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2016 Malaysian Grand Prix – Practice Sessions

2016 Malaysian Grand Prix – Practice Sessions

 RECORD TRACK TEMPERATURES REGISTERED IN EXCESS OF 60 DEGREES DURING THE AFTERNOON

DRIVERS AND TEAMS USE FREE PRACTICE TO ASSESS NEW ASPHALT: OVER A SECOND BETWEEN THE MEDIUM AND SOFT TYRES

 CLOUDY WEATHER EXPECTED TOMORROW WITH POSSIBILITY OF RAIN FOR THE RACE

Sepang, September 30, 2016 – The highest track temperatures in recent memory were recorded at Sepang in Malaysia at the start of FP2, hitting the 61 degree centigrade mark.

Track temperatures fluctuated throughout the day, which had an effect on lap times as the drivers and teams completed qualifying simulations and longer race runs, using all three of the compounds available: hard, medium, and soft.

The main focus of the work today was to understand the new asphalt at Sepang, which has smoothed out all the bumps and altered the racing line, as well as making the surface less abrasive. So far, the track seems quite a lot quicker, with the fastest lap times today already smashing the fastest times of the entire weekend last year.

However, it was quite hard for the teams to get an accurate picture of wear and degradation, due to time lost in FP1 following a red flag, variable track temperatures, and track evolution. Adding to the complication is the fact that qualifying tomorrow takes place in the late afternoon, three hours after the FP2 start time, meaning that today’s data is not necessarily representative.  Also, the weather could turn cloudier for the rest of the weekend, with a risk of rain on race day.

The fastest time of the day was set by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton in FP2, who set a 1m34.944s on the soft tyre: around 1.3 seconds faster than the medium at the moment.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “The new asphalt in Malaysia seems to be quicker, and despite the hottest track temperatures seen in recent memory, all three of our compounds here stood up extremely well to the punishment, allowing times that were sometimes nearly five seconds faster than the equivalent sessions last year. But with the chance of different weather conditions for the remainder of the weekend, there are still a number of complex variables left to play out, which makes planning the strategy quite tricky at this point.”

FP1 – TIMES     FP2 – TIMES    
Rosberg 1m35.227s Soft New Hamilton 1m34.944s Soft New
Hamilton 1m35.721s Medium New Rosberg 1m35.177s Soft New
Raikkonen 1m36.315s Soft New Vettel 1m35.605s Soft New

FP1 – BEST TIME PER COMPOUND

Hard Ricciardo 1m36.753s
Medium Hamilton 1m35.721s
Soft Rosberg 1m35.227s

FP2 – BEST TIME PER COMPOUND

Hard Hamilton 1m35.956s
Medium Rosberg 1m36.543s
Soft Hamilton 1m34.944s

MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND

Hard Ocon 24 laps
Medium Grosjean 20
  Hamilton 20
Soft Gutierrez 20
  Vettel 20
  Wehrlein 20

Tyre statistics of the day:

  Hard Medium Soft
kms driven * 1257 2860 2233
sets used overall ** 22 39 33
highest number of laps ** 24 20 20

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined. ** Per compound, all drivers combined.

Minimum prescribed tyre pressures: 20.5 psi (fronts) 18.5 psi (rears)

Pirelli fact of the day: There has already been a Malaysian FIA World Champion, driving a Pirelli-equipped Malaysian car. In 2002, Karamjit Singh won the Production Car World Rally Championship driving a Proton: to read all about this (and other unexpected race facts) please visit our magazine: http://racing.pirelli.com/global/en-ww/malaysia-s-motorsport-champion

Spotted in the paddock: No celebrities today but instead brand new pit buildings to accommodate all the team hospitality units, which were built as part of the circuit redevelopment earlier this year.

For more information: please visit our all-new website, which is regularly updated with exclusive in-depth features, news and reviews. To find out more, please visit: http://racing.pirelli.com/global/en-ww/malaysia-2016-practice

Distribution channels: Automotive