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Discussion Starter #1


2006 Malaysian Grand Prix

Track: Sepang International Circuit
City Kuala Lampur
Nation: Malaysia
Location: 3.5km east of Kuala Lampur airport
Date: March 17-19, 2006.
Map:



Track Length: 5,543 m (5.543km)
Laps: 56
Total Distance: 310.408 km
First Held: 1999
Last Held: 2005
Grand Prixs: 7
Held At: Sepang (1999 -)

First Winner: Eddie Irvine, Ferrari, 1:36'38.494 hrs, 1999
Last Winner: Fernando Alonso, Renault, 1:31'33.736 hrs, 2005
Pole Position: Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 1'33.074 min, 2004
Fastest Lap: Juan Pablo Montoya, Williams, 1'34.232 min, 2004

Last 5 Winners: 2005 - Fernando Alonso, Renault; 2004 - Michael Schumacher, Ferrari; 2003 - Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren; 2002 - Ralf Schumacher, Williams; 2001 - Michael Schumacher, Ferrari

2006 Driver Standings (as of Bahrainian GP):
Pos. Driver (NAT) Pts
1. Fernando Alonso (ESP) 10
2. Michael Schumacher (GER) 8
3. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) 6
4. Jenson Button (GBR) 5
5. Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) 4
6. Mark Webber (AUS) 3
7. Nico Rosberg (GER) 2
8. Christian Klien (AUT) 1

2006 Constructors Standings (as of Bahrainian GP):
Pos. Team (DRIVERS) Pts.
1. Renault (FISICHELLA/ALONSO) 10
2. McLaren (RAIKKONEN/MONTOYA) 10
3. Ferrari (SCHUMACHER/MASSA) 8
4. Honda (BUTTON/BARRICHELLO) 5
5. Williams (WEBBER/ROSBERG) 5
6. RedBull (COULTHARD/KLIEN) 4

Track Rating: ***
 

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DC hit with engine penalty for Malaysia

David Coulthard is bracing himself for an arduous weekend in Malaysia after a frustrating Bahrain Grand Prix.

Coulthard was on course for a points finish when a tyre problem caused severe vibrations and forced the Red Bull driver to slow down in the opening race of the season.

That dropped him to 10th and to make matters worse, his Ferrari engine blew up just after the chequered flag, bringing him a 10-place grid penalty at Sepang this weekend.

Formula One rules demand engines last two races, or the penalty is imposed.

If an engine breaks during a race, the resulting retirement is deemed penalty enough but as Coulthard had just crossed the line, he can now start no higher than 11th in Malaysia.

He said: "It's hard on the small teams. The penalty, fair enough everyone understands why, but it's not the same for all.

"It is like Chelsea losing a man - being down to 10 men is not as tough for them as it would be for a smaller team.

"But you can't do anything.

"For race two, even if I stick it on pole I am 11th and the chances of being on pole are quite slim."


:howler:

Tell that to Jose "I refused to talk about the game because it was not a game playing 10 vs 11" Mourinho DC :D
 

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I'll be watching this race at Sepang live this weekend :excited: and it'll be my fourth trip to the circuit, with the results of my previous 3 trips as follows:

2002 - Winner: Ralf Schumacher (BMW-Williams)
2003 - Winner: Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren-Mercedes)
2005 - Winner: Fernando Alonso (Renault)

If you're smart you better not bet your money on Ferrari :D
 

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Ilgenio! Pictures! And kidnap Kimi for my birthday pressie won't ya? :sweeteye:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Engine blamed for JPM's Bahrain result
Tuesday March 14 2006

Juan Pablo Montoya has been exonerated of all blame for his failure to match Kimi Raikkonen's performance in Bahrain. However, it may be of little consolation as the offending engine could yet cost him ten grid slots this Sunday in Malaysia.

Although Montoya, who was P5, started the Bahrain GP well ahead of Raikkonen, who was at the back of the grid owing to his qualifying shunt, he finished two places behind his team-mate after what appeared to be a lacklustre performance from the Colombian.

Montoya, though, blamed his McLaren MP4-21.

"I have not really been totally comfortable with the set up of my car all weekend, which was clear during all the practice sessions," he said.

"Obviously I am a little disappointed finishing in fifth as I know that the car could do so much more, but it just wasn't working for me this weekend."

And it has now emerged that he was right to do so as he suffered from engine mapping issues throughout the weekend, which meant his engine was down in power compared to Raikkonen's.

"I think we had some issues over the weekend with Montoya's engine," McLaren MD Martin Whitmarsh told Autosport.

"We have a number of different modes of operation with the engine. We have economy, super economy and full mode and certainly in the lesser modes of control there was something in the engine that we were trying to track down all weekend that gave him a slight element of disadvantage.

"It's the same engine this weekend but we have got a bit more time to study it now. We cannot change the mechanics of the engine but we are allowed to change the software and the mapping.

"With a bit of detailed analysis maybe we can find something there to give him more confidence in the operating regimes of the engine."


But if the team doesn't, it could mean an engine change and another race weekend where Montoya's on the back foot.

-----------

He'd still score points, anyway. McLaren showed throughout 2005 they're good at getting a car from the back of the grid up into the points.
 

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I guess that explains why Button was able to pass him almost effortlessly twice in Bahrain :rollani:

Well, Monty finished 2nd after starting right from the back at Hockenheim last year, and Sepang is a track with similar characteristics to Hockenheim. Heck! I say change the engine and let Monty start at the back of the grid with a full tank of fuel. With a one-stopper, he should still be quick enough for a podium finish :stuckup:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Engine reliability a 'concern' for Schumi
Thursday March 16 2006

Given Ferrari's 50% engine reliability this season, Michael Schumacher is a bit "concerned" ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend.

Ferrari, who not only race their own engines but also supply Red Bull Racing, have already had to replace two engines, Felipe Massa's and David Coulthard's, following the season-opening Bahrain GP.

While Coulthard needed a new engine after his old one ground to a halt on the slowing-down lap in hrain, Massa's engine had to be replaced after tests discovered that it wouldn't be able to cope with the demands of a second grand prix.

Both drivers will be given a ten-grid slot penalty in Malaysia as under the regulations, engines have to last for two whole grand prix weekends before they can be replaced with a new power unit.

"It was not what I was expecting but we know we have had a big change in the rules and this is not so easy for the teams," said a disappointed Massa.

"And who knows, maybe I won't be the only one to change their engine. Maybe when we start running we will see problems in the other teams."

And Schumacher is hoping that if his team-mate is helped by other engine failures, they will affect "the other teams" not Massa's own team.

"Naturally I'm concerned because it's the same engine," the seven-time World Champion old reporters at Sepang.

"But so far we've checked everything and everything looks fine on my engine so I should be reasonably happy.

"There's no reason to be worried about the engine at the moment."

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Kimi eager not to repeat Bahrain misery
Thursday March 16 2006

Kimi Raikkonen is eager to put behind him an all-too familiar feeling of playing catch-up when his McLaren hits the track in Malaysia this weekend.

Reliability woes meant the 26-year-old was forced to charge through the field from the back of the grid too many times to make the 2005 World Championship more of a close-run thing.

At the first race of 2006 in Bahrain, the luckless Finn suffered deja vu when his car's suspension failed, ruling him out of any further running in Saturday's revamped qualifying session and giving him yet another rear view of the other 21 starters.

But as has become his unwanted trademark, he flew through the order, abetted by a one-stop strategy, to eventually leapfrog his team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya and finish a remarkable third behind winner Fernando Alonso and Michael Schumacher.

That run demonstrated that McLaren, who endured a somewhat troubled pre-season, have produced another quick car that just needs to stay on track to take the fight to Renault and Ferrari.

Raikkonen, the 2003 Malaysian race winner, said: "My race in Bahrain showed that the MP4-21 is a competitive car, despite the heavy fuel load I had for most of the race compared to the cars around me, it was quick.

"I now want to get back on track in Malaysia and have a better qualifying session, so that I can improve on my finishing position in Bahrain."

Montoya's run was uncharacteristically subdued and, allied to an engine that he considered down on power compared to his team-mate's, his drive to a disappointing fifth was compromised by a handling imbalance.

But the steadfast Colombian, who is looking for his first win at Sepang after a pair of second places in 2002 and 2004, is hopeful of an improvement this weekend, and possibly a demonstration of his signature overtaking moves.

Montoya said: "I am really looking forward to the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend, Sepang is a track I love to race on and it suits my driving style.

"I am hoping that this will help me and the team to find a better set-up with the car than I had in Bahrain and that we will be putting more points on the board.

"The wide track and its sweeping corners mean there are a few good overtaking chances, I guess the main opportunity is corner 15, but you do need really good traction to make the most of it."

Like all drivers on the grid, Malaysia presents an almost unique challenge to the McLaren men's fitness, with outside temperatures well into the 30s and sweltering humidity ensuring it is possibly the hottest and hardest race of the year.

Raikkonen said: "After Bahrain, I have been spending a few days relaxing and doing my fitness training in hot conditions.

"I will also focus on getting used to taking on a lot of fluid to replace what is lost through sweat.

"Dehydration affects concentration levels, muscle strength and endurance, and so I have been working with my trainer to avoid this.

"We also have to make modifications to the cars to cope with the heat, for example there will be larger air cooling intakes on my car for this race."

Montoya added: "The humidity is another major factor and Malaysia is a really punishing race physically.

"It gets so hot in the cockpit, up to 50 degrees and you lose a lot of fluid, up to four litres, during the race alone."


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Wet race in Malaysia?
Thursday March 16 2006

Formula One could have its first wet race of the season this weekend in Malaysia, with light showers forecast for much of Saturday and Sunday...

Friday 17 March 2006
Sunny
High: 35'C
Low: 23'C
Wind: 3mph north easterly

Saturday 18 March 2006
Light showers
High: 34'C
Low: 23'C
Wind: 3mph easterly

Sunday 19 March 2006
Light showers
High: 36'C
Low: 25'C
Wind: 4mph easterly
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Engine change and grid penalty for Schu
Saturday March 18 2006

Michael Schumacher's hopes of setting a new record for the number of pole positions in F1 history will have to wait another weekend after Ferrari were forced to change his engine before qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The German had set the quickest time in final practice on Saturday morning, but rather than risk an engine failure in qualifying or the race, Ferrari opted to make the change early.

It means that wherever Schumacher qualifies, he will be demoted 10 places on the grid, as per the regulations stipulating engines must last two race weekends.

Schumacher's team-mate Felipe Massa has already been given a fresh engine and is rumoured to be skipping qualifying to save tyres for the race.

Ferrari also supply Red Bull with engines and David Coulthard's powerplant expired after he passed the chequered flag in Bahrain last weekend. The Scot will also incur the 10-place penalty.

Schumacher equalled the late Ayrton Senna's record of 65 poles in Bahrain.

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Flav won't comment on Raikkonen rumours
Saturday March 18 2006

Only time will tell whether Kimi Raikkonen heads to Renault next season because team boss Flavio Briatore definitely isn't telling.

Although for the past few months F1's rumour mill has had Raikkonen moving to Ferrari in 2007, the latest speculation is that his actual destination is Renault in what would be a direct swap with Fernando Alonso, who has already signed with McLaren.

However, while Alonso's 2007 team has been confirmed, Raikkonen's is still a mystery as Renault boss Briatore isn't giving anything away.

"I think that Renault must make sure it is strong and if the team is strong, then you can attract the good drivers," he said.

"Kimi Raikkonen is at McLaren and Fernando is at Renault. There are still 16 races to go after this one and every weekend we are talking about it.

"I don't want to be talking about this, at the moment I have no idea who will take the place of Fernando."

He added: "The next time I talk about this is when I announce the driver for Renault for the future."

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Prac 3 Times
01 M. Schumacher Ferrari 1:34.126 16 laps
02 F. Alonso Renault 1:34.180 13 laps
03 G. Fisichella Renault 1:34.585 13 laps
04 J. Button Honda 1:34.616 20 laps
05 C. Klien Red Bull 1:34.815 12 laps
06 K. Räikkönen McLaren 1:34.854 10 laps
07 R. Schumacher Toyota 1:35.040 7 laps
08 N. Rosberg Williams 1:35.242 14 laps
09 D. Coulthard Red Bull 1:36.639 14 laps
10 J. Trulli Toyota 1:35.690 19 laps
11 M. Webber Williams 1:35.700 11 laps
12 J. Villeneuve BMW 1:36.144 9 laps
13 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:36.505 13 laps
14 V. Liuzzi Toro Rosso 1:36.549 15 laps
15 R. Barrichello Honda 1:36.655 13 laps
16 JP. Montoya McLaren 1:37.053 8 laps
17 F. Massa Ferrari 1:37.148 21 laps
18 C. Albers Midland F1 1:37.232 18 laps
19 S. Speed Toro Rosso 1:37.437 19 laps
20 T. Monteiro Midland F1 1:37.900 17 laps
21 T. Sato Super Aguri 1:38.821 15 laps
22 Y. Ide Super Aguri 1:40.542 18 laps
 

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qualifying is about to start

*on a sidenote, god damn ch10 is fcuking with us again :frustrat:, instead of showing the race at 3 in the afternoon they showing it at 10.30 at night, them bastards:fero:, why if I weren’t such a F1 fan I’d probably boycott it
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Qualifying Times
01 G. Fisichella Renault 1:33.840
02 J. Button Honda 1:33.986
03 N. Rosberg Williams 1:34.626
04 M. Schumacher Ferrari 1:34.668
05 M. Webber Williams 1:34.672
06 JP. Montoya McLaren 1:34.916
07 K. Räikkönen McLaren 1:34.983
08 F. Alonso Renault 1:35.747
09 C. Klien Red Bull 1:38.715
10 R. Schumacher Toyota no time
11 D. Coulthard Red Bull 1:34.614
12 R. Barrichello Honda 1:34.683
13 J. Trulli Toyota 1:34.070
14 J. Villeneuve BMW 1:34.752
15 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:34.783
16 F. Massa Ferrari no time
17 S. Speed Toro Rosso 1:36.297
18 V. Liuzzi Toro Rosso 1:36.581
19 C. Albers Midland F1 1:37.426
20 T. Monteiro Midland F1 1:37.819
21 T. Sato Super Aguri 1:39.011
22 Y. Ide Super Aguri 1:40.720

--------

Rosberg :eekani:
 

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Malaysian Grand Prix provisional grid

The grid for Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix looks quite a bit different to the final results from qualifying as not one or two, but five drivers were handed grid-slot penalties for changing their engines.

Here's the provisional grid for the 2006 Malaysian GP...

Grid
01. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Renault
02. Jenson Button (Britain) Honda
03. Nico Rosberg (Germany) William :eekani:
04. Mark Webber (Australia) Williams
05. Juan Pablo Montoya (Colombia) McLaren
06. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) McLaren
07. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault
08. Christian Klien (Austria) Red Bull
09. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota
10. Jacques Villeneuve (Canada) BMW
11. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW
12. Scott Speed (U.S.) Toro Rosso
13. Vitantonio Liuzzi (Italy) Toro Rosso
14. Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari *
15. Christijan Albers (Netherlands) MF1
16. Tiago Monteiro (Portugal) MF1
17. Takuma Sato (Japan) Super Aguri
18. Yuji Ide (Japan) Super Aguri
19. Ralf Schumacher (Germany) Toyota *
20. David Coulthard (Britain) Red Bull *
21. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda *
22. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari *

* engine was changed


I'll be leaving for Sepang in another 5 hours and I've said it several times that Ferrari have never won when I'm watching at Sepang in person :D From the starting grid above, it looks like Ferrari again won't be at the top of the podium this time :happy:
 

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Malaysia Qualy: Renault, McLaren & Ferrari

Racing for the win...

Renault
Giancarlo Fisichella: I want to dedicate this win to Pietro, a childhood friend of mine who died last Sunday. This is the best pole I have had so far. Last year it was thanks to the rain, but today, everybody was up there and fighting hard for it. The engineers made some changes to the car overnight that really improved the balance, and from the first run this morning, I could feel we had the pace to fight for the first two rows. After that, it was a question of doing the best possible job in the qualifying session, and performing to the maximum at the right time. We did it, and tomorrow, I will only be thinking about the win."

Fernando Alonso: It was obviously a very disappointing qualifying session for me. Fisico showed what the car can do at this circuit, and I should have been up there as well. We had a problem with the fuel rig before the final part of qualifying, and I didn't have the performance on my lap with new tyres at the end. Even so, I am not actually in too bad a position, and I will gain a place before tomorrow. The package actually feels good, and we are consistent with our pace, so I am not ruling anything our for tomorrow."

McLaren
Juan Pablo Montoya: I am happy with our qualifying result today, and we will see tomorrow with the different fuel loads just how well we have done. Hopefully the Michelin tyres will continue to perform, so far they have been good, but it is a very long and hot race. We have worked intensively on the set-up of the car and I am much happier with it. I am looking forward to a good race tomorrow where we can hopefully be challenging at the front."

Kimi Raikkonen: I had a little bit of traffic on my out lap at the end of the session which disrupted my flying lap. As a result I didn't do as well as I could have, but I am pretty happy with the result. The car could still be better but I think that we have a competitive strategy and we will still be strong in the race tomorrow."

Ferrari
Michael Schumacher: I'll be starting from the sixth row which isn't too bad considering the penalty inflicted for the engine change. We're satisfied with this position and obviously I hope to end up in the points. I'd be really happy if I could get a podium finish. Considering the circumstances, our objective is not to lose touch with the drivers who presumably will be fighting for the championship. The fact that Alonso and Raikkonen aren't too far ahead on the grid certainly helps me a bit. It'll be interesting to see whether overtaking will be possible and how much fuel the others have on board. During unofficial practice we have seen that our race pace is fine. It's a pity that we've lost ten places on the grid because of this engine problem, but I would rather try and bring home a few points than end up with nothing at all."

Felipe Massa: Obviously I'm very disappointed because I was convinced that I had the potential to compete with the front runners. We chose to do only the first part of the qualifying session so as to be able and start the race with as much fuel as we want and in order to save our new sets of tyres and keep a fresh engine for the race. This morning, when I was running on used tyres and with quite a lot of fuel on board, I felt that the car in this configuration was performing excellently. Tomorrow is going to be difficult for me, but in racing you never know what can happen: perhaps a weekend that got off to a bad start could end up quite well!"

Source: PlanetF1
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This is Jenson Button's race to win. He's got the car and the ability to do it, we all know Fisichella will blow it at some point anyway, and the big two are behind Mark Webber who, as we all know, is very good at holding up traffic and ruining races for other drivers. Nico Rosberg - despite being brilliant - probably will tail off at some point.
 

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What a major disappointment... :cry:
 

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This season has started great to me. Renault has started very powerfully and they were better than the others by a big difference today! Fisico & Alonso have both got wins and Alonso is leading the table. It's sad to wave goodbye to him in the end of the season. But till that, I'll be cheering for him!

Giancarlo was awesome today!

Though, I was sad to see both Williams's going out with engine problems. They were really good until the engine ruined it. Webber & Rosberg are very talented! :thumbsup:
 

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Superb race by the whole Renault team. :thumbsup: They are the ones to beat with everyone else playing catch-up. It still looks like it will be a competitive season with Renault, Ferrari, McLaren and Toyota / Honda fighting it out for the share of the spoils with the first three competing well. I still think that 5 or 6 race wins with consistency in getting the points will be enough to win the Championship this season.

I thought the Malaysian grand prix had some empty seats? What's up with that? You rarely see empty seats at F-1 races.

I can't believe that Ferrari is going for the over-rated Kimi! A decade ago they made the best transfer by bringing in the greatest driver in the history of F-1 and now they could be making the blunder of the decade by getting Kimi! This guy can't finish races and doesn't know how to win Championships which has a lot to do with other aspects except driving fast! :rolleyes:

Another noticeable trend nowadays is that more and more teams are making the cars and engines themselves. There was a time when Ferrari was at the forefront and the only team making the cars and engines themselves but now we have Toyota, Renault, Honda etc who are doing it all by themselves. It is a trend shift in Formula-1.


Ferrari has engine problems this season but the car is fast. If they can tackle with reliability then they are in with a shout. Obviously Ferrari has the edge because they don't have Kimi who will add to the unreliability issues with not finishing races!

Alonso is the real deal. The next great of F-1! I wish Ferrari would get this chap. He has all the elements to be a great champion rather than a flash in the pan like Hill! :tongue: The more I see him in action, the more I realize that he has that special stuff which makes champions. :cool:
 
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