Marussia F1 Preview to the 2012 Malaysia Grand Prix


What we’re saying about the Malaysia Grand Prix

2012 Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix, Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur

23-24-25 March 2012

All you need to know >>> Laps 56…Circuit length 5.543kms...Race distance 310.418kms...First F1 race 1999…Grands Prix hosted - 13 to date. Turns 15 - 5 left, 10 right...Big cooling test - water, oil, gearbox, electrical boxes…High speed corners - high G loads, good test of steering and suspension systems…Pirelli P Zero Silver hard tyre debuts - joined by P Zero White medium. ..Heat, humidity, could rain (a lot)…home race for Marussia F1 Team Official Partner QNet - direct selling “the best products in the right business”

Hot on the heels of last Sunday’s curtain-raiser to the 2012 Formula One World Championship in Australia, the Marussia F1 Team and its MR01 race cars have arrived in Kuala Lumpur for Round 2, the Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit in Selangor.

The season has only just begun but the action is already coming thick and fast, with just one week separating the two season-opening races this year. It is just as well therefore that Malaysia offers a rather different experience for the teams than the lively hubbub of cosmopolitan Melbourne. Kuala Lumpur is a more tranquil setting for the team to get down to business after the excitement of the first race, which produced the Marussia F1 Team’s most positive start to a season so far.

Where we’ve been to…

No one in the team would have predicted that the 2012 season would begin quite so well, but it’s a testament to all the hard work over the winter and the Marussia F1 Team’s indomitable spirit, as John Booth tells us:

“The team and the car faced a tough test in Australia last weekend and both passed with flying colours. However we are under no illusions that we’ll have to work very hard to ensure that things continue to go our way this season. Our mileage last weekend enabled us to gather plenty of data which has been carefully evaluated over the last few days back at our operational base in Banbury. This will enable us to pinpoint any underlying issues that fortunately did not surface in Melbourne. Every new car has its gremlins so we want to get to those as quickly as we can as last year one of our key strengths was our reliability. Once you have a good mechanical baseline – which we have – and a reliable car, that’s when you can really start to turn your mind towards development – and we have plenty of that to focus on. There won’t be any significant changes to the car for this weekend, given the tight turnaround, but we’ll be able to look at optimising the set-up for this circuit. It’s a tough race for team and driver given the fierce heat and humidity, although the absence of a long lead-up to the weekend means there will be less time to think about it. No doubt both drivers will be thankful that they put in the hard training miles over the winter when the race is run on Sunday! As for our expectations, it would be nice to have as seamless a progression through the weekend as we had last time, but we’ll have to see how well the MR01 copes with the challenge of Sepang.”

Where we’re heading…

The out of the box reliability of the MR01 on Sunday gave Timo Glock even more cause for celebration after turning 30 on race day. The party’s over though and it’s time to get down to business, as Timo comments:

“Malaysia provides another good opportunity for us to learn about the car in these early days for us. Sepang is a completely new track layout which will give us the chance to see how good the car is in the high speed corners. This is one of the hardest races for the team and the car as it is one of the hottest and most humid on the calendar. It will be a tough test for all of us, but from a development point of view it is very good that the second race follows so quickly because we can then head home with a mountain of data to work with during the three-week break before China.  It will be a very busy time for the engineers as they are also still learning about the car, but we need to keep pushing now to keep the pace.”

After a very positive F1 racing debut in Melbourne, Charles Pic is wasting no time preparing for the next one:

“I flew straight to Kuala Lumpur after the race on Sunday. I was happy with how things had gone in my first race but there is no time to think about that as we have so much work to do to look ahead for the rest of the season. I learned so much about the new car in such a short space of time and I want to maintain the momentum, so it’s good that I don’t have to wait two weeks to get back in the car. I know this can be a tough race but I’m ready for it and arriving early means I started acclimatising straight away. We will be in a much better position with the car this weekend as we understand more about it.”