2015 Malaysian Grand Prix – Preview
In Australia Mercedes showed their real power. Lewis Hamilton won the first race of the season, whilst his teammate, Nico Rosberg, finished second, 1.36s behind. Ferrari’s new hero (as it seems) Sebastian Vettel finished in the third place and gained his first points with his new team.
Before the lights go out two drivers retired, Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat. Fifteen cars were placed on the starting/finishing line, but only 11 managed to see the chequered flag.
The first Grand Prix of the season finished and now everyone is waiting for the second turn of the championship which will take place in Malaysia. Malaysian Grand Prix made its first appearance in the Formula 1 calendar 16 years ago.
Malaysia is mainly known for the tropical climate which sometimes plays its role during the F1 race. The drivers have to complete 56 laps and the total distance of the race is 310.408 km. The circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke, German engineer and auto racer, and it is a very demanding Grand Prix.
As Pirelli announced a few weeks ago, teams will have to use two types of tyres. The first one will be the hardest tyre (orange) and the second will be the medium tyre (white). Sepang circuit is perfect for overtaking and the two DRS zones will help the drivers to overtake their rivals in order to fight for higher positions. The fastest driver so far, and the one who has the lap record is Juan Pablo Montoya (1.34.223s).
Last season Mercedes controlled and won the race. Lewis Hamilton was the winner and Mercedes achieved their first 1-2 since 1955 as Nico Rosberg finished in the second place. Sebastian Vettel with his previous team –Red Bull- gained the third place and Ferrari’s ex-driver, Fernando Alonso, finished fourth. Pastor Maldonado and Jules Bianchi collided with each other and after a while both retired. A post-race penalty was given to Red Bull driver, Daniel Ricciardo, because his team released the car in an unsafe manner after a pit-stop.
It will be interesting to see what happens this year in Sepang as both Ferrari and Williams are faster and capable to win or at least stay close to Mercedes. Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean were unlucky in the first race and Malaysian Grand Prix will be their chance to show the abilities of the E23. Finally, I expect to see if the rookies will be as fast as they were in Australia.
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Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Victor Archakis