A number of dark clouds seem to be looming over the forthcoming Malaysia Grand Prix, scheduled to take place this weekend (March 30) at the Sepang International Circuit. While the general mood in the country is somber due to the disappearance (and evident crash) of Mayalsia jetliner 370, Red Bull is still upset over the disqualification of second place finisher Daniel Ricciardo in Australia last weekend for exceeding the new limits on fuel flow. The team is blaming the new engine malfunction on a FIA-approved sensor fitted to each car. A decision regarding their appeal of the disqualification will be held following the third race in Bahrain on April 14th.
In addition, Dietrich Mateschitz, owner of the Red Bull team stated that similar disputes “will be have more impact than money” when it comes to deciding if the energy drink producer decides to “remain a player in the sport beyond the short term.”
''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,'' Mateschitz told Austrian newspaper Kurier. ''In these issues there is a clear limit to what we can accept.''
In addition, there has been some major infighting within the F1 ranks concerning the “lack of sound, made by the new V-6 engines, which seem to “purr” in contract to the old V-8 roars that excited fans and kept drivers aware of the competition. In fact, word has it that former chief of the Australian Grand Prix, Ron Walker, even threatened to sue for breach of contract and warned that the sound of the new engines will be “a major talking point at a scheduled meeting of grand prix promoters next month.” Like Bernie Ecclestone, Walker has been a strong opponent of the ecologically more friendly engines.