Monsoon Rain - Malaysian GP 2009

Monsoon Rain - Malaysian GP 2009 Imagine a race weekend where late afternoon monsoon rains are a dead cert, midday rains are a sure bet and even a morning downpour is not out of the question. Welcome to Sepang, Malaysia. Situated about an hour out of Kuala Lumpar next to the international airport, it is the home of Malaysia's Formula One race.

The Sepang International Circuit is the first of a new breed to be designed by the German architect Hermann Tilke in 1999. With its mixture of fast flowing undulating high speed corners combined with the slow low-gear overtaking corners at the end of the long straights, the circuit offers the first real glimpse of the cars' performance. Albert Park in Melbourne is a great event to start the year, but it's here where the true performance of the cars can be measured.

Unfortunately, even before the show had started, politics took centre stage. Lewis Hamilton and the McLaren Team had in the eyes of the Australian stewards, not been completely honest in their assessment of the truth in the incident involving Jarno Trulli and Lewis during the final safety car period of the Australian Grand Prix. As a photographer, I am not privy to the inside information regarding such matters, but it does seem an awful shame that a team that has had so much experience of Formula 1 politics and its ramifications chose again to let itself be opened up and pulled apart by the world's media. I'm sure the suspension of Dave Ryan has rocked those team members who have served so loyally with him throughout the 35 or so years they have spent together at McLaren. I hope they have stood by him away from the cameras.

As for Lewis, it's the last thing he needs at the moment. His car is not working as he would have wanted or expected, and now another round of the wrong media attention is surely going to make for an uncomfortable couple of weeks. A lone Press conference on Saturday was an attempt to put the record straight where he admitted to this being the 'Worst Day Of His Life'. I'm sure he's had more unhappy moments than this in his life, if not, he is indeed a lucky young man in one respect. On the other hand, it must be awful to be part of something that has caused so much unhappiness for everyone involved. At least he has the courtesy to keep his fans happy. As I walked into the paddock on Sunday morning, a small group of passionate! Hamilton fans chased him down screaming 'Lewis Lewis'. He stopped, he smiled, he cuddled them and posed for pictures. Whatever the truth behind what happened in the stewards' office in Australia, it was refreshing to see him showing the side of him that the fans adore. He could easily have done what some of the other drivers do and swat them away like flies. I'm sure he felt like doing it, but somehow I don't think that's his game.

As far as the race goes, well, we all got a bit wet didn't we!

Great for Jenson and the Brawn team, just a shame it all ended in a bit of a damp squib! It was interesting to see the 'kers v non kers' spectacle in effect. Watching Mark Webber all over Fernando Alonso in the fast sweeping corners then into the braking zones only to be blown away on the straights was great viewing, if a little frustrating for 'Webbo' one can imagine. More of that please...

To enjoy my images from the Malaysian Grand Prix, please visit the formula 1 section of the website and select Malaysia 2009.

posted on 6th April 2009 08:00amview comments (4)leave a comment