PREVIEW – Malaysian Grand Prix


Round fifteen of the season sees the final running of the Malaysian Grand Prix. First held in 1999, as a FIA World Championship Grand Prix became the first ever world championship Grand Prix to be held in Asia.  The race however has it’s origins much earlier and was first held in neighbouring Singapore in 1963 which became the Singapore Grand Prix in 1965, after Singapore became independent.

Before moving to Sepang and becoming around of the world championship in 1999. Over the years the Malaysia. The Sepang Circuit was the first of many to be built by Hermann Tilke, featuring long straights and flowing corners around the 3.4 mile circuit. The aim of the government was to create a track that would be the envy of the world in terms of its facilities and technology.

Sepang has held all nineteen world championship Grand Prix’s and its debut in 1999, saw Michael Schumacher hand the victory to team-mate Eddie Irvine, only to be disqualified due to a technical irregularity, before later being reinstated.

Both the 2001 and 2009 races where interrupted by thunderstorms seeing many cars go off. In 2001, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello spun off almost simultaneously at the same corner. Remarkably, they both recovered to score a Ferrari 1–2, because for a long time they were nearly 5 seconds faster than anyone else on the field.

The 2009 race, saw Jenson Button take his second win  of the season after starting from pole. Button drove through the awful conditions following his bad start to take the win after building a lead over the rest of the field.

Facts and Figures 

Venue Sepang International Circuit,      Sepang, Selangor, Malaysia
Circuit Length 5.543 km (3.445 mi)
Laps 56
Race Distance 310.408 km (192.878 mi)
Lap Record 1:34.223 (Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams, 2004)
Most wins drivers John MacDonald (4)

Sebastian Vettel (4)

Most wins manufacture Ferrari (7)

Event timetable

  Local BST
P1 11:00-12:30 04:00-05:30
P2 15:00-16:30 08:00-09:30
P3 14:00-15:00 07:00-08:00
Qualifying  17:00-18:00 10:00-11:00
Race 15:00 08:00

What happened in 2016?

Lewis Hamilton looked on course to retake the lead of the championship after leading the race by over twenty seconds from Daniel Ricciardo. However an unexpected engine failure just four laps from the end of the race Hamilton had battled with Ricciardo for the race.

Red Bull instructed Verstappen to let Ricciardo go which may have been them payback to Ricciardo, who they cost two victories earlier this season with a strategy call in Spain and a pit error in Monaco.

Meanwhile, it was a disastrous afternoon for the Germans, with Sebastian Vettel tagging hitting Verstappen at the start causing him to tag Nico Rosberg. It was another good day for Fernando Alonso who drove from the back to seventh and Jenson Button finishing ninth giving McLaren their best result of the season.

Full Race Report Full Result Google Collection

2015 vs 2016 Race Data

  P1 Fastest P2 Fastest P3 Fastest Q1 Fastest Q2 Fastest Q3 Fastest Race Time Fastest Lap
2016 01:35.227 01:34.944 01:34.434 01:34.444 01:33.046 01:32.850 01:37:12.776 01:36.424
Diff -4.897 -4.796 -5.256 -4.825 -6.291 -16.984 06:13.023 -5.638
2015 01:40.124 01:39.790 01:39.690 01:39.269 01:39.377 01:49.834 01:41:05.793 01:42.062

Data Profile

A lap of Sepang  

Max Verstappen comes out of turn fifteen crosses e track going to the inside to begin his lap. He then heads to the middle part of the track increasing his speed going into eighth gear getting to around 285kph, before breaking about 135m before Turn One.  Before crossing towards the apex taking a late entry as this is a long turn. Dipping down into Turn Two at 85kpm exiting in the middle of the corner, going into the long Turn Three which is flat for drivers.

Goes to the outside before breaking into Turn Four, his the apex and runs the car all the way to the outside. He then accelerates going through the gears, but suffers a bit of oversteer into Six, then understeer on the exit. Runs along the outside kerb before coming off and breaking 130ish metres for Seven. Hits the apex, goes to the centre in the middle of the double right hander. Exits Eight, goes to the outside of the circuit then crosses back to the inside and breaks for Nine. He dips down into the corner hitting the apex at 72kph begins accelerating.

Through a long right hander at ten going to the outside and runs beautifully into Eleven, where he runs to the outside. Switches back for the high-speed chicane at Twelve a Thirteen. Carries too much speed on exit of Twelve which messes up his entry into Thirteen. Into Fourteen and goes to the outside around the apex before heading to the outside. He hits the kerb before steadily re-crossing towards the outside for the hairpin. Breaking50m before staying on the outside crossing to the apex, before launching back to the inside and across the line.



Supersoft Soft Medium
Hamilton 7 5 1
Bottas 7 4 2
Ricciardo 8 4 1
Verstappen 9 3 1
Vettel 9 3 1
Raikkonen 9 3 1
Perez 8 4 1
Ocon 8 4 1
Massa 10 2 1
Stroll 10 2



10 2 1
Vandoorne 10 2



8 4 1
Kvyat 8 4


Grosjean 7 5


Magnussen 7 4


Hulkenberg 9 3



9 3 1
Wehrlein 7 5


Ericsson 7 4



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