A little delayed, but here are our top 5 from the Malaysian grand prix.  Enjoy!

(c) Getty redbull.com

In at 1 it’s the wonder-boy Sebastian Vettel.  Pole in Bahrain, pole in Australia… but only 12 points garnered from both combined (which under the new points system is rather measly).  But it was 3rd time lucky for Vettel who deservedly took the top step on the podium at Malaysia.  Although he can’t afford the unreliability and mishaps of last year, and in the previous 2 races.

This season, due to the points overhaul, the rewards for winning are so high that even a couple of ‘off’ races could see the championship going down the drain.  Repeat after me, the single most important thing in Formula 1 is… reliability, reliability, reliability.

A storm brews over the Sepang circuit (c) Getty

At 2 I would like to raise my hat to the weather!  The grand prix itself may have been dry, but a stormy qualifying meant a momentous shake-up of the grid, and therefore a far more topsy turvey and exciting race.  Last year it rained so much the Malaysian circuit practically turned into the Pacific ocean!  Brilliant.  I don’t like rain normally, but in the world of F1 a little bit of rain goes a long way.

So F1 has done cities, mountains, coasts, rain, deserts, heat, but never…. snow!  Never say never.

At 3 it’s climber of the day, Lewis Hamilton.  20th on the grid, to 6th at the chequered flag is not too shabby at all.  I don’t like trumpeting about Lewis’ talents too much.  The man already has some serious ego issues, and singing his praises would only be counter-productive.  But on this occasion I will admit that he was mighty impressive.

All he needs now is some modesty and wisdom, and then he will truly be a complete driver.

In at number 4 are the often neglected rookie teams!  Malaysia was a stunning success for the 3 teams who only joined the ranks at the beginning of this season.  Virgin Racing managed to finish at last (one car out of two is a good start), Trulli finished 5 laps down for Lotus, and HRT… got both of its cars to the finish line!  Impressive stuff.  Next hurdle: to finish both cars without being lapped.

At 5 it’s the rapidly forming 8-way battle for the championship.  Last year it was great to see ‘rookie’ team Brawn GP and veterans of F1, Jenson and Rubens, taking wins after wins at the beginning of the season.  However, it is miles more exciting to see Massa, Alonso, Vettel, Button, Rosberg, Hamilton, Kubica and Webber all in the hunt as we head to China this weekend.

Michael starts a new craze: the solo Mexican wave

This week I’m pretty miffed about Michael Schumacher.  Ok, so we’re only three races in so far, and a mechanical failure is hardly Schumacher’s fault, right?  But I’m miffed all the same.  This isn’t the Schumacher of yore, winning left right and centre, perhaps cheating a little, and never ever having reliability issues.

Yet this season he’s slower than team-mate Rosberg, more mistake-prone, and is beginning to have the luck of Mark Webber.  Could we be seeing a mysterious and oh-so-convenient return of the ‘neck injury’ which prevented Schumacher’s return last season?  Why else would Mercedes have such an accomplished test driver in the form of Nick Heidfeld, other than for the replacement of Schumacher if it all goes tits up?