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Talking Points: Malaysian Grand Prix

  |  March 25, 2013

Marussia's Jules Bianchi drove another impressive race at Sepang. Pic: Samul Said/Reuters
Marussia's Jules Bianchi drove another impressive race at Sepang.  Pic: Samul Said/Reuters

Gary Meenaghan looks at five key issues coming out of the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix.

Jean-Eric Vergne The Frenchman finished 10th, but was left biting his nails after a pit-lane incident saw his result thrown into jeopardy. The FIA decided not to dock the Toro Rosso driver points for a crash that was caused by his team releasing him from a pit stop into the path of Caterham’s Charles Pic. They did, however, fine the team €10,000 (Dh 47,000).

Force India Bob Fernley’s boys have looked impressive all weekend, but an issue with the system charged with changing the front-left wheel proved unsurmountable. First Adrian Sutil suffered a substantial delay in the pit box, then Paul di Resta suffered the same fate. Both cars were eventually retired so the team could fully understand the problem.

Fernando Alonso The Ferrari driver looked to be the story of the day after a first-lap collision with Sebastian Vettel left him with a damaged front wing. With the wing causing sparks under the car, the Spaniard was expected to pit, but chose to stay out to hold second position. The decision backfired as the wing shattered under the g-force of the long home straight and he ploughed into the gravel.

Jules Bianchi Impressive for a second successive race, there is already talk generating that Bianchi will not last the season at Marussia. The Frenchman, who was the only driver with no previous experience of driving at Sepang, finished 13th and three places ahead of teammate Max Chilton. With the 23 year old at the wheel, a points finish suddenly no longer seems unlikely.

Jenson Button What was it we said about McLaren-Mercedes shooting themselves in the foot? The 2009 world champion conceded last night that, were it not for a botched pit stop that saw Button leave his pit box with his front-right tyre not properly attached, a podium was in the offing for the once-illustrious marque. Same old story.