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Sepang, March 23-25

Will four Silver Arrows sweep Sepang?

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The 2012 Formula 1 World Championship kicked off last weekend at Albert Park, and it was McLaren that led the way.


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Round 2 - Sepang I Introduction

sepang EDITOR: Stefan Bartholomaeus

Race 1, take two

DESIGN:

Once again in 2012, the Formula 1 World Championship effectively has two first races.

Kirstie Fuentes SALES/MARKETING: Leisa Emberson IMAGES: Red Bull Racing McLaren Ferrari Mercedes Lotus Force India Sauber Toro Rosso Caterham HRT Marussia PARTNERS: Castrol EDGE, IRWIN Tools, Money Choice, Orrcon Steel, Pirtek, Vodafone, Lucky 7, Bisley, Norton

While the Australian Grand Prix officially kicks off the season, Albert Park’s bumpy street layout isn’t overly representative of the circuits that lie ahead, and often gives a blurred insight into the true pecking order. Almost every team left Australia claiming that the wide-open spaces of Sepang would better suit their 2012 cars. On Albert Park form, the championship is going to be largely fought out between McLaren and Red Bull, with Mercedes, Lotus and Ferrari poised to pounce should either of the top two squads have a poor weekend. The midfield squads meanwhile appear even more closely matched than last season, with Williams, Sauber, Force India and Toro Rosso all showing signs that promising campaigns are ahead. Not all can have good seasons of course, and the Malaysian Grand Prix is really going to show us which squads were delivering false promise last weekend. It truly is time to deliver. Green means go!

360, Toshiba, Armor All

Stefan Bartholomaeus Journalist, Speedcafe.com Editor, Speedcafe Race Guides

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Round 1 - Albert Park

A touch of royalty Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull RB8 donned a statue of Queen Elizebeth as it sat in the Albert Park garage.


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Round 2 - Sepang I Cover Story

Mystery Mercs Will four Silver Arrows sweep Sepang?

Mercedes may have failed to score a point in last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, but don’t expect that theme to continue this weekend. The Brackley based squad headed to Melbourne unsure of its position relative to its McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus opposition, and on raw pace at least, was pleasantly surprised by what it saw. Michael Schumacher led the way in Friday practice, before putting his W03 on the second row of the grid the following

afternoon - his best qualifying performance since returning to the sport two years ago.

part to the trick wing system debuted in Melbourne.

A gearbox failure while running third in the early laps put paid to the seven-time World Champion’s Grand Prix, while team-mate Nico Rosberg - who had started seventh would take 12th after losing five places in the final lap chaos.

Utilising the DRS flap to also stall the front-wing, the concept should better suit Sepang’s fast-flowing layout, and could see both Schumacher and Rosberg pose a threat to the pace-setting McLarens in qualifying - where the DRS can be activated throughout the entire lap.

Worryingly, Rosberg’s race had been dogged by high tyre degradation - an issue that the team battled with last season. Big things are expected of Mercedes in Malaysia regardless however, due in

According to Schumacher, a strong performance in Malaysia will be the key to a positive season. “We saw in Australia that our car is


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fun for the drivers and engineers, and overall a big challenge. I’m looking forward to it.”

capable of putting us in the mix,” says Schumacher. “Of course, we haven’t forgotten that the circuit in Melbourne is not really representative of the true competitive picture, but nevertheless the car gives me a good feeling for the season ahead.

Despite the Mercedes wing set-up having past scrutineering in Australia, rival teams are understood to be seeking further clarification as to the legality of the device ahead of this weekend’s race. Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn is adamant that the device is legal, and believes that such examples of free-thinking are a positive thing for Formula One.

“Sepang will be interesting for everybody because it will be the first clue to the real relative strengths of all the cars.

“It’s great for Formula One, because for me the magic of Formula One is not just the drivers, it’s the technology, the engineering, the innovation, the stories that fill the web pages and the media,” says Brawn.

“The range of slow and fast corners give a good indication of where you are, which always makes the race in Malaysia

“It’s something that I think is a great thing for Formula One. When I hear these people talking about how we need to have

standard cars and just let the drivers… they miss the whole point of Formula One, which is the magic of everything that happens in Formula One. “You know, we’ve got drivers out there, world champions, who are perhaps not in the best car at the moment and that’s a story. “That’s a great aspect of Formula One. We have world champions in much better cars and the teams without the better cars have got to fix that and improve. So it’s great people are talking about different things. “Today it’s us, tomorrow it will be somebody else. That’s why Formula One is so fascinating, why it’s so appealing to our fans and enthusiasts.” If the FIA continues to take no action against the wing this weekend, expect several teams to roll out their own versions over the coming races.


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Round 2 - Sepang I Track Details

Sepang International Circuit

Technical preview with Lotus F1’s trackside operations director Alan Permane

The Circuit The track surface is very abrasive, particularly in comparison to Albert Park, which is very smooth. High speed stability is an essential requirement of the tyre in Malaysia due to the circuit layout, which contains some long straights and quick direction changes. Turns 1-2 Good engine tractability required through turns 1 and 2, the second of which leads to a high speed section so a good exit is needed. Turn 3 Strong stability from the tyres is required through the high speed corner to aid driver confidence. Turn 4 Heavy braking here Turns 5-6 These high speed turns require stiff suspension. The car can be run lower and stiffer as there are no high kerbs in Sepang which is beneficial for this.

Turn 7 Turning whilst braking means this corner can prove punishing for the tyres. Turn 15 Heavy braking from a long straight into the final corner, which is followed by another long straight, means a good overtaking opportunity, and a variety of lines are taken here. Start/Finish straight The KERS is more effective for qualifying in Sepang because of the where the startfinish line is as you get two bites of the cherry with the KERS usage on the out lap. Heavy braking at the end of the start / finish straight. The brakes have cooled along the straight so should not overheat. A good overtaking location.

The Car Rear wing Downforce levels are very similar to the levels in Melbourne. Brakes There are four pretty heavy braking zones – into turn one, in to turn four, into turn 14, and then into turn 15. High temperatures are not such a threat as there are long straights between the braking events to cool the brakes.

Suspension Sepang requires a good all round car. There are high speed straights. There are very high speed changes of direction in turns five and six. There are some reasonable traction events with some very low speed tight double hairpin at turn one and turn two. There are no high kerbs so the car can be ran with a lower ride height than otherwise – giving better overall downforce. Tyres Pirelli’s soft and hard tyres, meaning a greater gap between compounds than in Albert Park (where soft and medium were used). The track is very demanding on the tyres due to its aggressive surface, heavy braking areas, long straights and wide variety of speeds and corners. Front wing The threat of understeer is not as prevalent as in Albert Park so we can run with slightly less front wing. Engine Malaysia sits to the upper end of the ‘power tracks’ with 60% of the lap spent at full throttle, but the main challenge is preparing the engine’s cooling systems to cope with the intense heat and humidity. Ambient temperatures can reach over 40°C so engine cooling becomes crucial.

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Round 2 - Sepang I The Bag Man

THE BAGMAN


Round 2 - Sepang I Driver Profiles

Red Bull Racing Base: Milton Keynes, UK Team Principal: Christian Horner Technical Chief: Adrian Newey Chassis: RB8 Engine: Renault RS27-2012

Debut: Albert Park, 2005 Constructors’ titles: 2 Wins: 27 Pole Positions: 38 Fastest Laps: 22

2012 FORM Sebastian Vettel

Championship Position: 2nd Best Qualifying: 6th Average Qualifying: 6th Best Finish: 2nd Average Finish: 2nd

Mark webber

Championship Position: 4th Best Qualifying: 5th Average Qualifying: 5th Best Finish: 4th Average Finish: 4th

THE BAGMAN’s SAY... Red Bull Racing will head to Malaysia as the hunters rather than the hunted - an unfamiliar position for the two-time reigning constructors champions. Qualifying appears as crucial as ever for Red Bull this season, with the combination of the team’s mini-KERS and preference for high-downforce set-ups continuing to make it difficult for both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber to make up ground in races. Vettel could therefore be well pleased with taking second in Melbourne from sixth on the grid. Winning in Sepang will likely require at least a second row start however.

Sebastian Vettel Nationality: German Date of Birth: 03/07/1987 Debut: Indianapolis, 2007 World Championships: 2 Wins: 21 Poles: 30 Fastest Laps: 9 Career Highlights: 2010 and 2011 World Drivers’ Champion, 2nd 2006 F3 Euro Series, 2nd 2004 Formula BMW ADAC

Mark Webber Nationality: Australian Date of Birth: 27/08/1976 Debut: Albert Park, 2002 World Championships: 0 Wins: 7 Poles: 9 Fastest Laps: 13 Career Highlights: 3rd 2010 and 2011 World Drivers’ Championship, 2nd 2001 International F3000, 1st 1996 British FF Festival

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Round 2 - Sepang I Driver Profiles

Vodafone Mclaren Mercedes Base: Woking, UK Team Principal: Martin Whitmarsh Technical Chief: Paddy Lowe Chassis: MP4-27 Engine: Mercedes-Benz FO 108Z

2012 FORM JENSON BUTTON Championship Position: 1st Best Qualifying: 2nd Average Qualifying: 2nd Best Finish: 1st Average Finish: 1st LEWIS HAMILTON Championship Position: 3rd Best Qualifying: 1st Average Qualifying: 1st Best Finish: 3rd Average Finish: 3rd

Debut: Monte Carlo, 1966 World Championships: 8 Wins: 176 Poles Positions: 147 Fastest Laps: 149

THE BAGMAN’s SAY... McLaren almost completed the perfect start to the season in Melbourne, with only an ill-timed Safety Car period costing the team a one-two result. The British cars often had the race pace of their Red Bull rivals last year, but suffered from poor track position due to the RB7’s qualifying dominance. While the high-speed sweeps of Sepang contrast greatly to the (relatively) stop-start nature of Albert Park, expect McLaren to once again set the pace this weekend. Perhaps of most interest with be the intra-team battle between Button and Hamilton. A second win for Button would be a real blow to Hamilton’s title chances.

Jenson Button Nationality: British Date of Birth: 19/01/1980 Debut: Albert Park, 2000 World Championships: 1 Wins: 13 Poles: 7 Fastest Laps: 7 Career Highlights: 2009 World Drivers’ Champion, 1st 1998 British FF Festival, 1998 British FF Champion

Lewis Hamilton Nationality: British Date of Birth: 07/01/1985 Debut: Albert Park, 2007 World Championships: 1 Wins: 17 Poles: 20 Fastest Laps: 11 Career Highlights: 2008 World Drivers’ Champion, 2006 GP2 Champion, 2005 F3 Euroseries Champion


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Round 2 - Sepang I Driver Profiles

SCUDERIA FERRARI Base: Maranello, Italy Team Principal: Stefano Domenicali Technical Chief: Pat Fry Chassis: F2012 Engine: Ferrari 056

2012 FORM FERNANDO ALONSO Championship Position: 5th Best Qualifying: 12th Average Qualifying: 12th Best Finish: 5th Average Finish: 5th FELIPE MASSA Championship Position: Best Qualifying: 16th Average Qualifying: 16th Best Finish: Average Finish: -

Debut: Monte Carlo, 1950 World Championships: 16 Wins: 216 Pole Positions: 205 Fastest Laps: 227

THE BAGMAN’s SAY... The Australian Grand Prix confirmed the Tifosi’s fears that the F2012 is a long way from the pace of its rivals - a fact that could be further exacerbated on the Sepang track layout. Saturday at Albert Park saw Ferrari fail to put either of its cars into Q3 for the first time in 23 races, and while Fernando Alonso’s session had ended with a rare mistake, the Spaniard was not confident he could have progressed to the final segment regardless. While Alonso at least managed to grind out a fifth place result in the race, team-mate Felipe Massa did not finish thanks to a clumsy incident with Bruno Senna. On current form, the Brazilian will be lucky to see out the season.

FERNANDO ALONSO Nationality: Spanish Date of Birth: 29/07/1981 Debut: Albert Park, 2001 World Championships: 2 Wins: 27 Poles: 20 Fastest Laps: 19 Career Highlights: 2005 and 2006 World Drivers Champion, 1st 1999 Euro Open by Nissan

FELIPE MASSA Nationality: Brazilian Date of Birth: 25/04/1981 Debut: Albert Park, 2002 World Championships: 0 Wins: 11 Poles: 15 Fastest Laps: 14 Career Highlights: 2nd 2008 World Drivers’ Championship, 1st 2001 Euro F3000, 1st 2000 Formula Renault Eurocup


Round 2 - Sepang I Driver Profiles

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Base: Brackley, UK Team Principal: Ross Brawn Technical Chief: Bob Bell Chassis: F1 W03 Engine: Mercedes-Benz FO108Z

Debut: Albert Park, 2010 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Pole Positions: 0 Fastest Laps: 0

2012 FORM MICHAEL SCHUMACHER Championship Position: Best Qualifying: 4th Average Qualifying: 4th Best Finish: Average Finish: NICO ROSBERG Championship Position: 12th Best Qualifying: 7th Average Qualifying: 7th Best Finish: 12th Average Finish: 12th

THE BAGMAN’s SAY... It’s hard to know what to expect from Mercedes in Malaysia following their up-anddown weekend at Albert Park. The team’s latest technical innovation - which uses the DRS flap to stall the front-wing as well as the rear - was the talk of the Albert Park paddock, but in reality only provided a very small advantage during the race. Practice and qualifying however was a different story, and the Mercedes package must be thought of as a potential to see the front row on the more flowing Sepang layout. Unfortunately however, the team showed in Melbourne that it is yet to fix the high tyre degradation that hindered its 2011 campaign. On that basis, a podium will be a stretch.

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER Nationality: German Date of Birth: 03/01/1969 Debut: Spa, 1991 World Championships: 7 Wins: 91 Poles: 68 Fastest Laps: 76 Career Highlights: 1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 World Drivers’ Champion, 1990 German F3 Champion

NICO ROSBERG Nationality: German Date of Birth: 27/06/1985 Debut: Sakhir, 2006 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 2 Fastest Laps: 2 Place of Birth: Wiesbaden Career Highlights: 2nd 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, 2005 GP2 Champion, 1st 2002 Formula BMW ADAC

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Round 2 - Sepang I Driver Profiles

LOTUS F1 TEAM Base: Enstone, UK Team Principal: Eric Boullier Technical Chief: James Allison Chassis: E20 Engine: Renault RS27- 2012

2012 FORM KIMI RAIKKONEN Championship Position: 7th Best Qualifying: 17th Average Qualifying: 17th Best Finish: 7th Average Finish: 7th ROMAIN GROSJEAN Championship Position: Best Qualifying: 3rd Average Qualifying: 3rd Best Finish: Average Finish: -

Debut: Albert Park, 2012 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Pole Positions: 0 Fastest Laps: 0

THE BAGMAN’s SAY... Winter testing pointed to a stronger Lotus package this season, but few expected that the Enstone squad could out-qualify both Red Bulls at Albert Park. While a poor start and an early incident for Romain Grosjean meant the potential went unrealised in the race, expect the team to again be pressing the top five in Sepang. Kimi Raikkonen’s return to the sport wasn’t the smoothest of rides - the 2007 World Champion eliminated in Q1 after a series of small gaffs. Nevertheless, the Finn was his old self in the press conferences, and showed on Sunday that he’s lost none of his race craft in recent years either. Expect both cars to make Q3 this time.

KIMI RAIKKONEN Nationality: Finnish Date of Birth: 17/10/1979 Debut: Albert Park, 2001 World Championships: 1 Wins: 18 Poles: 16 Fastest Laps: 35 Career Highlights: 2007 World Drivers’ Champion, 2nd 2005 World Driver’s Championship, 2000 British Formula Renault champion

ROMAIN GROSJEAN Nationality: French Date of Birth: 17/04/1986 Debut: Valencia, 2009 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 0 Fastest Laps: 0 Career Highlights: 2011 GP2 and GP2 Asia Series Champion, 2010 Auto GP champion, 2007 F3 Euro Series Champion

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Round 2 - Sepang I Driver Profiles

SAHARA FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM Base: Silverstone, UK Team Principal: Vijay Mallya Technical Chief: Andrew Green Chassis: VJM05 Engine: Mercedes-Benz FO108Z

2012 FORM PAUL DI RESTA Championship Position: 10th Best Qualifying: 15th Average Qualifying: 15th Best Finish: 10th Average Finish: 10th NICO HULKENBERG Championship Position: Best Qualifying: 9th Average Qualifying: 9th Best Finish: Average Finish: -

Debut: Albert Park, 2008 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Pole Positions: 1 Fastest Laps: 1

THE BAGMAN’s SAY... It was hard to know what to make of Force India in Melbourne. Any illusions that the team would be a top six threat were certainly dispelled, but by the same token, the VJM05 hardly looks like being a disaster. Nico Hulkenberg was one of the stars of qualifying - making it to Q3 on his F1 return, while team-mate Paul di Resta could well have joined him if it wasn’t for traffic in Q2. While Hulkenberg’s race ended with Lap 1 damage, di Resta managed to drag a point from the weekend on a frantic final lap. The fact that he’d struggled to match the pace of the Sauber and Toro Rosso entries during much of the race indicates that scoring more points in Sepang may be a stretch.

PAUL DI RESTA Nationality: Scottish Date of Birth: 16/04/1986 Debut: Albert Park, 2011 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 0 Fastest Laps: 0 Career Highlights: 2010 DTM Champion, 2006 Formula 3 Euroseries Champion, 1st 2006 Masters of F3

NICO HULKENBERG Nationality: German Date of Birth: 19/08/1987 Debut: Sakhir, 2010 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 1 Fastest Laps: 0 Career Highlights: Pole Position for 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix, 2009 GP2 Series Champion, 2005 Formula BMW ADAC champion


Round 2 - Sepang I Driver Profiles

SAUBER F1 TEAM Base: Hinwil, Switzerland Team Principal: Peter Sauber Technical Chief: Matt Morris Chassis: C31 Engine: Ferrari 056

2012 FORM KAMUI KOBAYASHI Championship Position: 6th Best Qualifying: 13th Average Qualifying: 13th Best Finish: 6th Average Finish: 6th SERGIO PEREZ Championship Position: 9th Best Qualifying: 22nd Average Qualifying: 22nd Best Finish: 8th Average Finish: 8th

Debut: Kylami, 1993 World Championships: 0 Wins: 1 Pole Positions: 1 Fastest Laps: 2

THE BAGMAN’s SAY... Sauber again appears to have a tidy package to start the season, and despite lacking qualifying pace, will expect to have at least one of its cars in the bottom half of the top 10 on Sunday afternoon. Whispers within the Melbourne paddock suggested that Sauber, McLaren and Red Bull are the only teams that have found a way to maintain a significant diffuser-blowing effect despite the new exhaust regulations. The Swiss cars have certainly kept their key strength from 2011 - tyre life. For the second year in a row, Perez one-stopped the season opener, helping the Mexican finish in the points despite starting last after a gearbox change.

KAMUI KOBAYASHI Nationality: Japanese Date of Birth: 13/09/1986 Debut: Interlagos, 2009 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 0 Fastest Laps: 0 Career Highlights: 2008/09 GP2 Asia Series Champion, 4th 2007 F3 Euroseries, 1st 2005 FRenault Eurocup

SERGIO PEREZ Nationality: Mexican Date of Birth: 26/01/1990 Debut: Albert Park, 2011 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 0 Fastest Laps: 0 Career Highlights: 2nd 2010 GP2 Series, 4th 2007 British F3 Championship Class, 1st 2007 British F3 National Class

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Round 2 - Sepang I Driver Profiles

SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO Base: Faenza, Italy Team Principal: Franz Tost Technical Chief: Giorgio Ascanelli Chassis: STR7 Engine: Ferrari 056

2012 FORM DANIEL RICCIARDO Championship Position: 9th Best Qualifying: 10th Average Qualifying: 10th Best Finish: 9th Average Finish: 9th JEAN-ERIC VERGNE Championship Position: 11th Best Qualifying: 11th Average Qualifying: 11th Best Finish: 11th Average Finish: 11th

Debut: Sakhir, 2006 World Championships: 0 Wins: 1 Pole Positions: 1 Fastest Laps: 0

THE BAGMAN’s SAY... Daniel Ricciardo put in mighty performances on both Saturday (where he made Q3) and Sunday (where he finished ninth despite dropping a late following a first-corner incident) at Albert Park to assert his authority within the Toro Rosso team. The results largely masked the competitiveness of team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne however, who was just 0.01s slower than Ricciardo in Q2, and ran ahead of the Australian on the final lap of the race before missing out on a point in the last lap shuffle. With two fast, hungry drivers and a solid package beneath them, Toro Rosso has plenty to look forward to this weekend.

DANIEL RICCIARDO Nationality: Australian Date of Birth: 01/07/1989 Debut: Silverstone, 2011 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 0 Fastest Laps: 0 Career Highlights: 2009 British Formula 3 Champion, 2nd 2010 Formula Renault 3.5, 2008 Formula Renault 2.0 Champion

JEAN-ERIC VERGNE Nationality: French Date of Birth:25/04/1990 Debut: Albert Park, 2012 World Championships: – Wins: – Poles: – Fastest Laps: – Career Highlights: 2nd 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 Series, 2010 British Formula 3 Champion, 2nd European Formula Renault 2.0 series

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Round 2 - Sepang I Driver Profiles

WILLIAMS Base: Grove, UK Team Principal: Frank Williams Technical Chief: Mike Coughlan Chassis: FW34 Engine: Renault RS27- 2012

2012 FORM PASTOR MALDONADO Championship Position: 13th Best Qualifying: 8th Average Qualifying: 8th Best Finish: 13th Average Finish: 13th BRUNO SENNA Championship Position: 16th Best Qualifying: 14th Average Qualifying: 14th Best Finish: 16th Average Finish: 16th

Debut: Aires, 1978 World Championships: 9 Wins: 113 Pole Positions: 126 Fastest Laps: 130

THE BAGMAN’s SAY... The opening round of 2012 indicated that Williams has produced a competitive car for the new season, with Pastor Maldonado making Q3 before spending much of the race dicing for a top five finish with Fernando Alonso. While the Sepang layout will place a greater emphasis on aerodynamics - an area that Williams has not been strong in over recent seasons - Maldonado left Melbourne genuinely optimistic that his team was ahead of the midfield battle. Unfortunately the driver line-up looks to be the team’s biggest weakness, with Maldonado as error prone as ever, and Bruno Senna struggling to get on the pace throughout the entire weekend. Closing the gap to his team-mate in qualifying should be the Brazilian’s first target in Sepang.

PASTOR MALDONADO Nationality: Venezuelan Date of Birth: 09/03/1985 Debut: Albert Park, 2011 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 0 Fastest Laps: 0 Career Highlights: 2010 GP2 Champion, 3rd 2006 Formula Renault 3.5, 1st 2004 Formula Renault 2000 Italia

BRUNO SENNA Nationality: Brazilian Date of Birth: 15/10/1983 Debut: Sakhir, 2010 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 0 Fastest Laps: 0 Career Highlights: 2nd 2008 GP2 Series, 3rd 2006 British F3 Championship, 5th 2008 GP2 Asia Series


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Round 2 - Sepang I Driver Profiles

CATERHAM F1 TEAM Base: Hingham, UK Team Principal: Tony Fernandes Technical Chief: Mike Gascoyne Chassis: CT01 Engine: Renault RS27-2012

Debut: Sakhir, 2010 World Championships : 0 Wins: 0 Pole Positions: 0 Fastest Laps: 0

2012 FORM HEIKKI KOVALAINEN Championship Position: Best Qualifying: 18th Average Qualifying: 18th Best Finish: Average Finish: VITALY PETROV Championship Position: Best Qualifying: 19th Average Qualifying: 19th Best Finish: Average Finish: -

THE BAGMAN’s SAY... Caterham was one of the disappointments of the Albert Park weekend, with Heikki Kovalainen’s best effort in Q1 proving more that 1s shy of what was required to make Q2. While the performance indicates little improvement from the team’s 2011 form, expect the green machines to be a bit closer to the pace in Sepang. Kovalainen’s qualifying efforts in Melbourne were hampered by traffic, while his early race pace wasn’t too far shy of the back of the midfield. A five-place grid penalty for passing under Safety Car will see the Finn enter the Sepang weekend on the back foot however.

HEIKKI KOVALAINEN Nationality: Finnish Date of Birth: 19/10/1981 Debut: Albert Park, 2007 World Championships: 0 Wins: 1 Poles: 1 Fastest Laps: 2 Career Highlights: 1st 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix, 2nd 2005 GP2 Series, 1st 2004 World Series by Nissan

VITALY PETROV Nationality: Russian Date of Birth: 08/09/1984 Debut: Sakhir, 2010 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 0 Fastest Laps: 0 Career Highlights: 3rd 2011 Australian Grand Prix, 2nd 2009 GP2 Series, 3rd 2008 GP2 Asia Series


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Round 2 - Sepang I Driver Profiles

HRT F1 TEAM Base: Madrid, Spain Team Principal: Luis Perez-Sala Technical Chief: Jean-Claude Martens Chassis: F112 Engine: Cosworth CA2012

2012 FORM PEDRO DE LA ROSA Championship Position: Best Qualifying: Average Qualifying: Best Finish: Average Finish: NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN Championship Position: Best Qualifying: Average Qualifying:Best Finish:Average Finish:-

Debut: Sakhir, 2010 World Championships: 0 WIns: 0 Pole Positions: 0 Fastest Laps: 0

THE BAGMAN’s SAY... Sadly for the minnows of the Formula 1 grid, qualifying proved too big a task in Melbourne, and may again be an insurmountable challenge this weekend. Improving the reliability of the cars will be the first task. Narain Karthikeyan and Pedro de la Rosa put in a combined total of just 45 laps prior to qualifying in Australia - with the Spaniard’s car not even having been finished prior to practice on Friday. When they did run, the cars suffered from chronic cooling and steering problems, and proved a dangerous commodity in qualifying. At least the wide open spaces of Malaysian will reduce the chances of a major incident.

PEDRO DE LA ROSA Nationality: Spanish Date of Birth: 24/02/1971 Debut: Albert Park, 1999 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 0 Fastest Laps: 0 Career Highlights: 1997 Formula Nippon F3000 Champion, 1995 Japanese Formula 3 Champion

NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN Nationality: Indian Date of Birth: 14/01/1977 Debut: Albert Park, 2005 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 0 Fastest Laps: 0 Career Highlights: 4th 2005 US Grand Prix, 4th 2000 British F3 Championship, 4th 2003 Formula Nissan WS

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Round 2 - Sepang I Driver Profiles

MARUSSIA F1 TEAM Base: Banbury, UK Team Principal: John Booth Technical Chief: Pat Symonds Chassis: MR01 Engine: Cosworth CA2012

2012 FORM TIMO GLOCK Championship Position: 14th Best Qualifying: 20th Average Qualifying: 20th Best Finish: 14th Average Finish: 14th CHARLES pIC Championship Position: 15th Best Qualifying: 21st Average Qualifying: 21st Best Finish: 15th Average Finish: 15th

Debut: Sakhir, 2010 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Pole Positions: 0 Fastest Laps: 0

THE BAGMAN’s SAY... Marussia will head to Malaysia in far better shape than that in which they headed to Melbourne. While qualifying for and finishing the races remain the only realistic goals at this stage, the fact that both of those targets were met in Melbourne was an impressive effort. The new car missed all four pre-season tests, but proved surprisingly reliable at Albert Park. Charles Pic too acquitted himself well - the Frenchman making the 107% cut-off despite having had minimal experience in F1 machinery ahead of the weekend. Don’t expect the Marussia pair to be too far away from the Caterham of Vitaly Petrov in qualifying in Sepang.

TIMO GLOCK Nationality: German Date of Birth: 18/03/1982 Debut: Montreal, 2004 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 2 Fastest Laps: 1 Career Highlights: 2nd 2009 Singapore Grand Prix, 2007 GP2 Champion, 1st 2001 Formula BMW ADAC

CHARLES pic Nationality: French Date of Birth: 15/02/1990 Debut: Albert Park, 2012 World Championships: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 0 Fastest Laps: 0 Career Highlights: 4th 2011 GP2 Series, 3rd 2008 and 2009 World Series by Renault FR 3.5


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Pauls Full Cream Milk 2Lt plus Buttercup & Local Bake 650-700g Bread (White, Thick, Wholemeal or Multigrain). While stocks last. Available at participating stores.

“Lucky 7 is My Store with More”

For your nearest store visit

Tim Slade

Lucky 7 Racing

www.luckyseven.com.au


Round 2 - Sepang I Race Stats

Championship Standings World Drivers Championship NO Driver Nat

Car Points

1

Jenson Button

GBR

McLaren

25

2

Sebastian Vettel

DEU

Red Bull

18

3

Lewis Hamilton

GBR

McLaren

15

4

Mark Webber

AUS

Red Bull

12

5

Fernando Alonso

ESP

Ferrari

10

6

Kamui Kobayashi

JPN

Sauber

8

7

Kimi Raikkonen

FIN

Lotus

6

8

Sergio Perez

MEX

Sauber

4

9

Daniel Ricciardo

AUS

HRT

2

10

Paul di Resta

GBR

Force India

1

11

Jean-Eric Vergne

FRA

Toro Rosso

0

12

Nico Rosberg

DEU

Mercedes

0

13

Pastor Maldonado

VEN

Williams

0

14

Timo Glock

DEU

Virgin

0

15

Charles Pic

FRA

Marussia

0

16

Bruno Senna

BRA

Renault

0

-

Felipe Massa

BRA

Ferrari

R

-

Heikki Kovalainen

FIN

Lotus

R

-

Vitaly Petrov

RUS

Renault

R

-

Michael Schumacher

DEU

Mercedes

R

-

Romain Grosjean

FRA

Lotus

R

-

Nico Hulkenberg

DEU

Force India

R

-

Pedro de la Rosa

ESP

Sauber

-

-

Narain Karthikeyan

IND

HRT

-

World Constructors Championship Pos

Constructor Engine Points

1

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes

Mercedes

40

2

Red Bull Racing

Renault

30

3

Sauber F1 Team

Ferrari

12

4

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

Ferrari

10

5

Lotus Renault GP

Renault

6

6

Scuderia Toro Rosso

Ferrari

2

7

Force India F1 Team

Mercedes

1

8

Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team

Mercedes

0

9

AT&T Williams

Cosworth

0

10

Marussia F1 Team

Cosworth

0

-

Caterham F1 Team

Renault

0

-

HRT F1 Team

Cosworth

-

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Round 2 - Sepang I Race Stats

Previous Malaysian GP Winners Year Driver 2011 Sebastian Vettel 2010 Sebastian Vettel 2009 Jenson Button 2008 Kimi Raikkonen 2007 Fernando Alonso 2006 Giancarlo Fisichella 2005 Fernando Alonso 2004 Michael Schumacher 2003 Kimi Raikkonen 2002 Ralf Schumacher 2001 Michael Schumacher 2000 Michael Schumacher 1999 Eddie Irvine

Constructor Location Red Bull-Renault Sepang Red Bull-Renault Sepang Brawn-Mercedes Sepang Ferrari Sepang McLaren-Mercedes Sepang Renault Sepang Renault Sepang Ferrari Sepang McLaren-Mercedes Sepang Williams-BMW Sepang Ferrari Sepang Ferrari Sepang Ferrari Sepang


35

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36


Round 2 - Sepang I Race Stats

Past Champions Year Driver Nat 2011 Sebastian Vettel GER 2010 Sebastian Vettel GER 2009 Jenson Button GBR 2008 Lewis Hamilton GBR 2007 Kimi Räikkönen FIN 2006 Fernando Alonso ESP 2005 Fernando Alonso ESP 2004 Michael Schumacher GER 2003 Michael Schumacher GER 2002 Michael Schumacher GER 2001 Michael Schumacher GER 2000 Michael Schumacher GER 1999 Mika Häkkinen FIN 1998 Mika Häkkinen FIN 1997 Jacques Villeneuve CAN 1996 Damon Hill GBR 1995 Michael Schumacher GER 1994 Michael Schumacher GER 1993 Alain Prost FRA 1992 Nigel Mansell GBR 1991 Ayrton Senna BRA 1990 Ayrton Senna BRA 1989 Alain Prost FRA 1988 Ayrton Senna BRA 1987 Nelson Piquet BRA 1986 Alain Prost FRA 1985 Alain Prost FRA 1984 Niki Lauda AUT 1983 Nelson Piquet BRA 1982 Keke Rosberg FIN

Constructor Red Bull Red Bull Brawn McLaren Ferrari Renault Renault Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari McLaren McLaren Williams Williams Benetton Benetton Williams Williams McLaren McLaren McLaren McLaren Williams McLaren McLaren McLaren Brabham Williams

Wins Poles Points 11 15 392 5 10 256 6 4 95 5 7 98 6 3 110 7 6 134 7 6 133 13 8 148 6 5 93 11 7 144 9 11 123 9 9 108 5 11 76 8 9 100 7 10 81 8 9 97 9 4 102 8 6 92 7 13 99 9 14 108 7 8 96 6 10 78 4 2 76 8 13 90 3 4 73 4 1 72 5 2 73 5 0 72 3 1 59 1 1 44

37


38

For the third time in four years, Jenson Button stood on the top step at Albert Park.


39


40


Speedcafe.com Race Guide - 2012 Malaysian Grand Prix