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Mar 22

Formula One teams Malaysian Grand Prix free practice report

Malaysian Grand Prix Formula One free practice report

Today’s report from Formula One teams & drivers in Sepang.

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Formula One teams Malaysian Grand Prix free practice results

  

1 Raikkonen Lotus 1:36.569 128.400 mph
2 Vettel Red Bull 1:36.588 0.019
3 Massa Ferrari 1:36.661 0.092
4 Alonso Ferrari 1:36.985 0.416
5 Webber Red Bull 1:37.026 0.457
6 Grosjean Lotus 1:37.206 0.637
7 Rosberg Mercedes 1:37.448 0.879
8 Di Resta Force India 1:37.571 1.002
9 Hamilton Mercedes 1:37.574 1.005
10 Sutil Force India 1:37.788 1.219
11 Perez McLaren 1:37.838 1.269
12 Button McLaren 1:37.865 1.296
13 Hulkenberg Sauber 1:38.068 1.499
14 Gutierrez Sauber 1:38.645 2.076
15 Vergne Toro Rosso 1:38.738 2.169
16 Maldonado Williams 1:38.801 2.232
17 Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:38.904 2.335
18 Bianchi Marussia 1:39.508 2.939
19 Bottas Williams 1:39.660 3.091
20 Pic Caterham 1:40.757 4.188
21 Van der Garde Caterham 1:40.768 4.199
22 Chilton Marussia 1:41.438 4.869

 

Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing

MALAYSIAN GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE

CAR 1, SEBASTIAN VETTEL

  • First Practice Session: Position: 3, Best Time: 1:37.104, Laps: 21
  • Second Practice Session: Position: 2, Best Time: 1:36.588, Laps: 27

“I think it was unusual today as in the second session one part of the track was pretty wet and the other was dry – but it all dried out quite fast, as it was so hot. This afternoon we couldn’t do so much due to the weather, but this morning it looked okay, although the tyres don’t last very long! We need to try a couple of things now overnight to improve and take a step forwards.”

CAR 2, MARK WEBBER

  • First Practice Session: Position: 1, Best Time: 1:36.935, Laps: 15
  • Second Practice Session: Position: 5, Best Time: 1:37.026, Laps: 29

“It was a pretty smooth run for us today, but we need to improve and keep finding pace. The slicks were not too bad in those conditions and the crossover point looks quite interesting. The tyres are still the most important thing at the moment – it’s all about those! It’s pretty warm in the car, but if I’m warm, then so is everyone else and in general it’s not as bad as previous years.”

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AND FINALLY

After all the serious business of the day, here are five fast facts from Mark:

MARK WEBBER’S TOP FIVE… Dinner Party Guests

1. Marilyn Monroe – She’d be interesting. I just think she’d be fascinating to talk to about the hows and whys of her life and career

2. Muhammad Ali – Incredible sportsman and person

3. Alex Ferguson – Achieved everything there is to achieve in his sport

4. Ayrton Senna – An inspiration and a legend

5. Roger Penske – Same again, a real legend

That’s it – a few Americans, a Brazilian, a Scot and me, an Aussie. That’s a decent mix. But you need 20 people really. Five is impossible; you need more people around the table. You could have some really inspirational characters there – people that have overcome disabilities or managed incredible feats. People who’ve done extraordinary things, such as Felix Baumgartner for example.

source: Red Bull Racing, redbullracing.com

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Malaysian Grand Prix – Ferrari confident in unpredictable Sepang

  • ALONSO – chassis 299 MASSA – chassis 300
    First Session P4 1:37.319 13 laps P7 1:37.771 15 laps
    Weather: air 30/33 °C, track 36/42 °C. Sunny
    Second Session P4 1:36.985 23 laps P3 1:36.661 33 laps
    Weather: air 31/34 °C, track 38/47 °C. Cloudy, light rain

Fernando Alonso: “Today, the car worked well in all conditions and that is very good news for us. This circuit is more representative than Australia for evaluating the car’s performance and so it was important to understand here today if the positive feelings from the winter were not just an illusion. On my lap on the Medium tyres, I did not have the right balance, otherwise I could have managed to improve, as I did on the Hards and I could probably have been on the “front row.” Now we must see how tomorrow goes, when it could rain at any moment and on a track where tyre degradation is much higher than in Melbourne. With a high number of pit stops likely, a car that works better in the race than in qualifying could be an advantage. However, tomorrow we will try and do our best to get a place on the front row, because, as usual, the start, strategy and pit stops will hold the key”.

Felipe Massa: “Overall, it was a good day, even if the rain that arrived for the end of the second session cost us some valuable time, when it came to comparing the two compounds over a long run. The car responded well in both sessions and, as for the tyres Pirelli brought here, I felt much more comfortable on the Mediums that we’d already used in Australia. We now have a long evening to work on understanding what the real behaviour of the tyres is, because that is definitely what can make the difference and could make us more competitive, as we prepare for both qualifying and the race”.

Pat Fry: “Today’s rain complicated our programme a bit, but overall, it was a positive Friday. As we saw in Australia, here again the key factor will be understanding tyre behaviour. Usually at this track, you need one more stop, but it’s still too early to say. This evening we will tackle the complex task of analysing the data because the rain arrived at the least opportune moment, just as Fernando and Felipe were doing a comparison of the two compounds. In the morning we managed to complete our planned programme, making the most of the better conditions to find the ideal set-up on both cars. Having tried various combinations, we think we know what direction to take for tomorrow’s qualifying”.

source: Scuderia Ferrari, ferrari.com

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

2013 FORMULA 1 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX – FREE PRACTICE

“It’s been a satisfactory day, and we’ve acquired quite a bit more data”

Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur, Friday March 22

JENSON BUTTON

  • MP4-28A-05
  • FP1 1m38.173s (+1.238s) 16 laps 11th
  • FP2 1m37.865s (+1.296s) 29 laps 12th

“Today we got through a decent amount of satisfactory work, and we duly gathered some more useful info about MP4-28.

“On a dry track it feels better than it did in Melbourne, but even then its pace still isn’t there compared with that of the front-running cars.

“We’ve identified some further improvements that we can make before tomorrow, though, which is encouraging, and it’s been a good day in terms of learning.

“Back at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking [Surrey, UK] the guys are working as hard as they possibly can to find extra performance – and here in Sepang, too, every single member of our race team is doing a truly awesome job.

“It’s a lot easier to work on a car that’s winning races than it is to work on a car that’s not fully competitive, so fair play to everyone for getting their heads down and battling through.”

SERGIO PEREZ

  • MP4-28A-06
  • FP1 1m38.830s (+1.895s) 17 laps 13th
  • FP2 1m37.838s (+1.269s) 21 laps 11th

“Today was a very busy day, during which both Jenson and I tried a number of options in an effort to decide which spec to go with tomorrow and Sunday.

“Our car has improved since Melbourne – which is quite cheering when you consider that we raced there only four days ago – and it felt better in both dry and wet conditions today.

“Having said that, although as I say it felt better on a dry track today than it did in Melbourne, it would still probably qualify and race a bit better on a wet track than on a dry track, relative to our opposition, so we won’t be upset if it rains quite a bit over the next couple of days.”

MARTIN WHITMARSH Team principal, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

“Today we ran through our planned FP1/FP2 programme, successfully applying the upgrades we’d developed for this weekend, and continuing our investigative work with a view to improving our understanding of MP4-28.

“FP1 was dry, but there was quite a bit of rain towards the end of FP2, in which conditions we were reasonably competitive.

“Overall, then, it’s been a satisfactory day, and we’ve acquired quite a bit more data which we’ll now number-crunch in an effort to optimise our car’s spec for the rest of the race weekend.

“Everyone at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes is working incredibly hard, in very challenging circumstances, and I’m both grateful for and impressed by my colleagues’ indefatigable esprit de corps.”

source: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, mclaren.com

05 - Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team

Just Can’t Get Enough

Kimi Räikkönen topped the times on the first day of running as the second round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship – the Malaysian Grand Prix – got underway at the Sepang International Circuit. Kimi set a 1min 36.569secs lap in an afternoon session which was interrupted by a minor rain shower, while Romain Grosjean was sixth fastest. The team evaluated new front wings on both cars with a new exhaust and related bodywork also featuring on Kimi’s car.

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director – Technical programme notes

– We evaluated a new front wing on both cars.

– Kimi ran with a new exhaust and outlet package in both sessions.

– Pirelli’s hard (orange) compound tyre was used in the first session, the hard and medium (white) dry tyres as well as the intermediate (green) in the afternoon.

– The second session saw rain-interrupted long runs on both tyre compounds.

What we learned today:

– The E21 ran reliably, giving strong performance on all tyres and in all weather conditions.

– The new front wing works well and will be retained for the rest of the weekend.

– The new exhaust package works well and will remain on Kimi’s car for the rest of the weekend.

Kimi Räikkönen, E21-03

  • Free practice 1: P2, 1:37.003, 15 laps
  • Free practice 2: P1, 1:36.569, 28 laps

Kimi: “It was a pretty good day. We tried changing a few things on the car and made progress with where we wanted to be at the end of the sessions. We had some running in the wet which you often get around here and the car feels fine. We ran pretty heavy today so I don’t know how we’ll be when everyone is light for qualifying, but I’m happy with where we are and expect we’ll be reasonable tomorrow.”

Romain Grosjean, E21-01

  • Free practice 1: P10, 1:37.915 17 laps
  • Free practice 2: P6, 1:37.206, 26 laps

Romain: “We’re still working on the setup of the car as it’s not quite right for me and it’s difficult to understand why exactly. The new front wing does feel better than the one before so that helps. Kimi was running an updated aero package which looks to be an improvement so we know there’s more pace to come in that area, but there are still things we can do with the current specification once I get everything working for me. It was pretty hot out there – quite a contrast to Melbourne – but I felt comfortable and I’m looking forward to making some improvements tomorrow before we head into qualifying.”

James Allison, Technical Director: “I’m happy with our day’s work. We came here this week seeking reassurance that our car would be equally as competitive in a very different set of conditions to what we saw in Australia, and the early indications are that it looks reasonably useful. The upgrades we’ve trialled today also appear to be working well. Although both drivers ran the new front wing, Romain was at somewhat of a disadvantage in not having the latest exhaust variation and related bodywork on his car, so he can take heart from a healthy position on the time sheets. The only slight interruption to proceedings was a compromise to our long run programme once the rain arrived, but this actually proved to be pretty useful in itself as we now have a better understanding of the crossover point for the intermediate tyres. Overall it’s been a very productive day.”

source: Lotus F1 Team, lotusrenaultgp.com

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

PRACTICE

The first two practice sessions for the Malaysian Grand Prix took place in the searing heat of the Sepang circuit today.

The team focused on race preparation and an evaluation of the hard and medium compound Pirelli tyres

A brief rain shower during P2 caused some disruption midway through the session

Nico and Lewis completed a total of 51 and 50 laps respectively today during the two sessions

Drivers No. Chassis No. Practice 1 Practice 2

  • Nico Rosberg 9 F1 W04 / 03 19 laps 1:37.588 P5 32 laps 1:37.448 P7
  • Lewis Hamilton 10 F1 W04 / 04 18 laps 1:37.840 P9 32 laps 1:37.574 P9
  • Weather Hot and humid
  • Temperatures Air: 29-32°C Track: 29-42°C

Nico Rosberg

We worked a lot on our long run pace today, rather than being quick over one lap. As we saw in Melbourne, tyre management will be the key to success, so that’s our focus for the practice sessions. The conditions were tough out there and the heat is unbelievable. Generally we learnt a lot today but we still have some homework to do tonight and tomorrow.

Lewis Hamilton

We made some positive steps with the set-up over the two sessions today. I had a good long run in the dry which has given us a lot of information to look at tonight. We didn’t learn too much in the wet this afternoon however as the conditions were quite mixed when I went out. We focused mainly on longer runs today so I haven’t done a quick lap yet on either set of tyres; that will come tomorrow. I’m happy with the direction that we’re going and let’s see what the weekend brings.

Ross Brawn

We’ve had a good first day in Sepang. The programme focused on understanding the performance and consistency of the tyres and we learnt a lot today which will be relevant for the race on Sunday. The running was a little compromised by the conditions this afternoon but we had anticipated that and managed to get most of our work done before the rain came. Overall, I’m reasonably happy with the work that we achieved today.

Toto Wolff

We ran through a solid programme today where we focused most of all on race preparation on high fuel. We did two good long runs with Nico and Lewis, which has given us lots of data to compare. Well done to the guys for managing the programme so we could get the maximum from the dry track conditions. Tomorrow, we will concentrate more on one-lap pace and see where we stand. But we saw last weekend that, more than ever, this season is about being quick on Sunday, not just Saturday.

source: Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team, mercedes-gp.com

Sauber F1 Team logo

Sauber F1 Team

  • Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix – Practice – Friday, 22.03.2013
  • Weather: dry then rain, 30-32 °C air, 30-41 °C track

In free practice two of the Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix the Sauber F1 Team drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Gutiérrez finished 13th and 14th respectively. Both drivers were able to improve in the second session of the day, although Esteban lost time because of technical issues.

Nico Hülkenberg:

  • Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056)
  • 1st Practice: 14th / 1:39.054 min (17 laps) / 2nd Practice 13th / 1:38.068 min (31 laps)

“All in all it was a difficult Friday. I don’t know what to make of it yet. I think we still have a lot to do until the next session tomorrow. It’s a tough call, because I was not able to get a proper long run due to the weather. I think we still have potential in terms of the balance of the car and we have to wait and see what happens tomorrow.”

Esteban Gutiérrez:

  • Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
  • 1st Practice: 15th / 1:39.204 min (16 laps) / 2nd Practice 14th / 1:38.645 min (23 laps)

“From a set-up point of view it was a very productive today. We were able to improve the car from free practice one to free practice two in terms of its balance. Then unfortunately we had several issues, but we managed to get back on track to use the time we had. I didn’t have time for a proper run with the medium tyres, but getting some laps in the wet and then changing back to dry conditions was very positive. Tomorrow we have to catch up on the time we missed out on today.”

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering:

“It was a pretty typical practice day here in Malaysia. Rain in P2 was not ideal, but it was the same for everybody. We also had a few technical problems. On Esteban’s car the fire extinguisher seems to have gone off. We also had a cracked exhaust, and we are investigating both those now. With the improvement of the track between P1 and P2 and the set-up changes we made the drivers were happier, but we still have a lot of work to do before tomorrow’s qualifying and the race.”

source: Sauber F1 Team, sauberf1team.com

Sahara Force India F1 Team

Sahara Force India F1 Team

2013 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix, Free Practice Report

Sahara Force India was back in action today as Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta completed their free practice programmes ahead of Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

Adrian Sutil VJM06-03

  • FP1: 1:37.769 P6 17 laps
  • FP2: 1:37.788 P10 10 laps

Adrian: “The morning went OK and the balance was quite good. We made a change during the lunch hour to cure some oversteer and my general feeling with the car is good. I missed out on some running this afternoon, but I think the rain interrupted things for everybody so I didn’t miss too much dry track time. I still managed a run on the hard and the medium this afternoon so I’ve got a feel for both the tyre compounds.”

Paul Di Resta VJM06-04

  • FP1: 1:37.773 P8 15 laps
  • FP2: 1:37.571 P8 30 laps

Paul: “I think we’ve had a reasonable day. We’ve got some tyre data and first impressions suggest that our performance level is pretty similar to where it was in Melbourne last week. Hopefully we can continue the progress overnight. Generally I’m fairly happy but, as always, there’s some work to do tonight to make sure we’re comfortable on both the compounds going into the race.”

Jakob Andreasen, Chief Race Engineer

“A fairly typical day in Malaysia with dry running this morning and a light shower in the afternoon session. On the whole we got through the bulk of the programme and both Paul and Adrian seemed pretty content with the handling of their cars from the start of running. Adrian’s afternoon session was cut short as a precaution, but it did not cost him too much dry track time relative to the others. Paul clocked up 30 laps this afternoon, running both the hard and medium compounds, and is in good shape heading into tomorrow. We don’t have as much long run data as we would ideally like, but we have enough information to make some sensible predictions.”

source: Sahara Force India F1 Team, forceindiaf1.com

09 - Williams F1

Williams F1

Malaysian GP Practice

Objectives: Set-up work, tyre testing and long runs.

Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: We haven’t made the progress we had hoped for today. We need to look at the data we have from both sessions to maximise the package we have. We will then head straight back to the factory to work on some improvements ahead of Shanghai.

Pastor Maldonado: We didn’t have the pace today unfortunately. We need to analyse the data tonight to see what we can do. We have a lot of work to do but we’ll be pushing hard to see what we can achieve tomorrow.

Valtteri Bottas: We had a number of parts to test today following the race in Melbourne and we were evaluating different things between the two cars. We will analyse the data to see what worked well and make some decisions for qualifying tomorrow. We hope to find some improvements, but we know we still have a lot of work to do to close the gap.

source: Williams F1, williamsf1.com

Scuderia Toro Rosso logo

Scuderia Toro Rosso

2013 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX – FRIDAY 22/03/2013

Jean-Eric Vergne (STR8-03)

  • First Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:39.284, pos. 17th, 17 laps
  • Second Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:38.738, pos. 15th, 31 laps

“I think this was a positive day, including the reliability front which is important. We concentrated on our long run work and we got some good answers from that, which is the most important thing, rather than looking for quick lap times. Consistent times over a distance are more important. For tomorrow, we can now look at finding more pace. Tyre degradation is quite high, but we expected that and it’s the same for everybody. If it’s dry for the whole race, tyre management will be quite tricky. I didn’t learn much on the Inters, except that driving the car in the wet on a heavy fuel load is difficult! The heat? I’m fine with it.”

Daniel Ricciardo (STR8-01)

  • First Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:39.567, pos. 18th, 16 laps
  • Second Practice Session
  • Best lap: 1:38.904, pos. 17th, 31 laps

“We learned a lot about the tyres today. In the morning, they seemed to struggle in the heat and we made some changes to help deal with that in between the two sessions. We managed to improve the balance of the car to prolong tyre life and I think we succeeded to a certain extent in doing that. We still have more work to do on that. The heat doesn’t affect the brakes much as there’s time to cool them down, but you have to watch the engine temps and also the body temperatures, because looking in the garage the guys seemed to have just come out of the shower! This is a more physical race than others and it is definitely warm, but having come here a few times, I’m prepared for it and enjoying it.”

Laurent Mekies (Head of Vehicle Performance): “It was a constructive day, as we got through a lot of laps with both cars in all sorts of track conditions, so that Daniel and Jean-Eric ran three types of tyre – the Hard, Medium and Intermediates. That was useful, because past experience tells us we have to be prepared for anything in qualifying and the race. Once again, this weekend is going to be all about tyre management, so we are working hard on getting the most out of the compounds we have here. We have explored different directions in terms of set-up across both cars, so overall, we got the data we wanted. Now we must work on that tonight with the aim of getting as much performance as possible out of our package.”

source: Scuderia Toro Rosso, tororosso.com

Team Caterham logo

Team Caterham

Malaysian Grand Prix P1 / FP2 Report

Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia – Friday 22nd March 2013

Caterham F1 Team Partner information
AirAsia flies to over 400 destinations in more than 25 countries worldwide

Weather
FP1: Dry, sunny; min / max track temp 35° – 42°, air temp 30° – 33°
FP2: Dry, overcast (start / end), light rain (mid); min / max track temp 29° – 42°, air temp 30° – 33°

Fastest laps / positions:
FP1: VDG 1.40.728, 19th / PIC 1.41.163, 21st
FP2: PIC 1.40.757, 20th / VDG 1.40.768, 21st

Total laps:
FP1: VDG 17 / PIC 18
FP2: PIC 29 / VDG 32

Charles Pic, car #20, chassis CT03-06
 
FP1
1001 – 1004: Run 1, installation lap, 1 lap (hard tyres)
Changes: rear ride height, front / rear brake duct blanking
1039 – 1053: Run 2, 7 laps (hard tyres)
Changes: rear ride height, front wing flap angle
1115 – 1135: Run 3, 10 laps (hard tyres)
 
FP2
1400 – 1411: Run 1, installation lap, 7 laps (hard tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle
1415 – 1434: Run 2, 8 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: front / rear brake duct blanking
1438 – 1450: Run 3, 6 laps (hard tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle
1513 – 1522: Run 4, 4 laps (intermediate tyres)
Changes: front / rear brake duct blanking, brake balance, front wing flap angle
1525 – 1533: Run 5, 4 laps (hard tyres)
 
 
Giedo van der Garde, car #21, chassis CT03-05
 
FP1
1001 – 1004: Run 1, installation lap, 1 lap (hard tyres)
Changes: front / rear brake duct blanking
1041 – 1053: Run 2, 6 laps (hard tyres)
Changes: front / rear brake duct blanking, front toe-in
1115 – 1134: Run 3, 10 laps (hard tyres)
 
FP2
1400 – 1411: Run 1, installation lap, 7 laps (hard tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle
1415 – 1434: Run 2, 9 laps (medium tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle, brake balance, front / rear brake duct blanking
1438 – 1449 Run 3, 4 laps (hard tyres)
Changes: brake balance
1508 – 1520: Run 4, 7 laps (intermediate tyres)
Changes: front wing flap angle
1523 – 1533: Run 5, 5 laps (hard tyres)

Driver quotes

Charles Pic: “Friday has been ok for us and it’s mostly been looking at tyre degradation and balance. There was a little too much understeer in the first session this morning so we tried a couple of setup changes and they seemed to work. In the afternoon we had to change the plan a bit when the rain started but that gave us a chance to run seven laps on the intermediate tyres which could be important for Saturday and Sunday. We also had our first runs on the medium tyres here and wear rates were ok on those. I had a small mistake on my quickest lap on the performance run and that cost me quite a bit of time so I think there’s more to come tomorrow, especially in qualifying.

“We’ve also been working on improvements in the garage between runs, cutting down the turnaround times, and that’s working well. Overall it’s been a good week in Malaysia so far for me. It’s been busy but I’m enjoying it – we’ve had a great welcome wherever we go and I’m sure that’ll continue all weekend.”

Giedo van der Garde: “I think we’ve had a pretty good day. We’ve completed a lot of laps on all the tyres except the full wets and run through the whole program. In FP1 it was the normal runplan, focusing on the hard prime tyres and starting to understand deg levels on those – our pace on that compound and the wear rates were both encouraging, but we’ll have to work a bit more on getting them up to temperature efficiently and then keeping them in that first phase of degradation as long as possible.

“In FP2 we did a couple of short and long runs on the primes and one on the medium tyre, as well as a stint on the inters when the rain started. It wasn’t the intense rain we had on track yesterday but it was still enough to mean we needed to run the inters and with rain possible in quali and in the race that’s more good data for us. It’s also good for me to get as many laps as possible done on the intermediates – it’s all part of the learning process and with full running in both FP1 and FP2 today, compared to Melbourne, we’re in a better position for tomorrow and Sunday than we were last weekend.”

source: Team Caterham, caterhamf1.com

Marussia F1 Team logo

Marussia F1 Team

HOTTING UP

  • 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 & 2
  • Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Friday 22 March 2013
  • BIANCHI MR02-02 FP1 P20 1:40.996 14 laps FP2 P18 1:39.508 30 laps
  • CHILTON MR02-03 FP1 P22 1:41.513 14 laps FP2 P22 1:41.438 23 laps

The opening day of running at the Sepang International Circuit was a frustrating affair up and down the pitlane, with tyre wear issues besetting the teams in Free Practice 1 and the predicted afternoon shower, which it is possible to set the clock by, impacting upon progress in Free Practice 2.

This morning the programme was aero focused, as is the norm, with some time given over to circuit familiarisation, particularly for Jules Bianchi, who has never raced at Sepang. Max Chilton, by contrast, has had some experience here in the GP2 Asia Series. The programme was hampered by rear tyre wear issues but some good aero data was collected and fed back into the afternoon‘s plan.

For FP2 the team made some mechanical changes to try to offset the tyre management issues with both cars but the dry window was short-lived and the afternoon shower began an hour into the session. From then on the programme shifted to the Intermediate tyre – work which may well come in handy on Sunday if the current weather pattern prevails during the rest of the weekend.

Jules and Max ended the day in P18 and P22 respectively, with Max having been unable to complete his option tyre run on the PZero Medium.

Jules Bianchi #22

“I’m happy with the work we have been able to complete today, but it’s always difficult to end Friday without a clear picture of where we stand and where there are still so many variables to consider. I am pleased with my performance today though and we seem to be making progress on the set-up we need here. This is just one of those races and circuits and it’s the same for every team. It’s my first time racing here and I am happy with the way I have acclimatised to the track. Now we have to see what the rest of the weekend holds. It could be frustrating, it could be exciting. We will see.”

Max Chilton #23

“Today hasn’t been the most straightforward of days but I know from experience that this circuit presents a variety of challenges, so not entirely unexpected. We have had our frustrations in a few areas but we’ve made some progress and completed some good runs – unfortunately not my new option run. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the weekend will shape up now. The rain looks sets to play its part – that much looks clear. The rest is a little open right now so I think we will see an interesting qualifying and race.”

John Booth, Team Principal

“It has been an interesting day up and down the pitlane, with tyre wear and weather playing a part in both sessions. In FP1 we had a good session looking at some aerodynamic measurements and exhaust parts, which went well, and we were able to run in FP2 with new developments on both cars. It was clear after the first session that rear tyre wear was pretty significant, however we effected some set-up changes over the break to deal with this and in FP2 the situation seems to have eased. Max experienced a delamination on one of his rear tyres during his running, which hindered his session significantly, unfortunately meaning he didn’t make it out again in the dry period with the option tyre. We made the best use of the wet conditions at the end in order to give both drivers more experience of race running from the wet to the dry and the tyre crossover which this necessitates. In short, a day where the timesheets don’t really speak a great deal about where we stand, but a lot of very useful information in hand for what lies ahead this weekend.”

source: Marussia F1 Team, marussiavirginracing.com

Pirelli logo

Pirelli

2013 Malaysian Grand Prix – Practice Sessions

TEAMS GET USED TO THE HEAT AND RAIN OF MALAYSIA WITH PIRELLI

Conditions for the first two free practice sessions in Malaysia were in complete contrast to Australia last week, with ambient temperatures of 33 degrees centigrade and track temperatures that sometimes exceeded 40 degrees centigrade. Once more though there was rain, which fell halfway through FP2. This meant that many teams accelerated their programmes, moving from the P Zero Orange hard tyre onto the P Zero White medium tyre earlier than expected in FP2. This was the very first outing for the 2013-specification hard tyre, which is coloured orange for the first time.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “The teams experienced high ambient temperatures for the first time this year with our tyres, which was extremely useful as these are also the conditions that we would anticipate for the rest of the weekend. That includes the high risk of rain showers, as we saw halfway through FP2. As the circuit dried towards the end of FP2, this allowed the teams to assess the crossover points between the intermediates and the slicks. As we expected, we saw quite a high wear rate today, due to the more extreme nature of our 2013 tyres – which put the accent firmly on performance – as well as the high temperatures and abrasive track surface. Nonetheless, degradation stayed within our anticipated parameters. We have also seen differences in the way that individual teams use the compounds, with the hard compound lasting 15 laps for some teams and 21 laps or more for others. We’ll be looking at all the data tonight to establish a more precise picture for qualifying and the race.”

Fastest tyre of the day

FP1:                                                                                 FP2:

  1. Webber            1.36.935        Hard Used               1. Raikkonen     1.36.569           Medium New
  2. Raikkonen       1.37.003        Hard Used                2. Vettel            1.36.588           Medium New
  3. Vettel               1.37.104        Hard Used                 3. Massa           1.36.661           Medium New

Tyre statistics of the day:

  Hard Medium Intermediate Wet
kms driven * 3,275 1,363 698 16
sets used overall ** 47 24 21 1
highest number of laps ** 21 16 10 3

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.

May the Force be with you:

Max. g-force braking (longitudinal force):          Turn 1 @ -4.8 g
Max. g-force cornering (lateral force):                 Turn 12 @ 4.6g

Pirelli fact of the day:

  • This year’s fastest times in both free practice sessions in Malaysia were more than a second faster than the equivalent times from the same sessions last year.
  • The P Zero name seen on the side of Pirelli’s slick Formula One tyres has been around for the last 25 years, as it was first used to describe the road car tyres fitted to the Ferrari F40 in 1987. Pirelli’s performance tyres have always been given a ‘P’ designation, and with no number yet allocated during its development, the new tyre was internally known as P0. The name then stuck, creating the iconic P Zero brand.

source: Pirelli, pirelli.com

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Renault Sport F1

coming soon

source: renault.com

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Cosworth

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source: Cosworth, www.cosworth.com/f1