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Race information - Malaysia 2016 // The hot and humid race moves to the later end of the calendar

Published by Christine

It feels odd to start thinking about the Malaysian Grand Prix at this late stage in the championship. Previously a mainstay in the early rounds of any given season, Sepang has taken up hosting duties in September/October this year, although expectations are still that weather will play a big part in the race weekend. The title battle is still raging between the two Mercedes drivers, and there's plenty to play for in the midfield, so this could be a fascinating weekend.

Event schedule

Where Malaysia used to be so early in the calendar that results were tinged with the thought that "there's still a long way to go", now it could end up being a pivotal point in the championship battle. Mercedes have obviously wrapped up their side of the deal but their drivers are still duking it out. Nico Rosberg has moved ahead once again, but the gap is nowhere near as comfortable for him as it has been in the past.

Sauber are looking to pick up a couple of points before the end of the season, hoping to topple Manor from their current position in tenth. The Swiss squad have investment now, and their future is looking bright but getting into the top ten would be the best way to end their year and start building momentum for the next.

Meanwhile, it's Jenson Button's 300th Grand Prix weekend, an incredible amount of race starts, that is only marred by the knowledge that he won't be on the grid next year. Better make it a good one, Jenson!

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
30 SepFridayFree Practice 103:00
GMT +01:00
10:00
GMT +08:00
Free Practice 207:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT +08:00
01 OctSaturdayFree Practice 307:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT +08:00
Qualifying10:00
GMT +01:00
17:00
GMT +08:00
02 OctSundayGrand Prix08:00
GMT +01:00
15:00
GMT +08:00

Support racing for this event includes TCR International Series, Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, GP2 Series and GP3 Series.

Expected conditions

It seems like it doesn't matter when you head to Malaysia, you're likely to be in the running to witness a thunderstorm. The forecast has showers and storms for all three days of the race weekend, although they may fall before or after the sessions themselves. Temperatures are set to be high, above 30 degrees, whilst the humidity is more than two thirds at all times.

Thunderstorms in the area

Sepang, Friday

32℃

  • Low 26℃
  • Humidity 67%

Thunderstorms in the area

Scattered thunderstorms

Sepang, Saturday

33℃

  • Low 26℃
  • Humidity 67%

Scattered thunderstorms

Partly cloudy

Sepang, Sunday

33℃

  • Low 25℃
  • Humidity 69%

Partly cloudy

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

There have been a sizeable amount of changes made to the Sepang circuit this year, to the point where organisers have said drivers will feel as if they are driving on the track for the first time. Whilst the layout is still the same, there have been resurfacing works completed to get rid of any bumps, as well as re-profiling of some of the camber at certain corners, as well as guardrail moves and tyre barrier improvements.

The DRS zones have also been revamped this year, with a single detection point serving two activation points around turns 14 and 15. All these changes will hopefully do nothing to mute the high speed corners and long straights that we are accustomed to in Malaysia, which can be something of a car breaker - particularly at this late stage of the year.

Lewis Hamilton has done well in qualifying at Sepang, sitting second in the all time pole list with three compared to Michael Schumacher's five. Ferrari are the most successful team with seven wins out of the 17 Grands Prix that have been held in Malaysia. Fernando Alonso has won here three times, and on each occasion he has been driving for a different team.

Results for the 2015 Malaysian Grand Prix
SessionDriverTeamTime
Free Practice 1Nico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:40.124
Free Practice 2Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:39.790
Free Practice 3Nico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:39.690
QualifyingLewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:49.834
Grand PrixSebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari1:41:05.793
Fastest lapNico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:42.062

Tyre compounds

From the softest compounds available in Singapore, drivers head into a race where it is the hardest rubber they have to deal with. We've got the return of the hard compounds, with their orange sidewalls, alongside the more regular medium and softs.

Drivers have spread their choices across the three more evenly this weekend, with two or three sets of hard tyres throughout the field. Only Jolyon Palmer has bucked the trend with four orange sets, and only two of the mediums. Meanwhile, the Toro Rosso boys have the most soft tyres with eight sets apiece.

Selected tyre sets per driver
Hard tyreMedium tyreSoft tyre
Lewis Hamilton337
Nico Rosberg247
Sebastian Vettel247
Kimi Räikkönen337
Valtteri Bottas247
Felipe Massa337
Daniel Ricciardo346
Max Verstappen346
Nico Hülkenberg337
Sergio Pérez337
Kevin Magnussen337
Jolyon Palmer427
Daniil Kvyat328
Carlos Sainz328
Marcus Ericsson247
Felipe Nasr247
Fernando Alonso337
Jenson Button337
Pascal Wehrlein346
Esteban Ocon346
Romain Grosjean247
Esteban Gutiérrez337

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
ThursdayJenson ButtonMcLaren Honda
Nico HülkenbergSahara Force India F1 Team
Daniil KvyatScuderia Toro Rosso
Felipe MassaWilliams Martini Racing
Esteban OconManor Racing MRT
Nico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
FridayÉric BoullierMcLaren Honda
Robert FernleySahara Force India F1 Team
Dave RyanManor Racing MRT
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
Steven ChoppingFormer Vice President of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sports (CAMS), Chairman CAMS Judicial Advisory Committee, Permanent Chairman of the Stewards panel for the V8 Supercar Championship.
Tim MayerFIA alternate delegate to the USA and FIA Steward, son of former McLaren Team Principal Teddy Mayer, plus involvement in management of IndyCar and CART.
Derek WarwickFormer Formula One driver and World Sportscar champion.

All content in the series Malaysia 2016