Formula One

 
          === F1: Rosberg takes winning momentum into Malaysian GP ===
 
 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (SportsNetwork.com) - After the first grand prix of the
 season  earlier this  month  in  Melbourne, Australia,  it  appears that  Nico
 Rosberg from Mercedes is a serious contender for this year's Formula One world
 championship.
 
 Rosberg led all 57 laps and crossed the finish line almost 25 seconds ahead of
 his  closest  competitor, Red  Bull  newcomer  Daniel  Ricciardo, to  win  the
 Australian Grand Prix. Ricciardo, though, was disqualified and stripped of his
 18 championship points for finishing second after race stewards determined his
 car  had run with too high a fuel flow rate (exceeded consistently the maximum
 allowed fuel flow of 100 kg per hour) during the event.
 
 The  Australian GP  marked  the competition  debut of  the  new 1.6-liter,  V6
 turbocharged power unit.
 
 F1  is in Malaysia  this weekend. The Malaysian Grand Prix will be a huge test
 for teams with the power unit. With air temperatures above 90 degrees and high
 humidity,  this race has  the potential to be the hottest one of the year, and
 with   around  two-thirds  of  a  lap  conducted  at  full  throttle,  cooling
 performance is expected to play a big part.
 
 Rosberg  scored his  fourth career F1 victory in Australia. His best finish in
 Malaysia is third, which came in 2010. He finished fourth here last year.
 
 "It's  been a fantastic start to the season," Rosberg said. "I think the whole
 team  has done a great job with these new regulations, with the car and engine
 and  powertrain  that they've built.  It was great to  win the first race, for
 sure."
 
 Ricciardo,  an Australian,  is hoping to rebound from his incident in his home
 race.
 
 "I've  obviously had  a bit  of time  to  get over  it, so  I'm alright  now,"
 Ricciardo  said.  "It's not  the news you  want to hear  when you're trying to
 celebrate."
 
 Red Bull has filed an appeal to F1's governing body, the FIA, over Ricciardo's
 exclusion  from the race results in Melbourne. The appeal hearing is scheduled
 for April 14, the Monday before the Chinese Grand Prix.
 
 Regardless of the fuel discrepancy, Ricciardo had a very impressive debut with
 Red Bull in the Australian GP.
 
 "I  really  feel proud how the  weekend went, and whatever happened afterwards
 was  not in my  control," he said. "I am very happy with how I approached that
 weekend  and  how the team performed,  especially coming out of a rather bumpy
 Bahrain [preseason] testing. So all in all, it was very promising.
 
 "Whether  or not I  get the 18 points, it has given me a lot of confidence for
 the rest of the season. I somehow still feel that I came in second."
 
 Ricciardo's  teammate,  Sebastian Vettel,  the  four-time  defending F1  world
 champion, retired in the opening laps of the Australian GP when his power unit
 failed. But Vettel was encouraged with Red Bull's outcome in Melbourne, as the
 team  showed signs  of progress  with the  reliability of  its cars.  Red Bull
 experienced  numerous technical issues in pre-season tests at Jerez, Spain and
 Sakhir, Bahrain.
 
 "We still have a lot of work to do with the car, but it was encouraging to see
 that our pace was better than expected in Australia," Vettel said. "Hopefully,
 we  can build on  that and start collecting some strong points in the next two
 races."
 
 Vettel  has won  three of the last  four Malaysian GPs, including a victory in
 this race one year ago.
 
 Formula  One officials and Malaysian race organizers are planning a tribute to
 the  239  people aboard Malaysia Airlines  Flight 370, which vanished March 8.
 Sepang  Circuit,  the site of  the Malaysian GP,  is located just moments away
 from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where the ill-fated flight MH370 took
 off.
 
 Series: Formula One. Date: Sunday, March 30. Race: Malaysian Grand Prix. Site:
 Sepang International Circuit. Track: 3.444-mile (5.543-kilometer), 15-turn
 road course. Start Time: 4 a.m. ET. Laps: 56. Miles: 192.887 (310.408 km).
 2013 Winner: Sebastian Vettel. Television: NBC Sports Network.
 
 03/27 22:13:42 ET

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