2012 Malaysian Grand Prix

Discussion in 'Motorsport' started by prisonermonkeys, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. prisonermonkeys

    Staff Emeritus
    Antarctica Wanderland

    Now that we've all had a chance to catch out breath after Australia, it's time to start all over again. The championship now moves on to Sepang, for one of the most physically-demanding races of the season.

    Round II of the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship is the ...


    XIV Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix
    from the Sepang International Circuit in Sepang, Selangor


    [​IMG]

    One lap of Sepang with Sebastian Vettel:


    Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Suaber's Head of Track Engineering, explains the challenges of the Sepang circuit:
    Seven-day forecast:
    Intermitted showers all week, clearing on Sunday.
    Moderate, stable temperatures (22-24°C) predicted for the rest of the week.


    Lap Record ~ 1:34.223
    (Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams-BMW, 2004)

    2011 Results:
    1st ~ Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault)
    2nd ~ Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes)
    3rd ~ Nick Heidfeld (Renault)


    2012 standings (after one race):
    1st ~ Jenson Button (McLaren-Mercedes) ~ 25 points
    2nd ~ Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault) ~ 18 points
    3rd ~ Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes) ~ 15 points
    4th ~ Mark Webber (Red Bull-Renault) ~ 12 points
    5th ~ Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) ~ 10 points
    6th ~ Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber-Ferrari) ~ 8 points
    7th ~ Kimi Räikkönen (Lotus-Renault) ~ 6 points
    8th ~ Sergio Pérez (Sauber-Ferrari) ~ 4 points
    9th ~ Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso-Ferrari) ~ 2 points
    10th ~ Paul di Resta (Force India-Mercedes) ~ 1 point

    One down, nineteen to go. The Australian Grand Prix demonstrated that Red Bull can be caught, but there will be plenty of attention up and down the grid as no clear running order has been established. The big questions for this weekend are:

    • Will Red Bull bounce back, or will McLaren keep them honest?
    • Can Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean repeat their Melbourne performances?
    • Will Mercedes' rear wing be declared legal? And can they get over their tyre degradation problems?
    • What can Kimi Räikkönen do in the race with a proper qualifying lap?
    • Is the Ferrari really as undrivable as it seems, or is it just Felipe Massa's problem?
    • Which of the midfield teams has genuine top-six pace?
    • When will Caterham (and Marussia) make it to Q2 on merit?
    • Can HRT qualify for the race this time? And if not, when will they?
    Whatever the case, the 2012 season is shaping up for some fascinating battles as we're witnessing one of the most competitive midfields in years. Even if one driver runs away with it, there's still a lot of wrestling over the minor places that made for some great racing in Australia.​
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
  2. TopGearFTW

    England Leeds, W. Yorks
    PSN:TopGearFTW

    That's some real butchering of Kamui's name there :p :p
    It's probably too early to start calling how the season turns out, but if Button runs away with the whole thing I'll be happy as a McLaren fan. Hopefully Hamilton can get a string of very solid results to get his confidence back.

    As for the Malaysia race inparticular, hopefully some rain. Not enough to call it off though, just enough to make it interesting.
     
  3. Ardius

    United Kingdom Manchester
    PSN:Ardius_

    I would have thought the biggest question is who out of the midfield teams has genuine top 6-running pace? People have been talking about Sauber being the danger team and it seems Williams have decent car too. But as ever, Melbourne was a topsy-turvy weekend with several teams suffering bad luck. Malaysia tends to be a calmer race though the weather may change that again.

    So the biggest answer we're looking for is who is really looking good and who has been flattered with luck?
     
  4. ROAD_DOGG33J

    Premium
    IL, USA
    PSN:holyc0w1

    Whatever settings Ferrari bring, I hope they sprinkle the car with magic powder. White powder would be nice.

    I think McLaren should be able to keep their advantage over the Red Bulls with a McLaren 1-2 in the race.
     
  5. prisonermonkeys

    Staff Emeritus
    Antarctica Wanderland

    Didn't Nigel Stepney do that once?
     
  6. tribolik

    Luanda
    PSN:tribolik

    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Lets hope not... Im counting on one of them at least to finish the race :D
     
  7. Ah, that video... :bowdown: So happy F1 is back. I love Sepang!
     
  8. prisonermonkeys

    Staff Emeritus
    Antarctica Wanderland

    You know what I mean - Maldonado spent most of the race threatening to pass Alonso, while Grosjean qualified third.
     
  9. astrosdude91

    United States Houston, TX
    PSN:astrosdude91

    Vettel will win comfortably.
     
  10. Maldonado's Williams obviously looked legitimately fast at Melbourne. I see no reason why he could not stand a chance to repeat that pace at Sepang, although the track is a different beast really.
     
  11. prisonermonkeys

    Staff Emeritus
    Antarctica Wanderland

    The real question is what Bruno Senna is going to do. He really was the Felipe Massa of Williams in Melbourne.
     


  12. Yeah, I realized I'd tuned him out for some time at one point during the race... :odd: TBF, he was hindered at the start, and when I had last checked I believe he was 12th. Was really surprised though to see Pastor's pace so much stronger than his.
     
  13. plate88

    Premium
    O-H-I-O
    PSN:plate88

    I checked the F1 site earlier today and the weather was calling for rain/storms all weekend.
     
  14. hawkeye122

    United States California
    PSN:gdwest1

    I want to see Merc and Lotus step it up a bit more. And I'd love to see Force India back where they were last year. A bit sad to see 2 great drivers messing around at the back end of the field
     
  15. dudedo

    United States Santa Barbara
    PSN:dudedo

    HRT, Virgin, sorry... Marussia, and Lotus, sorry again... Caterham are all going to be on the podium. :lol:

    On a more realistic note, I do hope the Mercedes rear wing stays legal, and that Schumacher and Rosberg do a LOT better. And I want to see what Grosjean and Kimster can do with with a good quali and a completed race.
     
  16. RTSolvalou

    (Banned)

    If you read between the lines you can see that the Lotus can clearly get on the podium. Fortunately the bookmakers aren't so good at this, and due to Grosjean's fumbling and Raikkonen's non-star studded finish, have put up ridiculous odds on him (Raikkonen) for Malaysia, I myself have absolute confidence he can get pole and/or win the race. Nobody hit him please :lol:
    It may actually be the fastest car at the moment, I'm glad I don't have to wait an extra week to find out.
     
  17. F1 fan

    Premium
    Scotland Yokohama
    PSN:F1fan1

    I seriously doubt we're going to see Raikkonen on pole or winning the race.
     
  18. ROAD_DOGG33J

    Premium
    IL, USA
    PSN:holyc0w1

    Me three. If they had the fastest car, Raikkonen should have made up it further up in Australia. If I had to bet podium or not, I would go non-podium easy.
     

  19. Grosjean qualified 3rd...
     
  20. Patrick

    Premium
    United States California

    I wouldn't be surprised if the Kimster got pole or won a race.
     
  21. peter_vod69

    Australia Newcastle, NSW, Australia
    PSN:mrvajj

    I would.

    I think HRT will fail to qualify again too.
     
  22. prisonermonkeys

    Staff Emeritus
    Antarctica Wanderland

    Maldonado didn't become GP2 champion by idly coasting by. He did, after all, beat Sergio Perez to the title, and Perez is highly-rated. Now, we've seen GP2 front-runners falter in Formula 1, and GP2 backmarkers thrive, but I think Maldonado might be one of the most under-rated drivers the sport has seen in a long time, probably because the FW33 was pathetic. As bad as it was, it's worth noting that when Maldonado wasn't out-qualifying or out-racing Rubens Barrichello, he was very close behind.
     
  23. niky

    Moderator
    Philippines Philippines

    Pole, maybe not. Win? There's an outside chance.

    Remember. We don't know the true race pace of the Lotus. Kimi didn't make Q2 because the team released him too late on his "hot" lap for Q3. Grosjean qualified 3rd. If Kimi can match or exceed Grosjean for pace, then he could have qualified in that third spot. It could have very well been fifth or sixth if Rosberg, Vettel and Webber hadn't had their issues, but the possibility was there.

    Kimi went from 18th to 7th in the race. If he hadn't been caught cold by Kobayashi on that safety car restart, he could have been 6th. He had overtaken Kamui on-track before the safety car and his run up the field was as impressive as Alonso's.

    Given Sunday's race, I'd peg the Lotus as being possibly Mercedes GP level or higher. Possibly Sepang will show us which it is.
     
  24. prisonermonkeys

    Staff Emeritus
    Antarctica Wanderland

    A win? No. The Lotus would, at the very least, need to get through the McLarens, the Red Bulls and probably Alonso. That's a tall order.
     
  25. mattythedog

    Premium
    United Kingdom London
    PSN:MattyTheDog

    I'm very much looking forward to this race. After Sunday's events I think we'll be in for another good race, with all the cars being fairly evenly matched (at the front of the pack, and in the midfield). Also, Malaysia is one of my favourite races, mainly because of the changing weather conditions. I can't wait until the weekend now...
     
  26. niky

    Moderator
    Philippines Philippines

    Didn't say how far outside...

    Granted... the Lotus is not on McLaren pace, but there's a chance it is bang on Mercedes GP pace, which, depending on how Red Bull fare in this second race (does glitchy KERS like tropical heat?), could put them on the second or third row.
     
  27. ROAD_DOGG33J

    Premium
    IL, USA
    PSN:holyc0w1

    And he didn't get a good start and then got passed by Maldonado.

    I wasn't that impressed by their pace. It probably does better on lighter loads. Raikkonen was up to 12th on lap 3. Schumacher and Pastor went out of the race. Massa was pretty slow. So he took his sweet time getting to 7th with this allegedly fast car. Granted passing isn't easy, but why not higher? Alonso did 24 to 6 in Monaco.

    But Sepang should tell all if there is no rain or weird incidents.
     
  28. F1 fan

    Premium
    Scotland Yokohama
    PSN:F1fan1

    Alonso's 24th to 6th at Monaco was flattered by being the first person to pit under the safety car. I seem to remember him spending several laps stuck behind Di Grassi.
     
  29. niky

    Moderator
    Philippines Philippines

    Remember, this is still the Renault engine, so they will have trouble overtaking due to the lack of power... but the car is obviously quick enough.

    I agree, though... won't know till we see them in Sepang...
     
  30. F1 fan

    Premium
    Scotland Yokohama
    PSN:F1fan1

    I agree. A lot of people seem to disregard the fact that the cars with Renault engines are so down on power, it makes overtaking very hard.
     
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