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WSK Champions Cup



Champions Cup – La Conca, Muro Leccese 1-2/3/14  8-9/3/1

Following his recent Winter Cup victory all eyes were on Enaam Ahmed at the first major WSK KFJ Championships of 2014, held at La Conca. Italy.  Being favourite meant all the pressure was on him. An international field of  Seventy drivers had gathered at La Conca to stake their claim on the Champions Cup.  With Enaam firmly in their sights, the older drivers had a point to prove by putting this new kid in his place.  The Tournament was to take place over two legs during the two consecutive weekends.  The best placed driver over the two weekends would be crowned the winner of the Champions Cup. 


During the 1st Round heats Enaam faced some very harsh penalties from officials which forced him to start in the unfavoured outside grid positions.  Despite this disadvantage Enaam still managed to win one heat and gather top 5 positions in other heats.  In the pre-final Enaam started second alongside his former team mate Logan Sargeant (USA).  The race started and Enaam immediately took the lead lengthening the gap with his rapid pace and driving away from the field and crossing the line first.  All set for the Final of the 1st Round!


The sun came out at last after some very changeable weather to greet the drivers for the Final. Starting on pole Enaam looked his usual cool, composed self.  The formation lap set off, and Enaam made sure his tyres were at the perfect temperature to help him gain the gap he needed at the start. Looking poised and uninhibited Enaam cruised away from the pack and into the lead leaving his competitors trailing. A euphoric celebration just before the finishing line demonstrated what this victory meant to him.  Enaam had gained maximum points for the 1st Round which meant he was in the lead with a considerable margin.

Round 2, the following weekend, events unfolded in very dramatic fashion for Enaam. Being the leader meant there was a huge target on his back, and the competition was now about to take on a completely different level. The ruthlessness and controlled aggression of the drivers was about to be displayed in its rawest form yet.


Being in the first qualifying group and on a damp track meant Enaam had his work cut out. The second qualifying group meant the track was drier, therefore, faster times were clocked in this heat. Enaam qualified a disappointing 12th , and was feeling the strain. He knew he had to be explosive in the heats to finish at the front. The heats were ferocious and intense and Enaam seemed to be making some ground only later to be harshly given a 10 second penalty for contact with another driver. This meant his starting grid for the pre-final was 6th a very awkward outside position. Enaam was unhappy and having a nightmare out there. Was the huge burden of pressure getting to him?

Enaam chose to race the pre-final on old less grippy tyres whilst much of the competition opted for new tyres. Did they know something he didn’t? The race started and immediately Enaam was knocked back by the leading pack. Was the Championship slipping away? Was he going to allow his fate to be decided by others? Heck no! With all his grit and determination he began to pick of the competition one by one posting the fastest lap time. On the 10th lap of the 16 Enaam with unstoppable speed passed the leader creating a gap in the closing laps and crossing the line victorious. Gaining maximum points and further increasing his overall lead, Enaam needed to finish in the top 11 to take the Championship.

In the Final, Enaam started on the front row but on the outside.  He realised a steady finish and calm nerves would help him win the Championship.  The start was very aggressive and Enaam got caught up and was spun almost out of control. Enaam managed to control the spin with a cool head and was back in the race.  He was placed 20th but having the edge with his speed he managed to claw his way back to a very impressive 12th.  Time was running out for Enaam, and with one last attempt he sped past 3 more karts posting the fastest lap by 3 tenths of a second.  A thumbs up from the Team meant he was in a position to win the Championship.  He drove a sensible and cautious final lap crossing the line in 9th place.  Enaam Ahmed had won the Champions Cup!

“A single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” Henry David Thoreau



Facebook:  Enaam Ahmed


Lotus F1 Malaysian GP 2014

Formula 1

Lotus F1 Malaysian GP 2014



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 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.


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.



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.


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


Andrew Jordan gets it sideways at Paddock Hill Bend


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 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


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


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.