There were 709 press releases posted in the last 24 hours and 167,471 in the last 365 days.

2016 Malaysia Grand Prix, Qualifying

2016 Malaysia Grand Prix, Qualifying

MERCEDES DRIVER LEWIS HAMILTON CLAIMS POLE POSITION USING THE SOFT TYRE, CLOSE TO THE FASTEST-EVER LAP OF SEPANG

FALLING TRACK TEMPERATURES AFFECT TRACK EVOLUTION AND TYRE BEHAVIOUR DURING LATE-AFTERNOON QUALIFYING SESSION

TWO STOPS THE MOST LIKELY STRATEGY FOR THE GRAND PRIX

Sepang, October 1, 2016 – Following record track temperatures in excess of 60 degrees centigrade yesterday, qualifying today got underway in the cooler conditions of late afternoon with 43 degrees centigrade.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton went fastest on the soft tyre in qualifying (as he did in FP3 earlier today) with a pole time of 1m32.850s: more than six seconds faster than last year’s fastest time, set in Q2, of 1m39.269s, and close to the fastest-ever lap run round Sepang, which was 1m32.582s (set by Fernando Alonso in first qualifying in 2005).

A mixture of soft and medium tyres were used throughout qualifying, with the exception of Williams driver Felipe Massa, who completed an installation lap on the hard compound. Different tactics were used by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo – who used just one set of medium tyres to get through to Q2 – while McLaren’s Fernando Alonso also did just one run on mediums, as he will start at the back tomorrow due to grid penalties.

Track temperatures continued to fall throughout Q2, with all the drivers using the soft tyre from start to finish and the majority just completing one run. This means that all the top 10 will start on the soft tyre tomorrow, which is around 1.2 seconds faster than the medium.

The final top-10 shoot-out to decide pole, from which the win has been claimed in Malaysia nine times in 17 races, was also run entirely on the soft tyre. Some light drops of rain fell in the middle of Q3, with Hamilton securing his pole during the first run.

Two stops is likely to form the optimal race strategy tomorrow, with wear and degradation reduced compared to previous years as a result of the new track surface. However, the weather forecast predicts some rain showers, which could alter the complexion of the race.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “The new track surface has clearly benefitted grip and traction, enabling one of the fastest-ever laps of Malaysia to be run today – more than six seconds faster than last year’s pole – using our soft tyre. We had falling track temperatures throughout the session, which presented a bit of a moving target for the teams, but they quickly got on top of that. There’s still something of a question mark over the weather but with all the top 10 starting on the soft tyre, we should see some interesting strategies at the front end of the field as the long runs seem closely matched.”

How the tyres behaved today: Hard: Used just by Felipe Massa for an installation run in Q1, obligatory for race. Medium: Seen in Q1 but not used thereafter: some drivers may not run it in the race. Soft: Used to set second-fastest lap in Sepang’s history: all the top 10 will start on this.

Free practice 3 – top three times

 Hamilton  1m34.434s  Soft new
 Verstappen  1m34.879s  Soft new
 Rosberg  1m35.053s  Soft new

Qualifying top 10

Hamilton 1m32.850s Soft new
Rosberg 1m33.264s Soft new
Verstappen 1m33.420s Soft new
Ricciardo 1m33.467s Soft new
Vettel 1m33.584s Soft new
Raikkonen 1m33.632s Soft new
Perez 1m34.319s Soft new
Hulkenberg 1m34.489s Soft new
Button 1m34.518s Soft new
Massa 1m34.671s Soft new

 Most laps by compound so far

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

Best time by compound so far

Hard Hamilton 1m35.956s
Medium Ricciardo 1m35.079s
Soft Hamilton 1m32.850s

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://www.pirelli.com/global/en-ww/malaysia-2016-qualifying

 

Distribution channels: Automotive