Haas F1 Team Turns Page from Singapore to Sepang

Haas F1 Team Turns Page from Singapore to Sepang

26.09.2016: Motivated for Malaysia Perhaps no team competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship

Motivated for Malaysia



Perhaps no team competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship is looking forward to the Malaysian Grand Prix Oct. 2 at the Sepang International Circuit more than Haas F1 Team.
 


The first American Formula One team in 30 years had high expectations heading into the series’ most recent race in Singapore. It brought significant updates to its racecars, with the Haas VF-16s for drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez getting outfitted with new front wings, floors and brake ducts.


And in addition to having new parts and pieces that would allow for quicker lap times, Grosjean and Gutiérrez were ready to attack the track, with each praising the layout and embracing the challenges it offered.


 
But then practice began, or didn’t for Grosjean. His car developed technical issues and after making only two installation laps, an engine inlet air leak sidelined him for all of FP1. Then came a spin into the barrier in FP2, followed by another spin into the barrier in qualifying.


 Lastly, an issue with the car’s brake-by-wire system on raceday meant that Grosjean was scratched from the start of the Singapore Grand Prix. Perhaps the only person happier to see the checkered flag drop at Singapore other than Grosjean was race winner Nico Rosberg.

 
Gutiérrez had a trouble-free weekend in comparison, but with Grosjean’s limited running time, the new front wing was shelved as Gutiérrez instead focused on collecting tire data. It was a shrewd move, as Gutiérrez took advantage of all the information available to qualify 13th and finish a respectable 11th, but still one spot shy of earning points.
 


Knowing that Gutiérrez is on the cusp of adding to Haas F1 Team’s 28-point tally in the constructor standings is reason enough to look forward to Malaysia. For Grosjean, of course, the opportunity to turn laps and drive farther away from the circumstances of Singapore is even more welcome.


 
With Singapore’s Marina Bay Street Circuit growing ever smaller in Formula One’s mirrors, the industry turns its sights to Sepang International Circuit, the purpose-built Formula One racetrack outside Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
 


Constructed in an astonishing 14 months, Sepang was the first Formula One track noted designer Herman Tilke built from scratch. When the 5.543-kilometer (3.444-mile), 15-turn circuit opened on March 9, 1999, it was considered revolutionary, with modern facilities and a unique design.


 
Two massive straights bookended by tight corners are signatures of the track. It’s a twisting layout that challenges the drivers and their engineers. The track’s width allows for numerous overtaking opportunities, but the incredible speed that can be attained on the straights is actually restricted by the fast, flowing corners as teams sacrifice outright speed for aerodynamic grip and balance.
 


This places extremely high loads on the tires. Heavy braking increases the load, as drivers spend 17 percent of their lap under braking. Add an abrasive track surface and high ambient temperatures and you get a cauldron of punishment for the four tires carrying the driver and the sophisticated car beneath him.


 It’s why Pirelli has brought the hardest tire compounds in its range to Malaysia – the P Zero Orange hard, the P Zero White medium and the P Zero Yellow soft – a combination that was last seen in early July for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Circuit.
 

But with weather often impacting practice, qualifying and the race, expect to see Pirelli’s Cinturato Blue full wet tire and Cinturato Green intermediate tire at some point during the race weekend.
 

Torrential rain storms are a frequent occurrence at the Malaysian Grand Prix as its tropical environment and mid-afternoon start time conspire for unwieldly conditions.


 This was especially evident in 2009 when the race was forced to end after only 31 laps as rain inundated the track. This prompted the FIA to award half points to the drivers participating, the first time half points had been awarded since the 14-lap Australian Grand Prix in 1991.

 
Points of any kind are what Haas F1 Team seeks. Eighth in the constructor standings, 19 points behind seventh-place Toro Rosso and 21 points ahead of ninth-place Renault, Malaysia provides another opportunity for Haas F1 Team to further distance itself from Renault and challenge the more established squads that are still in reach with six races remaining. And after quickly turning the page on Singapore, Haas F1 Team is ready for Sepang.



Sepang International Circuit





•    Total number of race laps: 56  

•    Complete race distance: 310.408 kilometers (192.879 miles)

•    Pit lane speed limit: 80 kph (50 mph)


•    This 5.543-kilometer (3.444-mile), 15-turn circuit has hosted Formula One since 1999, with last year’s Malaysian Grand Prix serving as the venue’s 17th grand prix.


•    Juan Pablo Montoya holds the race lap record at Sepang International Circuit (1:34.223), set in 2004 with Williams.

 
•    Fernando Alonso holds the qualifying lap record at Sepang International Circuit (1:32.582), set in 2005 with Renault.  



•    Ground was broken on Sepang International Circuit in November 1997 and officially opened on March 9, 1999. Constructed in an astonishing 14 months, it was the first Formula One track noted designer Herman Tilke built from scratch. It was considered revolutionary, with modern facilities and a unique design.



Two massive straights bookended by tight corners are signatures of the track. It’s a twisting layout that challenges the drivers and their engineers. The track’s width allows for numerous overtaking opportunities, but the incredible speed that can be attained on the straights is actually restricted by the fast, flowing corners as teams sacrifice outright speed for aerodynamic grip and balance. This places extremely high loads on the tires.


Heavy braking increases the load, as drivers spend 17 percent of their lap under braking. Add an abrasive track surface and high ambient temperatures and you get a cauldron of punishment for the tires. It’s why Pirelli brings the hardest tire compounds in its range to Malaysia.



•    DYK? Frequent and torrential rain storms often impact the Malaysian Grand Prix as its tropical environment and mid-afternoon start time conspire for unwieldly conditions.


This was especially evident in 2009 when the race was forced to end after only 31 laps as rain inundated the track. This prompted the FIA to award half points to the drivers participating, the first time half points had been awarded since the 14-lap Australian Grand Prix in 1991.




•    During the course of the Malaysian Grand Prix, lows will range from 24-25 degrees Celsius (76-77 degrees Fahrenheit) to highs of 32-33 degrees Celsius (90-91 degrees Fahrenheit). Relative humidity ranges from 65 percent (mildly humid) to 98 percent (very humid), with a dew point varying from 22 degrees Celsius/72 degrees Fahrenheit (very muggy) to 26 degrees Celsius/78 degrees Fahrenheit (oppressive).


The dew point is rarely below 21 degrees Celsius/69 degrees Fahrenheit (muggy) or above 27 degrees Celsius/80 degrees Fahrenheit (very oppressive). Typical wind speeds vary from 0-13 kph/0-8 mph (calm to gentle breeze), rarely exceeding 19 kph/12 mph (moderate breeze).






 •    Pirelli is bringing three tire compounds to Malaysia:


o    P Zero Orange hard – less grip, less wear (used for long-race stints)


-    This is the toughest tire in Pirelli’s range. It is designed for circuits that put the highest energy loadings through the tires via fast corners and/or abrasive surfaces, and are often characterized by high ambient temperatures.


This compound takes longer to warm up, but offers maximum durability, which frequently means that it plays a key role in race strategy. It is a high working-range compound.





o    P Zero White medium – more grip, medium wear (used for shorter-race stints and for initial portion of qualifying)


-   This is Pirelli’s most balanced tire, with an ideal compromise between performance and durability. It is extremely versatile, but it often comes into its own on circuits that tend toward high speeds, high temperatures and high-energy loadings. It is a low working-range compound.




o    P Zero Yellow soft – highest amount of grip, highest amount of wear (used for qualifying and select race situations)

-   This is one of the most frequently used tires in Pirelli’s range, as it strikes a balance between performance and durability, with the accent on performance.


It is still geared toward speed rather than long distances, but it remains capable of providing teams with a competitive advantage at the beginning of the race where cars are carrying a full fuel load and at the end of the race where the fuel load is much lighter and the race effectively becomes a sprint. It is a high working-range compound.




•    Two of the three available compounds must be used during the race. Teams are able to decide when they want to run which compound, adding an element of strategy to the race.


A driver can also use all three sets of Pirelli tires in the race, if they so desire. (If there are wet track conditions, the Cinturato Blue full wet tire and the Cinturato Green intermediate tire will be made available.)





•    Pirelli provides each driver 13 sets of dry tires for the race weekend. Of those 13 sets, drivers and their teams can choose the specifications of 10 of those sets from the three compounds Pirelli selected.


The remaining three sets are defined by Pirelli – two mandatory tire specifications for the race (one set of P Zero Orange hards and one set of P Zero White mediums) and one mandatory specification for Q3 (one set of P Zero Yellow softs). Haas F1 Team’s drivers have selected the following amounts:



o    Grosjean: two sets of P Zero Orange hards, four sets of P White mediums and seven sets of P Zero Yellow softs


o    Gutiérrez: three set of P Zero Orange hards, three sets of P Zero White mediums and seven sets of P Zero Yellow softs


 






- Mike Arning - photos Haas F1

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/haas-f1-team-singapore-sepang-malaysian-gp---155574.html

26.09.2016 / MaP

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