Grand Prix in Preview: The Malaysian Grand Prix

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THE 2015 PETRONAS MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX

ROUND 2

Date: 29 March 2015

Name of Circuit: Sepang International Circuit

First Grand Prix: 1999

Type: Permanent, purpose built race track. Generally a free flowing, well-chambered layout.

Circuit Length: 5.543 km

Race Distance: 310.408 km

Laps: 56

Lap Record: 1:34.223 – Juan Pablo Montoya (2004) / Williams BMW

Tyre Allocation: Hard (orange rimmed tyre walls) and Medium (white rimmed tyre walls).

DRS Zones: Two, with two separate detection points (Pit straight & between Turn 14 and 15)

2014

Pole: Lewis Hamilton – 1:59.431 (Mercedes)

Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton -1:43.066, Mercedes (lap 53)

Winner: Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

Sepang International Circuit

 

This track is one of the most demanding on the calendar for tyres and drivers. Last year, it even hospitalized a pilot for acute dehydration. With the best rated facilities, teams and fans arrive at this tropical wonderland already drenched in sweat and excitement. Stifling storms often rampage over the course, creating an unpredictable spectacle. Often results are decided by pinpoint weather reading, or on the most part, luck. Its swaying chambers help shape this race into a jungle of testing corners, putting the cars agility and drivers fitness on edge. How is it so easy, that a driver can lose 5kg of fluid in a venue that is permanently soaked in humidity? The final straight is long and drivers are able to “rest” before diving into a steady parabola that sends them on their way again onto another gruellingly hot lap. The greenery that surrounds the track is lush, with many grass embankments for fans to sit on. Perhaps the most impressive part of the track for fans are turns 5, 6, 7 and 8. Look too late and you might miss the cars all together. They flash through a quick S turn before throwing the car right for the final time at turn 7 and 8, making two apexes into 1. These corners are reminiscent to Maggots and Beckets that we will enjoy later on in the year.

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What to Expect

This weekend you can get your wellies and umbrellas at the ready. It’s going to be a wet one. On the results side, you can once again expect a Mercedes domination. Ferrari will be eager to equalise, or even better their previous performance in Melbourne whilst fending off Williams, which comes with an excited Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull will be trying to bring its Renault power unit as close to the front of the pack as possible. However, at an estimated 100bhp down, the team will be looking to do some damage control. Thereafter, pundits cannot be sure on who will fill the next slots. As only 15 cars started in Australia along with other retirements, one can only guess where each team will land up after the race on Sunday. One thing is for sure though, Sauber and the improved Ferrari power units will be tantalizingly close to those that fill the shadows of Mercedes. Manor will start its first race whilst so does Fernando Alonso. There are questions if he will be able to raise the performance of McLaren. Odds are he will come in and around the top 10, but don’t bet on anything out of the ordinary. Neither car may even finish…. But as always in Formula One, one must expect the unexpected.

Revs for thought

 

Dane

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About dphansen24

I am an avid freelance Formula 1 writer and blogger. My writings are diverse and range from historical insights, to thorough and exciting analysis of the modern era and the topics that come with it. I am also able to take in requests from readers that wish to gain vision into particular stories. All are welcome. I encourage constructive criticism and conversation in comments or via email. My passion for the world’s fastest show consumes my daily efforts and I am always enthused to write about the sport I love most. Even as a pundit, I too have a curiosity and am always ready to learn more about an ever expanding sport.

Posted on March 25, 2015, in Grand Prix in Preview and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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