What are we to expect in Malaysia?
Rain, as likely as not. And lots to do, for all of the teams, especially for the ten which need to recoup the lag behind the day’s most powerful race leader: Mercedes.
As usual, he who is first to guess right the pole position and the second pole position in Malaysia race and qualifications will get our T-shirt. Leave your predictions at the end of the editorial.
|Lap length||5543 m|
|Race distance||310.408 km|
|Pole position||left-hand side of the track|
|Lap record||1’34.223 by Juan Pablo Montoya, in 2004|
|Maximum speed||303 kph|
|DRS zones||pit straight and final straight|
|Distance from grid to first turn||660 m|
|Longest flat-out section||1029 m|
|Down force level||high|
|Gear changes per lap||52|
|Fuel used per lap||2.4 kg|
|Time penalty per lap of fuel||0,096 s|
Tyres: hard and mnedium
Top number of victories: Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel – 3 times per each.
We would say that, after the first Australian race, the picture should be clear, in terms of who wins and who does not. And so it is. However most of us are in for a great surprise, as to how much the team cars will be improved over this year, even prior to Malaysia race.
We believe that no one can beat Mercedes in Malaysia, and then again we will not venture a prediction about who will come second. Williams looked fine and climbing the podium would have been in order for them in Australia, considering their race speed, had they not been involved with the incidents both their pilots ran into. Yet the way the Red Bull develop their car is amazing; and they may have gathered more information in Australia than from all of the winter tests they took. Which we believe will take them far and in the vicinity of the Williams, if not ahead of them. Neither have the Brits fully shown all their might, plus they, too, are sure to operate changes and improvements.
Our guess is McLaren will come fourth in Malaysia, while the F1 star, Ferrari, will follow, 5th. Ferrari’s fans may feel let down, yet we would advise patience, for this Italian team is surely tough.
We think Force India may come next, followed by Toro Rosso and Sauber. Lotus should come in front of belated Marussia and Caterham, maybe even in front of the Sauber team, eventually.
In terms of inside-team battles, we predict Vettel will overcome Riccioardo both in the race and in the qualifying, the way Alonso himself will come upfront of his Finnish colleague. McLaren’s Button may win the race with his co-pilot, and also the qualifying.
German Mercedes team is a hard nut to crack, so Hamilton may be dominated his partner in the qualifying, as well as in the race.
Grosjean will clearly beat Maldonado at all issues and Hulkenberg will come ahead of Perez, but not very much. Vergne will beat the Russian in qualifying, possibly not in the race, though.
Massa should get the podium with a new team and, obviously, come better than Bottas, while Sutil will continue domineering over his colleague Gutierrez.
Kobayashi ahead of Ericcson, while Marussia is hard to say, with Bianchi first, we think.
F1 Manager predictions for qualifying: Rosberg, Hamilton, Button.
F1 Manager predictions fo race: Rosberg, Button, Massa or Vettel if he goes all the way through.