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SBD Global/March 27, 2014/Events and Attractions
F1 Arrives In Kuala Lumpur Overshadowed By MH370 Tragedy, Off-Track Troubles
Published March 27, 2014
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OFF-TRACK TROUBLES: The AP reported F1 heads to its second race of the season this weekend in Malaysia "with the reigning champion team threatening to withdraw from the sport, the result of the first race still under protest, and race promoters in revolt over the sound of the cars." The "off-track strife has obscured the sporting promise provided by the season opener in Australia." However "the sport's apparent eagerness to attach a cloud to every silver lining was on show again immediately after the checkered flag fell at Albert Park." Second-place finisher Daniel Ricciardo "was disqualified from his home race for exceeding the new limits on fuel flow." Red Bull Team Owner Dietrich Mateschitz raised the stakes further by saying that "such disputes will be of more importance than money when it comes to deciding whether the energy drink maker stays in the sport beyond the short term." Mateschitz said, "The question is not so much whether it makes economic sense but the reasons would be to do with sportsmanship, political influence, and so on" (AP, 3/26).
ENGINE ISSUES: REUTERS' Alan Baldwin wrote engine manufacturer Renault said that most of the engine problems suffered by its cars at the season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix "have been resolved." Renault supplies world champions Red Bull, its sister team Toro Rosso, Lotus and Caterham "with the new V6 turbocharged power units." Of the four teams, "only Toro Rosso scored points in Melbourne." Renault Sport F1 track operations head Remi Taffin said in a preview for Sunday's race at Sepang that "the manufacturer was optimistic of a better showing two weeks on." Taffin: "We had several issues across the cars in Melbourne but we have recreated the problems in the dyno at Viry (the factory in France). Most are fixed and the remaining (ones) will be under control by Friday in Sepang" (REUTERS, 3/26).