Sebastian Vettel on Thursday admitted a dubious weather forecast for the Malaysian grand prix is making him excited, not nervous.
"Daniel (Ricciardo) showed in Melbourne that the car is fast on a wet track," the reigning world champion said at hot Sepang.
Recovering Red Bull, he suggested, needs some help from the skies to catch up with the new best team on the grid.
"Mercedes is still a step ahead," admitted the German.
What Vettel is not at all excited about, however, is the sound of the sport's new turbo V6 engines. He said sitting in a bar on a Saturday night is more noisy.
As for the new sound of F1, "It's shit," he told reporters in Malaysia.
Vettel said that if he had written the rules, "We'd have a nice V12 in the back of the cars".
A fellow world champion, however, didn't like the sound of all the moaning about the 'new' face of formula one.
He said complaining drivers like Vettel should "Go and race somewhere else if you're not happy here".
According to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, Felipe Massa also can't understand why drivers are suddenly complaining about the sound.
"We have known for years that the V6 with a turbo will not make the same sound as a V8," said the Brazilian. "So it makes no sense to be upset about it now."
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was reserving his judgement completely.
"If I say now that I think the show was bad (in Melbourne), then I will be accused of being frustrated because I didn't win," he said.
The other buzz words in the Sepang paddock are 'fuel flow', as uncertainty surrounds whether Red Bull will risk more disqualifications by once again ignoring the new FIA-supplied sensor.
Ricciardo, who lost his second place in Melbourne, said: "I trust the team to make the right decisions."
And Vettel also backed Red Bull to do the right thing for the team.
"Of course we are always trying to exploit everything to the limit -- but always within the rules," he said.
But Spaniard Alonso suggested he cannot understand Red Bull boss Christian Horner's claim that the accuracy of sensors will be the difference between success and failure.
"When it comes to incorrect measurements, we are talking about numbers after the decimel point," said the Ferrari driver.
"Nobody will win or lose a race (because of fuel flow)," he added.
Kimi Raikkonen, on the other hand, was taking issue with his own team.
After Melbourne, Ferrari quoted the Finn as having said the 2014 car's new brake-by-wire system is "definitely" a major reason he struggled for performance in Australia.
"Ah, I don't know where that (quote) came from," Raikkonen said on Thursday. "It's not the issue. There is nothing wrong with the system."
'Great' Vettel finally wins Laureus award
Sebastian Vettel has finally won the coveted Laureus world sportsman of the year award.
It was the Red Bull driver's fifth nomination since he began to dominate formula one with Red Bull several years ago.
But, according to an official Laureus statement issued after Wednesday's gala ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, only his 2013 triumph saw him "join motor racing legends Juan Manuel Fangio, Michael Schumacher and Alain Prost" in winning four titles, "but he did it more quickly than them".
"To be nominated for the award is a great honour for me and to win the award is truly very special," Vettel said after receiving the award in Malaysia.
"It is totally a very special moment for me as I can sit among the great sporting legends," he told a press conference.
The Laureus statement said Vettel, 26, is now "one of the greatest drivers of all time".
Vettel beat fellow nominees Usain Bolt and Mo Farah, both athletes, as well as basketball's Lebron James, tennis' Rafael Nadal and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo.
Alonso trying to 'destroy' Raikkonen - Villeneuve
Fernando Alonso is working hard to "destroy" his new teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
That is the view of F1's outspoken 1997 title winner Jacques Villeneuve, who acknowledged that the predictions of outright war between the two world champions have not yet been proved right.
But the psychological war, according to Villeneuve, has most certainly begun.
"Fernando's plan is obvious -- he wants to beat Kimi at all costs," said the French Canadian.
"In the tests it was all calm, but in Melbourne Fernando showed his true potential."
Indeed, Finn Raikkonen struggled with the handling of his 2014 Ferrari throughout the Melbourne weekend, while Spaniard Alonso comfortably beat him in qualifying and the race.
"In the first three races Fernando is trying to destroy Kimi psychologically and get the team to rally around him," Villeneuve said.
But Villeneuve tips Raikkonen to fight back.
"Kimi is not an 'iceman'," he insisted. "He has created this image to isolate himself, but like any driver, he doesn't like bad results.
"But I don't think Kimi fans should worry -- he also had problems with the handling in 2007 but he still became world champion.
"I think the rule changes will even play into his hands," Villeneuve told Germany's Sport Bild.
"In qualifying, Alonso will be faster, but this year that's not so important."
Fuel 'arguments' could return in Malaysia - Horner
Team boss Christian Horner is not ruling out more fuel-flow controversy for the next two race weekends in Malaysia and Bahrain.
Red Bull's appeal against the Daniel Ricciardo disqualification in Melbourne will not be heard by the FIA until after the forthcoming double-header.
Until then, Horner said on Wednesday that the reigning world champions are convinced they did nothing wrong in Australia by ignoring Charlie Whiting's advice and following the actual technical regulations to the letter.
The Telegraph also quoted him as questioning the behaviour of other teams, who are buying "hundreds" of the FIA-approved fuel sensors and choosing only to use the ones that allow the best performance.
"Whether there will be further arguments over the course of the next two weekends in Malaysia and Bahrain, ahead of the appeal hearing, remains to be seen," Horner told the British broadcaster Sky.
"Hopefully we'll have a sensor that works ... that there isn't a discrepancy.
"If there is a variance then it's something we will probably have to discuss with the FIA, and we probably won't be alone in that position," he added.
Mercedes switch no fluke for Williams - boss
Claire Williams has denied the British team simply lucked into being powered by the best F1 engine for the sport's new turbo V6 era.
Having struggled to just ninth in the 2013 standings with Renault power, Grove based Williams is now working with the field-leading Mercedes.
And the FW36 is regarded as probably the best 2014 car behind the works Mercedes.
Some think Williams simply lucked into the best engine for the revolutionary new era, but deputy boss Claire Williams insists that is not so.
"We were in our second year with Renault after a long history with them," she is quoted by Brazil's Totalrace.
"But we did a huge amount of research into understanding how Renault and the other manufacturers would go with the rule changes.
"It was obvious early last year where some of the manufacturers were in the developmental stage," Williams explained.
"We talked with Renault and Mercedes about it, and we decided to go with Mercedes. It was a very conscious decision," she added.
Williams admitted that the team's close ties to Mercedes' Toto Wolff - still a co-owner and also husband of test driver Susie - helped the talks along.
"We were able to exchange information with him," she revealed.
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