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Say what? The best of race radio in Malaysia

01 Apr 2015

"Can I pass these people, because they are not even trying to catch the safety car?" From Kimi Raikkonen's frustration through to unusual grid requests, live weather reporting and Ferrari's emotional triumph, we bring you the best sound bites from a dramatic weekend in Sepang...

FP1, and Jenson Button and Felipe Massa sum up the mood of the field as drivers struggle for early grip despite the heat...
“How are the tyre temperatures, because it feels very low grip…” (Button)
“Okay so track is not really great. Grip, especially on the rear, and traction is not good.” (Massa)

Into FP2, and shortly after his first run on the medium tyre is scuppered by Marussia’s Roberto Merhi spinning at Turn 11, Vettel suffers a similar fate...
“Okay box, I spun in Turn 11. [The tyres] are pretty flat-spotted... I would change the order: I would prefer to do the long run on primes.”

Later in the same session Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen makes a breakthrough after experimenting with various lines and braking points throughout what is his first day of running at the Sepang circuit...
“On my last lap I found a good braking shape for Turn 9. Left rear locking.”

FP3, and a move by Lotus’s Romain Grosjean punctures Kimi Raikkonen’s usual laconic Finnish drawl...
“This guy has just tried to go inside of me when I tried to pass him - he just turned in.”

Qualifying, and in Q1 both Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg do their best impressions of weather forecasters...
“I can see rain coming…” (Sainz)
“Oh I can see the thunder is very close to us. It’s going to chuck down soon…” (Hulkenberg)

Q2, and with rain imminent, Mercedes leave Nico Rosberg in no doubt about the need to nail his first lap...
“Very urgent, very urgent. First lap will be it - first lap will be it.”

Lewis Hamilton is slightly exasperated after being hindered by traffic and only just scraping through Q2 in eighth...
“You guys got me out too far behind everyone, man.” (Hamilton)
“Yeah Lewis, engine didn’t fire up for some reason. We’ll investigate afterwards.” (Hamilton’s race engineer Peter Bonnington)

Heading into the final minutes, and Rosberg asks if Mercedes can tell him anything about what the fastest person on track - which happens to be his team mate - is doing...
“The guy who is on first, is he doing dry lines nearly everywhere? Even braking?”
Mercedes reply that they can’t convey that sort of information.

On the starting grid ahead of the race, Hamilton has a rather unusual request as he sits in the cockpit amid sweltering heat...
“For future reference, it would be good to try and have something to keep my steering wheel cool, because it is roasting.”

Despite being in the thick of the action, Nico Hulkenberg is able to reflect on a phenomenal opening lap after coming through from 13th on the grid to seventh...
“Mega first lap so far.”

The safety car is called out for Marcus Ericsson’s spin, but Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen doesn’t think Sauber’s Felipe Nasr is doing enough as the restart approaches...
“Can I pass these people, because they are not even trying to catch the safety car?”

Nico Hulkenberg meanwhile is aghast after struggling to fend off a string of cars despite having the benefit of running in clean air, unlike those behind...
“I’m in the cleanest air you can possibly have…these guys are all over us!”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo also had rubber-related difficulties in the race...
“Struggling still with understeer in high speed. Struggle to stay with them, then I’m just killing the rears everywhere else.”

With Vettel closing on him rapidly, Rosberg asks Mercedes to clarify the dynamic of the chase - and whether he is effectively racing against his compatriot on the road. Mercedes suggest they are still planning a two-stop strategy, although this later becomes three for both Rosberg and Hamilton...
“Talk to me about the race against Vettel.” (Rosberg)
“Both of you have one more stop to make, Nico. He is on newer tyres, he will push to try and close the gap.” (Rosberg’s engineer Tony Ross)
“Say it to me simpler. So if he goes by me, he’s won? He’s beat me then?” (Rosberg)
“A-ffirm, a-ffirm.” (Ross)

McLaren might not have made the strongest of starts to the season, but Jenson Button hasn’t lost his sense of humour as he remarks on their improving race pace in Malaysia...
“I’m a little bit surprised, we seem to be catching cars - quite a few cars...”

Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez clash at Turn 12, with the Frenchman tapped into a high-speed spin as he looks for a way around the outside. Understandably, he’s not amused, but manages to refrain from any bad language...
“What a… just check there is no damage. Can’t believe it!”

Hamilton senses the race slipping away from him after pitting and being handed a set of hard compounds, not mediums, for what needs to be a late charge to overhaul the lead Ferrari...
“This is the wrong tyre man...”

With Mercedes’ still hopeful of catching Vettel in the final stages of the race, Hamilton complains of confusing messages from the pit wall:
“I can hear you. I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing. Paddy says I might be doing another stop.”
The reigning world champion's ire is raised further by subsequent correspondence from his engineer...
“Hey man don’t talk to me through the corners! I nearly just went off!”

Vettel is able to control the gap, however, and takes the chequered flag to seal Ferrari’s first triumph in 34 races - much to the delight of the staff on the Italian team's pit wall...
"Yes, yes, yes! Great drive, well done. Numero Uno is back - top class. Fantastico. Ferrari is back! Fantastico, fantastico."

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