Grand Prix 2011 Malaysian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Typical F1.
You wait months for a race and then 2 come along in the space of a few weeks.

This weekend will see the 13th race at the Sepang circuit; will it be unlucky for some?
For a most excellent circuit write-up, see Galahad's musings here, along with enough stat's and data to satisfy the most ardent of nerds: Sepang International Circuit

2009 is remembered for the later start and torrential rain which resulted in the race being red flagged after 33 laps; making it only the fifth race in F1 history to be stopped before 75% of the distance had been completed.

Ferrari and McLaren will no doubt be aiming to make it into Q2 after their amateurish mistakes last year.
With rain forecast for the weekend though, the chances of one or more of the top drivers making a mistake is fairly high.

This race is probably make or break for HRT.
If they don't manage to qualify within 107% of the fastest time in Q1 and are once again stopped from participating in the Grand Prix, then you have to assume it's all over for them.

So, lots to look forward to. Let's hope it's not a Red Bull walkover and qualifying is a lot closer than Australia.
 

EvilWhippet

Podium Finisher
I'm hoping for some rain just to see which cars suit it. Hopefully JUST the right amount of rain though, which never happens at Sepang, always either torrential downpours or walk in the humid park.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
Is the race starting at the same time as it did in 2009? As far as HRT are concerned I doubt they will get within 110% of pole, particularly on a longer track where car performance is more important.
 

F1Yorkshire

Avatar for sale to the highest bidder
Contributor
HRT's only hope is that they go out 1st and put in a dry time and then it rains immediately afterwards.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
:sick:
http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/90478
The FIA confirmed on Thursday that the DRS detection zone, where drivers must be within one second of the rival ahead of them to get the wing activated, will be situated 207 metres before the final corner at Sepang.
The DRS activation zone, where drivers can use the rear wing for a straight-line speed boost, will start just five metres after the final corner and run for the entire length of the start-finish straight.
Webber said that he had expected more from the wing in Australia, but is in no doubt how much better it will be in Malaysia.
"I got pretty close to Fernando [Alonso] a few times [in Australia] and only once with Lewis on lap three," he said. "Fernando was someone I expected to put more pressure on.
"But it was a characteristic of the corner onto the start-finish - it was too quick. And the entry to Turn 1, even if you got close, it was easy for the guy to manipulate the line for you, and give you a different trajectory into the corner.
"Here will be a completely different story – if you are within the zone on the Apex of Turn 15.
"If it doesn't work here I don't know where it will work. You have a slow corner to open the lap, a slow corner at the braking point, and Heathrow airport in between as well in terms of options, so it should work."
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
It saddens me that we're spending all our time before the race talking about DRS. I mean, if it rains there'll be no DRS!

Is it because we're all sure there's one probable winning car, and one driver likely to win from that car?

HRT's only hope is that they go out 1st and put in a dry time and then it rains immediately afterwards.
It'd be a lifeline for HRT to see that happen, but it would mean the top guys make the same mistake they made last year!
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
I don't think that this race is easy to predict.Red Bull will be very strong but I don't expect them to be so dominant.
McLaren will surely have sorted their problems by now and will pose a possible threat.Ferrari could also be in a better position and show more of their pre season form.
Ross Brawn is under the cosh for this one.Mercedes must start showing some degree of competitiveness or these will questions raised back in Germany.
Lotus Renault seem to have their car dailed in and if it does rain then expect Heidfield to be in the frame (assuming that he has found the suitcase with his driving ability in) which he couldn't find in Australia.
I am very interested in seeing how Sauber show in this race.Although I don't think their rear wing gave them any advantage, no doubt they will make damned sure that doesn't again.
Ol' Ruby in the Williams needs to get his finger out.I think that the car is capable of doing much better than it has so far.
As for the rest I am not expecting any suprises.HRT Gawd knows what they will do.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Presumably the nature of the circuit in Australia negated any significant benefit from KERS, hence why Red Bull were able to win so convincingly without it. Give the two rather lengthy straights in Sepang I would imagine KERS becomes a bit more important and why RB are trying to make sure they get it fixed onto the car this weekend.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Lotus Renault seem to have their car dailed in and if it does rain then expect Heidfield to be in the frame (assuming that he has found the suitcase with his driving ability in) which he couldn't find in Australia.
Mario Thiessen is holding it for ransom, along with the suitcase containing Robert Kubica's ability to avoid accidents.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
Pirelli have tweaked the colour markings as an interim solution.

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/90490
pirelli.jpg
Pirelli has added a gold stripe to the side of the soft tyres used at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix to try and help make it easier for fans to see which compounds drivers are using.
The Italian tyre manufacturer has elected to mark each of the four compounds it is using in 2011 with different coloured lettering on the sidewalls.
However, following complaints in Australia that it was difficult to pick out the silver and yellow colours used for the hard and soft tyres, tweaks have been made for this weekend as an interim solution.
Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembery said that a more permanent change to the tyres will be made from the start of the European season.
 
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FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Just a quick note on HRT, I may be in a minority here but I really hope they make the grid this race. If F1 were to lose another team, no matter how slow, it's not good for the sport. I'm just as interested in the back of the grid as the front and remember many teams were "tail end charlie's" before making the leap to race winners - how many years did Frank Williams struggled along in F1 (including getting subs from Bernie Ecclestone to pay for engines, tyres and his staff's wages) before Patrick Head copied and improved the Lotus 79 designed the FW07?
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Just a quick note on HRT, I may be in a minority here but I really hope they make the grid this race. If F1 were to lose another team, no matter how slow, it's not good for the sport. I'm just as interested in the back of the grid as the front and remember many teams were "tail end charlie's" before making the leap to race winners - how many years did Frank Williams struggled along in F1 (including getting subs from Bernie Ecclestone to pay for engines, tyres and his staff's wages) before Patrick Head copied and improved the Lotus 79 designed the FW07?
Although I don't think for one millisecond that Carabante's lot will ever amount to anything, and certainly not 9 Constructors' Championships, it is always sad to see the death of a team and I don't want that to happen to HRT. However, I can't see them being professional and quick enough to avoid that particular fate. There is more life in HRT than there was in Life, and they're less outmoded than Andrea Moda. But in 2011, don't think they're quite there.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Massive fail on the tyres.
One race in and they've already had to make changes.

It makes you wonder if they do any trials or tests on this sort of stuff.
It was obvious to every man and his dog that choosing similar colours would make it difficult to differentiate them at high speed.
 

Grizzly

Bear
Contributor
Who knows :dunno: seems pretty elementary doesn't it? All they needed was four bright poster colours and all would have been fine.

On HRT, there were/are several outfits that were after one of the new team slots, meaning that surely their entry must be quite valuable to any of those rejected teams..... Id like to see them do well enough to either attract some sponsorship, or, possibly a better end result... a buyout from Prodrive or one of the other recent applicants
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
As the FIA have bought back in the 107% rule why don't they let any team enter? Those good enough would make the grid and (hopefully) attract more sponsorship, those not would wither and die. Bernie's "closed shop" of teams just doesn't make any sense to me. Perhaps something for another thread.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
They only changed the tyre markings because of a few whingers. I didn't think there was anything wrong with them at Melbourne, to be honest.

With regard to HRT, I am hoping that they make a better fist of it at Sepang than they did in Melbourne. I know a lot of people have written them off as a joke team, but reading James Allen's article http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2011/03/what-is-hispanias-place-in-formula-1/ did make me think that they have had a hard time of it trying to build a car from scratch after the problems with Dallara and losing the opportunity of the Toyota chassis, then not being able to use the 2011 front wing which the car's aero package had been designed for, when it failed the crash tests. I for one hope that with the right wing on the car this time and a bit lot of luck, they can at least get into the race and surprise a few people.
 
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