Lotus F1 Malaysian GP 2014

Formula 1


Lotus F1 Malaysian GP 2014

CAN LOTUS F1 TEAM TURN THIS SEASON AROUND? 

Federico Gastaldi-DEPUTY TEAM PRINCIPAL

Lotus F1 Team Deputy Team Principal Federico Gastaldi is buoyed by the team’s first finish of the year, but under no illusions of the task ahead.

What’s the outlook for Bahrain?

We head to Bahrain still with lots of work to do, but with clear evidence that we are heading in the right direction. We’re at a very early stage in the understanding of our car’s performance and we’re still having to fight reliability issues; no doubt you will find us in Bahrain with plenty of work to do!

Seeing Romain cross the finish line in Sepang must have been a good feeling?

After the start we have had to this season, of course it was a great feeling to complete the Malaysian Grand Prix. That said, we’re not here as a team to celebrate a non-points finish. Our performance in Sepang represents a step in getting to where we want to be, and we have quite a lot more steps to make. The positive is that we are seeing progress so we are going in the right direction.

He was very determined to keep eleventh position?

Hearing him on the radio and speaking to him afterwards, he was very determined to do much better than that! The problem with rear downforce for the last eight laps of the race really meant he was fighting with one hand tied behind his back but he was still trying to fight for the positions ahead before he had to deliver a strong defensive drive. It was great stuff to watch.

Not quite the same relief over in Pastor’s side of the garage?

Pastor had a very trying weekend with more than his fair share of problems, yet the fantastic thing has been that he hasn’t let this dishearten him. On the contrary, his response has been fantastic and motivating for everyone. He is a very uplifting guy and will always share a joke with the crew in the garage or the team back at the factory. You can see the determination and focus in his eyes, but he certainly hasn’t given any indication of being the kind of driver who will throw his toys out of the pram when things aren’t going his way.

How’s the motivation of the team?

I still say it’s stronger than ever. We have an even higher mountain than usual to climb so we are up for the challenge. It’s incredible how relentless everyone at the track and at Enstone is in their focus and approach to getting us to where we want to be.

When can the team be fighting for points?

Romain was unlucky that he wasn’t in the points in Sepang so it wouldn’t be a lie to say that we have already been fighting for points. We are still at such an early stage of extracting performance from the E22 that our potential for improvement is very good.

What’s the short term plan for progress?

We are targeting reliability as that enables us to better understand the car. Equally, we are bringing new aerodynamic and performance parts to every race. When we get more track time we have more understanding of the car and more information for our engineers to work on.

Now it’s two races into the 2014 season, what are your thoughts on the racing spectacle?

Aside from the results from the team so far, I have enjoyed the last two Grands Prix. The cars move about a lot and there have been some good wheel-to-wheel moments which is always great to watch. The fascinating aspect is the knowledge that we are all so early in the understanding of how to race to these latest regulations. This means we will see the racing evolve a lot over the season as the teams all develop their cars and race strategies and the drivers understand better how to extract maximum performance from them. It’s going to be a great season

 

ROMAIN GROSJEAN

Romain Grosjean and Lotus F1 Team reached the chequered flag for the first time in 2014 at Sepang, when the Frenchman overcame a loss of downforce to win an entertaining duel for eleventh place with former team-mate Kimi Räikkönen. Now the aim is to do better in Bahrain’s inaugural F1 night race.

What are your thoughts looking ahead to Bahrain?

It’s a good track and I’m happy to go back there. I’m especially looking forward to the first night race at a circuit I like. Twice I’ve raced there in Formula 1 and twice I’ve been on the podium. So that’s a good record! We were not very successful in the pre-season tests, but hopefully there will be some more updates and performance from our side. I’m sure everyone is going to work hard even though there are just a few days before Bahrain. The race finish at Sepang is a big encouragement. No matter what the challenge, we are aiming for podiums and strong performances wherever we go.

What do you like about the Bahrain track?

On paper it is not the most amazing circuit, but when you drive it’s pretty cool. I like the long straights followed by the hairpins and then the twisty middle section with a lot of G-force which makes it exciting. It gives the driver plenty to do behind the wheel and it gives you quite a lot to do in the debrief as well. It’s always rewarding when you balance all the different demands on the car to get the lap as fast as possible.

How important for progress is the mileage attained in Malaysia?

It is essential. To make major progress we need more days like Saturday and Sunday in Malaysia, where we learned a lot about the car. There are some encouraging signs. We know we have a lot of work ahead, but we also know which areas to work on. We will try new things in Bahrain and I’m confident the car will be better.

How did it feel to reach the chequered flag in Malaysia?

Finishing the race was our first objective and then we wanted to see where we were with our car. It’s not perfect yet but it’s good to be where we are at this stage. I had a big loss of downforce around eight laps from the end which made things difficult, especially when I had to defend. Without that issue, I’m sure we could have finished higher. It was a good battle with Kimi. I kept remembering our past battles to make sure he couldn’t go through!

What are the current generation cars like to race?

I would say they are early in their development and we’re still some way from where we want to be in terms of performance. At the moment there is a lot of management going on in the cockpit and we’ll develop a better understanding and strategies of how to approach the race. Certainly, we’ve only completed one race so there’s lots more to come.

Do you think the night race will make much difference in Bahrain?

It means a later start, and if my calculations of how the day schedule runs are right, it could mean a larger window for sleep which is always welcome! In terms of at the track, every year we have had hot temperatures and a lot of sun which made tyre degradation quite high. Temperatures will clearly be lower at night and we’ll have to see how that changes grip and degradation.

I don’t know if being at night will make much difference to the results, but it will certainly be an exciting event visually. It is also the tenth anniversary of the race so I’m sure they will put on a good show.

Why has Bahrain been so kind to you in the past?

I wouldn’t say it’s been exactly kind, but certainly we’ve been able to perform well there in the past. It’s a track I knew from before Formula 1 and it has characteristics that I like in a circuit; some big braking into certain corners, some good change of direction with the double-left in the middle of the racetrack and it all flows quite nicely. With the E20 and E21 we were able to take advantage of the car’s good balance and kindness to tyres. It’s early to say how the E22 will perform, but we head there with a positive frame of mind

Pastor Maldonado

With the first two races of the season not quite going to plan, Pastor Maldonado looks forward to the challenge of one of the toughest races of the season.

What do you think of the Bahrain International Circuit?

Bahrain is a good circuit. We’ve been there in the pre-season and I think all the teams will be happy to return, especially for the weather and the type of track. I would say it is a ‘complete’ circuit because it has a mix of high, medium and low speed turns, plus good sequences of corners. So it’s a good venue to test at, which is exactly what we need to evaluate our new developments. The facilities for the teams are great as well.

Malaysia then Bahrain, do you enjoy racing in the heat?

To be honest they are not my favourite conditions, but it’s the same for everyone so I’m not complaining. When the visor goes down it doesn’t matter. You just focus on driving.

How important has the track time been during the Malaysian weekend?

It’s the most important thing. More mileage with the car means the engineers can increasingly focus on performance. Clearly reliability is still not 100 percent, partly because of our late testing debut with the car, but we have fixed many problems and that enables us to turn more attention to performance.

How frustrating was it to suffer from issues every day of the race weekend?

Very, of course! I’m here to race so you never want to be sat in the garage when the car should be out on track. I had more than my fair share of unreliability in Malaysia, but every time we expose a problem it means we have something to fix and we take a step forwards. There were good positives in Sepang. I did get some good laps and I can feel that the E22 is a proper race car. A race car that still needs quite a lot of work, but still a race car with great potential. We saw that Romain completed a race distance, which is a great positive. We also saw our rivals having problems, showing that we are not alone with the challenges of these very different new cars.

How would you sum up Sunday at Sepang?

With Bianchi I just felt an impact at the back of the car which spun me around. But from the start we were losing a lot of power which meant I had to retire in order to protect the engine. Despite that, the weekend was clearly a step forwards. Since the Saturday, we were able to run far more with the car and Romain was able to finish the race. We’re not the only ones with issues so early in the season. This is all related to the complex packages in the car, but we learnt a lot and will make progress for Bahrain.

What do you want from the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend?

Good reliable laps in the car would be the starting point. This will allow us to understand the car’s performance and where we can improve it. It will allow me to give feedback to my engineers and understand the challenges of driving the latest generation car. We can also work on understanding the tyres better as they are different this year, and the tyres are always an area where performance gains can be made.

Bahrain will be a night race for the first time, will that mean any special changes?

We will probably need to approach Bahrain a little differently technically now, in terms of tyre pressures and set-up. Otherwise we will treat it much like any other race and obviously we have experience from night events in Singapore and Abu Dhabi. I’m definitely looking forward to it though.

It’s the first time at night in Bahrain so something new for us all to discover.

NICK CHESTER, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR

Improvements in reliability mean attention is turning to unleashing the true performance of the E22. Lotus F1 Team Technical Director Nick Chester explains all…

What did the team learn in Sepang?

We’ve learnt more about our mapping and we’ve made some improvements with the braking of the car, but there is still a lot more to come. We have more work to do at Enstone including improving the set-up and operation of our brake-by-wire system, which is one of the areas where the drivers have the biggest complaints. It’s spoiling their entry into the corner and costing them quite a lot of time.

How does brake by wire work and why is it causing issues?

The system looks at what the driver is requesting from the brake pedal and then the demand is split between a braking force generated by the power unit and a normal hydraulic braking force from the callipers. The difficult part is fine tuning those two different types of braking demands so that they work together in a natural, predictable way for the driver. It’s very important to have a brake-by-wire system that responds the way you want and to get the mapping correct so that you have the right braking behaviour to make it easier for the driver to control wheel locking. When you initially apply the brakes you want to get the pressures up high as quickly as you can, for good retardation. But for corner entry, how you come off the brakes is really important. Being able to carry good speed into the corner apex makes a massive difference to the lap time.

If we add up all of the laps done with the E22 so far this year, it’s probably the same as the first three days of testing last year…

That’s right. We are at a very early stage in terms of understanding of the car so there is a lot of latent potential to be unearthed. We are still exposing reliability weaknesses, but we’re working through these well. The unfortunate aspect is that this has occurred at the races, where we want to be scoring points and building a championship campaign. At the races we’re still doing some work that you would normally do in winter testing. Some of that is obviously due to an enormous regulation change – everybody is still learning – but due to our lack of running we are on a much steeper learning gradient. There is a positive that there are much bigger steps that we can make. An example of that is the improvement in wet qualifying performance this weekend relative to Melbourne.

How frustrating is it to lose track time due to different reliability issues?

It is frustrating. Particularly in Malaysia because the build of the cars was very good, but then a software issue let us down and prevented us running in FP1.

Both our drivers have been vocal in praising the long hours done by the team at the racetrack. How much longer do the cars take to work on now?

The cars are much more complicated this year. There is a lot more involved in the build of the car. Obviously it’s only the second race and things will get easier. We will re-design things to make them easier to fit, the procedures will improve and the mechanics will get more familiar with the components. But even by mid-season, I would say it will still be a harder car to work on than last year. I’m sure that’s the same for all teams.

How happy are you with the upgrades brought to Malaysia?

It’s a tricky one to tell because we lost a lot of Friday running, so we didn’t get all the comparisons done that we normally do. We’ll have to do a further comparison in Bahrain to get a proper feeling for how they perform.

What are the main challenges for Bahrain?

We go there without a lot of mileage in winter testing so we have more set-up work to do on the track. Obviously temperatures can be quite high, so that is one thing we will have to watch out for. Then it’s about getting more of our development parts on the car and doing more work with the power unit.

TECH TALK

E22 SET UP

FRONT WING Front wing settings are optimised around turns six and seven.

REAR WING Relatively high levels of downforce are required for Bahrain so the car runs with a lot of rear wing. Not to Monaco levels, but comparable amounts to Albert Park and Malaysia. High temperatures mean less dense and aerodynamically effective air to cleave.

SUSPENSION There are reasonable traction demands so the suspension needs to be sufficiently compliant for these requirements. The traction demands from lower speed corners mean a focus on enabling maximum usage of the mechanical grip from the tyres. Kerbs are used in turn two in order to maximise the straightline speed before turn three and the long kerb at the exit of turn 10 is generally avoided because its harshness can hurt traction.

BRAKES Bahrain represents the first proper test of braking systems of the season. Long straights lead into slow corners, meaning brake temperatures and wear levels need close monitoring.

TYRES Pirelli’s P Zero white medium and yellow soft are nominated. Despite the circuit’s desert domain, the track is not as sandy as you may expect – due to the circuit’s impressive track cleaner! The asphalt has a high abrasiveness which gives good grip but can lead to high tyre degradation. So far the tyres this year have proven to be quite tricky to manage in the races having similar degradation than 2013 despite being a step harder.

ENGINE SET UP

With four long straights over the course of the lap the MGU-H will have plenty of opportunity to recharge while the heavy braking points at the end of the straights allow the MGU-K to keep the battery reserve at high charge. The circuit is therefore in the middle of the table on the balance between electrical energy and fuel. One of the major challenges will be the hot temperatures of the Bahrain desert that will put the cooling system of the Energy F1-2014 under a great deal of pressure. With cooling requirements already at a premium with the high rotational speeds of the turbocharger and MGU-H, adding extra external temperatures will make engine cooling a priority task on the job list.

Andrew Jordan gets it sideways at Paddock Hill Bend

BTCC


Andrew Jordan gets it sideways at Paddock Hill Bend

PIRTEK RACING’S ANDREW JORDAN ENJOYED A STELLAR START TO HIS TITLE DEFENCE AFTER SCORING LIGHTS-TO-FLAG VICTORIES IN THE OPENING TWO ROUNDS OF THE 2014 DUNLOP MSA BRITISH TOURING CAR CHAMPIONSHIP AT BRANDS HATCH.

The reigning champion didn’t have it all his own way, however, as the eBay Motors BMW of Colin Turkington took the honours in the final thrilling encounter at the legendary Kent circuit.
 
Two podiums for MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save driver Jason Plato and promising results for Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal on the debut of the Honda Civic Tourer mean just nine points separate five drivers after the opening weekend.
 
Starting from pole position in races one and two, Jordan fended off separate challenges in each from two former champions. Plato’s MG6 kept the Honda Civic honest in the season opener, whilst Shedden’s Tourer latched on to Jordan’s title-winning Pirtek car in the second contest.
 
Despite growing pressure in each race, Jordan produced mature drives in both to take the wins and put himself in an early lead of the standings.
 
Neal claimed the first ever BTCC podium for an ‘estate’ style car when he hauled his all-new machine to third place in race one, whilst Ulsterman Turkington made the rostrum in the next race with a hard-fought third place.
 
2009 champion Turkington enjoyed an even better end to the weekend when he passed his BMW team-mates Rob Collard and Nick Foster to a claim popular victory in the final contest.
 
It was a BMW 1-2-3 off the line as the rear-wheel drive cars blasted their way down to Paddock Hill Bend for the first time in race three. Rob Collard led from Nick Foster initially but Turkington eventually put both to the sword with separate moves, the final being a clever manoeuvre through Clearways and down the Brabham Straight.
 
Old adversaries Neal and Plato eventually hustled their respective Honda and MG machines past Turkington’s two team-mates to complete the podium positions, ending an exciting opening day of the tin top season. Plato set the fastest lap of the race along the way, but couldn’t quite manage to pass Neal’s Honda.
 
Further down the order there were contrasting results for the two returning champions in Alain Menu and Fabrizio Giovanardi.
 
Swiss driver Menu closed out the event on a real high as he piloted his VW CC from 16th on the grid to take fifth at the finish, much to the delight of the tens of thousands of spectators present. Menu benefitted late on in the contest by being on the standard compound Dunlop tyre whilst most of his rivals were on the faster-degrading soft rubber. Giovanardi could only manage a weekend’s best of ninth place on his debut for the Airwaves Racing Ford Focus team.
 
Britain’s biggest and best championship now rolls on to Donington Park where the next three rounds take place over the Easter weekend (19/20 April).
 
Andrew Jordan said: “This is what we do it for – to win. I knew I had the pace to stay in front as long as I didn’t make any mistakes. It’s another cracking result and one of the harder wins I’ve had to work for. Race three was really hard work – I didn’t have anything to fight with really. Although we didn’t have the set-up in the final one, races one and two were spot on! To put it on pole, take race one and then race two with full weight on – I’m really pleased!”
 
Matt Neal said: “It’s the first time an estate car has scored a podium in the BTCC! We’ve really peppered the top step of the podium today but not quite made it there. To get three podiums from the Tourer in its first weekend is fantastic though – both Flash and I were up there in all three races, which is what we wanted to do this weekend. I’m over the moon with how today has gone. It was so exciting and close right the way to the last corner!”
 
Colin Turkington said: “I’m absolutely stoked after that win. I was a bit nervous at the start of race three with both of my team-mates up there, but I made a clean getaway and immediately knew the pace was in the car for the win. It switched on almost straight away and was brilliant to drive – I knew I had to strike early on but had to be really careful. The team has done so much work over the winter to make the car faster and it’s great to see all three eBay Motors BMWs at the front – let’s hope it continues!”
 
Gordon Shedden said: “It was really really close. Around here it’s really easy to follow but super difficult to actually make a pass! There aren’t that many overtaking opportunities without being quite aggressive. Knowing how my luck has been over the last six years when I’ve had an uncanny knack of scoring no points I said to myself ‘just get it to the end and score some points’. This is day one with our new Honda Civic Tourer and we can be on the podium! Everyone else had better watch out as the year goes on.”
 
Jason Plato said: “We were the quickest car on the soft tyres in the last race that’s for sure. I didn’t have weight on which helped me pick my way through the field, but it was great racing – really great! I actually wanted to have a go for the lead, but Matt knows how to drive a wide line and he does it very well. I like racing through the field like that – it’s good fun!”
 

2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Brands Hatch Indy – Race 1
 
1.    Andrew Jordan    (Pirtek Racing): 24 Laps
2.    Jason PLATO    (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save): +0.536
3.    Matt NEAL   (Honda Yuasa Racing): +9.396
4.    Gordon SHEDDEN    (Honda Yuasa Racing): +9.806
5.    Rob AUSTIN    (Exocet Racing): +10.156
6.    Rob COLLARD (eBay Motors): +13.133

Race 2

1.    Andrew JORDAN    (Pirtek Racing): 27 Laps
2.    Gordon SHEDDEN    (Honda Yuasa Racing): +0.505
3.    Colin TURKINGTON     (eBay Motors): +0.709
4.    Matt NEAL   (Honda Yuasa Racing): +1.742
5.    Nick FOSTER    (eBay Motors): +2.094
6.    Rob COLLARD (eBay Motors): +2.519

Race 3

1.    Colin TURKINGTON     (eBay Motors): 27 Laps
2.    Matt NEAL   (Honda Yuasa Racing): +1.114
3.    Jason PLATO    (MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save): +1.446
4.    Robert COLLARD    (eBay Motors): +2.432
5.    Alain MENU    (Chrome Edition Restart Racing): +2.660
6.    Gordon SHEDDEN    (Honda Yuasa Racing): +3.378

Malaysia GP podium 2014

Formula 1


Malaysia GP podium 2014

LEWIS HAMILTON SAILS TO MALAYSIAN GP VICTORY-

Lewis Hamilton took a lights-to-flag victory at the 2014 PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix, with Nico Rosberg completing the first one-two finish for the Mercedes Silver Arrows since Juan Manuel Fangio and Piero Taruffi at the 1955 Italian Grand Prix.

- Lewis claimed his 23rd Formula One career victory and his second for MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS today at Sepang
- He took the chequered flag with an advantage of 17 seconds and set the fastest lap of the race on lap 52 
- Lewis stopped on laps 15 and 33 for medium tyres, switching to the hard compound at his final stop on lap 51
- Finishing in second place, Nico achieved his 13th Formula One career podium and his 11th for the team
- He followed the same tyre strategy as Lewis, stopping on laps 14, 32 and 50 
- Lewis’ victory was the 15th for the Silver Arrows in Formula One and the 101st for Mercedes-Benz power

Lewis Hamilton

I’m incredibly happy today. This is my first win in Malaysia after eight attempts and to do it for our PETRONAS family in their home country makes it even more special. It’s all down to the team. They have done a fantastic job and I have to say a huge thank you to everyone here at the track and back at our factories who have been pushing non-stop to get the car where it is. The race was tougher than it perhaps looked today and the conditions here always make it a great challenge. But I was able to look after the car, the tyres and the fuel and still keep a bit of pace in hand which made my job that little bit easier. It´s great to see Mercedes leading the championship but we know that we have to make these early races pay. Anything can happen as we saw in Australia, so this is an important result for us. One-two finishes don´t happen very often and this is a real achievement for the team. Finally, I would like to offer this victory in tribute to all those affected by the tragedy of MH370. A special mention also goes to my step-mum Linda for her 50th birthday tomorrow!

Nico Rosberg

This is an incredible day for our team and for Mercedes-Benz. Everyone back at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth, and all employees of Mercedes-Benz, can feel very proud today. For the first time in the modern Silver Arrows era, we have achieved a one-two finish which is an incredible result. The team did a phenomenal job over the winter and my thanks once again for that. I also want to thank our partners PETRONAS. They have given our team so much support, along with the best products for our power unit, so we are proud to be associated with them and I hope they enjoy the celebrations today. I had a great start again, even though it was tight with Sebastian. It was very close at the wall and I just closed the eyes, went for the gap and did it. Later I was able to control the pace and to defend my position against Seb but Lewis was out of my reach, so congratulations to him for his win. I really look forward now to next weekend in Bahrain.

Sebastian Vettel 

“We have certainly made a good step forwards, but we still have a lot of work to do. It’s great to get a podium finish today. Considering where we were, not even two months ago, I think this weekend is a massive step in the right direction. It’s a shame we didn’t finish with both cars, but it’s good to see the car is quick and we need the laps; for now it’s important to collect points. The guys are pushing back in the factory and at Renault – it’s been a massive job from them – and we’ll try to be up there very soon again. It was a shame to lose a place at the start, but third was our maximum position today, so I’m very happy with that. It’s a shame for Daniel with what happened, he drove really well.”

Malaysia GP Quali podium 2014

Formula 1


Malaysia GP Quali podium 2014

2014 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX – QUALIFYING

Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole position, Sebastian Vettel took second and Nico Rosberg in third place after a closely contested qualifying session for the 2014 PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix. Heavy downpours at the Sepang International Circuit delayed the start of the session by 50 minutes, with wet conditions remaining throughout.

Lewis Hamilton

I’m really happy with our result today. It was a very close session and I’m relieved to come away with pole position as it was pretty tense towards the end. The lap was far from being my optimum: I should have been able to eke out a little more time but thankfully it wasn´t needed. Conditions were incredibly difficult and it would have been so easy to get it wrong today. At times towards the end it was almost impossible to see if anyone was behind me. The team have done a great job once again, we have a great car, and we now have to convert this performance tomorrow.

Sebastian Vettel

“My heartbeat was rising very quickly in Q1 when we realised there was an issue. We came in and restarted the car, which seemed to solve the problem and after that it was fine. It was good to go out and get another feel for the car in the wet conditions. Q3 was not perfect; I would have loved to have had a second go – on my first attempt I felt there was a little bit of time to gain here and there. It was very close, maybe too close, as if you look at the margin it was possible to go faster, but then if Lewis would have had another chance he would have improved also so, would should, could, at the end of the day it’s good to be on the front row and it should be the good side of the grid for tomorrow – it depends on how our start is, but I’m happy with the result.”

Nico Rosberg

I didn´t feel very comfortable on the extreme wet tyres at the end of Q3, especially on the brakes, but I was still able to improve enough to claim third from Fernando which was the positive for me. We’ve definitely improved the way we manage the sessions since Australia, so I was the last car to cross the line, but unfortunately the track didn’t really improve. It will definitely be a difficult ýand eventful race as the weather is predicted to be the same again, but that will give me opportunities to gain some positions. I’m looking forward to the race and I want to get the best out of it, like we did in Melbourne.

Mercedes AMG Friday practice Malaysia 2014

Formula 1


Mercedes AMG Friday practice Malaysia 2014

2014 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX PRACTICE- MERCEDES AMG ON TOP–

The first practice sessions for the PETRONAS Malaysian Grand Prix took place today in the heat of the Sepang circuit.

- Nico and Lewis completed a total of precisely 100 laps during today’s two practice sessions, just short of the 105 laps completed last year on Friday
- Lewis ran his Melbourne Power Unit all day, following the resolution of the problem with the ignition system that caused his misfire in Australia
- The top six cars in the second session were covered by just 0.203s – equivalent to just 12 metres or two and a half car lengths

Nico Rosberg

It was crazy conditions out there. In the very, very warm temperatures, it’s a huge challenge to get everything right. The cars are on the edge and the tyre degradation was higher than expected today – we are sliding a bit more this year, perhaps because of the reduced downforce levels. We are still having some small issues and therefore we were not able to maximize everything today. The quickest teams seem to be closer together than in Australia, so we still have work to do overnight to improve our level of performance.

Lewis Hamilton

I’m happy with our progress over the two sessions today and we were able to complete our programme. The car feels good and our focus was on trying to understand the tyres and make sure the balance is right for the weekend. There are areas where we can improve so we’re keeping focused on our own work, rather than being distracted by what the others are doing. It was pretty tough with the temperature and humidity and it’s so important to keep hydrated here. We would love a good result this weekend, particularly as it is the home race for PETRONAS, but it’s impossible to predict what will happen at this stage. It’s one of the trickiest races of the year so we just have to make sure we tick all the boxes and that it all comes together for us.

Toto Wolff

We had an incident-free day but not an easy one, as we worked hard to adapt to the challenging conditions here in Sepang. The high temperatures mean we have to adapt both the cooling package and the set-up of the car to cope and we worked through that programme diligently today. It’s not easy to draw any firm conclusions yet about performance; we will keep working hard overnight and see how we compare tomorrow when it counts.

Paddy Lowe

In first practice, we ran a programme with two different fuel loads while tuning the car to the conditions. Malaysia is one of the hottest races on the calendar and it’s important to do our homework to make sure we are in the right shape for the race. The drivers were reasonably happy with the balance and reported no major issues. This afternoon, we ran both tyres on low fuel, before conducting long runs – first on the option tyre, then changing to the prime, and gathering important information for the race. We didn’t encounter any significant problems today, which allowed us to concentrate fully on the performance and endurance tuning of the car.

ESTORIL

GP3


ESTORIL

GP3 SERIES RETURNS TO ACTION IN ESTORIL-
 
First of three pre-season tests takes place in Portugal
 
The 2014 GP3 Series gets underway tomorrow with the first official two day test session at the Circuito Estoril in Portugal. GP3 enters its fifth season of existence with racing kicking off in Barcelona in May.
 
The paddock welcomes back many familiar faces, along with some new recruits, all eager to follow in the footsteps of our reigning GP3 champion and current Scuderia Toro Rosso Formula 1 driver Daniil Kvyat.
 
Current Team Champions ART Grand Prix have brought in the experienced Alex Fontana and Dino Zamparelli and welcome German rookie Marvin Kirchhofer. Arden International (formally known as MW Arden) line-up with the double race-winning pairing of Robert Visoiu and Patric Niederhauser, whilst British driver Jann Mardenborough will make his debut in the Series.
 
Koiranen GP have signed Jimmy Eriksson and GP3 debutant Santiago Urrutia from Uruguay whilst Carmen Jorda will test for the Finnish outfit this week. Carlin has completed their team for this campaign, retaining Luis Sa Silva with Red Bull Junior Team driver Alex Lynn and Emil Bernstorff joining the British squad.
 
This season Marussia Manor Racing will field a trio of drivers who have all competed in GP3, Patrick Kujala and Ryan Cullen both raced in the 2013 season, along with Dean Stoneman who made a very impressive showing in his one-off appearance in the Abu Dhabi season finale to score a podium.
 
Jenzer Motorsport will be reviewing drivers from the test session before announcing their line-up for the 2014 campaign with GP3’s inaugural race winner Pal Varhaug testing for the Swiss outfit and he will be accompanied by fellow race winner Melville McKee and Adderly Fong.
 
Victor Carbone and Roman De Beer represent Italian outfit Trident this season and will be joined by Nelson Mason.
 
Nick Yelloly has switched to the green and black liveried Status Grand Prix this year, whilst former GP3 driver Richie Stanaway and Mexican Alfonso Celis Jr will test for the team in Portugal.
 
Newcomers to the GP3 Series for the 2014 season, Hilmer Motorsport, will make their official debut at the next test session in Jerez on the 10th – 11th April bringing the total to nine teams.
 
The schedule for Day 1 of the test sees the test commence at 09.00 – 12.00 with a two hour break. The afternoon session will begin at 14.00 and end at 17.00.
 
Drivers’ Entry List
CAR
DRIVER
LICENSE
TEAM
1
 Alex Fontana
 SUI
ART Grand Prix
2
 Marvin Kirchhofer
 GER
ART Grand Prix 
3
 Dino Zamparelli
 GBR
 ART Grand Prix
4
 Robert Visoiu
 ROU
 Arden International
5
 Patric Niederhauser
 SUI
 Arden International
6
 Jann Mardenborough
 GBR
 Arden International
7
 Carmen Jorda
 ESP
 Koiranen GP
8
 Jimmy Eriksson
 SWE
 Koiranen GP
9
 Santiago Urrutia
 SWE
 Koiranen GP
10
 Alex Lynn
 GBR
 Carlin
11
 Emil Bernstorff
 GBR
 Carlin
12
 Luis Sa Silva
 MAC
 Carlin
14
 Patrick Kujala
 FIN
 Marussia Manor Racing
15
 Ryan Cullen
 GBR
 Marussia Manor Racing
16
 Dean Stoneman
 GBR
 Marussia Manor Racing
20
 Pal Varhaug
 NOR
 Jenzer Motorsport
21
 Melville McKee
GBR
 Jenzer Motorsport
22
 Adderly Fong
CHN
 Jenzer Motorsport
23
 Victor Carbone
 BRA
 Trident
24
 Roman De Beer
 RSA
 Trident
25
 Nelson Mason
CAN
 Trident
26
 Nick Yelloly
 GBR
 Status Grand Prix
27
 Richie Stanaway
NZL
 Status Grand Prix
28
 Alfonso Celis Jr
 MEX
 Status Grand Prix

 

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