F1weekly Podcast # 494

Podcast number 494

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir hameed and…

Special repeat interview Pastor Maldonado

Malaysia GP, Friday 8 April 2011

Renault Run into problems.
Both cars encountered problems with their front suspension uprights in the first free practice session. After careful analysis, the team identified a material defect linked to a specific batch of components. For the afternoon session, the team reverted to a different batch and ran without any issues.

Alan Permane, Chief Engineer – Technical programme notes

  • It was difficult to learn anything today. The issues this morning limited our mileage in both sessions and it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions.
  • Due to the lack of running, neither driver was able to make much progress with their set-up programmes and we have a lot of work to do to improve the handling.

James Allison, Technical Director
“Both Vitaly and Nick suffered failures under braking in the front uprights early in the first session. As a precaution we stopped running the cars until we had understood the problem. We quickly established that the two failed items had come from the same material batch and that nothing from this batch had run prior to today. It took a little longer to rule out other potential causes but once we were confident that the failures were related to a material problem we released the cars for the second half of afternoon practice where they ran without problem.”

Nick Heidfeld, R31-01
Free practice 1: P7, 1:40.525, 6 laps
Free practice 2: P8, 1:38.570, 16 laps

Nick: “Because of the issues this morning, we didn’t run very much at all today. We therefore had to prioritise what we did in the afternoon and we felt it was best to do a long run on the soft tyres. Although we didn’t do many laps, we got some data and we learned a few things, especially about the high degradation rate of the softs. Considering that we did no real set-up work today, it’s quite encouraging that I was in the top ten in both sessions. We now have to concentrate on making good progress in the final practice session tomorrow morning.”

Vitaly Petrov, R31-03
Free practice 1: P24, 1:47.932, 4 laps
Free practice 2: P13, 1:39.267, 17 laps

Vitaly: “It wasn’t the best day. The problem in the morning was quite a surprise and we decided not to run until late in the afternoon when we had understood things properly. When I did finally get out, the car felt fine, but the time we had was very limited and we didn’t really manage to do any set-up work. As we expected, the degradation rates are very high here, especially for the soft tyres, but they definitely had more grip and were a couple of seconds quicker than the hard. However, tomorrow is a new day and I think we can still have a good weekend.”

Did you know?
Nick and Vitaly are using sparkling golden suits this weekend. It’s to allow them to stay a little cooler than they would otherwise be in their traditional black versions. Expect these suits to make several more appearances during the year – at the hotter races.

Malaysian Grand Prix second practice result:

Pos  Driver               Team                     Time               Laps
 1.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault         1m36.876s            24
 2.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes         1m36.881s  + 0.005   30
 3.  Lewis Hamilton       McLaren-Mercedes         1m37.010s  + 0.134   23
 4.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault         1m37.090s  + 0.214   30
 5.  Michael Schumacher   Mercedes                 1m38.088s  + 1.212   26
 6.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari                  1m38.089s  + 1.213   31
 7.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes                 1m38.565s  + 1.689   25
 8.  Nick Heidfeld        Renault                  1m38.570s  + 1.694   16
 9.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari                  1m38.583s  + 1.707   27
10.  Jaime Alguersuari    Toro Rosso-Ferrari       1m38.846s  + 1.970   31
11.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Cosworth        1m38.968s  + 2.092   25
12.  Rubens Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth        1m39.187s  + 2.311   30
13.  Vitaly Petrov        Renault                  1m39.267s  + 2.391   17
14.  Kamui Kobayashi      Sauber-Ferrari           1m39.398s  + 2.522   29
15.  Sergio Perez         Sauber-Ferrari           1m39.603s  + 2.727   34
16.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes     1m39.625s  + 2.749   31
17.  Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes     1m39.809s  + 2.933   28
18.  Sebastien Buemi      Toro Rosso-Ferrari       1m40.115s  + 3.239   31
19.  Timo Glock           Virgin-Cosworth          1m40.866s  + 3.990   24
20.  Jarno Trulli         Lotus-Renault            1m41.890s  + 5.014   19
21.  Narain Karthikeyan   HRT-Cosworth             1m43.197s  + 6.321   15
22.  Tonio Liuzzi         HRT-Cosworth             1m43.991s  + 7.115   14
23.  Heikki Kovalainen    Lotus-Renault            1m44.886s  + 8.010    4