Malaysian Grand Prix Formula One race report
Formula One teams Malaysian Grand Prix race results
|4||Webber||Red Bull||56||+ 0:17.688|
|7||Di Resta||Force India||56||+ 0:44.412|
|8||Vergne||Toro Rosso||56||+ 0:46.985|
|9||Hulkenberg||Force India||56||+ 0:47.892|
|11||Vettel||Red Bull||56||+ 1:15.527|
|12||Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||56||+ 1:16.828|
|16||Petrov||Caterham||55||+ 1 Lap|
|17||Glock||Marussia||55||+ 1 Lap|
|18||Kovalainen||Caterham||55||+ 1 Lap|
|19||Maldonado||Williams||54||+ 2 Laps|
|20||Pic||Marussia||54||+ 2 Laps|
|21||Karthikeyan||HRT||54||+ 2 Laps|
|22||De la Rosa||HRT||54||+ 2 Laps|
Red Bull Racing
RED FLAGS, RADIOS, RAIN AND RACING…
Car 2 MARK WEBBER, Finish Position: 4th, Start Position: 4th
“It was busy with a lot of calls going on at the re-start and with the tyres. My stint on the intermediates after the red flag was tricky and I didn’t have much confidence. When I went onto the dry tyres, I felt much more confident, but it was a little bit too late then. You’ve got to take your hat off to Fernando and Perez today, there were some good calls made at the front. It was a mixed-up race and it was good to get some points. There were some great strengths to take from this weekend. The team has been working really hard, so thanks to them. We know there will be more opportunities in the future.”
Car 1 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Finish Position: 11th, Start Position: 5th
“Most crucially we lost radio communication and that makes it very difficult in these conditions to know what’s going on. Nonetheless we did our maximum today and got up to fourth. To then lose the race how I did is very frustrating. Some people need to look more where they are going. Today it was crucial to come in at the right time. Having no radio meant we were delayed getting the messages and I didn’t hear anything from the team at the end. There were problems with the car after the incident, but I wanted to see the chequered flag. There were no points for me today. Before the incident with HRT the way the race had unfolded was good for us I think, so it’s frustrating to lose the race like that.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “An action packed race with the rain coming down on the grid at the start. Before the race was red flagged, both guys had a reasonable starts. After the re-start we made the right call to change onto the intermediates with Mark and then a lap later with Sebastian. For Mark, the advantage of being the first car into the pit lane is that you get a clear run into your box, but the disadvantage on that occasion was that half the grid followed him in behind and we couldn’t release him until we had a clear space. After the stop Sebastian made a good move on Rosberg and set about trying to close the gap to Hamilton ahead. His race was going well. As the track dried, we went onto the slicks pretty early with Mark and a lap later with Seb. We had lost all radio contact with Sebastian, which meant we could only speak with him via the pit board. After his stop he came up to the HRT who hit him and caused a puncture. The incident caused damage to the rear brake duct, which went into thermal runaway, so we wanted to stop the car before the end from a safety point of view. Seb didn’t hear us on the radio and continued. Thankfully his car got to the end without failing, but the incident cost Sebastian at least a fourth place finish today. For Mark, after his final stop his pace on the slicks was good and he started to catch Lewis in the last third of the race. He finished in fourth position after what was a very eventful race.”
CYRIL DUMONT, Renault: “Unfortunately for us, today is a race to forget. There is already a lot of gambling when you have these conditions and if you add the issues we had – which was no radio communication with Seb for most of the race and with Mark for parts of it – then it made it even more difficult. The race was going okay until Seb had the incident with HRT which caused a problem with the left hand wheel. For Mark fourth place was not too bad, but we would have preferred for him to have been on the podium. We have two weeks away from racing now and will be pushing to get back to where we need to be.”
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
2012 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX
Sepang, Sunday March 25
“Today was a roll of the dice – but we’ve shown we’ve got good pace”
LEWIS HAMILTON – MP4-27A-03
- Started: 1st
- Finished 3rd
- Fastest lap 1m41.539s (+0.817s, 6th)
- Pitstops Three: laps 5, 14 and 41 (Inter-Full Wet-Inter-Op)
- Points 30 (2nd)
“This was a tough but fascinating race – firstly, I want to offer my congratulations to Fernando [Alonso] and Sergio [Perez] – they both drove great races and did a fantastic job.
“It was pretty eventful race: it was difficult trying to judge the best time to change from Extreme Wets to Intermediates, and we were probably a little late on that – but that’s how it goes sometimes.
“Today wasn’t perfect – making the call for slicks is always a risk, and the others went a bit earlier than us. In general, we lost some time in the pitstops and I was pushed out of the fight somewhat. But, all in all, it’s been a positive weekend and I’m not too frustrated. My aim for this season was always to be consistent – I did it in 2007 so I’m trying to repeat that!
“A big thanks to Lucozade for doing such a great job with the new race hydration formulations this weekend – they’ve really made a difference in such a hot and humid climate. For me, the next races will be all about converting our really strong qualifying pace into equally strong race pace – that’s what I’ll be working in the few weeks ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.”
JENSON BUTTON – MP4-27A-02
- Started 2nd
- Finished 14th
- Fastest lap 1m42.100s (+1.378s, 14th)
- Pitstops Five: laps 4, 13, 15, 24 and 39 (Inter-Full Wet-Inter-Inter (& front wing change)-Inter-Op)
- 2011 points 25 (3rd)
“Today was a pretty difficult day; pretty much everything that could have gone wrong in the race did go wrong. And that’s just one of those things – a lot of my issues were brought on when I wiped my front wing off at the start: I locked up the rears, couldn’t slow the car down and hit Karthikeyan, which was a bit frustrating. So I had to pit for a new nose, and that was pretty much it.
“And it’s always going to be tough when you’re down in 14th or 15th position. All the cars were so close and it was difficult to overtake, too. That made it very difficult.
“Big congratulation to Fernando, Sergio and Lewis, who scored more good points for the team – but it just wasn’t a good day for me today. The amazing thing is that I’m still third in the championship after not scoring any points!
“This wasn’t really the result I wanted – but, hey, chin up: we’ll move forwards and hopefully have a much better weekend in China!”
MARTIN WHITMARSH – Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
“Today certainly wasn’t the day I was expecting! Firstly, this was a terrific race for Ferrari and a great result for Sauber – congratulations to both teams. It’s frustrating for us, as the race didn’t really go our way, but today’s result is great for the sport of Formula 1.
“For Jenson, it was simply a bad day in the office – losing a front wing in tricky conditions was always going to make it a hard afternoon for him.
“Lewis was somewhat unlucky, too: Ferrari’s ‘double-shuffle’ pitstop meant we were obliged to hold Lewis in his pitbox longer than we would have liked, but that’s motor racing. Nevertheless, he brought home some extremely valuable world championship points – his 15 points today consolidate Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ position at the top of the constructors’ championship.
“Today’s conditions were always going to represent something of a roll of the dice. We didn’t quite manage everything today, and we’ll go back and analyse our performance, but in normal dry conditions we’ve shown that we’ve got decent pace. There’s a long season ahead, and with one victory and two strong podium positions, we can return to Europe extremely encouraged about the forthcoming races.”
Grand Prix of Malaysia
Sepang, 25th March 2012
Weather: air 28/26°C, track 35/29 °C. Rain then cloudy. Chassis: Alonso 295, Massa 294.
Scuderia Ferrari won the Malaysian Grand Prix thanks to yet another extraordinary performance from Fernando Alonso. This is win number 217 from 833 Grands Prix contested in the Scuderia’s history. It thus brings the number of consecutive years in which the team has managed to win at least one Grand Prix to nineteen. This is the sixth win at Sepang and number 28 for Fernando Alonso who had already finished first here on two previous occasions. Thanks to the 25 points he takes away today, Fernando returns to Europe, leading the Drivers’ Championship, while Felipe, who finished fifteenth has yet to score a point. The Scuderia is third in the Constructors’ classification.
Stefano Domenicali: “An incredible win, absolutely unexpected, but that does not make it any less wonderful and emotional! Once again, Fernando was amazing, driving with a cool head and determination, managing to get the very best out of this car and of the very changeable weather conditions. Today’s victory does not change a jot in terms of our situation: we know that, at the moment, we do not have a car competitive enough to fight for the win under normal conditions and that we have a lot of work to do to catch up. Clearly this win gives us even more motivation, because it shows that this championship is not at all clear cut and anything can happen. A slight improvement in performance can result in a good step forward compared to other teams. Felipe suffered too much with degradation on his front tyres, which led to him making one more stop than his team-mate: this is a particularly difficult moment for him, because he cannot get the most out of a car that, objectively, is very difficult to drive. We have an obligation to stay close to him, which is as it should be in such a closely knit team. Now we will enjoy this moment for a few hours, but tomorrow we must be back in the factory again pushing on the development of this F2012. Finally I want to congratulate Sauber, who today secured their best ever result and congratulations also to Sergio Perez, a youngster from the Ferrari Driver Academy, who today confirmed his great talent.”
Fernando Alonso: “It was an incredible race! I am very happy, for me and for the whole team: I am proud of this fantastic group of people. While we have been going through this difficult time, no one gave up, in fact everyone has doubled their efforts to try and catch up. The strategy was perfect, the mechanics did an impeccable job, the engineers did their best in preparing the car and I drove at my maximum for all 56 laps of the race. I would never have bet on this win and I would think anyone who did so must have picked up a tidy sum! As I returned to the pit lane on the cool down lap I didn’t even know where to park the car: to win with all the problems we have got is something quite extraordinary. In the wet, I was going very well, but then when the track dried out, our weaknesses showed themselves. Sergio got very close and I was trying to stay on the only dry line: if he wanted to pass me, he would have had to take a risk. Yesterday, he and I ended up ninth and tenth and today we found ourselves fighting for the win, which shows how unpredictable is this championship. Our aim was damage limitation for these early races of the championship and now we even find ourselves leading the classification. Now we absolutely have to improve the performance starting right away with the races in China and Bahrain. We must get back to work immediately so as to find at least the two or three tenths that could put us back in the fight for the top places.”
Felipe Massa: “First of all, I want to congratulate Fernando on this great win, which came thanks to him driving a fantastic race. It is a very important victory for the team, although it must not let us forget that our car is not yet at the level of the best. Obviously I am disappointed with my result. Things were going well at the start and I was able to fight with the drivers directly ahead of me. When the track was drying, I suffered more and more with tyre degradation and I could not maintain a good pace. We opted to follow what Rosberg was doing ahead of me, as he too was apparently struggling with his tyres, but it did not work out and we lost a lot of time with this extra stop, given also that the others stayed on track for around a dozen laps more before switching to the dry tyres. It is important for us to try and understand why there is such a strong difference in the way our cars perform, but ultimately, our aim is to have a more competitive car in as short a time as possible.”
Pat Fry: “This win is a wonderful reward for all the efforts we are making here at the track and back home at the factory to try and turn around a season that immediately saw us facing an uphill struggle. However, this result must not be seen as a case of all our problems having unexpectedly solved themselves: that’s not the case and everyone is aware of it. Fernando drove a fantastic race, pushing throughout the entire time, always being very careful but never overdoing it. The F2012 seemed to behave very differently depending on the conditions in which it was running: today, there were moments when it was absolutely competitive, others when it struggled. We had already seen in Melbourne on Friday that on a damp track, the situation was not bad and today it went even better. Towards the end, Perez was very quick, partly because his Hards were working better in these conditions than Fernando’s mediums. Another decisive factor in today’s win was the work in the pits and on the pit wall: at every pit stop, Fernando managed either to make up places or to stay ahead of his pursuers. Felipe made a good start but suffered quite badly with the front tyres as the track was drying. We tried to remedy the situation, bringing him for an extra stop and clearly that cost him valuable time. We must try and understand why, for him, the car ends up being even more unstable in terms of its handling compared to the way it works for his team-mate: it is one of our tasks for these coming days along with obviously trying to find the tenths in performance terms that we are still lacking.”
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
2012 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX, SEPANG, 25 MARCH, RACE
Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg finished the rain-affected Malaysian Grand Prix in 10th and 13th places respectively today.
· Starting from third, Michael’s car was touched on the first lap leading to a spin which dropped him to 16th at the end of lap one
· The rain falling prior to the race increased in intensity from lap four and led to a red flag on lap nine and a 51 minute delay
· After the restart, both Michael and Nico struggled to get the best from their tyres and were not able to fight for positions
· Michael stopped on laps 5, 14 and 39, with an intermediate/wet/intermediate/prime tyre usage
· Nico stopped on laps 5, 13, 26 and 39, with an intermediate/wet/intermediate/intermediate/prime tyre usage
Drivers Car No. Chassis No. Race Result / Fastest Lap
Michael Schumacher 7 F1 W03 / 05 P10 1:41.760
Nico Rosberg 8 F1 W03 / 03 P13 1:41.863
Temperatures Air: 25-26°C Track: 24-28°C
“From where I started the race, it’s a real shame to grab just one point at the end today, and of course I would have wished for a better finish for our team after their hard work. However I was touched at the back soon after the start and the car spun which really decided my afternoon. During the first part of the race, I just tried to stay on track as you couldn’t see anything, and it was the right decision to halt the race. After the re-start, the pace wasn’t that far off but it was the same for a lot of teams so there was no way to gain positions. It’s clear from today that there is still a lot of work for us to do to take our pace from qualifying into the race, and I am sure the guys are already thinking very hard about finding a solution. But this will not be done from one race to another, it will take some time, and we need to give it that time. Still it is a fact that we have improved, so I can fly home now being sure about this and looking forward to fighting in the races to come.”
“That was an unlucky day for me after an eventful race. I had a good restart and because of a good strategy I was in fourth position. But then I had problems with my intermediate tyres; the degradation was very high which forced me to do another pit stop for a new set. The positive thing is that on my last stint with the slicks, I had good pace and because of my tyre management, I was able to beat Jenson. We are strong in qualifying but not yet in the race, and we need to work on that before the next race in China.”
“It’s a very disappointing end to what had been such a positive weekend here in Malaysia. Clearly we have a conundrum with this car that we have to unravel. After such an encouraging qualifying session, and indeed the fuel runs that we did on Friday, we struggled to get the tyres to work properly in the race today. There were little windows when we seemed to get them working and other times where we fell out of them completely. I don’t believe that we are abusing the tyres, just not using them properly, and it’s a problem that we have to solve if we are going to move forward with the car. It is especially disappointing after the potential we have shown, however I am confident that we have enough strength and the right people to unravel the problem. We will be getting our heads down back at the factory next week and doing just that.”
“From P3 Michael did not have the best start but was still in a top five slot when he was spun around during the first lap and passed the start and finish line in P16. After the restart, things did not go any better and we never really could cope with the wet conditions and the drying out track on which nobody has had the opportunity to test before the race. Other teams could obviously handle these mixed conditions better and all credit to them. Both Ferrari and Sauber did a great job today so congratulations to those teams, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez. We obviously did not have the set-up to make the best out of these tricky conditions today. We brought Nico in and put him on slicks which was a calculated risk that finally did not pay off. Our car has got speed and we will continue to work hard to generate this speed in the race as well as in qualifying.”
Lotus F1 Team
Smoke on the Water – Malaysian Grand Prix, Sunday 25th March 2012
Kimi Räikkönen led the charge for Lotus F1 Team in the Malaysian Grand Prix; translating a tenth place starting slot into a fifth-placed finish in a rain-affected, red flag-interrupted race. He also set the fastest lap of the day as the track dried in the run to the chequered flag. It was a different story for Romain Grosjean, with an early exit from the slippery Sepang circuit on lap four.
Both cars started on the green marked intermediate tyres. Kimi made three stops with an intermediate, wet, intermediate, hard tyre strategy.
Kimi set a succession of fastest laps on the hard tyres as the track dried, culminating with a 1min 40.722secs on lap 53. It was the 36th Grand Prix fastest lap of his career.
Kimi Räikkönen, P5, E20-03
“It was a bit difficult today. It was my first time on the wet weather Pirellis and I didn’t know how the intermediate or wet tyres would react – I had only completed one installation lap on them before. I just tried to stay on the road and push as much as I felt comfortable with. When I changed to the dry tyres it took a couple of laps to get heat into them, and my visor was pretty dirty so seeing the dry line was difficult. Once I found my way I could push much harder. It was difficult to have another mixed weather weekend. The conditions changed a lot today so it was always a case of adapting and looking for grip. Overall, we seemed to have a pretty strong package again this weekend, so I’m relatively happy. A fifth today was okay, but we’re always looking for better results.”
Romain Grosjean, DNF, E20-01
“It felt like a perfect start off the line; I got a good jump on the others and with the KERS I managed to weave through the cars in front without touching anybody. Coming out of the first two corners I was up to third, which was an amazing feeling. In turn four Mark (Webber) managed to carry a bit more speed through the corner and edged in front. Michael (Schumacher) tried to follow him through but there was not enough space so we touched and I spun. From there things became really tough. The visibility was so poor I couldn’t see anything in front of me. We made the decision to stay out on the intermediate tyres but the rain got heavier and there was far too much water. I had massive aquaplaning into turn five and unfortunately ended up going backwards into the gravel.”
Eric Boullier, Team Principal
“Today’s result is a bit frustrating. Whilst it’s good to have a car finish in the top five after starting from tenth in conditions which were very tricky, we can’t help thinking that we could have achieved more from this race. Obviously, it’s disappointing for Romain, as it’s another DNF for him in the early laps of the race. He had never driven in the rain with these intermediate tyres so we have to take that into account. He had a very good start off the line, but the contact with Michael ruined his race. At the restart, we recovered well from our position and on the plus side, the car looked strong again. Kimi had a flawless race. He was very consistent in all conditions and his best lap shows what could have been without his grid penalty. I’m sure when we have a ‘standard’ weekend – without bad weather, penalty or interruption – we will do very well.”
James Allison, Technical Director
“What we would give for a normal race! We had to fight back from a grid penalty for changing the gearbox on Kimi’s car. We also had two drivers learning Pirelli’s wet tyres for the first time today. This made for a difficult time here at Sepang. Our pace at the end of the race on dry tyres looks extremely promising from the perspective of both degradation and pace. Give us a normal race, with two clean getaways from the good qualifying positions of which we have shown we are capable, and I think we’ll be able to collect a good reward.”
Ricardo Penteado, Renault Sport F1 Team Support Leader
“Another points scoring finish for Kimi here. Again it was a shame for Romain but over the course of the weekend we confirmed the pace seen in Australia of the Lotus-Renault package. The changeable weather made it very difficult to manage fuel consumption. We burned a lot of fuel at the second start, which allowed us to be lighter towards the final laps. This played out well as Kimi set the fastest lap of the race on lap 53. Overall the engine has worked perfectly and we’re now looking forward to China, which presents a very different challenge.”
Sahara Force India F1 Team
2012 Malaysian Grand Prix: Race Report
Sahara Force India came through the rain showers to pick up eight championship points in today’s Malaysian Grand Prix as Paul Di Resta raced to seventh place ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in ninth.
P7 Paul Di Resta (VJM05/02)
Tyre strategy: Intermediates / Wets / Intermediates / Hard Dry
Paul: “The start of the race was a bit of a mess and it was all about trying to stay on the track and stay out of trouble. I did pretty well until Maldonado hit me just before the red flag, which spun me around and cost me about three places. At the restart our pace was very good on the intermediate tyres and we were able to get well up the order and stay with the leading group. As it dried out we switched to dry tyres at the same time everyone else did, which was the safe way to play it, and just tried to hold position in the points. We were a bit lucky with some of the issues for cars ahead, but in races like this you need a bit of luck and given where we started I think we can come away from here very happy with this result.”
P9 Nico Hulkenberg (VJM05/03)
Tyre strategy: Intermediates / Wets / Intermediates / Hard Dry
Nico: “I think today’s performance with two cars in the points is a great team result and I’m very happy to pick up my first points of the season. It was quite a complicated race and the rain certainly helped mix things up, but we made the most of our chances and made good calls on the strategy. I have to say that the wet conditions today were some of the worst I’ve raced in and the visibility was almost zero before the race was stopped. It was much better when the race restarted, but I struggled with the balance of the car on the intermediates, so it was just a case of trying to stay in the points and catch Vergne ahead.”
Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal
“Today’s result is thanks to a tremendous team effort with everybody rising to the challenges presented by the tricky conditions. It was an especially busy race on the pit wall, but on the whole I think we made the right calls, especially the timing of our switch to the dry tyres, and both drivers delivered very strong performances. It was important to pick up points on a day like this and given where we started we have to be happy with eight points. The race was not without drama, though, and Paul was lucky to emerge unscathed from the contact with Maldonado, which occurred in the very wet conditions. Both Paul and Nico came on the radio to say how poor the conditions were, and it’s to their credit that they managed to stay largely out of trouble. We now head to China determined to carry on this momentum and hopefully add some more points to our tally.”
Sauber F1 Team
Malaysian GP – Race – Sunday, 25.03.2012
Weather: rain, drying out, 26-25°C air, 29-24°C track
The Sauber F1 Team is over the moon after having finished second in a very difficult Malaysian Grand Prix with Sergio Pérez at the wheel of the Sauber C31-Ferrari. Sergio had started ninth and was one of the two drivers of the pack who changed tyres from intermediate to rain tyres after the very first lap. With the rain becoming too heavy, the race was interrupted for 51 minutes after nine laps. Thanks to the team’s strategy, Sergio was third on the grid for the restart. He managed the remainder of the race with a very strong drive, chased winner Fernando Alonso and finally finished second.
For his team mate, Kamui Kobayashi, the guessing and gambling with the weather conditions didn’t pay off that well. The team took different options for the two drivers in order to maximise its chances. Kamui made an excellent start and then had to deal longer with the increasing rain on intermediate tyres. Before his late stop for rain tyres he was running ninth, but for the restart he was then only 16th. Later he retired after 47 laps because of brake problems.
Sergio Pérez: 2nd
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
Start on intermediate tyres, after 1 laps change to rain tyres, restart on new rain tyres, after 15 laps to intermediates, after 41 laps to hard dry tyres
“It is a great day for me. The team did a very good job and I feel very happy for them. It is a really nice feeling to have been on the podium here, but I think victory was also within reach. Twice in the race I was catching Fernando (Alonso). On the final stint, when I was on the hard tyre compound, my tyres had degraded quite a lot. It wasn’t easy and I went wide and touched a curb. I actually was lucky not to go off. Before that Fernando had just pitted on the perfect lap for dry tyres, just one lap before me, and I lost a bit of ground to him. It was very difficult to make the right calls today and I want to thank my team. They always called me in at the right time, the first stop after lap one was especially important and it was also good to take the hard compound in the end, as the medium compound was not working too well for us. It is only our second race in 2012 and I think we have a great season ahead of us. I knew we had potential to fight today, our car is not far away from the top cars and a good crew and a driver can also make a difference in such conditions.”
Kamui Kobayashi: DNF (leak in the brake system / retired after 47 laps / 13th position)
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056)
Start on intermediate tyres, after 5 laps change to wet tyres, restart on new wet tyres, after 13 laps to intermediate, after 40 laps to medium dry tyres
“It is great for our team to have scored so well today, but for me personally, of course, it was a very disappointing race. Technically I struggled with the brakes and that was then also why I had to give up after 47 laps. Besides that for me the strategy didn’t work out, which, of course, is always easy to realise in hindsight. I had a good start but then it was a long time before I changed from intermediates to rain tyres. It was not easy to keep the car on track, and almost as soon as I had changed the red flag came out. But nobody can know this in advance. Later in the race then it was the other way round. I would have loved to get dry tyres, but we were expecting more rain so, again, I could not get rid of the intermediate tyres.”
Peter Sauber, Team Principal:
“What a great result! Sergio drove an outstanding race and rose above our expectations. What surprised me most was the fact that he was very competitive in all conditions and with all tyres. Whether they were wet, intermediate or dry tyres he was always one of the fastest drivers on track if not the fastest. This obviously also shows the huge potential of the car. And I want to pay a big compliment to Giampaolo Dall’Ara and his team for doing a great job with the strategy. Thanks also to everybody in the factory in Hinwil. I’m sorry for Kamui who had to stop due to a technical problem. Nevertheless it was a great and important day for the team.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“It was a very strong race for our team. We made a good call on the weather conditions, and then Sergio took over. He drove a brilliant race. His pace was excellent on a wet and dry track. For Kamui it was an unlucky race. First we should have called him in earlier, but there was a chance of rain. This judgment was wrong. Secondly he had a leak in the brake system which stopped him, and we are sorry for that. We have to investigate it. However, it was a great performance and a great result for the team.”
Scuderia Toro Rosso
2012 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX – SUNDAY 25/03/2012
Jean-Eric Vergne (STR7-03)
Race finish: 8th
“To from eighteenth on the grid to eighth and in the points at the end is great. I stayed out for a long time on the intermediates after the start and then the Red Flag came along to help me so I was able to switch to extreme wets on the grid. If I had to resume behind the Safety Car on the intermediates it would have been very hard to stay on track! As soon as the track was dry enough I came in again for intermediates but I lost a bit of time before I made the switch to slicks. After that I was catching Di Resta, but with the backmarkers in between us I could not get close enough to pass, so I just managed the situation, concentrating on bringing the car home. So I am happy to settle for this eighth place and I plan to keep improving step by step. After these two opening races, the overall performance has been quite good and I feel we can make progress in China starting from this good base line.”
Daniel Ricciardo (STR7-01)
Race finish: 12th
“Unfortunately, after being delayed in the early stages, when I lost places after the start in the rain, I never managed to fight my way back into the points. I think there were moments in the race when I ran at quite a good pace, but I did not have that extra edge to move up the order. When the track was drying before the pit stops that is when I again lost time, so of course I am a bit disappointed, but there are still eighteen races remaining and I’m sure I will have plenty more opportunities to do well.”
“In Melbourne we scored points with Daniel and now in Sepang, it was the turn of our rookie driver, Jean-Eric to secure his first ever Formula 1 points, with a strong drive to eighth place. As is often the case in Malaysia, we witnessed a very exciting race in which Jean-Eric did an excellent job as it was the first time he has raced a Formula 1 car in wet conditions. He made no mistakes and produced really good lap times and so this eighth place is well deserved. These four points are also the result of excellent work from the team, making the correct decisions as regards pit stops and tyre strategy as well as managing the complicated situation while the race was suspended. Daniel lost too much time in the early stages of the race to fight back into the points, but his lap times in the later part were very good. The STR7 performed quite well this afternoon in both the wet and the dry and finally congratulations to our engine partner Ferrari for this important win.”
MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX RACE
25 MARCH 2012
• Bruno Senna scored the team’s first points of the season by finishing sixth in the Malaysian Grand Prix.
• Pastor Maldonado was also on target for a top ten finish until an engine issue ended his race on lap 55.
• After beginning under safety car conditions, the race was red flagged on lap nine for just under an hour due to heavy rain.
• Following a first lap incident, Bruno made an unscheduled pitstop for a new front wing.
• Pastor had to make an additional pitstop after poor visibility caused him to miss his pit box when attempting to pit for wet tyres on lap 14.
• Bruno drove a great race to come through from 23rd at the restart to claim eight points.
• Both drivers put in consistently quick laptimes to challenge for positions throughout the race.
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: It was a real rollercoaster of a race and the whole team are delighted to get our first points of the season. Bruno drove very well finishing in sixth, having been last at the restart. Unfortunately we had to retire Pastor with an engine problem with only a few laps left whilst he was running in tenth.
Bruno Senna: I am really excited about the result today. I’m so happy that I have scored points for the team after a very tough race. It’s on days like to today that you can show what you can do in difficult conditions. I knew we had to attack after the restart, so it was very satisfying to push hard, not make any mistakes and to make my way up through the field. I’m so happy for everyone in the team.
Pastor Maldonado: It was very difficult today with conditions changing so quickly at the start. I had poor visibility in the pitlane so missed the pit box entry after the restart which dropped me down the order. I was then just pushing every lap and our pace was very consistent. I had a good race to come through from 20th to tenth with just two laps remaining. Bruno had a great race and we have both been able to show that the car is competitive.
Laurent Debout, Renault Sport F1 team support leader: Our feelings are obviously very mixed. It’s very satisfying to score the first points for the new Williams-Renault package with Bruno’s sixth position, but very frustrating to lose a potential double points finish due to an engine failure on Pastor’s car. We are still looking into the problem but apologies to the team and we’ll look to make amends in China. There’s a long gap between now and then so we have time to fully investigate.
Malaysian GP Review
Williams F1 scored its first points of 2012 in the Malaysian Grand Prix. The wet-dry race required the team to think on its feet and react to the track conditions, which it managed well. Chief Operations Engineer Mark Gillan talks us through an encouraging race weekend for the team.
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer:
Q: How would you sum up the overall performance of the FW34 around Sepang?
MG: Overall I am very pleased. It was a difficult weekend to manage due to the weather, especially in the race, but both the car and drivers did well in the changeable conditions and it is pleasing to come away from Malaysia with eight points. The FW34 was particularly strong on the green, drying track.
Q: Bruno drove well to go from 23rd at the re-start to 6th. What were the decisive moments in the race for him?
MG: Bruno had an excellent drive and critically he managed his intermediate tyres very well on the drying track which allowed us to extend this stint and switch to the medium dry tyre at the optimal moment.
Q: How difficult was it to judge the call for slick tyres during the race?
MG: We monitored the drop off of the intermediate tyre with regards to the theoretical switch over point to the dry tyre and, with this information combined with driver feedback, we were able to make the call to change from intermediate tyres to dry tyres at the right time.
Q: Has Renault pin-pointed the cause of Pastor’s engine problem which led to his retirement?
MG: Yes, Renault have found out what the problem was and this engine will return to Viry for further analysis.
Q: The team has already scored more points than in 2011. How would you describe the atmosphere in the team at the moment?
MG: There is a buzz in the team at the moment and everyone is very pleased that the development of the FW34 is heading in the right direction and the whole factory is keen to see this trend continue.
Q: Next stop China. What are the specific challenges of the Shanghai International Circuit?
MG: The main challenge at Shanghai is that the track is very hard on tyres, so tyre management is key to success.
Q: Can we expect to see some upgraded parts on the FW34 at the next race?
MG: We sustained quite a lot of bodywork damage in Malaysia so the first objective is to replace all of these components, but we do intend to bring some updates to the race.
Malaysian Grand Prix – Sunday 25th March 2012
Caterham F1 Team Partner Information
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Wet start, rain in early part of race, rain leading to red flag, dry post-restart
Vitaly Petrov, car 21, chassis CT01-#2: “I am really happy with the performance today. We didn’t show the car’s true potential in qualifying, but today I was able to put in similar lap times to the cars ahead and didn’t make any mistakes in the tricky conditions. The car felt good all afternoon and the team worked really well to help me get the most out of it, both on the pitwall and with the stops, so I’m very pleased I’ve been able to record my first race finish for the team and to start to show what we can do in races. This gives us a good base to work from so it’s been a good Sunday, particularly in front of our home fans.”
Heikki Kovalainen, car 20, chassis CT01-#3: “That was one of those races when we could have had a really good result, but a bit of bad luck and a car I didn’t really have a great balance on meant I’m just pleased to have got it home. I made a small mistake on the inters and had to come in for a new nose, and that dropped me back a few places which basically ended my race. Despite that, it’s good that we got both cars home and we also showed again that we have a car that can race on Sundays. Now we need to focus on getting more out of it in qualifying and pushing on at the next race in China.”
Thierry Salvi, Renault Sport F1 Support Leader: “Conditions like we saw today can make the race a complete lottery. We worked well all afternoon with the engineering team to adjust the engine strategy to deal with the red flag and the safety car period, and we can be reasonably pleased with how well the car performed against the teams ahead, so now we will focus on China and Bahrain and make sure we use this as a base to keep progressing.”
Mark Smith, Technical Director: “From the technical perspective that was an incredibly busy race. With the constantly changing conditions we had to make a number of calls to give us a chance to fight and while that paid off for Vitaly, for Heikki it was a much tougher afternoon. He had to change a front wing after going off track and that effectively ended his race, but it is good to see how hard Vitaly was able to push, and to see the lap times he was putting in on the inters.”
Tony Fernandes, Team Principal: “I’m happy with how the race went today. We recorded our first two car finish at our home race in Malaysia, and we definitely gave the fans here something to cheer for, particularly with Vitaly battling with the likes of Ferrari, Williams and Toro Rosso. We showed good pace and with a bit more work ont he strategies I think we can keep demonstrating that we keep edging ever closer to what is clearly an intense battle in the midfield. The fact we are now fighting with some of the most famous names in motorsport is a huge achievement in what is only our third season, and now we will keep fighting to close that gap which is already so much smaller than it was last year, and streets ahead of where we were in 2010.”
HRT F1 Team
Marussia F1 Team
- The Race – 2012 Malaysia Grand Prix
- Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur
- Sunday 25 March 2012
A rain-soaked and dramatic Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix today provided the Marussia F1 Team with further confirmation, if it were required, of the significant strides the team has made with the development of its 2012 race car, the MR01.
The team enjoyed its second double finish in two season-opening races, with Timo Glock crossing the line at Sepang in 17th place and Charles Pic in 20th, and the Caterham of Heikki Kovalainen providing the meat in the Marussia F1 Team sandwich. The legitimate battle that both of the team’s drivers enjoyed with its immediate competitor today underlined that it is back on course and can start pushing ahead in earnest with its development programme.
Timo Glock #24
“A great weekend again for us. We finished with both cars once more, which is a great achievement for the team and we have to be very happy with that. It was a difficult race but I think we made the right tyre choice and changed at the right time, going from the intermediate to the extreme wets and then after the restart changing back from the extreme wets to the intermediates. Coming in straight away was the right thing to do and I just managed to keep the ‘inters’ on for as long as possible and keep them alive. Again, we were one of the first to switch to slicks and we were able to keep pushing to keep ahead of Kovalainen, so really well done to the team. Everyone kept cool and calm when the red flag came out. Proper job by the team and specifically my car crew, who’ve done a great job in the first two races. Now we concentrate on improving again for China.”
Charles Pic #25
“It was a tricky race today in difficult conditions. It was my first time with the extreme wet tyre so it was hard to know the best time to change to the Intermediate at my second pitstop. Then we had a problem with the clutch at the third stop, which is a shame as we lost some time. Overall I am happy with my pace as it was consistent with Timo on the Intermediate and at the end on slicks, which is positive for me. A great job all weekend by everyone in the team as I know it has been very difficult, in many ways. I look forward now to China and even more progress.”
John Booth, Team Principal
“A fantastic end to what has been an important weekend for the team. It is extremely encouraging that we are seeing progress in every area, the most significant of which is in terms of performance. The small upgrade that we brought on Friday was the result of some very hard work in the factory over the last few weeks by the aerodynamics department and we have certainly seen the benefit of that here this weekend. However, we can’t rest on our laurels and this is now the start of what is going to be a very intensive and exciting development programme for us. It was an interesting race today, with plenty of twists and turns to keep us on our toes, which the race team handled admirably. We were particularly impressed with the way Charles held off Kovalainen for so long, losing out only at the pitstop. Equally worthy of note was Timo’s performance in the drying conditions, which was superb. We now look forward to evaluating the findings from these two races so we can come back stronger again in China in three weeks’ time.”
Renault Sport F1
Three RS27-powered drivers finish in top ten in Malaysia
Three Renault RS27 engine powered drivers secured points in today’s Malaysian Grand Prix. Red Bull Racing-Renault’s Mark Webber finished in fourth position ahead of Lotus F1 Team-Renault’s Kimi Raikkonen in fifth. The new-for-2012 Williams-Renault package scored its first points of the season with Bruno Senna sixth, his best-ever finish in F1, giving a total of 30 points across the four Renault-powered teams. Fernando Alonso eventually won the rain affected race ahead of Sauber’s Sergio Perez and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton.
The dramatic Grand Prix saw several changes of weather conditions, with the race starting in light rain and stopped on lap nine after increasing to a torrential deluge. Unfortunately the heavy rain had already claimed Lotus-Renault’s Romain Grosjean, who clashed with Michael Schumacher on lap one and later fell victim to aquaplaning on lap four.
In the restarted race, the Red Bulls moved into the top six with Sebastian Vettel closing for fifth position towards the end of the race. However contact with the HRT of Narain Karthikeyan on lap 48 caused a rear puncture. The German returned to the pits to change tyres, rejoined in 11th position and out of the points.
The Caterham F1 Team achieved its first double finish in its home race, with Vitaly Petrov claiming 16th. Heikki Kovalainen finished in 18th position after an extra pit stop following an off track excursion.
Pastor Maldonado looked set to give the Williams-Renault team a double points finish but an engine problem just two laps from the end forced him into an early retirement.
Red Bull Racing-Renault now sits second in the championship with 42 points to McLaren’s 55, while Lotus-Renault is fifth. Williams-Renault lies seventh and Caterham 11th.
Rémi Taffin, head of Renault Sport F1 track operations
Malaysia is always a difficult race for engine management. It’s a double header with Australia so generally we would use the engine for two consecutive events, but it’s also tough to find the correct compromise settings to deal with the changeable weather conditions. We saw all of them here today! Allied to this, there is the extra challenge of dealing with the high ambient humidity, even when dry, which slows down the fuel combustion process and reduces power output.
There are positives and negatives from today. We got three partners into the points and a relatively good haul across the Renault-engined cars. Red Bull got some decent points, and while it’s not as many as everyone would have liked, in this type of race it is a lottery. The pace of the Lotus-Renault package was confirmed with the strong qualifying pace and Kimi’s points. Williams also scored the first points for the new partnership, and its best performance since Singapore 2010, which is also satisfying after the pace shown at the first race. We were pleased to see Caterham achieved its double finish in its home race.
On the negative, we had our first in-race engine failure for some time on Pastor’s car. We must apologise to Williams for this as we could have got a double points finish. However, with a longer gap between this race and the next in China we can fully investigate the reason for the failure and ensure that it does not happen to Williams, or any of our partners, again.
TYRE STRATEGY SHINES THROUGH IN A RAIN-HIT MALAYSIA
Race report Malaysia
Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso used three of Pirelli’s four tyre compounds – the Cinturato Blue wet, Cinturato Green intermediate and P Zero White medium – to win a rain-affected Malaysian Grand Prix and lead the drivers’ championship. Tyre strategy was also key to enduring a career-best second place for Sauber driver Sergio Perez.
A rain shower before the start of the race meant that all the drivers apart from the two HRTs started on Cinturato Green intermediates. After just one lap, Perez came into the pits to change to full wets as the rain fell harder – and this call turned out to be the foundation of his result.
His early stop meant that Perez was up to third when the race was suspended on lap eight because of torrential rain. The re-start took place behind the safety car, which obliged all the drivers to start on the full wet tyres, according to the rules. As the track dried, the leaders moved onto intermediates and Perez led a race for the first time, before being passed by Alonso.
Even before the red flag came out, there was already variety of tyre strategies in play. HRTs decision to start on the full wet tyre boosted Narain Karthikeyan to 10th overall when the race was suspended: the first time that the young Spanish team has finished a lap in the points. By contrast, Toro Rosso’s Jean-Eric Vergne remained on the intermediate tyre until the red flag, proving the adaptability of Pirelli’s Cinturato Green by hanging onto seventh place despite huge quantities of spray and standing water. Marussia also found itself running in the points, thanks to eighth place for rookie Charles Pic shortly after the re-start.
On lap 37 Toro Rosso driver Daniel Ricciardo was the first driver to move onto slicks, using the P Zero White medium, while Alonso’s switch to the medium slick three laps later was instrumental in ensuring his 28th career victory.
The fastest lap of the race was set on the P Zero Silver hard tyre by Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen with three laps to go. The longest stints of the race were all 27 laps on the Cinturato Green intermediate tyre, run by Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) and Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber).
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “This race had echoes of Canada last year, which was also suspended due to rain. Once more, that created an intriguing set of circumstances and some stand-out performances, such as Alonso and Perez at the front, who were the class of the field. After the re-start, it was important for the drivers to look after the intermediates – which showed great versatility in very mixed conditions – in order to keep them within their operating temperature range. The top two finishers adopted a completely different tyre strategy, with Alonso on the medium tyre and Perez on the hard tyre in the final stint, which shows how our decision to close up the performance gaps between the compounds has led to even closer racing. We’d also like to congratulate Bruno Senna, who scores his best-ever grand prix result in sixth.”