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Christopher Bruce2013-03-25 13:09:59

Weekend Motorsport Review: Excitement in Malaysia

First-time winners in the IndyCar Series and repeat winners in WTCC

 
 
Slideshow
Vettel won in Malaysia but may have taken a public relations hit for how he did it

It was an exciting weekend of racing no matter how you look at it. Formula 1 had one of its most exciting races in ages both for on-track action and politically. The IndyCar Series opener got a first-time winner, and many of the top drivers falling out of the race. In the WTCC a series stalwart controlled the weekend. 

Formula 1

If Formula 1 keeps up like this, we are going to have a very exciting season. The race was an absolute circus from the very beginning. The oddities started from the beginning when Alonso broke his wing and did not go into the pits when his team was ready to repair it. Just past the pit entry, the wing collapsed and knocked him out of the race. Then there was the farce that was the pit stops with Hamilton going to the wrong pit, cars colliding, Force IndiaVJM06Force India VJM06India, 2013 > 20137 photos
getting its wheel nuts stuck and Jenson Button not having his wheel completely connected.

Of course, there is the argument over team orders with Red Bull and Mercedes. If you missed the race, both MercedesW04Mercedes-Benz W04Germany, 2013 > 20133 photos
and Red BullRB9Red Bull RB9Austria, 2013 > 201310 photos
had to tell its drivers to slow down and not race their teammate - specifically Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg. Rosberg listened to Ross Brawn and stayed behind Hamilton but complained loudly. Vettel, though, ignored the orders to slow down and passed Webber.

Your opinion on what happened during the race is likely colored by how much you feel racing is a team sport. Vettel was faster and was able to pass Webber and stay ahead. The extra points could mean a fourth world championship for him. That is racing. Rosberg shows the counter argument. A driver's job is to bring the team wins, and it is their job to listen to their boss. 

The next race is the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai on April 14. 

IndyCar Series

The IndyCar Series had its season opener at the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in Florida, and it was also a very weird race. Last year's champion, Ryan Hunter-Reay, finished 18th of 25 cars. The winner was James Hinchcliffe who scored his first win in his three years of IndyCar competition.

The HondaHondaHondaJapan, 1948 > present102 models
2432 photos
10 videos
-powered cars struggled with its top car in fifth and only three cars in the top 10. ChevroletChevroletChevroletUnited States of America, 1911 > present82 models
3567 photos
7 videos
is the only other engine supplier this season. 

The series' next race is the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park on April 7. 

World Touring Car Championship

Series stalwart Yvan Muller won both of the races at the opening WTCC races at Monza. It is especially surprising because he drives for Chevrolet, which stepped away from having a factory-backed team in the WTCC this year. The Chevrolet CruzesCruze WTCCChevrolet Cruze WTCCUnited States of America, 2009 > present7 photos
mostly dominated the weekend by taking the top three positions in race one and top two positions in race two. Gabriele Tarquini was the only driver to break the Chevrolet dominance by taking third place in race two in his Honda CivicCivic WTCCHonda Civic WTCCJapan, 2012 > present5 photos

The next race will be at Circuit Moulay El Hassan in Marrakech on April 6 and 7.

NASCAR

Kyle Busch won the Autoclub 400 in his Toyota CamryCamry 8  Toyota Camry 8 Japan, 2011 > present19 versions
31 photos
and led 125 laps. The win moved him up to sixth place in the series championship. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a 12-point lead in the championship. The next race is at Martinsville Speedway on April 7. 

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