2010 Malaysian Grand Prix Preview

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Round 3 - Sepang International Circuit

Summary
Sunday's race will mark the 12th Malaysian Grand Prix, all held at Hermann Tilke's Sepang International Circuit near Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The circuit was built with government support and may be considered the first of a subsequent generation of circuits built by Tilke in Asia, free from sponsor restrictions and EU interference. It is characterised by its width, its very long straights and extremely tight switchback Turns 1 and 2. Some earth movement at the venue, built on former marshland, has resulted in some unexpected bumps and undulations appearing, particularly on the uphill approach to Turn 4, but in general there is not much in the way of gradient or camber to bother the drivers.

Initially the race was scheduled at the end of the season, and in 2000 hosted the finale, but since then it has always been the second race on the calendar. The race has often been affected by sudden and unexpected rainfall of monsoon proportions, more so since the move of date to March/April. Last year's race was halted after 31 of the scheduled 56 laps as heavy rain, a series of accidents and descending gloom prevented a restart. This was the first race where half points were awarded since 1991.

As a relatively conventional track, unexpected results have not been common. Ralf Schumacher scored a victory in 2002 from fourth on the grid after Michelin outperformed Bridgestone, but Ferrari had not yet unveiled their devastating F2002 at that stage of the season. Giancarlo Fisichella scored his third and, it would seem, last career victory there in 2006, hanging on as Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso fought up from seventh on the grid to finish a close second. A slightly high mechanical failure rate may be explained by Malaysia being an early-season Grand Prix and teams suffering teething trouble, or by the heat and humidity making cooling marginal.

The overall finishing rate at Sepang is somewhat lower than the average for most circuits.
The likelihood of a driver-related retirement is about average.
Mechnical failures are more likely at Sepang than for most other tracks.
Finally, first lap retirements are consistent with the average for other Grands Prix.

The Last Five Years
200520132407 - Nick Heidfeld (Williams) & Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren) & Christijan Albers (Minardi)
2006221471116 - Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
2007221821111 - Rubens Barrichello (Honda)
200822172316 - Anthony Davidson (Super Aguri)
200920181418 - Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)
Overall1068014134
[td]Year[/td][td]Starters[/td][td]Finishers[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Lap 1 retirements[/td][td]Most places gained[/td]

Circuit Ranking (of all 18 circuits)
Finishing Rate
...
12th Monte Carlo 77%
13th Sepang 75%
14th Interlagos 75%
...

Mechanical Failures
...
5th Hungaroring 15%
6th= Melbourne 13%
6th= Sepang 13%
8th Hockenheim 13%
...

Driver-related Retirements
...
7th Singapore 13%
8th Sepang 12%
9th Silverstone 12%
...

First lap Retirements
...
6th Silverstone 3.8%
7th Sepang 3.8%
8th Hungaroring 2.9%
...

Michael Schumacher has won three Malaysian Grands Prix, while Fernando Alonso has two, with different teams, and could add a third this weekend. Jenson Button is the only other current winner of the event. Rubens Barrichello has shown good form over the years, particularly when it has been wet, while despite Nico Rosberg having only scored 0.5pts, he has qualified in the top six in three of the past four years. Similarly, having achieved two pole positions in 2007 and 2008, Felipe Massa's best result at Sepang is fifth.

Ferrari have been the most successful team at Sepang with five wins from the eleven events held. Renault can also point to a record of success, with three pole positions and two wins. Red Bull have notably struggled to get their cars to the finish at Sepang, and the team have only once managed to get a car onto the front two rows of the grid (Mark Webber with the team then known as Jaguar in 2004).

Current Drivers' Records at Sepang
Michael Schumacher881st (3)48004.38
Fernando Alonso881st (2)37008.38
Rubens Barrichello1192nd (2)27209
Jarno Trulli1092nd (1)25.5106
Jenson Button1081st (1)22209.4
Lewis Hamilton332nd (1)13008.33
Felipe Massa765th (2)90111.14
Robert Kubica322nd (1)8105.67
Heikki Kovalainen323rd (1)70111
Mark Webber836th (1)3.5328.5
Timo Glock213rd (1)3016.5
Nico Rosberg428th (1)0.5207.25
Pedro de la Rosa3110th (1)01117
Vitantonio Liuzzi2211th (1)00014.5
Sebastian Vettel2115th (1)01114
Sebastien Buemi1116th (1)00120
Adrian Sutil3117th (1)01120
Jaime Alguersuari0------
Karun Chandhok0------
Lucas di Grassi0------
Nico Hulkenberg0------
Kamui Kobayashi0------
Vitaly Petrov0------
Bruno Senna0------
[td]Driver[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]

Chassis Records at Sepang
Ferrari22191st (5)105215.32
McLaren22151st (2)70526.23
Renault22191st (2)52219.09
Williams22131st (1)37.5639
BMW Sauber22152nd (2)273411.14
Mercedes GP21131st (1)238111.45
Red Bull22134th (1)13.58210.95
Force India22154th (1)45314.91
Toro Rosso22139th (1)06518.27
Hispania0------
Lotus0------
Virgin0------
[td]Chassis[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]
Results for Renault include Benetton
Results for Mercedes GP include BAR, Honda and Brawn
Results for BMW Sauber include Sauber
Results for Red Bull include Stewart and Jaguar
Results for Force India include Jordan, Midland and Spyker
Results for Toro Rosso include Minardi


Engine Records at Sepang
Ferrari48331st (5)1108810.63
Mercedes-Benz26191st (3)77537.04
Renault24201st (2)55.5329.29
Cosworth32174th (1)1011413.44
[td]Engine[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]
Results for Ferrari include Petronas and Acer
Results for Cosworth include Ford


All ranking figures are expressed as a % of total starts.
"Retirements-Acc" are retirements where the reason has been listed as Collision, Accident or Spun Off.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
For your viewing pleasure, a lap round Malaysia with Mark Webber in the Red Bull stimulator:

 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
For those interested in overtaking data, this is Sepang's record.

Circuit990001020304050607080910TotalDry Avg.Avg.
Sepang International Circuit11284422161371610528-20014.2218.18
2001 and 2009 were wet races.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
It's not renouned for overtaking then? However I have almost always felt very entertained after a Malaysian GP. :s Or did I hallucinate that?...

It was definately too wet last year, I do remember that!
 

slickskid

Points Scorer
Supporter
snowy said:
It was definately too wet last year, I do remember that!
There appears to be quite a high chance of those conditions again this year in which case the quickest times of the weekend might end up coming from the boys in blue, and i'm not talking the red bull team more those uni types with the right type of equipment paddling down the thames!
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
I guess this is the best place to post some Malaysian GP Overtakes of the past.

With 11, the first race there wasn't packed with overtaking, and two of those were Schumacher letting Irvine past quite obviously. Aside from those two, only two others were seen on the TV coverage. I was going to make an overtaking summary video for the race, but it wasn't worth it, so I just posted the most notable pass of the race on YouTube. The other overtake seen on TV was Alesi on Wurz for P6 on lap 19. If anybody really wants to see that one, just ask and I'll post it somewhere.


The 2000 race saw a SC on lap 1, and Hakkinen received a Jump Start penalty that put him at the very back of the field, so there was naturally going to be a lot more overtaking than the first GP at Sepang. Only 8 overtakes were seen on the TV coverage, but there was plenty of material for a summary video. So here is all the action at Malaysia 2000.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcs9nr_2000-malaysian-gp-starts-incidents_sport

And then we jump to 2007, where Lewis started the race off in spectacular fashion and then took Massa to school a few laps later. Rosberg pulled the same move on Kubica later in the race as well.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xcsbza_malaysia-2007-overtakes

Enjoy!
 

snowy

Champion Elect
Of course it was much, much easier to overtake back in 2007 because the F1 cars were half the width they are now... :whistle:
 
Brogan said:
:o

On that 3rd pic' the rain's so bad it's washed the car clean away LOL
No, that's Newey's new design. LOL

Btw, do you have any statistical data for (or IF) any races cancelled due to rain? Not postponed, cancelled.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Cancer Cowboy said:
Btw, do you have any statistical data for (or IF) any races cancelled due to rain? Not postponed, cancelled.
I don't believe any were cancelled but some were stopped early.
Give me 5 min's and I'll dig them out.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
OK, this is what I've got for races stopped before the full distance.

1974	Spanish		The race was stopped 6 laps early on lap 84 when it reached the 2 hour time limit
1975 Monaco The race was stopped 3 laps early on lap 75 when it reached the 2 hour time limit
1982 Detroit The race was stopped 14 laps early on lap 62 when it reached the 2 hour time limit
1984 Dallas The race was stopped 1 lap early on lap 67 when it reached the 2 hour time limit
1985 Portuguese The race was stopped 2 laps early on lap 67 when it reached the 2 hour time limit
1985 British The race was stopped 1 lap early on lap 65 due to an error
1989 United States The race was stopped 6 laps early on lap 75 when it reached the 2 hour time limit
1989 Australian The race was stopped 11 laps early on lap 70 when it reached the 2 hour time limit
1991 United States The race was stopped 1 lap early on lap 81 when it reached the 2 hour time limit
1996 Monaco The race was stopped 3 laps early on lap 75 when it reached the 2 hour time limit
1997 Monaco The race was stopped 16 laps early on lap 62 when it reached the 2 hour time limit
2008 Monaco The race was stopped 2 laps early on lap 76 when it reached the 2 hour time limit
1974 Spain was wet
1985 Portugal was wet
1989 Australia was wet
1975, 1996, 1997, 2008 Monaco was wet
 
Nice stats :thumbsup:

So, no record of a race not being held? I was watching the pics and lets say a 2009-like-thunderstorm hits the track 5 minutes before the start and the track doesn't dry up for an hour-hour and a half? It sounds possible.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Or perhaps the sneaky leaky valves for the adjustable suspension failed and Vettels' been catapulted into space :D
That would make a great pic' for a caption comp'.
 

slickskid

Points Scorer
Supporter
Brogan said:
OK, this is what I've got for races stopped before the full distance.

1974 Spain was wet
1985 Portugal was wet
1989 Australia was wet
1975, 1996, 1997, 2008 Monaco was wet
and of course Malaysia last year!!
 
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