Formula One

Formula One - Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, March 25th
SITE: Sepang International Circuit (1999) -- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
TRACK: 5.543 km (3.444 miles), 15-turn, clockwise road course
CAPACITY: 133,000
TELEVISION: Speed Channel
ANNUAL: 14th
START TIME: 4 a.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Sebastian Vettel
RUNNER-UP: Jenson Button
POLE WINNER: Sebastian Vettel (Finished 1st)
LAPS: 56
MILES: 192.887
QUALIFYING RECORD: Fernando Alonso, 2005 (1 minute, 32.582 seconds)
RACE RECORD: Giancarlo Fisichella, 2006 (1 hr., 30 min., 40.529 sec.)
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Sebastian Vettel16Fernando Alonso5
2Jenson Button47Kamui Kobayashi10
3Nick Heidfeld68Lewis Hamilton2
4Mark Webber29Michael Schumacher11
5Felipe Massa710Paul di Resta14
2011 Malaysian Grand Prix Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 190.699 k.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 37 minutes, 39.832 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 3.261 seconds
CARS RUNNING AT FINISH: 16
CARS ON FINAL LAP: 10
FASTEST LAP: Mark Webber, 1:40.571, lap 46
POLE WINNER: Sebastian Vettel, 1:34.870
Past Malaysian Grand Prix Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Sebastian Vettel (1st) -- RBR Renault -- 190.699 k.p.h./1:37.39.832
2010 -- Sebastian Vettel (3rd) -- RBR Renault -- 198.540 k.p.h./1:33.48.412
2009 -- Jenson Button (1st) -- Brawn-Mercedes -- 182.919 k.p.h./55:30.622
2008 -- Kimi Raikkonen (2nd) -- Ferrari -- 203.971 k.p.h./1:31:18.555
2007 -- Fernando Alonso (2nd) -- McLaren -- 201.893 k.p.h./1:32.14.930
2006 -- Giancarlo Fisichella (1st) -- Renault -- 205.397 k.p.h./1:30.40.529
2005 -- Fernando Alonso (1st) -- Renault -- 203.407 k.p.h./1:31:33.736
2004 -- Michael Schumacher (1st) -- Ferrari -- 204.384 k.p.h./1:31:07.490
2003 -- Kimi Raikkonen (7th) -- McLaren -- 201.629 k.p.h./1:32:22.195
2002 -- Ralf Schumacher (4th) -- Williams -- 1:34:12.912
2001 -- Michael Schumacher (1st) -- Ferrari -- 1:47:34.801
2000 -- Michael Schumacher (1st) -- Ferrari -- 1:35:54.235
1999 -- Eddie Irvine (2nd) -- Ferrari -- 1.36:38.494
Past Malaysian Grand Prix Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Sebastian Vettel -- 1st
2010 -- Mark Webber -- 2nd
2009 -- Jenson Button -- 1st
2008 -- Felipe Massa -- 19th
2007 -- Felipe Massa -- 5th
2006 -- Giancarlo Fisichella -- 1st
2005 -- Fernando Alonso -- 1st
2004 -- Michael Schumacher -- 1st
2003 -- Fernando Alonso -- 3rd
2002 -- Michael Schumacher -- 3rd
2001 -- Michael Schumacher -- 1st
2000 -- Michael Schumacher -- 1st
1999 -- Michael Schumacher -- 2nd
Last Race Results
RACE: Australian Grand Prix (March 18th)
SITE: Albert Park Circuit -- Melbourne, Australia
LAPS: 58
MILES: 191.110 (307.574 km)
WINNER: Jenson Button
RUNNER-UP: Sebastian Vettel
THIRD: Lewis Hamilton
FOURTH: Mark Webber
FIFTH: Fernando Alonso
POLE WINNER: Lewis Hamilton (Finished 3rd)
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 34 minutes, 9.565 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 195.991 k.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 2.139 seconds
Malaysian Grand Prix Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1 *Sebastien Vettel (Heppenheim, Germ)Renault/Red Bull
2Mark Webber (Queanbeyan, Australia)Renault/Red Bull
3Jenson Button (Frome, England)Mercedes/McLaren Vodafone
4Lewis Hamilton (Stevenage, England)Mercedes/McLaren Vodafone
5Fernando Alonso (Oviedo, Spain)Ferrari/Scuderia
6Felipe Massa (Sao Paulo, Brazil)Ferrari/Scuderia
7Michael Schumacher (Germany)Mercedes/AMG Petronas
8Nico Rosberg (Wiesbaden, Germany)Mercedes/AMG Petronas
9Kimi Raikkonen (Espoo, Finland)Renault/Lotus
10Romain Grosjean (Geneva, Switzerland)Renault/Lotus
11Paul di Resta (Livingston, Scotland)Mercedes/Force India
12Nico Hulkenberg (Emmerich, Germany)Mercedes/Force India
14Kamui Kobayashi (Amagasaki, Japan)Ferrari/Sauber
15Sergio Perez (Guadalajara, Mexico)Ferrari/Sauber
16Daniel Ricciardo (Perth, Australia)Ferrari/Scuderia Toro Rosso
17Jean-Eric Vergne (Pontoise, France)Ferrari/Scuderia Toro Rosso
18Pastor Maldonado (Maracay, Venezuela)Renault/Williams
19Bruno Senna (Sao Paulo, Brazil)Renault/Williams
20Heikki Kovalainen (Suomussalmi, Fin.)Renault/Caterham
21Vitaly Petrov (Vyborg, Russia)Renault/Caterham
22Pedro de la Rosa (Barcelona, Spain)Cosworth/HRT
23Narain Karthikeyan (Chennai, India)Cosworth/HRT
24Timo Glock (Lindenfels, Germany)Cosworth/Marussia
25Charles Pic (Montelimar, France)Cosworth/Marussia
 
* - defending champion.
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200320042005200620072008200920102011
Sebastian Vettel---------------18th15thWonWon
Jenson Button7th3rd18th3rd12th10thWon8th2nd
Mark Webber16th20th16th19th10th7th6th2nd4th
Felipe Massa---8th10th5th5th19th9th7th5th
Fernando Alonso3rd7thWon2ndWon8th11th13th6th
Lewis Hamilton------------2nd5th7th6th8th
Michael Schumacher6thWon7th6th---------21st9th
Nico Rosberg---------21st19th14th8th3rd12th
Kimi RaikkonenWon17th9th22nd3rdWon14th------
 
Mover of the Week
Sergio Perez - Started in the 22nd position and finished 8th
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Sebastian Vettel
Darkhorse - Michael Schumacher
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Sebastian Vettel) - Finished 2nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Nico Rosberg) - Finished 12th
 
NOTES:
Last season, Sebastian Vettel started in impressive fashion, as he posted wins in the first two races of the season and then won three of the next four en route to his second straight Formula One Championship title.

Although not a winner last week in Australia, Vettel posted a runner-up finish to Jenson Button, as they head to Malaysia this week.

Vettel pulled away quickly in 2011 from the field. Lewis Hamilton from McLaren started second, but Lotus Renault GP's Nick Heidfeld overtook Hamilton on the opening lap. Vettel only relinquished the lead when he pitted during the 56-lap race at Sepang International Circuit.

Hamilton originally finished seventh, but had 20 seconds added to his race time for making more than one change of direction in defending his position from Fernando Alonso. Alonso had 20 seconds added for causing a collision with Hamilton and placed sixth while Hamilton finished eighth.

Vettel crossed the finish line 3.2 seconds ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button to notch his 12th of 21 career F1 wins. In addition, Vettel joined Michael Schumacher as the only repeat winners of this race. Schumacher accomplished the feat in 2000-01.

In 2010, Sebastian Vettel stormed back into Formula One championship contention by winning the Malaysian Grand Prix, while his teammate, Mark Webber, finished behind him to give Red Bull a 1-2 finish.

Vettel squeezed past Nico Rosberg and then overtook pole sitter Webber on the opening lap to take the lead. The young German remained in front from there, enduring hot and humid conditions throughout the 56-lap race for his first win of the season and the sixth of his F1 career. Vettel, who won two weeks ago in Australia, now owns 11 titles.

Starting first on the grid, Jenson Button captured the 2009 running of the Malaysian Grand Prix. Button, who opened the 2008 season with back-to- back wins, took the checkered flag despite the race at Sepang Circuit stopped short of its scheduled 56 laps because of heavy rain.

In 2008, Kimi Raikkonen became the third multiple winner of this race, as he cruised to a whopping, 19.570 seconds win over Robert Kubica for the first of two wins that year. Raikkonen, who two races later would capture the Spanish Grand Prix, now totals 18 F1 titles. Raikkonen also won this race in 2003.

Back in 2007, Fernando Alonso posted the 16th of his 26 career Formula One titles, as he cruised to a whopping 17.5 seconds win over Lewis Hamilton. The win was McLaren's first one-two finish since Brazil 2005. Alonso had been on a hot streak at this race with six straight top-10 finishes including a pair of wins, however that streak ended in 2009 where he placed 11th. Pole sitter Felipe Massa placed fifth.

With his win in 2007, Alonso joined Michael Schumacher and Raikkonen as the only multiple winners of this race. Schumacher captured the checked flag on three occasions and had never finished out of the top-10 at this race in nine appearances, prior to last season.

Sepang was completed in 1999. It bears a similarity to the Austrian A1 - Ring and features a pair of long straights joined by a hairpin. The circuit has been designed to meet the latest safety criteria and features large run- off areas and a 15-turn, 5.543-km layout. Designed by Hermann Tilke, Sepang is one of the most technical circuits in Formula One. The combination of long high- speed straights, and tight twisting complexes make the track very complicated, but also perfect for overtaking as the track itself is very wide.

In the 13 years of this race, the pole sitter has fared quite well, winning on seven occasions, including last season. The worst result for the front runner has been Massa in 2008 when he placed 19th. The top three spots have won this race 11 times.

The next round in the 2012 Formula One season is the April 15 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. Lewis Hamilton is the defending race winner.

03/20 13:49:03 ET

As of March 20, 2012, at 01:49 PM ET

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