2015 Malaysian Grand Prix – Practice Sessions
TRACK TEMPERATURES OF 56 DEGREES, SIMILAR TO THE HIGHEST TEMPERATURES IN 2014, CAUSE HIGH WEAR AND DEGRADATION
PERFORMANCE GAP OF APPROXIMATELY 0.9-1.0 SECONDS BETWEEN HARD AND MEDIUM COMPOUNDS
NO BLISTERING DESPITE THE EXTREME CONDITIONS: WET WEATHER STILL POSSIBLE FOR QUALIFYING AND THE RACE
Sepang, March 27, 2015 – The highest temperature seen on track last year was 57 degrees centigrade during the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend – and that record came close to being beaten today, with track temperatures in Sepang that peaked at 56 degrees in FP2.
In these tough conditions, with high-energy corners and significant downforce loads, wear and degradation is inevitably high, with low grip due to surface overheating. So far, there is a performance gap of 0.9 to 1.0 seconds between the P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium compounds that have been nominated for this weekend.
Ambient temperatures were just as debilitating as the track conditions, peaking at 36 degrees centigrade, with high humidity. Consequently rain is a constant risk, with some wet weather a possibility for tomorrow. This year’s race also has an earlier start time compared to last year, which could increase the likelihood of a wet race. Track temperatures during the race are also expected to be higher than last year.
Mercedes was quickest in both free practice sessions today, with Nico Rosberg in FP1 and Lewis Hamilton in FP2. Both fastest times were quicker than the equivalent times last year.
Paul Hembery: “If these conditions persist until Sunday, we’ll be racing in what will almost certainly be the hottest conditions that we experience all year, which obviously provide a proper work-out for the tyres. The medium compound is suffering a bit more than the hard tyre here, which is what we expected, with the front-left being the most critical tyre for drivers to watch. Despite that, we’ve got no blistering so far and a gap of 0.9 to 1.0 seconds between the two compounds so far, which should open up a few strategy options. However, the unique weather means that Malaysia is one of the hardest races to predict all year, so there’s plenty more action to come.”
1. Rosberg 1m40.124s Hard used 1. Hamilton 1m39.790s Medium new
2. Raikkonen 1m40.497s Hard used 2. Raikkonen 1m40.163s Medium used
3. Vettel 1m40.985s Hard used 3. Rosberg 1m40.218s Medium new
Tyre statistics of the day:
Hard Medium Intermediate Wet
kms driven * 2964 1308 0 0
sets used overall ** 57 19 0 0
highest number of laps ** 21 21 0 0
* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.
Pirelli facts of the day:
Ferrari driver Raffaele Marciello became the 100th Italian driver to take part in a grand prix weekend when he drove for Sauber in FP1 today. The last Italian to win a grand prix also sealed his victory in Malaysia, when Giancarlo Fisichella won for Renault in 2006. The last Italian to drive on Pirelli tyres during a grand prix weekend was Jarno Trulli, at the 2011 Brazilian Grand Prix.