McLaren Honda F1 Malaysian GP- Sepang Circuit stats and facts

McLaren Honda F1 Malaysian GP- Sepang Circuit stats and facts

26.09.2016: F1 Round 16/21 - Malaysia Grand-Prix 30 September - 02 October 2016 Circuit stats

F1 Round 16/21 - Malaysia Grand-Prix
30 September - 02 October 2016




Circuit stats

2015 winner Sebastian Vettel, 56 laps, 1:41:05.793s

2015 pole position Lewis Hamilton, 1m49.834s

2015 fastest lap Nico Rosberg, 1m42.062s (lap 43)

Name Sepang International Circuit

First race 1999


Circuit length 5.543km/3.444 miles (8th longest of the season)


Distance to Turn One 600m/0.373 miles (longest of season: Barcelona 730m/0.454 miles)


Longest straight 920m/0.572 miles, on the approach to Turn 15


Top speed 330km/h/205mph, on the approach to Turn 15


Pitlane length 420m/0.261 miles, estimated time loss 24s (longest of season: Silverstone, 489m/0.304 miles)


Full throttle 65 per cent, with the longest period of full throttle being 12s


DRS zones Two, on the approaches to Turns One and 15


Key corner Turn 14, a tightening, understeer-inducing right-hander that loads up the outside tyres. It’s important to get the car into the apex and get the power down early because the longest straight on the lap follows, along which there is the second DRS zone


Fastest corner 260km/h (162mph), Turn Five


Slowest corner 70km/h (43mph), Turn Two


Major changes for 2016 The circuit has been re-surfaced since last year and more than half of the corners have new kerbs and improved drainage. The camber at Turn Nine has been altered, and, most significantly, Turn 15 has been re-profiled to make it slower, in an effort to encourage overtaking


Fuel consumption 1.79 per lap, which is average


ERS demands Low. There are several slow corners, out of which electrical power has an impact on acceleration, but there are eight significant braking events around the lap where energy can be recovered


Brake wear Medium. Only 15 per cent of the lap is spent braking


Gear changes 57 per lap/3,192 per race





Circuit facts



History lesson


Sepang was the first F1 track to be designed by Hermann Tilke, whose company has helped to design 11 of the 21 circuits on this year’s calendar.


Sepang was opened in March 1999 and it hosted its first grand prix later that year, since when it has been a permanent fixture in F1. This year the race is taking place in October, for the first time since 2000.



What makes it unique


It has an interesting mix of medium and high-speed corners, but the biggest single challenge for the teams is cooling.


The ambient temperature rarely drops below 30 degrees at this time of year, which places added pressure on the cooling of the power unit in particular.



Grip levels


Medium. The circuit has been re-surfaced this year, so grip levels will depend on how the asphalt has cured since it was laid six months ago.


The fast corners have high levels of grip due to the aerodynamic downforce created by the cars, but the new surface will be the biggest single factor influencing grip levels.




Run-off



Good. This is a modern racetrack, with excellent run-off areas. There are more gravel traps than asphalt run-off areas because they are the preferred safety option for bike racing, which also takes place at Sepang.



Watch out for…


The rain – and when it rains in this part of the world, it usually pours. In 2009 the race had to be stopped after 31 laps due to a flooded racetrack and the later-than-normal start time of 3pm leaves the race vulnerable to a late-afternoon thunderstorm.



The drivers on: the circuit



 
#14 Fernando Alonso



“I’m looking forward to heading back to Malaysia after 18 months since the last race there. It’ll be interesting to see how the cars cope on the newly-resurfaced track, and I imagine the weather conditions will be different from our last visit.


Still, we expect it to be a tough race in the heat and humidity, but there’s a good combination of slow and high-speed corners and fast straights, so it has a little bit of everything.


It tests every part of the package, and the driver too, so hopefully there’ll be some close racing and an entertaining weekend for the fans.”


 
#22 Jenson Button


“Sepang is becoming a modern classic – although it’s a relatively new circuit, it’s one of those tracks that drivers enjoy going back to. The conditions are like nothing else we experience, the circuit is quite technical and fun to drive, and the atmosphere is always great.


 Although it’s traditionally seen as a high-speed circuit which isn’t usually something that our package favours, we do have a good car under braking which is necessary to handle the tight corners after the long, fast straights.”

 

Event stats



Start time 15:00hrs local/08:00hrs BST


Race distance 56 laps (full world championship points will be awarded after 75 per cent distance/42 laps)


Safety Car likelihood Low. There is only a 20 per cent chance of a Safety Car


When to press record The start. It’s a long drag to the first corner, which is a slow 180-degree right-hander, immediately followed by a left-hander. There’s always a good scrap through this section on lap one, with the outside line through Turn One sometimes proving to be the more successful


Don’t put the kettle on…Vettel won last year’s race on a two-stop strategy, while Hamilton and Rosberg stopped three times en route to second and third places. The addition of the Soft tyre to this year’s compound list is likely to increase the number of stops, with most drivers trying to complete the race distance on three stops. Expect pitlane action on or around laps 10, 25 and 40


Weather conditions NOW 29 degrees RACE FORECAST 31 degrees


Tyre choices Soft/Medium/Hard, a combination that has only been used twice before this year, at Barcelona and Silverstone





Event facts


First Malaysian Grand Prix  1999.


Official slogan

There is no official slogan, but the construction of Sepang International Circuit coincided with the launch of ‘Vision 2020’, a development programme intended to accelerate Malaysia’s drive towards industrialisation.



Malaysia's F1 heritage


The country’s first association with F1 came via the national oil company, which started sponsoring Sauber in 1995.


Four years and $150m later, the first Malaysian Grand Prix was staged at Sepang, which has been the race’s home for 18 consecutive seasons. There has been one Malaysian driver, Alex Yoong, who raced for Minardi in 2001.




Smallest winning margin


0.732s, in 2000. Michael Schumacher and Mika Häkkinen lined up on the front row, but it was the McLaren duo of Mika and David Coulthard that ran 1-2 at the end of lap one. Mika was later penalised for jumping the start, handing the lead to David.


 But a driving error by the Scotsman handed Schumacher the lead, which he was never to lose. The gap between them was less than 1s for the last 12 laps of the race.




Sporting legacy

With two grands prix tracks in the region, in Singapore and at Sepang, F1 has a solid foothold in South East Asia.


 But Malaysia’s prowess as a sporting nation has grown steadily since it hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1998, and this year it came home with five medals from the Rio Olympic Games.



Did you know?


At 310.408kms/192.879 miles, the Malaysian Grand Prix is the longest race of the season in terms of distance.




Don’t forget


McLaren has won the Malaysian Grand Prix twice, most recently in 2007.



Fan zone


Michael, aged 38, from Kuala Lumpur, asks: “I’ve been a massive McLaren fan, ever since Kimi Räikkönen won at Sepang in 2003. Please can you tell me what the team has been doing since the Singapore Grand Prix last week; have you spent any time in Kuala Lumpur?”


McLaren’s answer: “
Our freight was transported the 200 miles from Singapore to Sepang by road. All 11 teams made the journey together, which created an impressive convoy of lorries.


As for personnel, a few people stayed in Asia after Singapore, but the majority returned to Woking, where work on next year’s MP4-32 continues.”





- McLaren also photos

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26.09.2016 / MaP

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