and is distancing itself as fast as its contracts allow even though they produce what is probably the best and most reliable power plant.

And the cars are U-G-L-Y ugly.

Lotus Renault had an overnight fire that destroyed its hospitality suite and damaged its garage.  Raikkonen (whom I think is not having a bad return from retirement compared to Schumacher) and Kovalainen have 5 grid penalties for various violations.  It is cloudy and hot at Sepang.

Repeats @ 3 pm today and Noon Tuesday.

Pretty tables below.

Starting Grid

Grid Driver Team Q-Time Q-Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 01:36.219 14
2 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 01:36.368 14
3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 01:36.391 14
4 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 01:36.461 19
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 01:36.634 14
6 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 01:36.658 14
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 01:36.664 14
8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 01:37.566 16
9 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 01:37.698 17
10 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 01:36.461 13
11 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 01:37.589 14
12 Felipe Massa Ferrari 01:37.731 15
13 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 01:37.841 13
14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 01:37.877 15
15 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 01:37.883 14
16 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 01:37.890 13
17 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 01:38.069 12
18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 01:39.077 7
19 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 01:39.567 6
20 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 01:40.903 8
21 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 01:41.250 8
22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 01:42.914 4
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 01:43.655 6
24 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 01:39.306 9

Driver Standings

Rank Driver Team Points
1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 25
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 18
3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 15
4 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 12
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 10
6 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 8
7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 6
8 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 4
9 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 2
10 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1

Constructor Standings

Rank Team Points
1 McLaren-Mercedes 40
2 Red Bull Racing-Renault 30
3 Sauber-Ferrari 12
4 Ferrari 10
5 Lotus-Renault 6
6 STR-Ferrari 2
7 Force India-Mercedes 1

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