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Malaysia 2012 - Race information // Everything you need to know about the Malaysian Grand Prix

Published by Christine

Just three days after the last race, we're turning our attention to Sepang for the second Grand Prix of the 2012 season. With a mixed up qualifying order in Australia leading to a race result that wasn't all that extraordinary, what can Malaysia offer up? Incredible heat and troublesome humidity will be the big challenges facing our drivers this weekend, as they do battle with the elements to try and take victory in Sepang.

Event schedule

Jenson Button jumped his teammate off the start line of the Australian Grand Prix, and secured himself a very nice victory to take an early lead in the championship. Mercedes showed good pace but had a difficult afternoon on track, whilst Sauber proved their unusual strategy calls were not just a one-season things. For the race ahead, we're looking to see if Ferrari can make any headway with what appears to be a very unstable car, and if Williams can turn their improved pace into better results.

Session Timetable
DateDaySessionTime (GMT)Time (Local)
23 MarchFridayFree Practice 102:0010:00
Free Practice 206:0014:00
24 MarchSaturdayFree Practice 305:0013:00
Qualifying08:0016:00
25 MarchSundayGrand Prix09:00 (BST)16:00

Support racing for this event includes Malaysian Super Series and GP2.

The weather

The long range weather forecasts suggest rainy showers, plus the possibility of thunderstorms, which isn't much of a surprise when it comes to racing in Malaysia. The daily downpours can play havoc with Formula One schedules, and expect to see little running if one hits at the wrong time. Hopefully, the weather will be enough to make things interesting, but not so much as to ruin the show.

rain

Kuala Lumpur, Friday

30℃

  • Low 24℃
  • Humidity 71%

Chance of storms

showers

Kuala Lumpur, Saturday

31℃

  • Low 24℃
  • Humidity 67%

Rainy days

rain

Kuala Lumpur, Sunday

29℃

  • Low 24℃
  • Humidity 76%

Thunder ahead

Circuit map

Sidepodcast image
DRS Zones
DRS detection207 metres before Turn 15
DRS activation 15m after Turn 15

Double DRS didn't seem to have much of an effect in Australia, and for the Malaysian Grand Prix, the FIA have gone back to just the single DRS zone.

The activation area matches last year, and I don't recall it being a particularly good or bad thing in 2011. Little controversy for the second race of the year can only be a good thing.

The circuit

Circuit Data
NameSepang International
LocationMalaysia
TimezoneGMT +0800
First Race1999
Laps56
Length5.543 km
Distance310.408 km
Start / Finish Offset0.000 km

Sepang will see the cars run with high downforce settings as the track is littered with tricky corners. Two long straights, joined by the famous hairpin, are the only real respite from the twists and turns of the 5.5km lap.

Drivers will run on full throttle for 65% of the lap, and keeping the cars running smoothly - and cool - in the humid conditions will be key.

Last year, the strategy chosen by most teams was a two stop, resulting in 59 pit stops completed. Will the record be beaten this year?

2011 Results
SessionDriverTeamTimeLinks
Free Practice 1Mark WebberRed Bull1:37.651Live / Results
Free Practice 2Mark WebberRed Bull1:36.876Live / Results
Free Practice 3Lewis HamiltonMcLaren1:36.340Live / Results
QualifyingSebastian VettelRed Bull1:34.870Live / Results
Grand PrixSebastian VettelRed Bull1:37:39.832Live / Results
Fastest LapMark WebberRed Bull1:40.571

Tyre compounds

Medium and hard compounds
Medium and hard compounds

Pirelli did once say that they wouldn't run the medium and hard compounds together, particularly as the white and silver sidewalls will be hard to distinguish from each other. They've obviously forgotten that, as the compounds selected for this weekend will be just that one step apart.

Malaysia is one of the biggest challenges that we will face all year, and that is simply down to the nature of the track and the weather. We can expect track temperatures of up to around 50 degrees centigrade and a similar performance gap between the two nominated compounds as we saw in Australia. Our target is still for that gap to be less than one second.

- Paul Hembery

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
DayTime (Local)AttendeeRepresenting
Thursday15:00Fernando AlonsoFerrari
Jenson ButtonMcLaren
Pastor MaldonadoWilliams
Sergio PérezSauber
Michael SchumacherMercedes
Jean-Éric VergneToro Rosso
Friday18:30Stefano DomenicaliFerrari
Christian HornerRed Bull
Monisha KaltenbornSauber
Gérard LopezLotus
Riad AsmatCaterham
Martin WhitmarshMcLaren
SaturdayPost qualifyingThree fastest drivers
SundayPost raceFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process was changed last year to include a former F1 driver to give added insight. These are the stewards overseeing this weekend's action.

F1 Stewards
NamePosition
Paul GutjahrPresident of the FIA Hill Climb Commission and President of Auto Sport Suisse Sarl
Johnny HerbertFormer F1 driver and Le Mans winner
Roger PeartPresident of FIA Circuits Comission and ASN du Canada

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