Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Malaysian GP: McLaren serves a warning

The 1-2 finish at the Malaysian GP would have come a boost to Ron Dennis and his team. The new drivers for the 'silver and red' outfit this season - Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton - have come good with podium finishes in the first two GPs of 2007.

Alonso's great start to the season would have been expected. After all, his ability to consistently finish at the top is perhaps the reason why the team signed the two-time defending world champion. However, the team would be particularly pleased with Hamilton's successes. The rookie has had a fabulous start to his F-1 career, and McLaren would be proud that a talented driver like him has come through the team's driver development programme.

What is interesting to note is the consistency shown by the team so far this season. The team has surely put in good work during the winter testing to bring out a car that - even after two races - looks more convincing and reliable than those in the last few seasons.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikonnen must be wondering why did he not have such a car during the 2005 season. Raikonnen, who was at McLaren then, lost out in the title race to Alonso in the Renault. Many believed that Raikonnen deserved the title for his sublime skills and speed, only to be done in by an underperforming car.

But do not rule out Ferrari and Raikonnen yet. Or even Felipe Massa for that matter. After all, Raikonnen was alongside Alonso and Hamilton on the podium at Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur. Massa started on pole in Malaysia (refer 'Massa takes pole'.) The prancing horse may have been slightly (very slightly) inconsistent compared to their arch-rivals McLaren, but there's still a long way to go before we can pass judgement on this season's winners.

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