The 2014 F1 World Championship continues at the popular Sepang circuit in Malaysia this weekend with Brackley-based Mercedes looking to build on their opening day victory.
Nico Rosberg dominated the first race of 2014 in Australia two weeks ago and, although he was an early retirement from the race, Lewis Hamilton also showed why Mercedes were many people’s pre-season favourites by taking pole.
However, despite victory in Australia, the Mercedes team are travelling to Malaysia with guarded optimism as other teams on the grid have been working hard during the last two weeks to improve their performance levels.
Mercedes team boss, Toto Wolff, said: “Nico Rosberg drove superbly to win the first race of the season and it was a good start for the team. It was a shame Lewis retired from the race, but his pace in qualifying managed to show everyone that we have a good package this season.
“We know all the other teams will be working hard to catch us up, so this weekend in Malaysia our desire is to win again and score as many points as possible to enable us to stay ahead of everyone else.”
With reigning world champion, Sebastian Vettel, a retirement from the race and Daniel Ricciardo losing his second position finish due to a technical infringement, the Red Bull team endured a tough start to the season to give further encouragement to rivals, including Silverstone’s Force India, who saw both Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez pick up points in Melbourne.
Perez said: “I finished 11th but gained a point due to Ricciardo’s exclusion. Every point for the team counts and I hope that I will be able to improve my finish this weekend at Sepang. It is a good track and I like it and I believe will suit our Force India-Mercedes cars.”
Part Bicester-based Toro Rosso also started their 2014 season well. Jean-Eric Vergne and his Russian team-mate, 19-year-old Daniil Kvyat, both drove into the points.
Kvyat, the reigning GP3 Series champion, said this week: “It was great to score points on my F1 debut. It was a very good start to the season and for my association with Toro Rosso.”