Malaysian Grand Prix, Preview

Malaysian Grand Prix, Preview 30 Sep – 02 Oct

Formula 1 continues its tour in Asia. This time, it’s Malaysia’s turn to host a Formula 1 race.

In Singapore, Nico Rosberg took the chequered flag, whilst his team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, finished third. It was Nico’s third consecutive victory after the summer break, and he increased his lead in the drivers’ standings to eight points, from his main rival Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton couldn’t follow Rosberg’s pace. Mercedes decided to go on a three-stop strategy for the British. The three times world champion had to take fight for a place on the podium with Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn, was on a top form and with an impressive move at turn seven passed Hamilton and took the third position. Kimi didn’t manage to hold his position, and Lewis took it back after a good strategy plan from Mercedes.

Last season Sebastian Vettel, with Scuderia Ferrari, won in Malaysia. The German qualified second, but he finished about eight seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton and won his first victory with Ferrari. It was Vettel’s 40th victory in Formula 1. Nico Rosberg took the third place on the podium, while Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth, followed by the second Finn of the grid, Valtteri Bottas.

The high temperatures gave an advantage to Ferrari, can they repeat their success this year?

Sepang International Circuit

Laps: 56

Length: 5.543 km

Race Length: 310.408 km

Lap Record: 1:34:223 (Juan Pablo Montoya, 2004)

Available tyres: Hard (Orange), Medium (White), Soft (Yellow)

The circuit is located a few kilometres outside of Kuala Lumpur and it’s one of the most demanding and technical circuits in Formula 1. The track was designed by Hermann Tilke, and it combines long high-speed straights and tight twisting complexes.

Past summer I had the chance to visit the track, I travelled to Malaysia for a few days and as an F1 fan, I had to go and visit the circuit. I really enjoyed the hospitality and despite a misunderstanding with the guys in the reception, they offered me a great and unique tour, around the track.

It was a great experience for me, I went into the control room, enjoyed the view of the Sepang International circuit from the grandstands and also I had my moments on the podium (without champagne!).

I believe that Mercedes will win in Malaysia, Nico Rosberg is on top form and he needs this victory before the Japanese Grand Prix. From the other hand, Lewis Hamilton has to stop Nico’s form and show him that he will fight until the end for the title.

Ferrari will introduce their new aero packages in Malaysia, they will fight with Red Bull Racing for the second place. Daniel Ricciardo won’t gives up easily, Scuderia will have to fight hard for a place on the podium.

I’m expecting to see an interesting race between these three teams.

I would like to thank everyone at Sepang circuit for the hospitality and for the tour!

Follow me on Twitter: @FP_Passion

Victor Archakis

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