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Race information - Malaysia 2014 // Track data, tyre compounds, session schedules and much more

Published by Christine

The first race of the year delivered controversy in spades, as well as high unreliability and a handful of surprises along the way. Where Australia can't be considered completely representative of pace, Malaysia may also not show every team's true colours. The high humidity makes it an endurance event, and with the 2014 cars in the state they are, getting to the chequered flag will once again be a key concern.

Event schedule

There was an element of concern surrounding the race results from Melbourne, with Nico Rosberg pulling out a 20 second lead over his fellow racers. It was a dominant display worryingly similar to the 2013 style of racing, but there was plenty still to take note of. The rookie racers did a good job, whilst both Lotus and Caterham suffered double DNFs.

Meanwhile, it was McLaren that zipped to the top of the team standings, with good results for both Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button. Mercedes and Ferrari were close behind, with a surprising zero points for Red Bull. Of course, that only came about after their disqualification for illegal fuel flows - an issue that is still hanging over their heads as they go into the Sepang race weekend.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
28 MarFridayFree Practice 102:00
GMT +00:00
10:00
GMT +08:00
Free Practice 206:00
GMT +00:00
14:00
GMT +08:00
29 MarSaturdayFree Practice 305:00
GMT +00:00
13:00
GMT +08:00
Qualifying08:00
GMT +00:00
16:00
GMT +08:00
30 MarSundayGrand Prix09:00
GMT +01:00
16:00
GMT +08:00

Support racing for this event includes Malaysian Super Series and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.

Expected conditions

Whenever F1 employees head to Malaysia, they have a pretty good idea of what to expect in the paddock. Hot and humid ambient conditions will linger over the track, whilst the risk of rainfall is present almost all the time - a daily thunderstorm expected either during or just after the F1 sessions have been completed.

We saw a little bit of rain mixing up qualifying in Australia, and it would be good to see our drivers attempt the fight for pole position in clear conditions this weekend, but I'm not holding my breath!

Chance of storms

Sepang, Friday

35℃

  • Low 24℃
  • Humidity 61%

Chance of storms

Afternoon thunderstorms

Sepang, Saturday

34℃

  • Low 24℃
  • Humidity 66%

Afternoon thunderstorms

Chance of rain

Sepang, Sunday

34℃

  • Low 25℃
  • Humidity 63%

Chance of rain

Track information

Sepang International Circuit circuit map
DRS zones
DRS detection 154m after turn 12
DRS activation 1104m after turn 14
DRS detection 216m after turn 15
DRS activation 228m after turn 15

The Sepang International circuit is an average length for an F1 race track, but for the drivers stuck inside the cockpit, it's a real test of endurance. The tarmac is wide, which offers up a lot of potential for overtaking, and the mix of sweeping corners, long straights and hairpins adds to both the challenge and the opportunities.

Cooling will be a significant issue, as will the track surface. The cars this year have so far proven to be quite delicate, and the tarmac can be bumpy, with tyre degradation high. Brake wear can also be high, and with the new brake-by-wire technology causing problems up and down the grid, this could be a key area of concern.

We didn't see much in the way of fuel concerns in Australia (Red Bull's troubles notwithstanding) due to the appearance of the safety car. In Malaysia, the chances of a safety car are down to about 20%, so we may get to see fuel become a factor towards the end of the race.

Circuit history

Circuit information
CircuitSepang International Circuit
LocationSepang
CountryMalaysia
TimezoneGMT +08:00
Race debut1999
Laps56
Length5.543 km
Distance310.408 km
Line offset0.000 km

The Malaysian Grand Prix was first held in October, rather than the earlier portion of the season, but took up its current slot in 2001. Just as with the Australian race, the event had its start time pushed back in recent years to help ease the time difference for European audiences. It only served to put the race in the prime position to clash with the daily downpour, however.

Red Bull have had some good results at Sepang in the last few years, winning three of the last four events - all of which were victories for Sebastian Vettel. The German will be hoping for more good luck, having retired from the first race this year.

Fernando Alonso took the other win of those four, in 2012, rising from eighth on the grid to secure the win. It was the lowest on the grid anyone had won from, with pole position a key, if not totally crucial, factor in a good result.

Results for the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix
SessionDriverTeamTime
Free Practice 1Mark WebberInfiniti Red Bull Racing1:36.935
Free Practice 2Kimi RäikkönenLotus F1 Team1:36.569
Free Practice 3Sebastian VettelInfiniti Red Bull Racing1:36.435
QualifyingSebastian VettelInfiniti Red Bull Racing1:49.674
Grand PrixSebastian VettelInfiniti Red Bull Racing1:38:56.681
Fastest lapSergio PérezVodafone McLaren Mercedes1:39.199

Tyre compounds

Malaysian Grand Prix tyre selection
Hard and medium compounds

The tyre compounds this weekend take a turn for the harder, with the orange sidewalls making their first appearance of 2014. The abrasive surface of the Sepang track must be a concern to Pirelli, however we saw very little evidence of high tyre wear in Australia, as the rubber took a step back from centre stage (for once).

The medium performed well in Melbourne, but Malaysia obviously presents a big contrast to Australia. We go from the smooth asphalt in Melbourne to a highly abrasive surface, and from the relatively cool conditions of Albert Park to much higher ambient and track temperatures.

- 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
DayAttendeeRepresenting
ThursdayValtteri BottasWilliams Martini Racing
Kamui KobayashiCaterham F1 Team
Daniil KvyatScuderia Toro Rosso
Pastor MaldonadoLotus F1 Team
Kimi RäikkönenScuderia Ferrari
Nico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
FridayCyril AbiteboulCaterham F1 Team
Federico GastaldiLotus F1 Team
Paul HemberyPirelli Tyre S.p.A
Monisha KaltenbornSauber F1 Team
Graeme LowdonMarussia F1 Team
Franz TostScuderia Toro Rosso
SaturdayThree fastest drivers
SundayFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process includes a former F1 driver to offer added insight. These stewards are overseeing the weekend's action.

FIA stewards
NamePosition
Silvia BellotMember of the Royal Spanish Automobile Federation Board of Directors, FIA Women in Motorsport Commission Member, and FIA steward.
Martin DonnellyFormula One driver 1989-1990, demonstrates in the Lotus 102 at various events, owner of Donnelly Track Academy.
Lars ÖsterlindFIA World Council Member and Honorary President of the Swedish Automobile Sport Federation.

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