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Circuit Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia
Date 30.03.2014
Laps 56
Distance 310,408 km / 192,920 miles
No Driver Ferrari S/N Team Result
7 Kimi Raikkonen F14 T 305 Scuderia Ferrari 12.
           
14 Fernando Alonso F14 T 304 Scuderia Ferrari 4.

 

Malaysian GP – A race with two outcomes

Posted: 30.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Stefano Domenicali: “We cannot be happy with today’s result, because even if, on the one hand we managed to claim a fourth place that sees Fernando stay third in the Drivers’ classification, on the other hand, Kimi failed to score points when they were well within his grasp, but for the accident with Magnussen on the opening lap. Even if there have been improvements on the performance front, the gap to Mercedes is still significant and that should motivate the whole team, at the track, but especially back in Maranello, to improve the car in every area. We know what areas we need to work on and we must try and do that as quickly as possible. The championship has only just begun and we know just how quickly things can change in Formula 1.”

Fernando Alonso: “The points scored today are the result of a trouble free weekend, in which the small improvements on the car worked as we had expected and it ran very reliably. We definitely have a lot more work to do, because while we are moving forward, the others are doing the same. Everyone in our team is doing their utmost to close down the gap. There’s still a lot to learn in these early races, but it’s no secret that we definitely need to improve our top speed, as could be seen from my duel with Hulkenberg. I was able to get him thanks to fresher tyres, but we definitely need to up our performance right from the very next race. It will be very hot in Bahrain and the tyre compounds are softer. This might be an advantage to us, because on the harder tyres we are sliding a lot. Also, from the data we gathered there during winter testing, we might be able to extract more of our potential, but that will apply to everyone.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “I am very disappointed with how this race turned out, because I got a good start, but then the collision with Magnussen damaged my right rear tyre, which meant I had to make an extra stop. That wiped out any chance I had of fighting for a good finish. After the accident, the car’s handling was not the same, as the tyre had caused damage to the floor, which led to a loss of downforce. On my first set of tyres, I had some difficulties and it was only after the final stop, when I fitted the Mediums that it went better, but by then it was too late. Hard to say how things might have gone without that problem, because our rivals were very quick, but maybe I could have finished close to Fernando. It was a really unlucky day, but overall we managed to improve our performance and now we must concentrate on the positive aspects of this weekend and work to improve starting already next week in Bahrain.”

Pat Fry: “A race of mixed fortunes today, because while Fernando managed yet again to give his all, Kimi’s race was compromised right from the start. With the former, it was a case of managing the traffic and tyre performance: while we were trying to bring forward the stops to pass Ricciardo, at the same time, we had to defend from Hulkenberg, who was behind Fernando but on a different strategy. As for Kimi, he was hit by Magnussen and had to do an entire lap at a very slow pace to get back to the pits and change tyres. Despite the different outcomes, both of them drove at a good pace, reasonably similar to that of the cars grouped behind the Mercedes. The F14 T continues to make progress and has proved to have good reliability, but we know this is not enough. We know we are working in the right direction, but if we want to reduce the gap to the leaders, we need to make a major step forward. Bahrain looks like being one of the hardest races of the season, where managing fuel consumption will definitely play a very important role.”

 

Malaysian GP – A hard fought 12 points

Posted: 30.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sepang, 30 March – Fernando Alonso started from fourth on the grid and 56 laps later, he was fourth at the flag. It was a tough afternoon for him and even tougher for his Scuderia Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who spiralled to the back of the pack after having to pit with a puncture, eventually fighting his way back to finish twelfth. Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg secured a one-two finish for Mercedes, the company’s first since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix, with Sebastian Vettel third for Red Bull.

Hamilton’s Mercedes led from pole, Rosberg squeezed very close to the pit wall and got ahead of Vettel to run second, while Ricciardo also passed his Red Bull team-mate, so that the order was Hamilton, already pulling out from Rosberg, then Ricciardo, Vettel with Fernando having dropped one place to fifth and about to be passed by Hulkenberg. Kimi was in trouble with a puncture to a rear tyre and had to pit, the Finn having been clipped by Magnussen’s McLaren. Fernando soon retook fifth place on lap 2, with Kimi rejoining down the back as Vettel passed Ricciardo on lap 3.

By lap 8, Hamilton already had a massive 5.2 second lead over Rosberg, with Vettel 3.4 down on the German, followed by Ricciardo at a second and Fernando 1.1 off the Australian. A three-stopper was the favourite strategy and Fernando came in for fresh Mediums on lap 11. Ricciardo came in next time round and the Ferrari and Red Bull ended up wheel to wheel for a few corners, before the Australian pulled ahead for seventh place. Fernando fought his way past Bottas for sixth on lap 14, as the two Mercedes made their stops. Hulkenberg, the only one of the lead group not to have changed tyres was second, with Fernando sixth behind Ricciardo, with Kimi still unable to make headway in nineteenth.

The middle part of the race saw little change to the order. Everyone was aiming for a very long penultimate stint, as the threat of rain meant that a costly extra stop for dry tyres was to be avoided. Fernando closed on Ricciardo’s Red Bull, later retired, so the gap was half a second on lap 37 when the rain began to fall at Turns 9 and 10, but it would never be heavy enough for anything but slicks. Fernando made his final stop from fourth place on lap 47 but with Hulkenberg on a two-stopper, the Spaniard lost a place dropping to fifth. However, undaunted, he set off in pursuit of the Force India, the gap standing at 9.1 with 9 laps to go. He took 2 seconds out of that next time round, setting a race fastest lap.

In the closing stages, Kimi had a crowd-pleasing battle with Grosjean’s Lotus, trying to take eleventh off the Frenchman but to no avail. The Finn’s car had floor damage after the Magnussen incident, which meant downforce was lacking on the F14 T. After a wheel to wheel battle through several corners, Fernando passed Hulkenberg to secure fourth spot with a few laps remaining.

 

Malaysian GP – Alonso fourth, Raikkonen out of luck

Posted: 30.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sepang, 30 March – Not the luckiest of races for Ferrari. Fernando Alonso brought home the points for fourth place, thanks to a gritty second half performance that saw him close on those ahead, taking fourth place off Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India just 4 laps from the flag.

Kimi Raikkonen was very unlucky, as he was clipped at turn 1 in the opening laps by Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren, suffering a right rear puncture. The Finn had to do a whole lap at snail’s pace to get back to the pits, before rejoining in penultimate place. He fought hard, dueling with Daniil Kvyat and Romain Grosjean for a points finish, but it was not to be as he finished twelfth.

It was a one-two finish for Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton taking his 23rd win from Nico Rosberg, with Sebastian Vettel third for Red Bull.

Thanks to the 12 points for fourth, Alonso has the consolation of being third in the drivers’ championship, one point behind Hamilton and not too far off leader Rosberg. Just one week to go before round three in Bahrain.

 

Malaysian GP – Suspension of belief

Posted: 29.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: “I am really pleased with this fourth place, because to get into Q3 with the problem I had with the steering is really a good result. In a season when it takes a lot of time to make any sort of change to the cars, the guys managed to change the suspension in just a few minutes, which is a real record. They also got me back out on track at the right moment, which meant I could get into Q3. The incident with Kvyat was unfortunate for both of us and was inevitable, because by the time I saw the Toro Rosso it was too late. As usual in the rain, visibility is significantly reduced and it becomes a lottery. The team was super again in Q3 when it was a case of working out when to fit the set of new Extreme Wets we had: we did it at the start when the track conditions were better and so we were immediately able to do a quick lap. Starting from fourth and sixth places, I think the podium is possible and, apart from the form shown by Mercedes, the performance among those chasing them is reasonably close. This weekend, we opted to work more on race pace than on our single lap performance and the feeling is positive. But we know it will be tough and the uncertainty over the weather means it’s hard to know what sort of race to expect.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “The rain made this qualifying very difficult. I knew that in the wet it would not be easy, but I didn’t expect to have so many problems. I had poor traction and on top of that, with the Extreme Wet, for some reason I was losing grip after the first lap. Now we have to find out why, as it will be useful for the coming races. Cleary, I’m not happy with sixth place, but given the circumstances, I cannot say I’m surprised and now I only want to think about doing well tomorrow. It will be a tough race with particularly high temperatures, but I am reasonably confident, because we have gone better here than in Melbourne and if we don’t have any problems, we can think in terms of getting a better result. Overall, my feel for the car is improving and even if there is still a way to go, we are working in the right direction.”

Pat Fry: “We can regard this as a positive result. Qualifying was extremely close because of the weather and also because of the condition of our cars. The start positions are not really those we were aiming for, but all the same, they show the team is working in the right direction to close the gap to Mercedes. Q1 was relatively straightforward to read and then the mechanics did an amazing job on Fernando’s car, changing the steering arm in just a few minutes, after the collision with Kvyat’s Toro Rosso. He was back on track in record time and from then on, Fernando still had to fight to control the car and I think, in that situation, not many drivers could have done the lap he did in Q3. He really deserves our congratulations. Kimi’s performance was no less impressive: we know he’s not yet completely happy with the feeling of his F14 T and in the wet, he had some car balance problems, but I think he can have an attacking race from where he is on the grid. Once again here, Mercedes is setting the pace, but we will try and make the most of any opportunity, although the priority is to finish the race, because more than ever this year, you can’t take reliability for granted.”

 

Malaysian GP – “Slippery When Wet”

Posted: 29.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sepang, 29 March – Second qualifying session of 2014, second wet one. This being Malaysia, today’s downpour was torrentially tropical and began a full hour before the 4 o’clock start, which was then delayed by 50 minutes. In Melbourne, Fernando and Kimi qualified fifth and eleventh while here, the Spaniard improved by one, to fourth on Row 2 and the Finn went up five places to sixth on Row 3.

It’s too early to talk of a monopoly, but Mercedes man Lewis Hamilton followed up his Albert Park pole with another one here in Sepang. Sebastian Vettel secured a front row start in second place for Red Bull and Fernando has Melbourne winner Nico Rosberg alongside him, while Kimi will have Daniel Ricciardo for company at the start.

Having got through Q1, Fernando had a worrying start to Q2, when Daniil Kvyat dived inside him in the Toro Rosso. The inevitable collision left the Spaniard’s F14 T with broken steering on the left corner. Very often, that type of damage can be fatal, but the Scuderia mechanics did a brilliant job of changing the components and getting him out again to fight back into Q3, even if there had been no time to readjust the alignment of the front wheels, which makes the double world champion’s Q3 lap all the more remarkable.  As we knew, Kimi wasn’t so happy with the feeling from his car especially in the wet, but if you could see his ‘on-board’ footage, you would understand the meaning of the word ‘commitment!

Tomorrow’s race? Rain is an ever-present threat so predictions are impossible, but the podium has to be the Prancing Horse target.

 

Malaysian GP – Second and third rows for Ferrari

Posted: 29.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sepang, 29 March –It was a wet qualifying in Sepang and its outcome means that the Ferraris will start from the second and third rows tomorrow. Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest in 2.00.175, with Kimi Raikkonen sixth, stopping the clocks in 2.01.218. Lewis Hamilton took the 33rd pole of his career for Mercedes with a 1.59.431. Alongside him will be Sebastian Vettel, with the Englishman’s team-mate, Nico Rosberg third.

Fernando’s fourth was an amazing achievement, due not only to the driver but also to his mechanics. Early in Q2, the Spaniard was hit by Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso and the impact broke the left steering arm on the F14 T. The guys changed it just five minutes, allowing Fernando to complete the session.

 

Malaysian GP – Kimi and Fernando ready for qualifying

Posted: 29.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sepang, 29 March –Third and seventh places for the two Ferraris in the final free practice session prior to this afternoon’s qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen was again the best of the two Ferrari drivers, as he had been in yesterday’s two sessions. He covered 13 laps, the best in a time of 1.40.156, while yet again, a Mercedes was quickest, Nico Rosberg posting a 1.39.008, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton behind him.

Alonso did 14 laps, with a best of 1.40.736, around 6 tenths off his team-mate. In the second part of the session, both Scuderia Ferrari men did some practice starts, in preparation for tomorrow’s race.

 

Malaysian GP – De La Rosa: “Three difficult braking areas at Sepang”

Posted: 28.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sepang, 28 March – Sepang is a very demanding circuit, which is a hard test both for the drivers and the cars. Indeed it’s made up of a combination of fast corners and long straights, which challenge the engine as much as the aerodynamics. As for the drivers, they have to put up with the humidity and the heat, with a cockpit temperature that can reach as high as 50 degrees.

For this reason it’s very important that the drivers adapt to the climate in good time and that they keep hydrated even when they’re driving: a problem with the drinks system during the race could make all the difference to the final result. “If the race is dry it is very long and while you’re in the car you are hoping that it will start to rain so you can have a bit of relief,” Scuderia Ferrari test driver Pedro De La Rosa told www.ferrari.com.

By contrast the Malaysian Grand Prix is less demanding than other circuits (notably Canada and Singapore) when it comes to the braking system. “But there are three corners that particularly stress the whole system: braking into first chicane, where you arrive at over 300 km/h with a lateral force of over 4 g, then the Langkawi corner and the last corner before the start-finish straight,” added De La Rosa. The braking system is used to coping with even more severe forces but the extreme climatic conditions of the Malaysian race make it important to keep temperatures under control in the discs and the entire system.

In the video you will see the animation created by Brembo for the Sepang circuit.

 

Malaysian GP – Familiar Friday Factors

Posted: 28.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sepang, 28 March – While there is the usual excitement and sense of anticipation regarding Sunday’s Malaysia Grand Prix, it seemed very much like business as usual in the Sepang paddock.  Engineers and mechanics were going about their tasks almost as if these new Formula 1 cars had been around for a long while and were not just at their second race. However, like a swan gliding across a lake, beneath the surface there’s frantic activity.

While the two F14 T may look substantially the same as they did in Melbourne last weekend, appearances can be deceptive: since the opening round of the season, every bit of data from the Albert Park weekend has been analysed, so the Scuderia Ferrari engineers in Maranello could look at ways of fine tuning all the systems on the car, with the aim of extracting some more performance, as well as continuing to work on its all-important reliability factor, here in Malaysia.

On track today, of the two Prancing Horse drivers, it was Kimi Raikkonen who had the better day, completing 50 laps, as against 43 for Fernando Alonso. The Finn was second fastest in both sessions, one of only three drivers to break the 1m 40 barrier. The other two were Nico Rosberg fastest for Mercedes and reigning champion Sebastian Vettel third for Red Bull. Fernando was fifth this afternoon, behind the other Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.

Fridays are extremely busy, even more so than usual with these new regulations, so it was useful that both Prancing Horse cars ran reliably throughout the three hours of track action, allowing for plenty of laps, which always equates to plenty of data. One key aspect of F1 we had not experienced in Australia was tyre degradation, but here in Malaysia, where drivers have the Hard and Medium compounds, the former making its first appearance, that is going to play a significant part here, because of the track temperature and the high speed turns that load up the tyres.

 

Malaysian GP – Engines fire up in Sepang

Posted: 28.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Fernando Alonso: “We are on a learning curve, which is not unusual for the start of a championship and, to find out how competitive we are, as usual we will have to wait until Saturday and Sunday. Usually, Friday is a very confusing day, because everyone is working on their own programmes, but this year it’s even more the case because of all the new elements. Everything went well, with no reliability problems and we managed to do a fair number of laps, enough to get a good understanding of the tyres, which will be a very important factor here because of the high temperatures. The Hard compound seems to stand up better over a long run, but it’s still too early to talk about qualifying and race strategy. For now, the only thing one can be sure of is the need to do everything to perfection.”

Kimi Raikkonen: “This was definitely a positive day and I had a better feeling compared to Friday in Melbourne. I was more comfortable with the F14 T today and even if we had no problems whatsoever, we know there’s still a long way to go and a lot to do. Our programme concentrated on car set-up and on testing the compounds that Pirelli has brought here. The handling seemed to be good even if, as we found on the race simulation, we will have to pay very close attention to degradation, which is particularly high here. Now we will spend the evening carefully analysing all the data we gathered over the day, to try and work out how to improve.”

Pat Fry: “Although the Friday work hasn’t changed, the number of variables on which we need to concentrate has increased compared to previous years. Among the many parameters that require particular attention are the management systems of the new power unit, especially in terms of its reliability. That’s what we focused on this morning, while in the session just finished we went through the usual set-up work, trying to adapt the balance of the car to the characteristics of the Sepang track. The tyres are harder than last year, but they still come under a lot of strain from lateral loads in the fast corners and so managing their degradation will be a key factor. Even if we are just a few thousandths off the top of the time sheet, as usual on Friday, it’s impossible to give any real assessment. The actual pecking order will only be seen tomorrow in qualifying.”

 

Malaysian GP – Second and fifth for Kimi and Fernando

Posted: 28.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sepang, 28 March – Kimi Raikkonen was again second in the second free practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Finn lapped in 1.39.944, which was just 35 thousandths off the 1.39.909 set by fastest man Nico Rosberg for Mercedes. In the other F14 T, Fernando Alonso was fifth in 1.40.103, under two tenths of the fastest time. In the early part of the 90 minute session, both drivers worked on qualifying set-up, before moving on to long runs in race configuration in the second half. While also working on general set up, Raikkonen and Alonso completed 30 and 29 laps respectively, using both the Medium and Hard Pirelli compounds.

 

Malaysian GP – Raikkonen in Hamilton’s wake

Posted: 28.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sepang, 28 March – Kimi Raikkonen was second and Fernando Alonso was eleventh at the end of the first free practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The Sepang track was still quite dirty as Kimi produced a best time of 1.40.843, 152 thousandths slower than Lewis Hamilton who did a 1.40.691 in the Mercedes. Fernando Alonso’s best time was a 1.41.923, on a morning that featured a spin at Turn 8. During the session, both Ferrari men worked mainly on system checks and getting a first look at the balance of the car, the Finn completing 20 laps and the Spaniard 14.

 

Malaysian GP – In memoriam

Posted: 28.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sepang, 28 March –The victims of flight MH 370, which disappeared on 8 March, are very much in everyone’s minds here in Malaysia and this morning, the Scuderia Ferrari drivers, along with all their colleagues, took to the track for Free Practice 1 in Sepang with 2 stickers on their helmets, one with a message in English “Pray for MH 370” and the other in Malay, “Doa Untuk MH 370.” On Sunday, the victims will be honoured with a minute’s silence prior to the race start.

 

Malaysian GP – Raikkonen: “Good people working flat out”

Posted: 27.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sepang, 27 March – Kimi Raikkonen’s Malaysian weekend officially got underway in the FIA press conference today, where he began by denying that all his difficulties in Melbourne had been down to the brake by wire system. “What I need is a set-up that means the car is more how I like it and the team is working on that. Hopefully when they get that for me, it will make things easier and give me more feeling, although this will take a little while” maintained the Finn.

Kimi was his usual candid self when it came to assessing the Scuderia’s Australian performance. “Obviously, it was not the ideal start to the year for the team, not what we wanted to achieve,” he said. “However, after all the small difficulties we experienced in many areas, at least we got something out of it in terms of points. It’s going to be a long year. Hopefully, we can now build on it. We have plenty of good people working flat out as a group to improve things. I am sure we will keep making progress.”

As for the coming race weekend, the Ferrari man had no crystal balls to help him. “Obviously, every circuit is different, it’s very hot and humid here and we have different tyres for the first time. It will be very hard on the cars. So I have no idea what to expect, but even in the past that was the case that it was difficult to say from race to race. Hopefully, we will have a bit better feeling and with the experience we gained at the first race, things should run more smoothly and we can aim for a better result.”

Raikkonen’s usual laid back approach meant he had no startling revelations regarding what these new cars are like from the cockpit. “From a driving point of view I don’t think it’s awfully different to last year’s cars, apart from some small details,” he revealed. “For me the bigger difference is being in a different team, as each team builds a different car.” Nor were there any fireworks when it came to his relationship with Fernando Alonso. “It is good and it’s always been good,” affirmed Kimi. Our joint aim is to work together to improve things and get the team where we want to be.”

 

Malaysian GP – Alonso: “more potential than we saw in Australia”

Posted: 27.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sepang, 27 March – A small room in the temporary Ferrari offices at the back of the paddock is where Fernando Alonso began his official duties today for the second round of the World Championship. After dismissing thoughts of a repeat of the 2012 race here, where the Spaniard drove brilliantly from ninth on the grid to win, with the words, “that’s something you only see once in life,” the topic turned to the “new F1”. “I think we need to give more time to see how the races are and how the show is and how the people react to this new Formula 1,” began the Ferrari man. “There was a lot of talk before the Australian race about how exciting this new Formula 1 would be and how many cars will finish, maybe zero! When 15 cars finish and there are not many problems and not many overtakings, that was not what the fans expected.

“In our case, we need to see how the next races go in terms of our own performance to learn how we can quickly develop the car to be in better shape. In Australia we were not happy with the performance we showed and we need to improve as quickly as possible.”

If these comments had a negative tinge to them, Fernando was quick to emphasise the positives. “I believe we can fight for the championship,” he assured the media. “We have more potential than we showed in Australia. We need to put everything in place and then we will have a better weekend. The team has the facilities and the talent to do a very good job. We can be strong and we will do better, I’m sure. It’s not been a perfect start. It seems like a repetition of the last couple of years, but these are different rules and a different rate of development applies. Our hopes are perfectly intact.”

 

The usual heat and humidity meets Ferrari in Sepang

Posted: 26.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Sepang, 26 March – Scuderia Ferrari is now hard at work in the pit garage at Sepang, which hosts the second Grand Prix of the season on Sunday. Everyone arrived in Malaysia on time and the work of building up the two F14 Ts is underway, under the direction of Diego Ioverno, the Head of Track and Car Assembly Operations.

The team is experiencing the usual Malaysian weather, in other words 30 degrees and very high humidity. It’s these conditions that make this one of the toughest races of the year for the car, for the mechanics who have to work in extreme conditions and, above all, for the drivers. The temperature in the cockpit can often reach 50 degrees and good physical preparation is a must.

“The best way to prepare for this Malaysian Grand Prix is to arrive in Sepang a bit early,” Scuderia Ferrari test driver Pedro de la Rosa told www.ferrari.com. “In fact, it’s important for the body to adapt to the climate and drivers have to put up with having the air con down to a minimum in their hotel room and in the gym where they train, otherwise it’s pointless.”

Another priority here is testing out the drinks system in the car. “In most cases, even if he doesn’t drink anything, a driver can comfortably finish a Grand Prix with no problem, because he is physically prepared for it. But in Sepang, the conditions are so extreme that not being properly hydrated can see a sudden drop in performance, with obvious consequences when it comes to the final result. In the past here, we have seen drivers whose drinks system has failed, losing time here by having to take on fluids from a bottle at the pit stop.” concludes De la Rosa.

 

Malaysian GP – Maintaining reliability, improving efficiency

Posted: 25.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

The prophets of doom were proved wrong in Melbourne, where we witnessed a reasonably interesting motor race with more finishers than predicted. Now, it’s time for a very different scenario as Formula 1 heads for the heat, humidity and fast straights and corners of Sepang. In short, while Scuderia Ferrari, like the other ten teams, will have moved forward on the development front since Round 1, the Malaysian Grand Prix will up the ante in terms of the degree of difficulty everyone must face.

“Our car reliability was good, as was that of the power train, not just for the Scuderia but also for our customer teams,” says the team’s Deputy Chief Designer Simone Resta, looking back at Australia. “Another positive aspect that emerged from the Melbourne weekend is that we found the F14 T performs well in terms of cornering speed. However, we also saw that we were lacking a bit of top speed, which made it difficult to overtake other cars on track.”

To prepare for the races in Malaysia and Bahrain, the first back-to-back pair of the season, the team’s first task was to review all the data from the Australian Grand Prix. In addition, back in Maranello, the engineers also carried out specific work related to the very high temperatures encountered in Malaysia. “Sepang is a very difficult track because it has many high speed corners,” continues Resta. “That means aerodynamics is a key factor as always. We can be sure of having to deal with very high temperatures so cooling and reliability will be important. Another aspect of the weekend will be adapting the car to the new tyres Pirelli has brought for this track.

“Reliability is always the most important factor for us: without a reliable car you cannot win titles,” adds Resta. If reliability is the first priority, then performance follows hot on its heels and that involves getting the car to work more efficiently. “Efficiency affects all areas of the car, starting with the engine and the power unit as a whole, where it means getting more power from the same amount of fuel,” explains Resta. “The same concept can also be applied to other areas such as aerodynamics where efficiency means finding more downforce but with less drag.” All areas of the car in fact are subject to the search for efficiency in order to deliver improved performance and Resta has a simple formula to sum up that task. “We are always looking to hit the same target for less effort.”

The F14T is still young and there is more to come from what appears to be a sound basic package. “It clearly has greater scope for development than our cars from the past few seasons, which is good news,” concludes Resta. “However, on a race weekend, we can only try and get the most out of what we have to work with at the track and in Malaysia, then in Bahrain a week later, we will keep moving forward down that path.”

 

Malaysian GP – Heat, rain and good memories

Posted: 24.03.2014
Source: Ferrari

Maranello, 24 March – This weekend’s race at Sepang will be the sixteenth Malaysian Grand Prix. All of them have been held at the 5.543 kilometre track, which is one of the most interesting on the calendar, notable for its suffocating heat, sudden downpours and high speed corners. Ferrari has won six times here, equivalent to a 40% success rate.

The first race dates back to 1999 and marked Michael Schumacher’s return to the cockpit after his accident in Silverstone. At the time, Eddie Irvine was still in the running for the title and Michael, always a team player, did his best to help him. Having taken pole, Michael let his team-mate by and then became an insurmountable wall for Mika Hakkinen in the McLaren, thus taking second place for himself and keeping Irvine’s championship chances alive to the very last race.
Schumacher won here the following year, when he was already World Champion and again in 2001, when it rained in the race and Ferrari secured a memorable one-two. Having gone off at the same corner Michael and Rubens Barrichello dropped down the order and both came in for intermediates, confident the downpour would be brief. It turned out to be the right choice and they worked their way back to first and second.

Michael also won here in 2004, the year of his seventh and final title with the Maranello Scuderia. After a three year absence from the top spot in Malaysia, Kimi Raikkonen secured victory for Ferrari in 2008, with team-mate Felipe Massa following him for 31 laps before going off at half distance.

The last win for the Scuderia dates back to 2012 and the trophy bears the name Fernando Alonso, who on a wet track, managed to get the most out of the F2012, fending off the hard charging Sergio Perez in the Sauber.
Malaysia was also the scene of the last race to be red flagged and not restarted, with half points being assigned. That happened back in 2009, when for the first time, the race start was given at 17h00. Heavy rain went on for much longer than expected, which meant a long wait on the grid, but by the time the rain had eased off enough to make racing possible again, night had fallen on the Sepang track. Jenson Button in the Brawn was declared the winner.

 

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