“How many times have I said ‘Any­thing can hap­pen in For­mula 1 – and it usu­ally does?’”

F1 Racing - - CHEQUERED FLAG -

The an­swer is: more times than I re­call. But, as it hap­pens, I’ve never spo­ken a truer word (or ten, to be pedan­tic), for what hap­pened at this year’s form-up­set­ting Malaysian Grand Prix was way be­yond any­body’s ex­pec­ta­tions.

I watched the race be­fore head­ing off to open the en­larged Sammy Miller Mo­tor Cy­cle Mu­seum at New Mil­ton, to­gether with my old friend John Sur­tees. When I got there Il Grande John, as the ti­fosi used to call him, was un­der­stand­ably wreathed in smiles fol­low­ing Se­bas­tian Vet­tel’s victory for Fer­rari. As one of the all-time great Fer­rari driv­ers and the 1964 F1 world cham­pion (on top of his seven mo­tor­cy­cle world cham­pi­onships) I sup­pose he could be ac­cused of par­ti­san­ship – but then so could I and so, I am sure, could many thou­sands of fans world­wide.

Af­ter this year’s Aus­tralian Grand Prix, there was gen­eral gloom and de­spon­dency about the as­sumed monotony of Mercedes go­ing even bet­ter than their 2014 suc­cess – or McLaren’s in 1988 – by win­ning ev­ery race. Not that they didn’t de­serve to af­ter plainly do­ing a bet­ter job than the oth­ers. But not many peo­ple want to see

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